Globe and Mail


Readers of the Family Matters series discuss the pros and cons of home schooling

The Globe and Mail
Friday, October 15, 1999

Reading about the hectic schedules trying to get kids to school did two things for me. 1) It reminded me of the hour-long bus rides I had going to school, though it was much less stressful than what today's children seem to be going through. 2) It made me glad we opted out of the system! We've chosen to home-educate our children. Our time is our own. Yes, we had to sacrifice a second income for it, but it's with no regret. . . .

I know of a number of parents who do many creative things, including telecommuting and starting home-based businesses, to be there for their kids. Still others successfully manage to combine full-time work with home educating. The point is, we don't have to put up with it if we don't want to.

My kids get up when they are ready -- usually 8 a.m. for one, 10 a.m. for the other. . . .

It's not just getting to and from school. Even after-school time is taken away by disgusting amounts of homework. When did they decide that kids need homework as early as Grade 1? No thanks! I'll take my happy, well-rested, eager and energetic home-educated child over an exhausted, burned-out public-schooled version any day. To me, no job is worth that.
Anna K-B

May I be so brash as to presume that the lady writing is the "second" income in her family unit? If so, removing herself from the labour market won't just lower the family income (indeed there are many costs just going to work), but destroy her long-term career [prospects]. Not a pretty outlook, considering the shaky stability of contemporary couples.

This is my major beef with home schooling. It is a seemingly modern way to achieve a most reactionary result: removing women, usually among those who have been highly educated at great expense to our system, from the active population and sticking them back in the home.

Better to fight for alternative educational systems and schedules which better respect the physiology of adolescent sleep patterns.
Maria Gatti

Funny, I don't feel like [it's] a sacrifice -- after years in various less than exciting jobs, I am home-schooling my two boys, learning about anything that interests me with a freedom I haven't had since I went to university, and building up a new career -- part-time now, but with plenty of potential to turn into a full-time occupation as the children require less time. Meanwhile, my husband is working from a home office.

Yes, our income is probably lower at this time than if we were both still in the rat race full-time. But we both have time for the children and each other. We get up when we are rested, we can take a walk in the woods at lunch time if we feel like it, we can take the kids on field trips together and make up the "lost" work time when it fits our schedule. . . .
Simone Ross

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