Thursday, April 19, 2007

Ten Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Homeschool from Toast

Home schooling - it's not for everyone.

Ten Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Homeschool

Reason 1) You believe that socializing is the most important job of public school.
Since this is always the first question “inquiring minds" want to know, I can only assume this is important. No one asks me how I’m going to teach the kids to read, conjugate verbs, or dissect frogs, so presumably they trust in my ability to convey those important skills. I would like to point out, however, that what public school socializes your children to do is spend six hours sitting in a room with twenty-nine other people the same age during which they must pee and eat at the same time as well as line up to move from room to room. If you know of any place but public school where this would be a useful skill, you let me know.

Reason 2) You send email to a complete stranger on the Internet asking which curriculum you should use.
Not to discourage the fan mail… I LOVE it! I thrill to receiving email from all of you – particularly those that I don’t know and who do not share my last name. However, I’ve received questions like: “Do you think I should use Sonlight or Abeka?” First, I have no clue. I don’t know what your kids are like. Second, I’m not a Christian. Don’t ask me to differentiate between books that teach the world is either 3,000 or 6,000 years old. It’s like asking a teetotaler to discuss the relative merits of gin versus vodka.

Reason 3) You have an obsessive need for one or more of the following: Cleanliness, peace, or privacy.
Actually, you probably shouldn’t even have had children. But if the barn door has already swung open on that one, don’t compound your initial error by bringing all that cacophony into your home 24/7.

Reason 4) You don't like your children.
See Reason 3.

Reason 5) You want to watch movies and play Sudoku all day.
Believe it or not, “Homeschool Parent” is a full time job. You may think that once you settle in with the kids at home you won’t be “working” and therefore you’ll have all the time in the world to write a novel, knit a sweater, or get a master’s degree in existential thought in the 21st century. I am here to assure you that you will have less time to yourself and your own pursuits as a homeschool teacher than you did back in your software development days when you routinely clocked 65 hours a week and synchronized your laptop in the delivery room.

Reason 6) You have impulse control problems.
The opportunities for disaster are endless.

Reason 7) You have only one child.
The world already revolves around your child. Take him home and focus your full attention on him all day, every day, until this transient impression becomes a reality. Go ahead.

Reason 8) The world revolves around either you or your child.
A corollary to Reason 7, though, this can happen in families with more than one child. In any case, it does not pay to let anyone believe for more than a few minutes that he or she is the most important person in the world. From such lapses of reality, monomaniacal world leaders are created.

Reason 9) You are a perfectionist. Your spouse is a perfectionist. Your child is a perfectionist. Your parents are perfectionists.
Inevitably, you will disappoint someone.

And, last but not least…

Reason 10) …
Never mind. We don’t have a reason ten. About two weeks into it, you’ll come up with your own reason ten.
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