Time for true confessions: there are aspects about the “normal” school life that I sometimes feel twinges of guilt about my girls’ missing out on. Among these, (silly, I know) shopping for school supplies.
Don’t misunderstand – I do buy new supplies for us to use at home and this is a great time of the year to buy them because a lot of the items are cheaper than usual (actually, the beginning of September is even better as that’s when the overstocks usually go even lower in price).
But there is just something about a supply list. I know, I’m weird. I’ve always liked mandatory lists of things to purchase. I liked this when I was a school kid, I loved it in college, I’m enjoying it now for seminary. And when I walk into Wal-mart and see those spinning racks with the different schools listed along with the various lists of supplies, I feel sad for my kids because they are missing out on that “rite of passage” so to speak.
Among other things I sort of miss on their behalf: lunch boxes, $0.25 cartons of chocolate milk, school pictures, school parties, report cards/progress check sheets, music class, playing indoor games during recess on a rainy day, school plays.
I know, many of these things are easy to recreate but those are the things I think my kids actually do miss out on by being educated at home.
So let’s see, what are some of the things about school that I always wanted to do, but never could? Go to school in my pajamas! Read my books on a couch, munch on a snack while doing math, get up and play when my assignments were completed – oh, this was a big one. I always finished early, but everyone had to stay put until the next thing on the schedule. Hmm, good reminder for me now – if they finish their work, they *should* be able to do something else for a bit, or else we can simply move on to the next thing. Glad they don’t have to sit at the kitchen table and stare out the window for 15 minutes waiting for everyone else to finish. What else? The wretched school bus. I absolutely hated riding the school bus. HATED IT!! I still get fluttery feelings in my tummy when I see a school bus or get behind one on the highway with goofy kids making weird faces at me.
Okay, so I know those are all bizarre things to like/dislike, but there you have it. I do not regret our decision to homeschool. But sometimes I wonder if we’re doing the right thing… Next time I see a school bus, maybe I’ll know.