How to / Perception of home schooling

Home school sotto voce

Since the beginning, I’ve worried about what would happen if  anyone at work realized that the person in this picture (me in my office):


is actually, much of the time, the person in this picture (me, multi-tasking with baby and computer):

Working from home

I didn’t tell anyone at work about my home school experiment, assuming people would believe I was (a) crazy;  and (b), not serious about my legal career and professional responsibilities.  (Yes, I’m working a reduced-time schedule, but for a lawyer that just means  fewer days in the office, in return for being available virtually on a more or less full-time, as-needed basis.)

So I was more than excited to come across Kathleen Berchelmann, a pediatrician blogging at (a site created by physician/moms in St. Louis), who explains in a wonderfully articulate way  why a busy professional mom might attempt to home school her children.

Kathleen’s reasons struck a chord with me  (one example:  “Even on a doctor’s salary, private education has become unaffordable, especially for larger families.  Which choice would you make: save for college, save for retirement, or pay private school tuition?

Even better, she explains in detail how she actually does this while practicing medicine.

3 thoughts on “Home school sotto voce

  1. As a working mom myself, I too have been apprehensive about telling people at work that I am homeschooling. I don’t know how they’ll respond, what kind of talking behind my back will happen, how they’ll view my work, etc. I just read your article on the NYTimes website, and I couldn’t comment there because it says I have to log in to comment, but I really wanted to, as a declaration that ‘YES, there are people like you out there!’ Working moms who are homeschooling moms!! I hope the professional realm WILL someday be accepting that this is not crazy, or turning my back on my work. As it is, I found being a working mom in the first place (with kids in public school) was hard, as I had to leave work early when kids got sick at school, or just juggling homework time and not being there to help them until the evening, etc. People have been VERY accommodating at work, I work part-time, and strange hours, and can’t always make it to meetings, and have to cancel meetings at the last minute if a child is sick, etc.

    As a homeschooler now, it’s even more juggling, and for me it’s only been less than a month, and i’m not sure about the future path of my career, but we’re trying to make this work, while still maintaining my income. I dread they day I will be forced to make a choice between the 2…I hope I’m not going to be put into that position.

      • Yes I’d be glad to have you tell me story on your blog…but so far, I haven’t yet figured out how to ‘manage the busy schedule’. I’m overwhelmed! sometimes feeling guilty that I haven’t put in as many hours as others in my projects, other times feeling guilty that i’m not actually spending TIME with my son that I’m homeschooling, just giving assignments…am I really doing a decent job of homeschooling as I jump back and forth between work and teacher and mom (I work from home mostly, with some babysitters on call in case I need to go to the office)? Then juggling a jealous sister who is not being homeschooled! I’m not sure how long I will be able to keep this up, or if i need to reduce my hours, change my hours, change jobs, etc…My boss and coworkers don’t know that I’m doing this, so I’m just doing my work as usual, answering emails in between homeschool assignments…Well, for now, this is an experiment (it’s been less than a month), and I’m sure we will adjust as we go, since we haven’t quite come to a good solution on how to schedule our days. Every day is different, and I feel like i’ve given up alot of those things you mentioned in your other blog post about 10 things you’ve had to give up because of homeschooling. But it’s been a great blessing too, as my son is SO happy to be homeschooled!

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