We have survived, I believe rather successfully, our first month of homeschooling. Our first month out of a possible 15 years 🙂
There are so many things I’m loving about homeschooling. I love that I get to be involved in how, when and what my kiddos learn. I love that D doesn’t spend all day asking me if it’s time to pick C up from school yet. Instead he can spend the day pestering her. I love that our mornings aren’t spent rushing around making sure lunches and backpacks are ready to go. Instead, we can stay in our jammies and play Kings In the Corner until 9 o’clock if the mood strikes. I love that when the weather is great, we can get the basics done and then spend the rest of the day playing outside. I love that homeschooling has brought a new awareness to us about the opportunities to teach our children just from everyday situations.
Before we started, I was concerned about her feeling lonely or bored at home, because she’s a very social little girl. So far, that doesn’t seem to be a problem. We’ve had playdates, been to the park and library and this week C started attending a once a week class with other homeschoolers. She is still hounding me for more playdates, but that’s nothing new!
However, as much as I’m loving this experience, its not all rainbows and butterflies. I posted this picture to social media this week, stating that I was loving having her home.
About 10 minutes after this picture was taken, we had a full meltdown, because I wanted her to do her reading work instead of starting an art project with her brother. Every parent knows that there are good days and bad days, and some days your kids don’t want to listen, regardless of what you have to say. This doesn’t change when you become their teacher as well!
While C may be getting her social time in, I have yet to find my groove. I no longer fit in with the mom’s at the park as well – I’m there with my toddler AND my school age child, while their older kids are back in school after a summer of playing. That’s not to say we won’t still be friends, but it does change the daytime play group dynamic. I don’t magically have a giant circle of homeschool mom friends either though. I do have some amazing, long-time friends who are also homeschooling that I’m very thankful for, but they live out of town. And I’ve met some great ladies in town who have offered ideas, support and resources. But I have found it difficult to make connections within the homeschool community, because (and I’m totally overgeneralizing, I know) many homeschooling families are larger than ours. They’re busy and don’t have the time or energy to make new friends. Many attend larger, and probably more conservative, churches than we do and already have a great support system in place from their relationships there. And beyond my totally stereotypical reasoning, I can admit that I’m not very good at putting myself out there and making new friends. You might not know this, but it’s kinda scary!!
So on the days when my husband leaves at 6AM to hit the gym before work, and I don’t see or talk to any adults before he gets home at 5:30, it’s kinda rough. When those days align with the days that my children don’t want to listen, I probably yell (and then apologize) more often than I’d like. And I probably eat more chocolate than I should.
But please don’t mistake the above for a pity party. I feel so lucky to be home with our kids and am still so excited to be homeschooling. But it’s not perfection. It’s just our reality