I am at my favorite dance recital ever. There are 260 kids, and there are parents backstage all day to keep everything organized. I am in the boys room, where they all have a DS, and many have something else as well for video games.
While little girls pitter patter room to room in ballet slippers and tap dance shoes, the boys pounce in high tops, and strut to and from the bathroom right by the girls section. “Did you see the flapper girls?” one boy said, who I would have thought would be too young to notice.
Parents packed knapsacks full of usually forbidden treats. But the candy is all over the floor, fallen from mouths screaming about creepers in Minecraft.
I sit in a corner, writing with my laptop. We are all in heaven.
Which reminds me of the discussion on last Friday’s post about what good homeschooling looks like. Many parents commented that what homeschooling looks like in their house is the parent doing what they want nearby where the kids are doing what they want, too. That’s what it looks like in my house as well. It’s why I can have a job and homeschool. Because I work mostly all day long.
Homeschooling in my house looks a lot like the part of the dance recital where the boys are not dancing. They are just being them and I’m just being me.
I wondered, when I was reading those comments, why do we worry so much that we are not doing enough? And I realize that we are holding ourselves to the ridiculous parenting standards of people who never see their kids.
People who send their kids away for eight hours a day feel that the time they have with their kids must be intense. They must instill values (no TV!) and they must control for quality (no comic books!) and, more than anything, the parents feel they need to be involved in everything because really, the parents are largely not involved because the school runs the family’s life.
But homeschool parents do not need to be involved in the same way, because our involvement is inherently part of keeping our kids all day. To those of us who grew up with school (which is most of us) we grew up with the idea that you don’t see your parents a lot but when you do, they pay attention. If you grow up homeschooling you see your parents constantly, so it would be overwhelming if you had their attention, in that way, all the time.
I am in a room with twelve boys ages 8-11. They are so incredibly well-behaved. I have not told one boy how to behave or what to do in the last hour. I realize that kids need very little attention from adults if you let kids do whatever they want. And that’s why homeschooling feels so jarringly easy to me. So I need to stop worrying that I’m not doing enough. I need to stop seeing the world through the eyes of a parent that sends the kids away for the day.