The other day I met the owner of a small business. The business provides at-home care for your pets while you are on vacation, out-of-town, or just for walks on long work days. The business owner has a team of workers and the company has glowing reviews on Nextdoor.
Of course, all my kids were home at 10 am when she came over to meet our animals for our up and coming one-night away vacation. As she was leaving, she confirmed that we were homeschoolers. She told us she also homeschooled her kids, back in the day. When it was unheard of, when there was no ‘online’ and hence no online options or supplements to help mom through it.
It turns out her oldest was the very first dual enrolled homeschool student at the Tech college near us, the same one my oldest is attending. This college now has a large number of dual enrolled students and multiple campuses.
Her children all finished college and leave productive adult lives. She says they aren’t thrilled about having to work for 8 hours a day 5 days a week…but I know plenty of people who feel that way, even if the public school system prepped and trained them for such a future. It’s just a bit much…isn’t it?
The other day my 15-year-old son was contemplating whether or not he would have time to homeschool his kids…and hoping it would work out somehow…because he went to public school for one semester and he just doesn’t want his kids to have to live that life. He remembers hours and hours of me reading to him when he was younger, he says that’s the life and we both wish we had more time to just read together. But bigger kids pull you in a million different directions…we still read, but we don’t have 2 or 3 hours a day for read-alouds like we used to!
So if you have lots of littles, read a lot and cuddle them and that doesn’t mean you are not allowed to feel overwhelmed by all the daily demands of caring for little ones. It IS overwhelming at times, and that is OK, but you can also take a deep breath, smile, and be grateful for the circumstances that have allowed you such a gloriously overwhelming life.
Your future may be busier later, as you drive your busy teens from place to place so they can dive into life full-force. Yes, homeschoolers do have more time to explore those passions, and many times those passions take us out of the home.
The future of homeschooling in general? It is becoming acceptable, enviable, and desired by many. Because the public school system continues to fail harder. The United States currently ranks about ‘middle’ internationally. You can check the stats here. American’s want more than a mediocre education for their kids. We want excellence and we are a demanding people, when we don’t get what we want, we try something new and figure out a way to make it happen. For more and more families that new thing is homeschooling.
Sure I occasionally meet someone who thinks I must be absolutely nuts to homeschool my kids, there was that one neighbor whispering at the other end of the pool about how they just can’t understand why anyone would ever ‘do that’ to their kids, especially when we live in such a ‘great’ school district. (Great is always relative to what you are surrounded by.)
But most of the time people say, “That’s awesome!” when they find out I homeschool.