Do you ever compare yourself, your parenting, your kids, your husband or your house? Do you scan your girlfriend’s living room with those cute matching throw pillows and that neatly arranged pile of books on her dust-free coffee table and wish that you could just see the surface of your coffee table which is currently hidden under stray Legos, 15 overdue library books and a couple of sippy cups that may or may not be in the process of fermentation?
Or maybe you’re avoiding that family from church, whose kids are always impeccably dressed and well behaved because you’re not sure with your kids brushed their teeth this morning, let along brushing their hair.
And there’s that mom you know is going to ask what your son is doing after graduation just after she finishing telling you about her child’s full scholarship.
In my last podcast I talked about how my perspective on today’s workforce has changed since we purchased a restaurant 3 years ago. It changed, but not for the better. I covered the history of work and how men used to form at least part of their identity from the work that they did. Thomas Baker was a baker. James Carpenter built things from wood. I also mentioned that work was once viewed as necessary for survival. Laura Ingalls Wilder understood that in order to survive through the long winter in the Big Woods, they’d need to grow and store their own food, amass a stockpile of dry wood for the fireplace and maintain their livestock. Children in previous decades shared in the responsibility of work at home and they often watched work in action.
In my last podcast, I explained how the stay-at-home worker, computers and cell-phone are changing the face of work, such that children may no longer understand the difference between work and play.
Now let’s consider some more factors in the equation and come up with a few concrete antidotes that insure we are better teaching our children how to work.
How do you do it? That’s the question you’re sure to be asked when you tell someone new that you home school your children. Be it the curious customer standing behind you in the grocery store line or cousin Ed at the family reunion, someone, or better yet someones, are going to want to know if you are actually sane enough to make such a choice and they’ll test your mental stability by asking for an explanation.
And, if one of your home schooled kids is in close proximity, the inquisitor will also quiz little Johnny on his ABC capabilities and his grasp of the American system of democracy. Be ready. Continue reading