Prema and Nithya came and met us some time ago with their young children. This post is a response to Nithya telling me that she got depressed reading some of my blog posts because we seem to be superparents and superkids always DOING the right things. Her specific complaint was about our family watching the solar eclipse together as mentioned in a previous post. Nithya was convinced that she would not have the energy to organize their family looking at the eclipse together like we did.
And this I thought gave me the perfect setting to write this...
1. Our children are older than six. And this blog is about our experiences homeschooling them. If your children are not six yet, please dont get exhilarated or unhappy about anything written here. What you read here is probably not directly relevant to you.
2. I did not have to spend energy convincing or coercing my children to watch the solar eclipse. All of us were equally excited by it. Please remember that this broad commonality of purpose that is one of the miracles that we have noticed over our 4 year homeschooling experience did not happen overnight. It has come as a wonderful gift slowly over the years, unheralded and unsought. And I believe that this or other unsought gifts will come to all who are willing to take the plunge into the unknown. Just dont expect it to appear within 30 minutes like a Dominos Pizza.
3. Our homeschooling experience is 99% about long boring days, about a general air of tension in the house, about angry moments and smacked bottoms and in many other ways lots of material too boring to be talked about on this blog. We consider homeschooling to be a long term practice and we recognize that any long term practice is made up of a few peaks interspersed with many many plateaus.
4. We wanted to live a more conscious life, we needed more time together, time to think and act in a manner that was not dictated by EMIs or school or office schedules. This was our central requirement and my working from home and the children not going to school were the means to meeting this requirement. So homeschooling in our case is like an indicator or a symptom of our life choices and as such not the main focus of our lives. (I know that I need to do some explaining here and I intend to do that in a more leisurely manner in my next post).
5. All of us (and especially Kanti and me) work very very hard. (Although to the unsympathetic eye it may look remarkably like lazing around) We strongly believe that this committment to hard work on the part of the parents is the pre-qualification to become a homeschooler.
---End of disclaimer---
Thank you Nithya for making me think about all this. I hope this public answer helps you to forgive us our superhumanbeingness.