This semester, we are homeschooling Amos, a decision that was tough to make but was the best for Amos right now in his life. So far, the changes we’ve seen in heart, attitude, spirit and smile have been evident and encouraging and even though at times it feels daunting and overwhelming, overall, I’m glad we are going to try it!
So far, homeschooling is…
demanding: each day needs to be planned; you have to be on and talkative even when you are too tired or have other things on the to-do list; you have to juggle the needs of all of your kids, and try not to turn on the tv too much!
time consuming: again, the planning; the hours that you would be running errands, cleaning/organizing or doing something else are spent sitting still to teach your child.
tiring: in moments that would normally be quiet or occupied by just one or two children, there now is another child that needs you.
Homeschooling is also (and more importantly):
Fun and rewarding: I am having a blast with Amos, helping him to write his letters and numbers, teaching him about all kinds of things, and watching him succeed. There are times, as a mom, that there feels like there’s nothing to show for the day, no tangible reports to hand in or list to check. But with homeschooling, I’ve been keeping a journal and as we do each activity, I write it down and by the end of our time, can see what we’ve done.
***It’s also really really awesome to be Amos’ teacher again. I think I began to feel like someone was taking my place as his teacher and parent (as silly as that may sound) and I think I really missed having him around and experiencing life with him, watching him learn and grow. It’s not easy to sit and teach and sometimes he gets frustrated or distracted, but when he does get something, it’s really satisfying.***
Flexible: This morning, we all slept in because we went to bed so late and both last night and this morning, we felt free from the stress and time constraints of bed times and wake up tims. This morning, we were able to enjoy being together before starting the day. Since Nathan’s job is flexible, it’s nice that we are all back on flexible schedules. Amos has also had more time to do art and play and it seems that he is really enjoying himself. Again, it’s great to watch him just be a kid and I really believe that there’s learning and valuable brain growth happening.
For us, right now: Again, we have felt free enough to try it out for now, knowing that we might return to school again at some point. We’ve also realized that Amos and Flannery are really different and that she might need to not be homeschooled. We don’t feel that everyone should do it, or that it’s the best for every child.
(I began to think about this post as I was loading the dishwasher, wondering to myself, “what have we done?” Flannery has been sick a lot lately and this morning I was pretty stressed as I tried to make breakfast, put dinner in the crockpot, clean the kitchen and get ready for homeschool. Nathan helped everyone get settled at the table before leaving, but afterward, Flannery was fussing again, needing a diaper change and a bath and then downtime back in bed. Amos was running around saying, “Mommy! I’m ready to learn!!” and I was just trying to finish eating breakfast, making tea and dinner. Wow. At one point, I prayed and gave to God our day, Flannery’s health, my sanity, all of it. And since then, we’ve had a pretty great day, getting two hours of schooling in, an epic art project, lunch and now blog posts. Why am I writing all of this? Mostly, just to verbally process it and think about what just happened. To recognize the difficult and then the good. And also to be reminded that God will come–that I don’t have to do it all in my own strength and to somehow find peace there. I don’t know how I’m going to do it all, but I’m hoping that it eventually won’t matter, and that what will be most important will be our hearts and attitudes.).
So there it is.