I’m thinking about homeschooling the kids.
I said it.
You think I’m crazy.
In January I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. I was overloaded, overwhelmed, and completely exhausted.
Now I’m supposed to be streamlining. Cutting things back. Doing less.
Homeschooling won’t exactly lighten the workload.
But I have been thinking about this for a long time.
Not like a couple weeks.
I have been tossing this idea around for a couple years.
And now I’m seriously considering it.
I have been doing a lot of thinking over the past year.
Thinking about our financial situation.
About what I want to do with my life.
About finding fulfillment.
And some degree of balance.
Public schools are no longer balanced.
Not even close.
There is no time for creativity.
Children are not given opportunities to develop their strengths.
All of our focus is going into working on the things they suck at.
So they meet a goal in those areas on a test.
Don’t get me wrong. If a kid can’t read, or write, or add, or subtract that needs to be fixed.
But you can’t drill a kid into the ground for 7 hours a day.
And then send more drills home.
And do that for 12 years.
And then release them into the world and tell them to follow their dreams.
Twelve years of pounding a bunch of useless, standardized crap into kids’ heads does not teach them balance.
It teaches them to do something they hate over and over and over.
Until they fucking lose it.
And then, as adults, when we inevitably do fucking losing it, we seek the help of a professional.
Who will tell us that yes, hard work is important.
But that we need to make time to exercise.
We need to meditate.
Take care of our mental health.
We need to spend time with friends.
We need to do something that makes us happy.
Something we are passionate about.
We need a hobby.
We need down time.
And so, with half of our lives already behind us, we might start doing whatever it is that we love — we follow our dreams.
Well I don’t want to do that to my kids.
I want them to do what makes them happy starting…
That doesn’t mean all fun and games.
But my kids are not really being encouraged, guided, or taught to be productive, innovative, and compassionate members of society in school.
The are being taught to be robots.
I think all public schools are in trouble and moving in the wrong direction.
And I’m not even talking about the school shootings.
Two years ago, if you had told me we’d need a police officer in an elementary school, in suburban Connecticut, I’d have said you were crazy.
Then 20 first graders were gunned down six miles from my house.
Last week, in a different Connecticut town, a high school student was stabbed repeatedly and killed.
In her high school.
Who do I blame for this downward spiral?
Sure, there are still good parents out there who have expectations and standards.
Who impose consequences and limits on their children.
Even when it’s really hard to do that.
Even when their kids are relentless in their attempts to wear them down.
But then there are the other parents.
The ones who can’t handle the responsibilities of being a parent.
Or worse, who just don’t.
They refuse to take a look at themselves, and they look to blame anyone they can.
They sue teachers and principals and school districts.
They make excuses for their kids and argue over grades and enable their children and wear teachers down to the point where they quit their jobs.
They bury their head in the sand rather than get help for their kid.
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have a kid in therapy than a kid in,
Or the ground.
And this has caused public education to deteriorate to a place where I am beginning to feel irresponsible sending my children to school.
The parents who don’t want to take responsibility are now affecting my children.
They are affecting the quality of my children’s education. And their lives in general.
And that is not okay with me.
For the past couple years I have been counting down the time until all the kids were in school.
Where I would have a little more time to do the things I’ve been wanting to do but haven’t had the time to do.
Homeschooling wasn’t exactly a part of my master plan.
But as a parent I need to do what is in the best interest of the kids.
Number 4 has been asking me to teach her how to sew.
She actually just asked again this morning.
“Mommy? When are you going to teach me how to sew?”
Well, as soon as I finish helping you finish these ten packet pages requiring you to write a master’s thesis to explain how you came up with your fucking answer.
So when am I going to teach her to sew?
That’s a good question.
Because there’s not much time left once she gets home from school.
What about the other things we don’t have time for?
Things that I think really matter?
Because I want her to learn how to play piano.
And the guitar.
I want her to know how to knit and cook and play chess and change a tire and use a hammer.
I want her to learn more than one language.
I want to teach her the importance of giving back. Volunteering. Taking care of her mental health.
Of pushing herself out of her comfort zone, both physically and mentally.
I want her to learn that she is always a work in progress.
That she is not done working once she scores a certain number on a stupid test.
That she is capable of doing anything.
That she has the ability,
and the right,
to follow her dreams and do what makes her happy.
And I don’t want to make her wait 40 years to do it.
VOTE ! VOTE! VOTE ! VOTE! VOTE ! VOTE! VOTE ! VOTE!