For a while I really struggled with guilt that I didn't read to my kids at bedtime anymore. What a bad parent I was! How could I say I valued reading and my children if I didn't curl up with award-winning children's books full of beautiful artwork every evening and read to them, complete with multiple voices and hand puppets?
Then I struggled with the fact that we ate dinner with books in front of us instead of talking like I did when I was little. We graze alot; we sometimes have light dinner... I must be subpar with my parenting contemporaries if we didn't discuss current events and have meaningful discussions over a well-balanced meal! What kind of parent feeds their kid one food group?(OK, 2, if you count the cheese on the macaroni. And how could I even make any sense if I fed them Organic mac-n-cheese with organic milk and then nasty hot dogs with organic ketchup?)
Then I remembered that all the parenting magazines are geared toward one family in America: the dual-income, extra-curricular, public school family. Many of the articles don't apply to my single-income, homeschool lifestyle.
That's when I really made the connection: I said homeschool lifestyle. It's isn't just a method of education, it's a lifestyle that affects how we do everything! If we are reading together for a great portion of the day, it really isn't so crucial to read at night. In a dual-income home, reading with a child at night, after a long day apart, is an important way to connect and cuddle and hear mom's voice. In the same way, talking about the day's events over the dinner table is less productive when you have already spent the day together. Why rehash what you did in school today for form's sake? Is this legalism or real life?