Friday, May 18, 2012

I'd like to revisit a post I wrote on my old blog five years ago. My children were quite small, so the dynamic of my life was quite different. I'm busier with much realer adult work these days. However:

All this time at the computer threatens to overwhelm. Life happens more richly away from the computer, and my kids are not here. But my kids do not benefit from my omnipresence. It would be a huge mistake to imply to the children that I should entertain them.

Folks say constantly, "You are homeschooling, I could never do that!" Please understand, every time you say that to a homeschooler they are thinking: Honey, I could never spend that much time with your kids either. That is a little insider tip for you. How do we do it? We keep ourselves occupied in an adult world, partly to give the children space and time to learn how to fill their own world, and partly to keep from drooling and sagging--both mentally and physically. Have you noticed how much homeschooling parents knit? And blog? But knitting and blogging and keeping ourselves occupied with our own passions model that behavior for the kids. It is so obviously true its a cliche: they will do as you do, not as you say.

Part of the work of homeschooling is to appear industriously engaged in the grown world which, we all know through painful trial and error, is nearly impossible to do. Because at the same time, your actual job is to live under house arrest in service to freaks, trolls, fairies, mermaids, Pokemon's, spilled milk, fleas, ticks, and eventually most of the sacred and profound thoughts and emotions ever to fleet across this "ruined cathedral" (to quote Haven Kimmel). As near as I can tell, you may knit or blog in the mean time.


  1. Ahhhh, Haven's succinct line carries me to Sonnet old favorite:

    "bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang"...

    I am in Chartres amid the buttressed bones of that cathedral, arching upward just as the tree's bare limbs in winter, where human choirs sang to their heaven, as did the birds to theirs.

  2. CC. Sweet Jesus, I love you. Thanks.