You wife works, keeps house AND homeschools Jemimah? She must be supermum! I could never do that...Hubby was forced to answer more questions on homeschooling from this room of strangers than he ever has before. Topics ranged from how and when and why, to (surprise surprise) socialisation and religion. It wasn't just for one night either. For almost the whole week homeschooling was discussed, analysed and dissected.
It was almost as if he and Jemimah were from another planet!
Why is this so? Why is it that homeschooling families are so stereotyped as hypereverything hippy weirdos instead of just parents who want to give our children the best education possible while wanting to be a part of their daily lives?
What we want for our children is surely not so very different from what all parents want for their children - is it? We all want the best for our kids. We all want them to be happy; we all want them to be successful; we all want them to achieve their goals. As Christians we may have specific desires for our daughter that non-Christians would not, but that would apply whether she were educated at home or at school.
I personally like spending time with my daughter. I like hanging out with her. I love learning with her too - and I learn new things every day. Surely this is fairly normal - don't most parents like spending time with their children?
I'm not saying here that homeschooling is for everyone. Clearly it is not, but any mother who really wants to school her kids can. They don't need to be university educated teachers; they don't need the patience of Job; they don't need perfect time-management or even perfectly behaved children. They don't need to be the beneficiary of a significant inheritance. They don't even need a denim jumper and Birkenstocks (although they would help). What they need to be is loving mothers who want to educate their kids at home. That's all. No more; no less.
Not supermums, just mums.
Oh and if you do want to be a homeschool supermum then this list is for you:
- Wear a denim jumper and Birkenstocks. Wear your hair long and parted down the centre. No fringe.
- Bake your own bread.
- Have perfect well mannered children - no ADHD or Aspergers, please. Especially no genetic abnormalities.
- Have highly intelligent children. Learning difficulties will not be tolerated.
- Have lots and lots of children. It is okay to adopt or foster, but they must be perfect and highly intelligent.
- Never, ever buy takeaway. Especially not McDonalds. Never even say the name McDonalds.
- Have a spotlessly maintained country styled home with pine furniture and floral fabrics. Squashy cushions are optional, but if you do choose to have them ensure that they're perfectly plumped at all times. And down filled. No synthetic batting please.
- Be happily married and take care that he is always fully employed. Always. Preferably as a pastor.
- Never be ill. Perfect children can't be ill but you shouldn't be either.
- Do not vaccinate your children.
- Be a craft whizz. Knitting, embroidery, crochet and scrapbooking are de rigeur and always sew your own denim jumpers. And knit your own socks.
- Speak many languages. One must be Latin.
- Never have a bad day. Never raise your voice in anger. Don't even get irritated.
- Don't have a television, and don't listen to modern music.
- Always achieve everything on your curriculum's list. Never leave out nature study, poetry or art. Ever.
- Smile and keep smiling!
You see, I'm not supermum. I'm not anywhere near it. If you are then I probably don't have much in common with you. I'm just a mum. An imperfect mum who happens to teach her imperfect daughter at home.
And I'm doing okay.
Not supermum, but I'm doing okay.