A lot of people are surprised to find out that I home school our teenage daughter along with trying to keep up a writing and editing career. Sometimes it can be stressful, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’d like to get rid of a few of those misconceptions about both writing and/or homeschooling.
1. No, homeschoolers are not all fanatical religious freaks with our hair in a bun and long skirts (not that there’s anything wrong with that). Some of us just know that our kids do better at home being able to work at their own pace. In our situation, our daughter was happier being able to move ahead without waiting for the class. This way she does her work at home and spends the afternoon with her friends.
2. No, homeschoolers are not home all day under the watchful eye of an overbearing parent. As a matter of fact, we find it hard to find time for schoolwork since we’re out all the time. We have Shakespeare plays to attend, science classes at the Science Center, museum visits, improv classes, play rehearsal, piano lessons, co-op biology and geography classes and days spent at her friends’ homes working on Web sites and projects. I’d like more time at home, in fact.
3. Yes, I find time to write. Planning a curriculum is a bit of work, but if you do it all at once, you’re free for more things later. We work in tandem many times where we are both writing or working at the same time. I’m there for questions and I’m working on my editing and writing at the same time. Sometimes we skip out and work at the local coffee shop or bookstore with free WiFi, why not? And yes, I spend a lot of time writing early in the morning and late at night.
4. No, we are not free to have lunch and hang out with you since you think we’re just home all day doing nothing. We may be home, but we are busy.
5. No, I don’t write about homeschooling. There is much more to my life than just teaching. I read, I write, I have friends, etc. I write fiction, I edit non-fiction, I love what I do, and yes-I’d love to meet you for a drink.
Homeschooling doesn’t work for everyone. It takes discipline and work and you have to like being around your kids all day. Luckily, I love being around my daughter-and yes, she is a teenager. She’s a teenager without an attitude and with a healthy love of learning, books, writing, and music (old-school rock!) and many friends. Schooling like this gives my daughter more time to spend with her friends and do the things she loves, like write stories, draw, and read…and it gives me the time to write and edit as much as I want. All that and we are still in our pajamas at 10 a.m. Not bad!
Writers find time to write no matter what they do. I write before, during, and after homeschooling. When do you write?