When I mention to people that we homeschool Josie, I am usually met with wide eyes and a startled "OH!". This is usually followed by, "You are so brave! I could never do that! She's in HIGH SCHOOL!" I can only assume that these people have never heard of all of the curriculum choices out there for high-schoolers, or they would never be so amazed. This is me, after all. Homeschooling a high-schooler must be fairly simple, or I would be WAY more whiney.
By the time they are this far along, they are pretty much self-teaching. This is a typical day with Josie:
She rolls out of bed whenever she wakes up. (This part annoys her father to no end. We are working on it.) She wanders downstairs in search of breakfast, and I ask her, "Have you started your school work?"
She shakes her head no.
"Well...go do that." I tell her, and she wanders back upstairs with a bowl of cereal in her hand and a rather glazed look on her face.
Several hours go by.
She emerges from her room again and announces, "I read a chapter in my Literature and Economics books, and I got an eighty-seven in math and a ninety-five in Spanish." (She does part of her school work on the computer. The program even grades it for me. It's like I'm obsolete!)
Then she wanders off muttering something about designing a web page and writing some fan fiction.
"Okay!" I tell her. "Good job!"
And that's pretty much it. Occasionally, we have what I like to refer to as a "Math Emergency", in which case I send her to her father and they argue about it until they reach some conclusion that means her math gets done, and that's really all that matters to me. As long as she learns how to do it and I don't have to re-learn how to do it, I'm happy. So far, I have managed to keep my promise to myself to never do algebra or geometry again. It is a trauma that I do not care to re-live.
Contrast that day with a typical day with my two middle children, who are attending public school for the first time this year.
I get up at 6:30 and fix their lunches. They get up and eat breakfast, and then they brush their teeth and get dressed. This is followed by the morning panic of "Did you sign my agenda? What about my homework...did you see if I put it in my backpack? Help! I can't find my shoes! Oh, I need money for my field trip and then more money for lunch and candy for the fall festival that is next Friday and my library book and I think I have lost my jacket." Finally, I shove them out the door, only for them to return seven hours later with the afternoon panic of "I've got to write my spelling words three times each and read my book to you and do a math page and then tomorrow I have to remember to bring my song flute and our cookie dough fundraiser is almost over and we haven't sold nearly enough and then I have a book report due tomorrow that you have to help me with because I need to collect things related to the book to show the class when I make my presentation, and have I mentioned that they are selling yearbooks? I need money." Then we spend the rest of the evening drilling spelling words and trying to make a musical instrument out of common household items.
By the time we go to bed, I am exhausted.
When we homeschooled everyone, we got it done during the day and then the evenings were free. I am all about the free time. Now? I relax on weekends like regular people. Where is the fun in that?
I should make a t-shirt that reads: "Homeschooling: The Lazy Person's Alternative." I think it would bring scores of children home from public schools!
Probably not the image that we should project, but hey! It works for me.
Edited to add~ I feel compelled to say this...homeschooling is not completely a piece of cake. It's just that you can usually finish it and have actual time for your family at the end, whereas when the kiddos are in school there just never seems to be a moment left over, kwim? I don't even want to do extra-curriculars any more, because I can't figure out how to do that and still breath and go to the bathroom. Life was just...smoother when we homeschooled all of them. And there you have it. As with anything else, your mileage may vary.
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