One of the most enjoyable paid things I ever did was teaching a senior class on government in a high school the year before I got married. (My students got suspicious when I invited a “friend from law school” in to judge our mock court . . . and their suspicions were confirmed when I returned from spring break with a ring on my hand.) I also guest taught many homeschool and private school classes on the same topics. (You can now even get the class I taught on DVD.)
I love teaching the upper levels of school; I love reading original sources, debating ideas, and editing papers. On the other hand, I don't feel quite so sure of myself (or so patient) around toddlers and preschoolers, doing the same simple games and activities over and over and OVER AND OVER again.
So why am I homeschooling, starting even now with my oldest not quite two, instead of going back into teaching high school? Lots of people talk about the advantages of homeschooling from a parent's perspective. But look at how great it is from a teacher's perspective.
I don't have to deal with the long-range effects of poor nutrition, because I get to feed my future students from the moment of conception. I don't have to wonder why they didn't get enough sleep last night to concentrate in class, because I set their bedtime. I don't have to make up for the verbal interaction that's missing in their home, because it's my home.
I don't have to wonder why their third grade teacher didn't teach them how to properly format a sentence, or whether they've had enough exposure to good literature to be able to read William Blackstone in twelfth grade. I don't have to untangle confusions created by an earlier teacher who hammered something in the wrong way or at the wrong time.
It is, undoubtedly, an awesome responsibility. But on the other hand, it makes the task so much simpler. And when I'm reading Goodnight, Moon for the 375th time, it helps me to think of it as providing a prep course for studying Shakespeare and The Federalist Papers.