My neighbor and I were talking the other day ( she is also a homeschooler) and it seems that some people are under the impression that because we home school we just sit around the house all day eating Bon Bons and watching soap operas while the children run around like wild animals!
Now I know that every mom has a lot on her plate. Working moms have lots to balance both inside and outside the house. Stay at home moms, whose children attend school, have to take care of the house as well as activities and school functions. Home school moms have to do a little bit of everything. All of us, as mothers, are just trying to find that balance and raise our children the best we can. When I heard some of the misconceptions of what a home school mom actually does, I thought I would try to lay out some of the many hats a homeschooling mother has to wear. I know that many of these hats can describe any mom, but i specifically wrote them with the homeschooling mom in mind.
1. Teacher (of every subject) - this one is the most obvious but also probably the most time consuming. Being a teacher at home not only means conducting the lessons and helping the children with their work, but it also means researching curriculum, planning lessons, grading papers, planning filed trips and much more. I don't think you can truly appreciate the time and effort it takes to research through curriculum and pick out ones that are suitable for your child and then plan lessons, sometimes for multiple grades all at once, unless you have experienced it for yourself.
2. Referee / Mediator - this might not apply to everyone, but I am sure that for those of us with more than one child this is a very big one. When your children are home all day with each other they form a strong bond. With that bond sometimes comes A LOT of arguing and bickering! As the parent that is home with them it is our job to break up arguments and mediate resolutions.
3. Housekeeper - Many homeschooling families, though not all of them, operate on one income. In most cases this means that the mom is home with the children and is responsible for the daily schooling and up keep of the house while the father is at work. I personally find this one the hardest to stay on top of. I do not work outside of the house, BUT I am working all day long with the children. Plus, to be honest with you, they call it home school but we actually spend a good bit of our time running around to field trips,clubs, sports, home school meetings, etc. Sometimes it is hard to keep up on all the house work, but for the most part the homeschooling mom is still responsible for the cleaning, laundry, dishes, etc.
4. Cook - In addition to being responsible for the housekeeping, us moms are also responsible for a majority of the cooking, and because our children are home all day this usually involves cooking multiple meals a day!
5. Chauffeur - I am sure every parent can relate to feeling like a chauffeur. We spend so much time running our children from one activity to the next. Factor in doctor appointments, grocery shopping, errand running, field trips, church activities,and you find yourself in the car a good majority of the week!
6. Mom - Sometimes us homeschooling moms get so caught up in the schooling part of our day, that we forget that we are a mom first and that our children mostly need our love and attention.
7. Wife - I hear a lot of homeschooling moms that are so exhausted from their days and their hectic schedules that they don't take the time to tend to their husbands. This is a really important one, in my opinion, because a family only functions well if the mom and dad are both happy and healthy. When one parent is feeling neglected or unimportant it can make for a bad situation at home.
These are just some of the hats that I could think of that a homeschooling mother wears. There are many many more that we could mention. What hats can you add?