Last year I read the book "The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother." Quite controversial when it was released, many found the author's parenting style too harsh. When I finished the book, I found that while I didn't agree with the method, I could see the validity of the thesis.
Since then, I have tried to see the good in most things. What drives this person? Why are they so passionate about this thing? Why does is method work for them? What are the theories behind it?
Lately I've been thinking a lot about homeschooling. Actually, lately I've been feeling a lot of guilt about not homeschooling. I have a few friends who do, and I admire so much what they are doing. I've also seen a couple episodes of the tv show "19 kids and counting" about a mother of 19 children, all of whom she homeschools. The guilt I feel comes from the fact that I have no problem with the "school" part of homeschool, but the "home" part. I have a feeling if we five were home all day together it would be one big constant war. No happy feelings, no peace, no productivity. And in our tiny home, no escape.
But then I started to think about the theory behind the method. What is it about homeschooling that I am after? The number one thing is family togetherness. I watch that tv show and I see the tight knit relationships the siblings have and I want that. I see how they work together and I want that. The second thing is giving my children wide and varied learning experiences.
So, as I delve deeper, I realize it's not necessarily homeschooling that I want for my family, but the values and lifestyle that is a natural result from homeschooling. I am coming to realize that I can achieve these goals in other ways, ways that, for my family, might be a better fit. It's been really hard for me to come to this conclusion, because I have felt like I just haven't measured up because I wouldn't jump into homeschooling. I wondered why I wasn't jumping at the opportunity to be home with my children all day. Doesn't every good mother ultimately wish for that?
(To be continued)