1. Homeschooling is hard work. But not too hard.
2. There are days I wish I could just send the kids off on the bus.
Some days, our rhythm is absolutely off. Some days,
I am the kids are crabby, and conflicts occur. Those days, I often feel a twinge of jealousy. We live across the street from one of the public schools, and watching the moms in the drop-off lane kiss their kids’ chubby cheeks and head off to Starbucks unhampered is too much for me.
3. Homeschooling can be lonely.
Many of my friends send their kids to public or private schools. Then they go out for mommy dates and talk about dropping kids off at daycare or at the school bus. I understand there are homeschool co-ops and play groups (and we’ve participated in a couple.) But the idea of trying to make relationships amidst corralling three to thirty kids is just not appealing. I’m a one-on-one kind of person.
4. Our kids aren’t model children, nor are we model parents.
See #2. Seriously. But there’s another thing that always happens. Every time I tell people that we homeschool, I get the “I couldn’t do that. I’m not patient enough!” remark. I’ll clue you in: I’m not either. But that’s another excellent reason for me to muddle through it now. My character will be sharpened just by being around my kids all day, every day. Practice makes perfect, right?
5. A lot more counts as “school” than meets the eye.
Taking the kids at 5 a.m. to watch hot air balloons launch? Homeschool.
Reading price tags and talking about percentages off while shopping? Homeschool.
Teaching the kids how to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for themselves? Homeschool. And pretty glorious, I might add.
Going on a cross-country roadtrip, a farmer’s market expedition, a nature walk, a trip to the home improvement store? Homeschool.
It’s all about developing an eye for what your kids could learn in a situation.
About 60% of our homeschool is learning from life experiences and interaction with our environments. The other 40% is mostly comprised of reading aloud together at this point. We do have some workbooks and papers, but the idea of having our kids at home wasn’t to replicate the 83 billion worksheets that public-schooled kids have.
Ultimately, every family’s educational decision is up to them. We’ve found homeschooling to be a perfect fit for our family. There are some beautiful moments that happen when we’re present…in the moment. Those are the moments that remind me that all of the work, the occasional loneliness, and the planning are worth it.