My own homeschooling journey began a quarter of a century ago. I was a young mum, with a gifted first born, a pre-schooler, a toddler and a newborn. I endured judgement and ridicule, especially from interaction with various nurses as I delivered and established the feeding of baby number four.
However the journey proceeded smoothly, and out of necessity I became an expert at juggling babies, toddlers and spelling lessons. A regular ‘superwoman’.
Most who have homeschooled are acquainted with the superwoman badge. It is warranted for all women, and the perception that homeschooling mothers deserve it more is a myth. I know this because after fifteen years as “homeschoolers” we gradually released our brood back into the state education system, discovering in the process that parenthood remained just as demanding, if not more so.
Now with coronavirus on the move we have once more pulled our children from school, only this time there is no ridicule, and no judgement. This time we have full support from both our schools, home learning being an approved option, set up and ready to go – an initiative since this crisis.
And what have I noticed?
Without casting any judgement, or proffering any opinion regarding the choice to homeschool, I can say that everything that was good about life has returned to our family. Just five days so far isolated with my three daughters and we’ve shared so many teachable moments. I have seen the joy of learning on the face of my eleven year old as she “gets” a maths concept. I have witnessed resourcefulness and creativity abound, and for the first time in years the family is pulling together happily to keep us all clean, tidy and fed.
I could really get used to this. But when the crisis passes they will return to school life….to their friends and teachers. And the why of that is a topic for another blog.
The take away from this renewed homeschooling experience is huge and obvious.
NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE IMPORTANCE OF PARENTING.
Yes, it takes a village to raise a child, but let us not be blinded to the point that we miss the experience of family and relationship. I am privileged today because I have been given a snapshot of my family which would otherwise have been taken by the world outside.
Just a few of the changes our family has observed in less than a week…
Driving less, which is good for the environment and good for the budget.
More time now we are not commuting
We are all less tired without battling traffic and over crowded buses night and morning.
We are eating better….because there is more time to cook and more hands to help, and we have more energy.
We are getting more sleep because life’s “essentials” are now getting done as a team effort in odd moments during the school day, and it is all just so much quicker. We no longer miss our relaxation time in the evenings because of undone housework.
There is more time spent together in meaningful dialogue. This occurs organically throughout the day now. In previous weeks it hasn’t occurred at all, due to a frenetic morning rush or an exhausted, late homecoming.
I wonder how many of these positive changes could be implemented into a post coronavirus society? We hear so much about the problems of the world with myriad solutions offered. Perhaps it’s time to consider how benefiting the family could actually benefit the world.