As stated in an earlier article titled “Can I be a homeschooler?”, the personality of at least one parent is the major factor affecting the decision to home school. I suppose then, the second major factor would be the relationship of a child’s parents, their occupations and external support systems like grandparents or aunts. Wouldn’t it be great if we could all be millionaires, not have to work and spend time homeschooling our children? Maybe not The truth is things are seldom what we want them to be.
Let’s first examine the relationship between the parents. Of course, it would be best if both parents were together, living under the same roof and seeing eye to eye. This may not be the case, and if it was, it may change at anytime. If you are in a strained relationship with your spouse it would be best to seek counselling. In the words of Brian Skinner, a former counsellor, and an overall great guy, “the best thing parents can do for their children is to love each other”.
I have examined broken homes and though it seems that young children are resilient little beings and not really affected by separation of their parents, in the long run it is hardly ever so. (“The sins of the parents are visited upon the children unto the third and fourth generations”). If you feel that you are the one that is doing all the giving in the relationship and that you are being used and abused, and that there is no ‘love’ any more, contrary to what holds today, I say: stick it out. Pray and bend over backwards. As Gandhi-ji would say, “…pocket the insult”. Or, as my little three year old (at the time) looked at me and enquired, “Jessie? (that’s her nickname for me: Jessie - the central character in the Free Willie movie) Jessie, you give up? Don’t give up nah Jessie, don’t give up”.
The combination of parent relationship, occupations and external support systems are numerous, some are: both parents together, seeing eye to eye with only one working; both parents together, but not seeing eye to eye with only one working; both parents together, seeing eye to eye, both working, but with an external support system; single parent with a felxible occupation and an external support system; and single parent, inflexible job and no external support.
With respect to making the decision to home school the first scenario is ideal (both parents together, seeing eye to eye with only one working) while the last scenario (single parent, inflexible job and no external support) is the least favourable.
We have no easy solution for these problems, but we think that if our network of homeschoolers or those interested in home schooling grows in a productive manner, then our options, especially for those in the least favourable category can widen.