Wednesday, August 05, 2009

How Do You Do It?

People are constantly asking me, "How do you do it?" The question is usually posed after they learn about my large family. If it slipped by on that revelation the fact that I homeschool definitely gets it! The assumption is that home education must be so much more difficult than public or classical private education. I was recently reminded why this isn't true. Running around, picking this child up from here and dropping the other child over there, packing up younger siblings in order to drop older siblings at their appointments/camp, organizing fun with friends, and maintaining my regular household routines has plum tuckered me out this summer! I can't imagine trying to do it all with 8 hours of the day taken away for school.

The following is a cute anecdote using a slight twist to the ole, "How do you do it?" question. I thought it befitting.

Author Unknown

Two women meet at a playground, where their children are swinging and playing ball. The women are sitting on a bench watching. Eventually, they begin to talk.

W1: Hi. My name is Maggie. My kids are the three in red shirts –helps me keep track of them.

W2: (Smiles) I’m Patty. Mine are in the pink and yellow shirts. Do you come here a lot?

W1: Usually two or three times a week, after we go to the library.

W2: Wow! Where do you find the time?

W1: We homeschool, so we do it during the day most of the time.

W2: Some of my neighbors homeschool, but I send my kids to public school.

W1: How do you do it?

W2: It’s not easy. I go to all the PTA meetings, work with the kids every day after school, and stay really involved.

W1: But what about socialization? Aren’t you worried about them being cooped up all day with kids their own ages, never getting the opportunity for natural relationships?

W2: Well, yes. But I work hard to balance that. They have some friends who’re homeschooled, and we visit their grandparents almost every month.

W1: Sounds like you’re a very dedicated mom. But don’t you worry about all the opportunities they’re missing out on? I mean they’re so isolated from real life — how will they know what the world is like –what people do to make a living — how to get along with all different kinds of people?

W2: Oh, we discussed that at PTA, and we started a fund to bring real people into the classrooms. Last month we had a policeman and a doctor come in to talk to every class. And next month we’re having a woman from Japan and a man from Kenya come to speak.

W1: Oh, we met a man from Japan in the grocery store the other week, and he got to talking about his childhood in Tokyo. My kids were absolutely fascinated. We invited him to dinner and got to meet his wife and their three children.

W2: That’s nice. Hmm. Maybe we should plan some Japanese food for the lunchroom on Multicultural Day.

W1: Maybe your Japanese guest could eat with the children.

W2: Oh, no. She’s on a very tight schedule. She has two other schools to visit that day. It’s a systemwide thing we’re doing.

W1: Oh, I’m sorry. Well, maybe you’ll meet someone interesting in the grocery store sometime and you’ll end up having them over for dinner.

W2: I don’t think so. I never talk to people in the store –certainly not people who might not even speak my language. What if that Japanese man hadn’t spoken English?

W1: To tell you the truth, I never had time to think about it. Before I even saw him, my six-year-old had asked him what he was going to do with all the oranges he was buying.

W2: Your child talks to strangers?

W1: I was right there with him. He knows that as long as he’s with me, he can talk to anyone he wishes.

W2: But you’re developing dangerous habits in him. My children never talk to strangers.

W1: Not even when they’re with you?

W2: They’re never with me, except at home after school. So you see why it’s so important for them to understand that talking to strangers is a big no-no.

W1: Yes, I do. But if they were with you, they could get to meet interesting people and still be safe. They’d get a taste of the real world, in real settings. They’d also get a real feel for how to tell when a situation is dangerous or suspicious.

W2: They’ll get that in the third and fifth grades in their health courses.

W1: Well, I can tell you’re a very caring mom. Let me give you my number–if you ever want to talk, give me call. It was good to meet you.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing that Trisha, puts a whole new persepective on Homeschooled familes. I agree with you. I think it is great that God has blessed you and Chris with so many children, considering they are a gift from Him! Well done to the both of you!! God bless.