Friday, 25 June 2010

On balance

Sometimes I wonder how things would be if I swapped home ed life for school.

School would be easy. I would have a routine made by someone else, with bells and times and grey uniform. Someone else could get me out of bed and make me feel busy.

Their agenda would drive ours. They could tell me where we should be, at what hours. They would structure our mornings, evenings, bedtimes, laundry times. I would have identical grey skirts ready clean every week.

Maybe that routine would make sense of time, wrap up my day in purpose, provide my destination, and I would feel safe.

I sometimes think that without a routine, but with home ed, I just have everyday, and that sometimes isn't safe.

Everyday never ends. It sometimes feels like a long sequence of interrupted tasks. Finding the needles and threads used yesterday, while clearing dishes, washing clothes, and giving out spellings; then a demand for flour or a new book or the outing I said we'd do, then the chores stay, half done.

Those household chores keep demanding my attention, along with the office work I said I'd do but never got around to. Their broken purposes rub up against vows I made yesterday about the science experiment we said we'd do, but the craft got in the way. Then the puzzles, outing, reading, and now it's time for cooking dinner, washing those breakfast plates, and bedtime. Really, this morning, I should have got out of my pyjamas and showered, because now I truly stink.

And maybe that's what puts people off home educating life. The unpredictability. The feeling of losing control; the loss of a day's shape set to a standard norm; the sudden demands; the chores undone; the work strewn about. Perhaps people think, that without a routine they wouldn't cope. I sometimes think that too.

Then we spend a day like today, the sort of day we half make up as we go along, and education away from the norm gives us all the world, and choice, and freedom that is ours. We are in control.

Bugger. I wouldn't want it any other way.


Maire said...

That has totally been my experience and the list of tasks undone goes on forever and the chaos increases by the minute. But I know school over decades and I would not swap for a second.

Rachel M. said...

I think at this point the gritlets wouldn't have it any other way either!

Big mamma frog said...

yeah, chaotic household with a mountain of unfinished tasks and not-quite-kept promises, here too!

But I wonder...would I really cope with sending my kids to school now...

Would I tolerate being told what to put in their lunch boxes?

Would I stick two fingers up when the teacher insisted I label all their clothes?

Would I sit patiently while some teacher at parents evening told ME how MY child was doing?

Perhaps I might have conceded to all this a few years ago, but after home edding for so long now I'd rather have 'chaotic' and 'unfinished', than 'restricted' and 'imposed'.

Grit said...

hi maire, it was a big problem at first - the total bomb damage - now somedays when i see it, it is truly horrible. then other days it feels quite ok, and i think shows everyone active and busily creative. i just can't decide.

rachel, you may be right. we may be too far gone to pull back now!

i agree, big mamma, if life with kids started out like that, we wouldn't know different, huh?!

Vicky Bee said...

hey, my daughter does go to school and we still have the chaos and the bomb damage, lol! I sometimes think we are a home ed family who go to school on the side. I really resent the imposition of someone else's routine, especially at ten to nine in the morning.

And believe me you would still never have all those grey skirts ready on a Monday morning...

Grit said...

hi vicky bee. that morning routine involving uniform. i couldn't do it. it was a final heart wound. if the local primary allowed the kids to wear their own clothes, i'd probably feel a lot better.