“I don’t know how you can be with your kids all day!”, this is a common comment I get from other parents who do not home educate their children. I could reply, “I don’t know how you can be WITHOUT your kids all day”, but that would be mean, so I don’t.
Many of us no longer live in communities with Grandparents and Aunties nearby. Some parents view school as a way to get free childcare and a break from their children, they could not conceive having their children home with them all day. So how do we home educating families do it?
By living and learning alongside our children every day, we have time to find out who our children are and build relationships with them. One of the things I notice about parents who are always trying to avoid their kids, is their attitude towards their role as a parent. There is a belief that children need to be controlled, that the “adults” have to make all the decisions for them as they know best. There is no or little, trust in the child’s own ability to govern themselves. Some parents, hold onto an ideal of what parenting should look like and how a child should be viewed and treated. Holding onto that ideal is exhausting, as children sense the injustice of being treated like a piece of property, or a pet that needs training and will kick back and rebel. They are trying to save their sense of self and who can blame them.
I can be with my children all day because I am interested in who they are. I treat them with the respect all human beings deserve. This doesn’t mean they don’t drive me crazy at times, but so can some adults I know. This also doesn’t mean I am perfect and don’t lose it with my children sometimes. Living with other people, no matter who they are is not always easy, but it does give us a chance to learn about ourselves.
I am currently writing a book about Unschooling and need to have a certain amount of uninterrupted time each day to write. This is taking my family a while to get used to, but after speaking with my children and explaining how important this time was to me, they have respected my request. Being Unschooled, they are also really good at finding things to do themselves, they do not need continual input from an adult.
Johleen from Home-Ed Life knows all about having to find time to write while Unschooling her three boys. I highly recommend reading her latest blog which has some helpful tips on how not to go crazy when you have your children home all day http://www.home-ed-life.com/how-to-have-your-children-around-you-all-the-time-without-losing-your-mind/