So, on Monday I wrote a post about what a hard time I was having with homeschooling (well, that was the background of the post anyway).
And I said, emphatically, that I HATE HOMESCHOOLING! Those were my exact feelings at the time.
Thankfully, for the sake of everyone’s mental health, including my own, feelings pass.
We have had several good days of school in a row (thank you for everyone’s prayers, messages, encouragement, and well-wishes. They are so appreciated!) and, as it is Thursday (my writing day) I’m doing a little reflection on homeschooling so far.
1. It feels very familiar to me. I know. You’re rolling your eyes like, What the heck, Brittany! You’ve been homeschooling for, like, 5 minutes! (Actually, a week and a half which is a loooooong time when you have hated homeschooling for most of that week and a half). However, since I was homeschooled myself from 1st-12th grade, homeschooling itself has a very “normal” feel to it.
Homeschooling feels comfortable to me; the rhythms of the homeschool day is a very familiar path to me.
Micah asked one morning, “Are we going to get desks?”
And I answered, “No, we get to do school on the couch.”
Ahh, yes. That feels RIGHT!
2. It is exhausting. You know those memes that say, “When people without kids tell me how tired they are….” (wink!). Now I’m like, “Why did I complain about being tired before I started homeschooling?!”
Answer: because I have 4 kids
…but homeschooling feels like 10 levels up.
I am bone-weary. My brain feels like mush. I am so freakin’ tired, ya’ll.
3. It’s hard to get other things done. Homeschooling is like starting a job (hence the exhaustion). I’m not the best housekeeper to begin with and this last week has shown how homeschooling takes over your whole life. On Wednesday morning, we didn’t do school at all; I spent the morning (until my 10am Bible Study) changing sheets, vacuuming, giving the dog a bath, and doing laundry. So far, it has not been very productive for me to try and do housework and school work at the same time.
My email correspondence and editing have been shoved to the back burner as well. I have a lot of catch up to do (I’m planning on going out tonight to the library or a coffee shop to try and tackle my inbox).
4. Adjustment takes time. I’ve written a lot about transitions here on TheBamBlog because frankly, I suck at them. I hate adjusting and transitioning to something new, even if it is something I’ve willingly chosen.
Why is it so hard? Why can’t it just be good attitudes, willing hearts, and sunshine and roses? The only thing I can come up with is that trying new things, especially things that I don’t feel good at (like teaching my own children!) is a painful growing process.
But we are adjusting. The boys’ attitude are better (especially since I added an incentive system of Behavior Bucks where they can earn rewards for good attitudes), my attitude is better, and we are getting into a solid rhythm where school work only takes about 3 hours, which the boys LOVE (Wow, Mom! I can’t believe we can get done in 3 hours and then have the rest of the day to play!)
Some things never change. When I was a kid, I hated math. I wasn’t bad at it, but I hated it. Surprise, surprise—it’s math that turns me into a witch during our school day. Lord help me…
But do you know what is going well? Writing. I actually decided not to buy the Institute for Excellent in Writing curriculum because 1. It is expensive and 2. I was like, “Hey, I was a writing teacher in my former life. I got this.” (As I inwardly cringed and desperately hoped I was not being overconfident).
But, teaching the boys how to write has felt very natural. I am very calm and probably the most patient during those lessons. By breaking writing down into the steps that I am very familiar with (in my past teaching and that I practice in my own writing and editing) I have been very pleased and encouraged with the progress the boys have both made, even in this short time.
It feels really good to teach something well.
So there you go: Some reflection on homeschooling so far.
Do I love homeschooling? LOL.
But this is what we’re doing right now. We’re sticking with it. We’re pushing forward each day. We aren’t giving up.
And I don’t hate it anymore.