“Just two hours a day? Is that enough?” my father asks me.
His seventy-five year old voice is still firm halfway across the world. I have just told him how our homeschooling is going and he’s curious, a little doubtful but more skeptical than anything else.
Just two hours, I reply, thinking, This will never make sense to him.
I went to private school, beginning at age 3 and I loved it. I excelled at it.
I’m not sure if I liked it because I was good or the other way around but school was like my second home. I certainly spent most of my day there. Beginning in first grade I left my house at 7:30 a.m. and didn’t return until 4 in the afternoon.
Some of that was just commuting to school and back. Then there was recess and lunch break and time for down time even during classes, but I understood what my dad was asking – Is it enough?
Look, I get it. Frankly, I struggle with this question, too. And I don’t think I’ll ever be done struggling because school is part of life.
And it is a question life throws at everyone – is it enough? Did I do enough? Did I earn enough? Did I get enough sleep? Enough protein? Did I read enough? Have I done enough work today that I can be content within myself to rest now? Is it enough?
I remember when I quit my real estate work-at-home job to be a full time mom. My daughter had just turned two and my middle son was eight months old. I remember asking myself if it was enough to say enough – that I was working as much as I could and was beginning to get overwhelmed. It was okay to step back and admit I was human, limited, finite.
All I include into our homeschool attendance records is what I can document and test. But a good education encompasses so much more.
A good education does not necessarily break down into subjects, compartmentalized, organized, tested, completed.
Add to that the fact that I have no idea what skills the children will need in the future. Sure, there are the usual reading, writing and arithmetic – our heaviest emphasis at present – and I would never want to divorce wisdom from the fear and knowledge of God as revealed in the Bible.
But beyond these two givens, I think of their education as something organic and eclectic.
And for that, our two hours of seated work for a six and five year old are plenty of time.