The Balance Between Those Who Have Gone Before and Figuring out My Own Road

If only I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard this: “You HOME SCHOOL? And you have FIVE KIDS? I could NEVER do that. I don’t know HOW you do it.”

And then there’s “No matter what the kids say about taking care of a pet, it’s always Mom that ends up taking care of it.”

And finally, “I could never be organized enough to homeschool. I admire you.”

Well, bwahahahahaha.

First off. I don’t know I do it, either. And some days, I don’t do it very well. And some days, I don’t do it at all.

Secondly, OK, I believe. Yes, it’s true. No matter what the kids say about taking care of the pet, don’t believe them. It’s the mom’s job.

And lastly, I’m definitely not organized enough to homeschool.

I know there are womans out there that homeschool even more than five kids. And they make their own bread after grinding the wheat. And they put up quarts and quarts and quarts of homegrown produce so their cupboards are stocked all winter. And they stinking make their own clothes and the clothes their children wear. And their kids don’t watch tv; they create programs for NASA to experiment with. OK, maybe all of this isn’t true. But I do know there are plenty of people who homeschool even more than five kids.

And I suppose there must be a family somewhere in the universe where the kids PROMISED to take care of the dog, in order to talk the overworked mother into getting the dog, and then they actually took care of the dog for longer than the first three days.

And I suppose there are conflicting definitions of what it means to be organized enough to homeschool.

But the fact of the matter today is that I too don’t know how anyone can homeschool five kids, because I’m having a mighty hard time of it these days. I’ve been praying about it, but don’t seem to have a clear answer just yet.

12 thoughts on “The Balance Between Those Who Have Gone Before and Figuring out My Own Road

  1. In the early days, we were thinking about homeschooling. We were rapidly lumped into one of two categories as soon as we opened our mouths about it:

    a. the dope-smoking hippie crowd who hates the government.

    b. the neo-nazi white racist crowd who hates the government.

    I imagine this might happen to you, and I’m curious as to how you answer your critics when/if they appear, or if you bother answering them at all…




  2. Hi Gregoire – its funny to see you here.

    Siouxsie – you do a great job at homeschooling. I have had another epiphany and that is this: Life’s biggest struggle to to accept who we are and not who we think we should be. Love/miss! (as Thad would say) 🙂


  3. Dear Stephanie,

    I got here from some other blog… I thought it was gonna be, like, a late 1980s goth-rock tribute page.

    It is an interesting topic, given that while I’ve known a fair share of people who homeschool their children, I know of only one fellow who will admit to *being* homeschooled. He’s a kid in his early 20s who is fairly bright but not going to win any scholarships.


  4. Gregoire,
    You run in wilder crowds than I do. The only category I get lumped into is “You’re a better woman than I for I could not manage to homeschool my children.” No one has ever suggested that I might be a hippie or a racist, let alone hate the government. I live in an area where there are many people who homeschool.

    Now, as to what category I lump myself in . . .

    I would probably put myself in the group of people who mostly enjoy their kids, who are well-educated and who are wanting to share that benefit with their kids, and who don’t hate the government but who do not want to become any more Marxist than we already are, who see benefits to public schooling but none that outweigh the benefits of directing our own kids’ education.

    If only there were some people around me who made comments which would require a thoughtful response. That would be a challenge that I would enjoy.


  5. I suppose I have my own theories about the academic excellence of homeschooled students that I know, but I’m learning that academic excellence, while I do help my children strive for it, is not as important as being a kind and compassionate person. Academic excellence is EASY to achieve — kindness and compassionate are a little harder in my estimation. I hope all of my kids will go to college and we are working to prepare them to be ready to do so. In the meantime, ask Stephanie how cool my kids are . . .


  6. Dear Siouxsie:

    I had my kids in the mid 1990s. We lived in a little town called Cranbrook at the time, just up the street from Randy Weaver (homeschooler extraordinaire). Hence the idea that homeschoolers were dangerous malcontents. Either you were one of those racists, or you were one of those Vietnam War resisters who had wandered up twenty years earlier to smoke dope, ride motorcycles and live rough.

    I often feel like my kids mostly go to school to learn to want 200 dollar pairs of jeans with holes pre-ripped in the ass, to listen to degenerate music on their ipods and to indulge in various other forms of tomfoolery. Organized education is largely a vain parade which encourages groupthink and crass consumerism. I suppose that’s parenting in the 21st century; and as a post-Marxist Marxist, I wish I would have followed your lead sometimes.

    Take Care,



  7. My dearest Stephanie,

    I feel so happy to see you commenting on my blog.

    I am especially glad that you are willing to do so even though I have completely wimped out on sending you personal updates on American Idol.

    Here’s a pretty good overview of how it goes, though.

    Adam sings. Randy says, Dawg, you are brilliant. Kara says, Adam, you just continue to raise the bar higher and higher and soon I will just collapse from admiration. Paula says, Adam, I can’t say enough about how wonderful you are, but I will try and try and try. Simon says, Well, Ad-dahm, once again you’ve shown us who you ahr and I saleooote you.

    Everyone else sings. Randy says, Dawg, blah blah blah. Kara says, For ME? that just wasn’t a good song choice for you. Paula says, I just love you. and Simon completes the thought, That was atrocious.

    That’s pretty much the show each week.


  8. Gregoire, homeschooling was pretty much a no-brainer for us, although our reasons have changed over the years.

    Our eldest was born in 1993. Then came kids in 1994 and 1995. Valerie went to kindergarten because I was due with baby in October 1998 and I thought maybe it would be a bit much to have four kids five and under and also homeschool, although I actually saw myself as an educator from the get-go.

    We did another stint of public school the year our last child was born. I get tired every three or four years and think I need a break! But, for the most part, I agree with your assessment of public education.

    The more loftier notions for resisting the public school lure are definitely true. In a more everyday assessment, though, we live in a school system that has quite a few excellent teachers, especially in the earlier grades.

    My youngest has Down syndrome and I am absolutely thrilled with the opportunities he has to attend pre-school in this system. The teachers and staff who are involved with him are just wonderful. They are my angels, as they love and work with him four afternoons a week. My kids are my other angels with him because they just take such good care of him. I would miss that so much if they were away every day, and I daresay they would too.

    Eh. Maybe more than you want to know. But I appreciate the stimulating conversation! Thanks.


  9. “Eh. Maybe more than you want to know.”

    No, actually this has been the most interesting conversation I’ve had in a long while. In the last couple of days I’ve read back through most of your blog. You’re a cool chick… cooler than the other Siouxsie, even though you lack the record contract and the spooky concerts with fake blood and skulls. I dig the fact that a few people in the world care enough to sacrifice for the next generation. And your little kid is adorable.

    Hope you don’t mind if I add you to my blogroll. Take Care, G


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