Twice a month, I met with a non-denominational homeschool group of moms and kids, to discuss business and ideas, homeschool classes, groups and projects, and just to picnic and socialize. It was always very leisurely and the kids would all play together. When it was warm out, we would meet in a park in Naperville and when it was cold, we’d establish some place in a community center or a church.
One day, we were picnicking in the park, with a group of maybe 12 moms and their kids, when a Time Magazine reporter arrived to interview us. I don’t know if this had been pre-arranged, but I hadn’t known about it. Pretty soon some of the moms were encouraging me to speak with her, since I represented both camps: my oldest had transitioned (successfully) into public school, and I was homeschooling my other three.
I spent maybe an hour answering her questions and providing what I felt was a wealth of information punctuated by many brilliant and interesting insights into homeschooling. I was then, and still am, ‘blown away’ by what happens with children when they are kept out of the system and allowed and encouraged and given support just to grow, learn and develop themselves in the most natural way imagineable.
Toward the very end of the interview, I explained to the reporter, a young, single woman who didn’t have children, that at the beginning of the school year, I had spoken with the teachers and principal of my local public school about registering my middle two children and putting them into school. They would have been in 3rd and 2nd grade at that time. I did this, I told her, for personal reasons that had nothing to do with homeschooling. I explained that I’d had a personal crisis and that at that time, it had been very hard to be with my children all day long, because I’d been going through a grief process. I also told her that after some consideration, my husband and I had decided that it would be best for the kids to continue homeschooling for the time being.
I was at the airport when I saw and bought the Time Magazine issue with the cover article featuring homeschooling. I was so excited!!! I was sure that some of my enthusiasm about homeschooling would now be shared with the entire nation! The article was very long and it had a particular focus, which was the fact that nowadays, many well-educated, highly intelligent people, along with the Christian homeschool majority, were now choosing to home-educate. At the very, very end of the article there was a little box aside. It highlighted the downside of homeschooling. The last line of the aside was, “And make sure you make enough time for yourself and aren’t like Lillian Field of Naperville, Illinois, who almost decided to put her children into school this year because, as she said, “it is very hard to be with your children all the time.”