Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Yeah, TV

I enjoy reading about other homeschoolers and what they do in their daily lives. Now I read weblogs, but I used to read every homeschooling magazine I could find. Jeannine and Cindy just told about their TV-watching and non-TV-watching habits.

I'll admit we watch TV. And movies. And DVD's. And we probably have enough cable channels to shock a good homeschooling family senseless. We read a lot. We have a lot of books. We subscribe to and read lots of magazines and three newspapers. And we still watch TV. And it might be on at any time of the day - not tuned to public television.

I think we may be the ugly duckling of homeschooling families, and we're unlikely to ever grow into a swan. We don't go to bed at dusk or even at 8:00 p.m. Our crew is more likely to be awake at midnight or later. You may then correctly surmise that we do not rise at what Steve terms "zero dark-thirty" or what Marley calls "dawn strip." Our normal out-of-bed time is around 8:00 a.m. - later if we stayed up late watching a DVD or something on... TV.

I don't shudder at standardized tests and test all my children annually, and the 10th or 11th graders take the ACT and the SAT. I really don't like manufacturing a paper trail of work samples, report cards, and progress reports, and I admit that my favorite states for homeschooling were those that left me alone to educate my children without requiring me to report to someone. (Texas was heaven, and Virginia ran a close second.)

We don't dress alike when we're in public, so we look like a motley crew rather than candidates to grace a homeschool publication. (Now that I think of it, we never dress alike, even when we're not in public.)

We're definitely not Luddites! We greatly enjoy our air conditioning, our digital camera, our cell phones, our TV's, our dishwasher, microwave and (you may want to quit reading or at least shut your eyes for a moment) processed food! I used to grind wheat and hand mix dough for bread every day. What happened? I had a few more babies and more children to teach and less time for baking rustic loaves of bread. We're actually sick less often than we used to be, but I don't think it has anything to do with the food we eat and much more to do with where we live (more rural, less metropolitan) and the age of my children (older kids don't touch everything and then put their fingers in their mouths, noses, or eyes like younger ones do).

I rarely meet families who don't gasp in horror when they hear that we're late to bed and late to rise. And many others politely avert their eyes from the TV in the family room and the basket on top of it that's bursting with remote controls. But I live in hope that God will continue to bring into our lives and into our circle of friends these lovely swan homeschoolers that encourage and befriend us despite our shortcomings.



Blogger Marla said...

Very interesting... it is a balance we must maintain. I think what disturbs me most is my hope that my boys would prefer to read more, rather than watch TV or play video/computer games. I sometimes want to throw it all out the door! When we started homeschooling we left behind the "normal" bedtime... it seems that is when Dad has time to teach the boys plumbing, electrical stuff, carpentry, and other handy-man odd jobs. Anyway, thank you for sharing honestly!

4:24 AM  
Blogger Jeannine said...

Did you notice how I purposely didn't list the shows my oldest two watch? :-)

I also didn't mention the refrigerator stocked with beer and the wine, vodka, and Scotch under the kitchen sink. :-0

I used to sleep until around 8 or so but for the past couple years I've been able to get up earlier. This morning I managed to sleep until 7:15. Our two youngest still wake up a bit too early so we couldn't really sleep in if we wanted to, which is hard since we often stay up too late.

I don't think we'd be a poster family for any homeschooling publication either.

6:58 AM  
Blogger Jennie C. said...

We don't watch much tv and I do bake bread, but we're not winning any awards over here either! Once, a neighbor stopped in on a Monday morning, before I had finished cleaning up from the weekend. My beloved is a beer drinker and there were beer cans literally everywhere! I always marvelled after that day that she'd let her daughter come over to play unsupervised. :-) And I was embarrassed enough that I clean up a little quicker now!

8:34 AM  
Anonymous Cindy said...

What's this? All the "bad" homeschoolers coming out of the closet?

I quit baking bread, too, and gave away all that Y2k wheat because it made me feel quilty :)

10:45 AM  
Blogger Jeannine said...

I think it must be an episode of Homeschoolers Gone Wild. :-)

11:11 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Cindy, you are so funny! Did the wheat make you want to quilt, also, or are you playing on "guilty?" I can see you grinding the wheat and piecing bits of fabric for a fabulous quilt!

11:18 AM  
Blogger Amber Dawn said...

Laura, I love that you guys are no poster family for the homeschooling world! It gives me hope! You're "normal," REAL people with busy schedules. You have lots of love and faith, but you're still human and know it and seek grace even more for it! It's good to know that one day when I have a family of my own, whether I homeschool or not, there is no pressure to be what I am not, but instead to be the best that I am and all that God has for me and my family to be! Thanks!

9:22 PM  

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