As the family of a chef, have you ever thought about homeschooling your children?
As the family of a chef with 3 school aged children, there are days that go by where our kids do not see Daddy at all. The traditional school schedule and the schedule of a chef don’t seem to mesh together very well, if at all.
So have you ever thought about homeschooling so your kids can be off of school when your chef if off of work?
My husband and I have talked about it briefly, but at this time, don’t feel it’s what’s best for our family. But I know many chef families have chosen this route (or plan to in the future) and it’s been a great option for them.
Now before you stop reading because this post is about homeschooling, let me tell you I’m not trying to tell you what to do with your kids. How you choose to school your children is your decision as parents.
I know there are homeschooling families out there that really push other families to school the way they do. Unfortunately, I think this gives the idea of homeschooling a bad rap (along with all the other myths out there about it). Believe it or not, I have more friends that homeschool than send their kids to school. They respect our decision to send our kids to public school and I respect theirs. We share the joys and trials of education with each other as friends and that’s that.
Today, I’d like to introduce you to a chef’s family who has chosen to homeschool their kids. I always love hearing what like is like for other chef families and hope you will enjoy it as well.
Meet Yo-Ann, a fellow chef wife who homeschools her children while her husband works full time as a chef.
When I started, I wanted to homeschool because as a homeschooled highschooler and later a college student, research showed me it was the “best” form of education, and because when the time came, I couldn’t stand to be away from my little ones for so many hours. We all think we know everything when we’re young, right? HA! What’s best for each family is…what’s best for each family! I’ve come to believe that it’s not so much about whether you homeschool, private school, or public school…or whatever choices parents do or don’t make in regards to their kids. We all do what is best for our own children, we accept each other, and learn from each other. People homeschool for a variety of reasons. Me? I feel that childhood is so short; we have them for such a short time. I’m just not willing to share that time if I don’t have to.
My husband was always an excellent cook, but his hours as a helicopter mechanic didn’t allow him to cook much. When health issues arose, the doctor prescribed a new profession. For a man who would get out of bed sick to make a chicken stock, chop veggies, and make chicken noodle soup from scratch…well, it was quite obvious what he ought to do! He enrolled in culinary school.
This part of our adventure was fun. He was around a lot more, he was practicing his chopping skills and sauces…which meant that I didn’t have to cook! There were meals and desserts brought home from school. Yummm….those were the good days!
Since then, his schedule has changed so much! We went from almost never seeing him, to having him around quite a bit. For the most part, he’s worked evenings and weekends. I am not a morning person, so I love this! Granted, I still have to get up with my kids in the morning (around 8am), but he is home during the day and I have nights all to myself. Nights to myself is one of my favorite things! Let’s be honest–having kids around all the time is tiresome. I really treasure those late nights alone.
Typically, we don’t do school when Daddy is home. This is our time with him as a family, so we want to take advantage of that. There are some homeschooling families that do school on a rigid schedule. That is definitely not us. With his ever-changing schedule, it’s nice that we can do school whenever it suits us. I do prefer the mornings, so if he is home sleeping, we go ahead and do it. We homeschool year-round, taking shorter breaks at Christmas and summer than the school district, and not taking off Columbus Day, for example. If I’m not feeling well, if family is visiting, if I’m working extra–we can take time off, or just do a few subjects. We live in a tourist-driven area, so when season is low, Daddy is off more, and we can be too! I love that our life is relaxed this way.
Often, my kids will find something they are interested in or curious about and will pull a book off the shelf to read more about it. If we don’t have a book about it, I will definitely be asked to look it up! We have lost ourselves in looking up information. We have discussions about videos and documentaries and why things happened in history and the character of historical figures. My husband is fun and spontaneous. Sometimes, he will discover something educational and interesting for the kids on Netflix. Another day, he will decide we’re going on a day trip. He loves day trips. He might take us to a state park, a museum, or the beach! On these days, we may do our school work later in the day or not at all. We’ve even done school on Saturdays!
My oldest is going into fifth grade. I like to compare homeschooling elementary school kids to doing homework with them, just a little bit longer. Our sit-down-and-do-school time is about two hours for two students. I did have a kindergarten student this year as well, but I don’t count him, because his seat work time is 30-40 minutes and often happens while my older ones are doing individual work. While my husband doesn’t typically help with our day-to-day lessons, he does add to our schooling in many ways.
Does homeschooling mean they are literally always with me? Heck No. I’d have gone insane already. But it sure does make life easier when we are in tee ball, ballet, this, that, and the other. Do I wish they were with someone else when I need to run errands or grocery shop?! Absolutely! We do practice “free playtime” as in, “It’s time to play in your room/outside”–not around me. On the other hand, they live life with me. We can take time to learn to chop vegetables, clean the bathroom properly, or wash clothes, even if it takes a half hour to explain (or send them to do it again the right way!).
The only con I find mildly annoying myself is outside judgment. It’s perfectly normal for another mom to go on about how much she loves her child’s school (public or private) but it seems really awkward to say, “I love homeschooling because.” Many people tend to get offensive/defensive or say, “I could never.” Personally, I don’t accept “I could never.” I always say “We each rise to our life challenges, and it’s okay that homeschooling is not for you.” As a homeschooler, there will always be family members who seem to think they can change your mind. I don’t really let it get to me. My only real “con” is finding “me” time. Don’t all moms have that struggle? 🙂
Any other homeschooling chef families out there? If so, please let me know how that is working for your family in the comments below!
From one chef’s wife to another,