The children signed up for a week long choral camp this week. I was in two minds. I knew that they'd love the singing (Shira loves the choir during the year, but they only meet for an hour a week), but I wondered how they'd cope with 6 hours a day of someone else's schedule, kids around them all the time and lots of busy work. (I suppose I should write a disclaimer here. My two are introverts and find people tiring, not regenerating)
For the first time, I noticed something that my friends who have outschooled children complain about. Our mornings were suddenly rushed, I was chasing after kids and people were becoming cranky. Our late afternoons were horrid. Kids were tired and therefore cranky. Sibling acrimony was high.
I did not enjoy the first three days of this week. I was excited before the week started as I thought I'd have 6 hours a day to myself, a luxury I've not had for years. It didn't work that way. I had to structure those 6 hours so that I was in a different city at the beginning and the end of them to ferry children. I was also out of sorts because my children were out of sorts. I disliked having to chivvy my children each morning and I was discombobulated by having cranky, pugilistic children in the afternoon. The rejuvenating time on my own was destroyed by my unhappy children.
A few minutes ago Ben asked me if he had to go back to camp. I experienced brief turmoil about "the kids should finish what they start" vs "this camp is not good for their psyches" and then said he could stay at home. We then went to ask Shira what she wanted to do. The relief at being asked that question was hilarious. So right now we are all in the family bed watching "The Blue Planet". I'm about to go and make green smoothies and let the children drink their breakfast in bed.
Today is going to be a good day. We're going to regenerate and revel in each other's company. I think some messy art is in our future.
I realized something these last few days. All those people who tell me they couldn't homeschool because they can't bear to be around their children can't compare those hours on either side of outschooling to being with your children all day long.. They experience their children in a similar manner to what I experience my children these last 3 days, and that is not a pleasant experience. Children when they are unstressed, and given time to be on their own, are delightful (well most of the time they are.)
It makes me wonder how much of the attention and behavioral issues we hear about are caused by children being in situations that are not suited to their personalities.
Roadschooling: An Introduction
16 hours ago