Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy -- meditate on these things.
We are still working on renovating our new house, and thus we are still living with Jon's generous parents. And since we are living here, we are schooling here. But a comment from his mom gave me some insight into some non-homeschoolers' comments about homeschooling.
We usually "have school" up in our bedrooms, since that is "our" territory while we're living here. But it is not a soundproof house, and so anything louder than "inside voices" is easily heard from downstairs.
Barbara's comment was, "It's not how I imagined it. Actually, it's how I imagined it might be if I was doing it, and that's why I figured I could never do it."
Yes, folks, homeschooling is not usually a calm, quiet, everyone sitting nicely together doing schoolwork experience. It involves the toddler getting mad that she can't use all of the math manipulatives at once. It involves the toddler scattering the ones she does use all over the room. It involves the third grader who hates writing crying about his assignment and questioning (loudly and with a whiny voice) why Sonlight wants to torture the students with Diamond Notes. It involves the new reader kicking the wall when he gets stuck on a word, and wiggling around generally as he thinks about words. It involves the preschooler begging for more math right when Mom is in the middle of explaining something to someone else. It involves any one or more of them pushing the beds apart and spilling the covers on the floor during the course of schooltime. It involves multiple people asking for help (or otherwise interrupting) at the same time. It involves Mom losing her patience and yelling. It involves Mom wondering if she's going insane and on the worst days crying because she doesn't feel like she's good enough. On the very worst days, everyone cries. On the best days, only one person cries. (I don't think we've had a single school day yet where Joy hasn't cried about something during the course of school time.)
And yet, I would say this year is going well. We are covering Bible, History, Language Arts, and Math. Noah is learning to read, Jonathan is learning to write, Joy is learning to be patient, Faith is learning letters and writing and numbers. I'm learning to keep my patience and correct calmly. They're all (except Joy) memorizing scripture. They remember much more math than I would have thought based on our very long summer break. And we're getting our assignments done before noon!
So if you've ever thought, "Wow, I could never homeschool." The answer is, "You can." If that's what you decide is what is good for your family, you can do it. If you decide it's not for your family, don't hold up the homeschooling moms as some otherworldly beings who can manage something you never could. There are plenty of days we wonder if we can manage it at all. Just like any mom anywhere in any circumstance.