Homeschooling's Most Closely Guarded Secret

Every time I tell anyone I homeschool my children I get the same response: "How do you do it?" followed by, "Wow, I could never do that." And every time, I laugh a little inside and furrow my eyebrows and say something like, "Well, it's a lot of work." That's true, it really is. I put a lot of effort and time into it. I go to conferences and watch training videos and tutor in our co-op group, but secretly, I know something you don't know. It's a closely guarded secret in the homeschooling community, and we don't tell you because you wouldn't believe us, so we let you think that it's a grueling task. (And sometimes it is.) But the homeschooling community is huge and getting bigger every day. If it was really so awful, would any of us do it? Here's the truth:

It's the most fun we've ever had. (I told you you wouldn't believe me.)

Here's why:

1. No alarm clocks.

Every year when school starts and I see all of you up at the crack of dawn shuffling kids off to the bus or driving them to school. You've been up since 5:30 a.m. Some homeschooling families are up that early, too, but it's a choice. In our house we get an extra hour or two of sleep if we need it because school starts when we are ready and not before. If we don't get something done by noon, we can pick it up again whenever it's convenient. I also don't have to go through the battle of dragging half asleep kids out of bed and begging them to hurry. Mine wake up at about the same time every day naturally and wander down to eat breakfast in their jammies. It's pretty peaceful. The only day we are on a tight and early schedule is on our community day, but it's only once a week. We can do anything once a week.

2. We've never sold anything door to door.

You know the special kind of hell that is school fundraisers, don't you? You have to lug candy bars to work and make people buy them (or buy them all yourself). You understand the unspoken bond: when someone buys some crappy tin of popcorn from your kids, you have to buy some wrapping paper from their kids when they come selling at your door. Not us! We pay for our tuition, buy our books and never have to ask our neighbors to pitch in (a thing I've never understood since we are all paying exorbitantly high taxes that are supposed to go to the schools anyway. Why are they still fundraising? Oh, I pay for that $300k salary for the superintendent who is pilfering the cash reserves).