Now that we do not have to prepare for impending strict hours of the start of school, we are visiting family more. Relatives ask if I’m really going to homeschool. They ask it like they can’t believe it and they have to hear it in person.

They ask questions like, “What about high school?” I think, “What about next week?”

I am worried about next week. Should I sign my six-year-old up for two hip hop dance classes, or only one?

He can spin on his head. My six-year-old. I taught him a headstand, thinking I was teaching him yoga. I know that children who are optimistic are happier as adults. So I decided I would teach my kids optimism. And people who do yoga every day have more optimism.

My son did not think of the headstand as a yoga move. He remembered the spinning headstands we watched high schoolers do in Central Park.

I remember the moment he saw it. He was freezing because I told the kids to pack light because New York City is not as cold as the farm, and then it was. And my son had to pee and he wanted to pee in the park, on the grass, and I kept saying, “This is not a farm.”

I want to tell my family that I am focused on optimism, not high school, and when the boys are in their teens, we’ll go to New York City and spin on our heads.

11 replies
  1. Jana Miller
    Jana Miller says:

    It’s so funny how people will ask you anything about homeschooling that they would never say about public school.

    My favorite is “I could never do that (homeschool)”
    ….Well I’m not asking you to! Just because I homeschool doesn’t mean you have to homeschool.

    I don’t really say that but I want to.

    • Lori
      Lori says:

      my husband and i have worked together for 25 years; people used to always tell me that they couldn’t imagine working with their spouse with the exact same barely controlled revulsion that they now have to our homeschooling.

      when people tell me “ugh! i could never [work with spouse/spend the whole day with my kids]!” i always wonder if they realize what they’re saying.

      • Penelope Trunk
        Penelope Trunk says:

        I think what they are saying is that they want a part of their life to be independent of their family. They want solitude. Which is, presumably, part of the human condition.

        The trick, in life, I think, is to find tolerance for people making decisions totally different from those we make for ourselves. To understand the decisions instead of judge them. Even though, honestly, judgment makes for a more interesting blog post.


        • Tanya
          Tanya says:

          when people say “ugh! i could never [work with spouse/spend the whole day with my kids]!”…

          I think it’s because we are lazy as a society at working on our relationships. We are too busy working or doing something else we deem more important.

          I used to be one of those people that spoke like that. Then I had a child and decided I didn’t want an adversarial / authoritative relationship with my child (it didn’t work so well for me and my parents). So then I started learning about gentle parenting, peaceful parenting, whatever you want to call it. It is amazing for building strong relationships with your chidlren, but boy is it a lot of work and time-consuming – much more work than just telling a kid “stop doing that because I say so”.

          In learning how to be a better parent, I also learned how to work on other relationships as well whether they be with a partner, family member, friend, or whomever.

          When I hear/read a parent say (much lately) they can’t wait until the kids start school because they fight constantly and I can’t stand it any more, I imagine the extent of their parenting in that moment is to yell at them to stop fighting. And that’s lazy compared to spending time with the children and helping them to learn how to work out their differences.

          Maybe it’s too simplified, but I think the same way about spouse’s working together. If you don’t think you could do it, then I understand that to mean you’re not willing or interested on working on the relationship in that regard.

      • karelys davis
        karelys davis says:

        your post about working together made me think that maybe it would be a very satisfying situation for marriage. My husband and I just got back from a vacation in Cancun, Mexico. It was so wonderful. I was scared that being together for so long would make sex dull but it was exciting.
        And then I realized that I wanted to stop saying “I love you” and say more “I like you” because “I love you” is all about endurance and putting up with each other even in times when you don’t want to. But I enjoyed his company so much and it was all great.

        THen I realized that before vacation (up to the very day before we got on a plane) we fought so much!

        Our work schedules reduce romantic life to very little and so when we do have time together we have to act as business partners in making important life decisions, and money decisions, etc. So then we get in fights.

        But if you worked with your husband maybe you could have more time in the day to hash it out on the business side of life and then in the “after hours” go have a drink and then start being romantic.

        Of course, many people cannot compartmentalize like that but one time my husband and I tried it. We argued about a money situation and gave ourselves a time frame. When it was over we went and ate food and just accepted we were dealing with another side of the person.

        I was amazed at how it worked. And now I am wondering if I can make it work more often.

        Maybe with kids is similar. If homeschooling you don’t have to spend after-school hours arguing and worrying about grades and education and being driven and productive. You can just enjoy time with them spinning on heads breakdancing.

  2. Paul
    Paul says:

    I wish I could spin on my head, that’s freaking awesome. See, your kids are already learning things that school would never teach them. Nice work.

  3. Claire
    Claire says:

    We’re not doing homeschool, but I can appreciate how it provides flexibility and opportunity; having options to choose from is wonderful IMO.

    A number of the fathers I know can’t or won’t take their sons to a dance class or yoga class. Why? My guess is that it’s too femme from their perspective.

    My two are in a boys only dance class w/a male teacher; all of the boys in the class enjoy it.

  4. Lori
    Lori says:

    I wonder why people get so hung up the idea of homeschooling high school. Maybe they think you have to actually know the material before your kids learn it and they are horrified at having to learn calculus again. They probably suspect they’re not “smarter than a 5th grader” and therefore shouldn’t homeschool past that point.

  5. Tanya
    Tanya says:

    I think optimism is an excellent thing to impart on your children. I am much more interested in teaching my children the intangibles than textbook facts.

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