I spent the evening reading up on homeschooling in Minnesota. I haven't seriously considered homeschooling since Peter was about 3 but a tweet from Indigo Girls Linda asking if I'd ever thought about it struck a chord with me today. Maybe it was finding out on Saturday that Peter's spring performance overlaps with the church ladies' induction I need to attend tomorrow. Combine that with knowing Leo has his performance Thursday afternoon, I need to find a babysitter if I want to volunteer at their field day on Friday, I finally attended the protect-our-kids-against-molesters session that will allow me to volunteer in the diocese, and an unknown-but-certainly-large number of events that Dan will need to attend in the next two weeks and school feels really overwhelming right now.
I only see the big kids about 4 hours a day. A lot of those hours are spent coercing them to do their homework, change clothes, brush their teeth, and do this thing or that. I don't think any of us enjoy the nagging. I would have liked to get Peter in Boy Scouts this year, but the idea of adding something to the schedule was too much. We're coping with Saturday morning swim lessons this spring and that's as much as we can handle. Piano keeps getting pushed back too. So part of me thinks homeschooling would condense the school day and leave more time for extras and fun. The other part of me wonders when I'd go to the gym or have any peace and quiet.
In the past, I've thought that the time needed to plan lessons that were half-decent would require hours I really don't have. But I realized that in addition to expensive full curricula, our state has a totally free online public school that is based on the same Core Knowledge Sequence that the boys' current school uses and allows you to accelerate programs if the kids are ready. My only frustration with the in-school academics at their school has been that all the kids worked at the same pace and my early readers got bored with some parts of the program. And the homework! They get so much homework and they're only 8 and 6. I've realized I'm not really in favor of homework at their ages, especially if they don't want to do it. It seems like a lot of busywork.
There's a Catholic homeschool conference coming up and the online school has an event at a local waterpark this weekend so it seems like the information is out there if I'm serious about looking into it. The big question for me is whether spending more time with them will make that time better.