I enjoyed the close relationship that I had developed with my son and I wasn’t happy that I was going to be less important to him (according to some) than his teachers and peer groups. Our relationship was my payment, I figured, for the countless hours of bouncing and pacing and loving and investing and soothing and encouraging and teaching. I didn’t want it to go away, or to lessen. And I really, really didn’t want Matthew to lose his love of reading and learning.

I knew a family who taught their children at home, and I admired the way their children behaved around other people. It was enough for me to talk Bryan (against his better judgment) into my teaching Matthew at home. For one year, only. That was our agreement. Then we decided that if he was doing okay after one year, we’d try another one. And eventually, when we could see that he was missing out on things in public school, we’d consider putting him in school. Our decision to teach our children at home never was a reaction against the public schools. It was just that we wanted a different lifestyle for our family. We were attracted to having a more family-centered, rather than a public school-centered life.

My mom. About me, in case you hadn’t guessed.

It seems to me that those who homeschool based on huge generalizations (“public schools will corrupt our children!”) are in danger of falling into a very unhealthy form of the practice. In contrast, I think my mom gives very good reasons for homeschooling, and that thoughtfulness translated into my very good experience with homeschooling, and my ongoing love of learning. (Of course, then I went to graduate school…)