My sister is the stereotypical homeschool Mom. She and her husband have six children with a seventh on the way and are in their sixth year of homeschooling. They live on a farm where they raise chickens, goats, and various garden crops, and they recently planted 200 fruit trees. They do not own a television. She likes things that are all-natural, sells essential oils and goat-milk soaps that she makes with her family, breastfeeds exclusively, promotes co-sleeping and natural birthing, and primarily wears skirts. I can’t remember the last time I saw her in make-up. They just bought an RV in which they plan to travel around the country as a family for weeks (or longer) at a time.
I admire so many things about her.
She and I are very different.
My husband and I have two children, and we live in a split-level house in a subdivision. We don’t even have a dog. All of the food I prepare comes from either Kroger, Wal-Mart, or Publix, and rarely is it even organic. Both of my children were formula-fed exclusively after scheduled births (one induction and one scheduled c-section), and neither has ever spent a night in our bed. We have two televisions, three iPads, and two smart phones in our house. While I do enjoy wearing dresses during the Spring and Summer, I also like shorts and Capri pants. I love to wear make-up and get my hair colored. We own a tent, but it has sat unused for years.
There really are a lot of homeschoolers like my sister, and I think that’s awesome. If that lifestyle is appealing to you, I say “go for it!” You will find many, many blogs and websites to support you in that venture.
I jokingly refer to myself as a Half-Hearted Homeschooler when I talk to my sister because I am completely “un-crunchy,” and until this past school year, my children attended a program outside the home two days a week. I finally had to stop reading homeschool blogs altogether. (Shocking, right? It’s kind of ironic that I’m now blogging about homeschooling.) They were filled with lists of the 47 subjects each of their children was covering in-depth each day, tons of craft projects, and of course, they were also tending their goats and chickens. No one ever said (or not loudly enough for me to notice), “My children are driving me crazy today!” Or “I hate craft projects and all things glitter and glue.” Or how about, “If I have to listen to my child crawl through one more early reader, I’m going to gouge out my eardrums!”?
Of course, no one feels that way every day. But neither is it all sunshine and rainbows (and science lessons involving sunshine and rainbows) every day. Someone needs to tell it like it really is. I’m going to do my best. I’ll tell you about some things that have been awesome for us. I’ll also tell you about some things that have been terrible for us. And in neither case will I expect you to do (or not do) what we’re doing.
So if you’ve wondered if you were the only homeschool Mama who secretly dreaded Co-Op but loved read-aloud time (or the other way around), you’re not. There are a whole bunch of us Half-Hearted Homeschoolers. Come join us!