Housework and socialization
(Johannesburg, South Africa)
My eldest child is currently 3 and a bit. I have been starting to think about and establish a feasible routine that will suit our family. We are not able to afford a full time maid at the moment, and housework plus cooking takes some time.
The questions you have asked are ones that probably every homeschooling mother has had to face before making the decision to go ahead and homeschool. As you find answers to your questions, doubts and even fears, you become more confident and able to make the decision to take the plunge into homeschooling.
However, even afterwards, we all question whether we are doing enough and coping with the juggling act of balancing housework, schoolwork, caring for babies and toddlers and being a wife and all that our roles entail.
There are articles that address some of these issues on the Homeschool Help and Advice
page of this website.
Many homeschooling families don't have domestic help and so they learn to work as a team and share the chores in the home. As the children grow older, they are able to help the mother more and more. Here is an article where I shared How I Cope
You need to train the kids to work along with you and help you. Make it part of 'school' time and call it Life Skills. You might also need to lower your standards, especially while they are so young. Decide what is really important and leave the rest (like ironing!!) It gets easier as the children get older and more capable of helping and being responsible. At preschool age they are usually part of the problem, not part of the solution!
Planning also plays a big role. Plan the night before what you want to do the next day, and get things ready the night before. Be flexible within your plans. Get the kids in a good bedtime routine. Try getting up before your children in the morning.
SocializationSome people have attacked me about the socialization issue, saying that my children will turn out to be disfunctional if I homeschool them. We have a small extended family, and my husband's parents are overseas. Her argument was that I would not have enough support because of this. Do you have any thoughts on this subject?
Socialisation is probably the issue that skeptics raise the most with homeschoolers and it is one that is in reality almost a non-issue. They ask about the big S because they don't understand homeschooling. They think that we isolate our children at home, but in fact, children in classrooms are isolated from real life situation to a far greater degree.
If we are aiming to teach proper social behavior, correct social etiquette, manners, conflict resolution and everything else that socialisation involves would we really want 30 other children to be our child’s teachers?
There is a proverb that says: He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a friend of fools suffers harm.
Homeschooled children walk with wiser more experienced people daily and in general learn to socialize appropriately with all age groups far better than children in schools, who are confined to socializing only with one age group for most of the day.
As far as you lacking support goes, the best support you will find is probably from other homeschooling families, who understand the circumstances and challenges you face and will be able to encourage you on this journey. There are many in different areas around the country as well as online.South African Homeschool Support Groups
The best way to respond to critics of homeschooling is to gently say: "There are pros and cons to every educational option, but we feel that homeschooling is the best for OUR family."
Often they feel judged for their decision if their children are in school and so they attack as a form of defence. The above answer helps to dissolve the tension.