Because I'm a home schooler, my thoughts are often directed at homeschooling. I get asked a lot about it, and why I feel the need to home school. I've mostly gotten positive feedback, and only once did I get overwhelmingly negative feedback.
Often I'll receive comments from other moms along the lines of "You must be supermom" or "I wish I could home school, but I would never have the patience." I'm quick to deny the supermom comments, and often explain that I don't always have patience with my children.
Since the subject seems to come up a lot, I thought I'd at least try to mention one of the reasons I home school here. This is only one reason, but I thought it would be nice and sentimental.
Picture, if you will, a cup. In my case I love all things tea, so I'll be picturing a beautiful hand painted porcelain teacup with a matching saucer. This cup is being filled each day with memories.
Now, I know that I only have a limited number of years to spend with my children, and I know that during those years there will be plenty of negative things that will try to get into my cup. Like the bitterness that steeps when you leave a teabag too long in hot water, I will have to realize that not every moment spent with my children is going to be pleasant. With each passing year, my cup fills a bit more, and the more time I spend with my children, the more memories we have together.
Finally, one day they will leave my home, and start their own. My son is convinced that he will be a bachelor, and so I imagine he will be coming home to visit a lot more often than my girls. (Not that I actually think he's not going to get married, but to be respectful to his current predisposition, I will entertain his current expectations). Then, as my home is empty I will have all those memories to sip on, and slowly savor during the rest of my life.
Now, if I were to send them off to school every day, I would have at least 6 hours every weekday apart from my children. Then, when they are at home I would have to devote at least two hours every night to homework (more for my slower workers). Since they would be on a traditional schedule, I would have to limit the number of times we could go on vacations to those summer days when lines are long at amusement parks, and the community pool is raucous and crowded. Instead of going to visit extended family when the weather is nice I would be limited to a couple of weeks in the winter, and a week in the springtime. At that rate, my cup wouldn't fill up very quickly and all too soon they would be off to college with my nice china cup only half filled.
Now, granted, most of the bitter memories would be left at school in a classroom with a different teacher each year. Honestly, having never had to deal with it, I can't say for certain how it would be. I know from what I hear of other families, it could go either way. We might drift apart as a family with my children's peers taking precedence over their desire to spend time with their siblings. Or, we might become even closer knit as we cherish the moments spent as a family.
Regardless, I know mathematically that I have more opportunities to make memories with my children if I have their presence during a greater part of the day.
So, for me I want my cup to be full... not just full, but overflowing with memories. I'll gladly endure the bitter moments in order to fill my cup the the brim and then some, and I'll do everything I can to sweeten my cup every chance I get. And I have to say, having been both in private school and home school myself, and having a child go to private school and home school, I would choose home schooling every time.
Go ahead, pour yourself a cup and see if you don't like the results.