Living For The Weekends

Friday, August 13, 2010
When I turned 14 years old, the girls in my class gave me a blue Garfield tote-bag for a gift. On the front of the bag, under the picture of Garfield were the words,
"I live for the weekends."

I've been thinking about that bag lately. I don't know where it is - probably up in the attic. But its sentiment is ringing in my ears these long days.

Perhaps it's just that it's that time of year, where winter is waning, but you're still in the throes of it. And the days sometimes get a little monotonous, and you get tired, and your body aches for more sunshine hours.
I dislike Mondays intensely because it means it's the end of the weekend. I am living for the weekends at the moment, because it means my husband is home; there's an extra set of hands to help with the children; the pace of life is slower; and there's no schoolwork to be done. In other words - two days off.

With the children getting older now, and their interests widening, it means the weekdays are so much busier. Sports games, sports practices, art class, woodworking, piano lessons and swimming lessons for 4 children, and schoolwork in between doesn't make for a quiet, simple life.

I could cut all these things out to make it easier, but I don't think that would be fair on the children. They are curious about life, about experiencing things, about finding out about the world and their abilities and their own little challenges they have with themselves. It's just getting harder to keep up with it all and keep the home running smoothly.

The idea of putting them into school - even if it's just for a couple of years - hasn't gone away. We're just weighing up our options. The high-school question leaves me scared witless. To be frank, (and perhaps we're just being the teeniest bit elitest here), there is only one highschool in the entire country that we would consider, and it's purely on the recommendation of close friends of ours - not because we have any experience with it, and not to mention the fact that it's at the other end of the country. I think the standard of education in New Zealand is quite poor, and that is one of the reasons why we chose homeschooling. After all, what was school founded for - but to give academic education. It is my own opinion that New Zealand schools are more focused on peer-dependence and sporting ability and achievement and that individual academic achievement has taken a back-seat.
Many people ask me about socialisation for the children and the benefits that school gives and that homeschooling can disadvantage them in the social aspect of society. This is a narrow-minded view, I believe, and I read an excellent, balanced article on this yesterday on the pioneerwoman's website. But I also understand how New Zealand culture works, and how in general, unless you swim with the tide, you're a little on the outer. I hate that it's like that, but there's no denying it. It's that whole lack of individual achievement thing again.

So, even though my heart has gone out of the homeschooling to some extent, probably because I'm tired and too busy, I would carry on with it if we felt it was the best option at the moment for our children. We are considering school though - up until the highschool years at least. Then I think we might have to go back to homeschooling.

But the weekends are very welcome around here just now. They keep me sane!

 And today is Friday. I love Fridays!


Sandy Addison said...

What an honest collection of thoughts but I want to encourage you to keep seeking and questioning. I know our oldest would thrive under homeschooling but I just know I do not have the discipline to do it. So you are my hero in just going out and doing it

Sarah (Chez Lee) said...

I really admire you for homeschooling. I hbe considered it many times in the past and my eldest daughter (just turned 7) has asked from time to time to be home-schooled. The only thing holding me back is self doubt in my own abilities and the countless questions I would have to answer from my extended family.

You are doing an amazing job, well done!

I hope you are having a fabulous weekend :)

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