Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Myth of the Picture-Perfect Homeschool Family

Honestly, I think this myth comes from our own insecurities. We hear a few positive things about what some other family is doing and we spin it into an image of:

A beautiful, meticulously-maintained home where the children cheerfully do what-they-ought 24/7 with never a whine or complaint (much less EVER hit or scream at the top-of-their-lungs). This family uses the perfect curriculum that is perfectly suited to all of their children and will ensure their children get accepted to the very best schools. Everyone always loves learning and feels like they get a lot accomplished each day and no one ever gets distracted from their lessons (or from over-seeing their children's lessons). Toddlers never bite their sisters while their mom is trying to read a story out loud. The kitchen is always clean and the table clear. As a matter of fact, clutter is completely non-existent. Bookshelves are perfectly organized and books are never left around for little ones or dogs to destroy. Books or car keys are never, ever misplaced, not even for a few moments, much less hours or days. Dinner is planned a week in advance and is always on the table when Daddy comes home and everyone is neat-as-a-pin for dinner. Dinner table conversation is always very lofty and is never interrupted by crying, whining, spilled milk or children falling out of their chairs. Crises or friends-in-need never jump in to take priority over planned lessons and a beautiful day never draws mom and children out-of-doors.

I've gone through my stages of insecurity and guilt (though I do certainly aim toward some of the above things). Now I'm quite comfortable saying: We are not that family and we don't want to be.

9 comments:

Margaret in Minnesota said...

Actually, Alicia, this isn't a myth but a very real disease called comparisonitis. Nasty stuff. Hard to quell once there's an outbreak.

Love2Learn Mom said...

Exactly.

amyzkids said...

Thanks for saying this - I admit I am guilty of "comparisonitis" - especially after reading some of these outstanding homeschooling blogs!!
I think there is also an opposite, but equally dangerous form of this when you one has an especially GOOD day and everything goes well, the devil always tries to make me believe it was because of something I did!
Pride is a terrible sin no matter what form it takes

Love2Learn Mom said...

Yes, so true! The opposite extreme can be very dangerous too. I've always thought there was something healthy and normal about a little bit of insecurity because it's good to regularly (and honestly) examine how things are going - but it's so easy to get carried away! By the way, Cay Gibson had a great post today about the dangers of gloating.

MrsDarwin said...

I don't think I could pull off saying something like this with a straight face -- especially the bits about never biting and never spilling milk.

nutmeg said...

I did a post on along similar lines recently...

Last year I would postpone school just so my house could be cleaned and then we would start up again the next day....like my house would stay neat???

This year we wade through the papers and the toys to get our stuff together for school and start our day.

No, we are not that family, never will be. (and I hope I get more comfortable with it as time goes on!)

Dawn said...

"We are not that family and we don't want to be."

I'm good at remembering this... except when I forget it. Thank you for this post.

Love2Learn Mom said...

Me too, Dawn. But it definitely helps me to remember it when I blog about it.

Hopewell said...

Amen! Perfect Home School Mommy [whoever she is] would have a stroke at my house! GREAT post!