Ticklish Ears

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Homeschooling and Patience

The 24th edition of the Carnival of Education is up at The Education Wonks. As always, there’s a great deal to choose from. Something for every taste.

At this week’s carnival, I latched onto a post by a homeschooling mom named Karen who takes on the oft-heard “I don’t have enough patience to homeschool my kids.” She examines the assumptions behind this statement and shows where they fall short. For example:

Second, is the assumption that teaching requires more patience than parenting. I find this an ironic assumption, for three reasons. First, parenting requires more patience than any other endeavor a person is likely to undertake. Second, you will spend your entire life parenting your children but only a small fraction of that time formally teaching them, even if you do homeschool. And third, parenting and teaching are the same thing.

While I might take issue with that third point (for instance, teaching my college students is not the same as parenting them), I think she’s on target. Essentially, the patience required to parent subsumes the patience required to teach.

And this one:

Another assumption behind the patience comment, I believe, is the idea that homeschooling means having school at home.

Her point here is that the reasons we need patience in homeschooling are quite different from the reasons a teacher needs patience in a classroom full of children. The setting is different, the constraints are different, the situations are different, the “targets” of patience are different.

[Note: yes, for me, everything is a systems problem. What can I say?]

Anyway, it can be done. I won’t say it’s easy. I will say that it may be easier than you think. I won’t say that you don’t need patience. I will say, as Karen says, that you probably have the patience you need.

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