It's been a while for the ol' mythbuster monday, but I thought I would tackle another one just for fun.
Myth: When people say "You can't possibly school a child when you have so many little ones underfoot." they are talking about me.
Somehow, people thought it would be FINE for me to school 28 of someone ELSES children but four of mine at once? Forget it!
It often comes in gentler phrasing: "I don't understand how you can keep up with the housework, take care of your babies AND find time to school Erin!" etc. but essentially they are voicing doubt at my ability to school while mothering.
Yes, lots of little ones is hard work, keeping house is hard work and schooling Erin could be seen as JUST more work, but when did "work" become evil? What would their attitude be if I put my little ones in child care, dropped Erin of at before-school care and then went to work teaching a class full of other people's children, dealt with the staff issues, parent-teacher concerns, extra curricular activities etc. then picked up my own kids from care and went home? Few would even mention how hard I worked. Why is working at home, doing what I choose so different?
There is a tendency I notice among people to believe every gripe that comes out of my mouth but to pass off any profession of happiness or joy as me "putting on a brave face". The opposite is true. It is much safer to minimise my gripes, because it is quite likely that I am tired, hormonal or just had a bit of a bad day. Talking about the good stuff ALWAYS comes right from my soul.
What I do is hard work, but there is a difference between hard work and hard labour.
I am always tempted to point out that Erin reads better than most seven year olds, is ahead in maths, science, geography and pretty much every other subject. On my REALLY cranky days I am tempted to suggest that if their five year old can count by twos in Spanish, they can feel free to criticise the educational opportunities I am giving my children.
BUT, this is not the point, and besides, I doubt all my children will be academically gifted.
And now we come to the myth behind the myth.
The reasons we chose to homeschool are many and varied, but 98% of people who ask about/comment on our choice ARE NOT REALLY INTERESTED IN OUR REASONS OR OUR SUCCESS OR FAILURE.
Most people are interested in JUSTIFYING their choice NOT to homeschool.
Whatever anyone says, they will be determined to provide reasons why it simply couldn't work for them - and sometimes reasons why it simply shouldn't work for me.
Truth is, in all the reasons we chose to homeschool, "in order to make other people feel guilty about their choices" wasn't one of them.
So now I don't get defensive, I just laugh and say "Oh finding time to teach is EASY, time for housework, that's a challenge!"
Because I have busted the myth and I know that when people say things like that, they are talking about themselves.