I am still ruminating over some of my observations from my recent trip to Europe. The most striking difference for me, a mother of two children is the fact that in Eastern Europe both parents work. The reality is that they would never be able to pay their bills from one income only. Most mothers return to work after a relatively long maternity leave (in Europe it varies but can last from 6 months to 18 months). Majority of younger childern end up being taken care of by their grandmothers who are retired and this set up works best for most of families. But to meet a stay at home mom with bigger kids like mine is highly unlikely. Nobody homeschools there either. There are several reasons for this. The most important is that public education is way better than American. But my opinion is that nobody questions the system and this is how it is there. When childern are ready for kindergarten they are sent to it and there is no dilemma and questioning over what to do. Few families can afford private education and so it is not common. Both parents have to work to make the ends meet. There is just no room for an “illusionary” benefits of homeschooling when there is no enough money to pay a rent. I think that even an idea of homeschooling sounds somehow desolate and weird when contrasted with a harsh reality of life. I have met families with one person only being able to have a paycheck and struggling to survive.
Now, when I am thinking of this I am the most grateful for my own life. I am so happy to be able to be with my girls and take care of them myself. It fills my heart with joy to be their first teacher and help them discover the world of knowledge. I am so grateful for the fact that I can stay at home with them and enjoy them while they are so young. I am quite aware that this is a privilege.