How NOT to homeschool

Note: I probably won’t be homeschooling my children, but I see lots of successful examples of homeschooling around me. This post talks about one thing that bugged me about a minority of homeschoolers.

As a teenager, two of my best friends were homeschooled. They both happened to be the oldest of five children and daughters. It seemed to me, that each of these girls did a great deal around the house, essentially schooling their younger siblings and doing much of the housekeeping. They were both tasked with preparing their family’s dinners multiple times a week. I think one of them might have even been the “head chef” of her household (ie providing most or all of their dinners).

I was only slightly disturbed by this until today, when I found a quotation from a couple that have published a guide to a certain homeschooling program. “If you have older children and you are still cooking and cleaning,” they say, “then you have missed your promotion.”

Ah. I see. My promotion. Yes, that’s why I had my son, so I could further my career within my home. I’m training my replacement so I can have a promotion. . . . Right.

Y’know, for my friends, this was okay. It worked for their families, I don’t think it interfered with their homeschooling too terribly much (well, for one of them anyway) and now each of them are thoroughly prepared to feed their future families.

But you know what? I can feed my family, too, and my parents let me have time to have skilled professionals teach me (in and out of school), to attend church youth group and orchestra and music lessons, take more than a dozen college prep classes, hang out with my friends, and oh yeah, be a teenager.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s important for my children to learn skills like these. I want them to be able to cook, clean, and manage their time and their houses. But I don’t need them to manage mine, and especially not so I can feel as though I’ve gotten “a promotion.” In my opinion, the only promotions a mother should get in the home are “mother-in-law,” “grandmother” and “great grandmother” (hopefully all in that order).