On vacation I see many posts on Facebook from mothers who send their children to school. They get so excited about the end of vacation for they are at their wits end and need the break. I smile every time I read/see or hear such remarks, not because I think I’m better of than they are, but I smile out of experience and wisdom. Since my oldest did go to school for one year, I know what it is like to not have him home most of the day and then to have him home all day. I did get used to not having him home, I got into a routine. It definitely was a change when he came home. However, I worked on myself when we decided to homeschool, and now I deal with all my children all day, every day and night.
I usually have to restrain myself from making the homeschool parent comment, but I do admit that sometimes my friends do set themselves up and I occasionally do let myself to (very respectfully) make that comment. 🙂
When mothers comment on snow days and how it is very difficult for them to deal with it, I will comment and tell them that Harper Academy is open! We don’t close down for snow days. We close down for nice, warm, delicious, gorgeous spring and summer days. Ah, those are wonderful days. They are never planned. We wake up, usually start the day, and as I look out longingly at the wonderful calling sunshine, I will look at the boys and I say, “Ok, outside!” Sometimes we will go next door to the park, other times we just go out in the back and enjoy ourselves there. Even when we don’t take the “day off”, we sometimes go outside to have picnics. It is nice to be able to enjoy the outside with others.
It is not always fun and games, as any homeschool parent knows. There are many pros and cons, just as with anything in life. With 4 busy boys, it is basically impossible to keep the house clean like I want it. Yes, my house gets messy during the day. Some days are really bad. However, usually within a day or so, I am able to get it back to “normal.” It is a constant battle. And the worst thing is that it seems that people want to actually come to my house when it is the messiest! As the boys get older, it gets a little bit easier to have them help around the house. I like to think it is slowly getting better.
I do not get very much time off. I am mother, teacher, babysitter, etc. to my children all day, every day and every night. My husband goes and works and I am home all day. Sometimes I just need to get out. When they were younger it was hard. I always had a hard time getting a babysitter for I never knew any. We have all boys, and I felt it just was not proper as they got older than toddlers to have girls all the time. To find a boy babysitter is always difficult. My oldest is now old enough and mature enough that we do take advantage of that, and in the afternoons or evenings when I need to go out to the store, I can now go by myself. But I try not to take advantage of that too often.
There are a few others things I could list, but instead, I like to focus on all the wonderful positives. There is the obvious – it is nice to see my children grow and learn. They have, and continue to test me and try me, and I have found I can do a whole lot more than I thought. You need to learn how to be creative – and I am not talking about art projects, I am talking about learning how each child learns and grows. I sometimes have to be very spontaneous and come up with new ideas to try on the spot. Yes, you have to do it as a parent in raising children in general, but teaching stretches my limits even more.
I never was one to be organized. However, that is one of the great perks that have come out of homeschooling. I will not say I am now perfect, but, slowly things are coming together, organizing, thinking ahead, it’s getting there! All in all, I feel that not only have my children grown, but I have too. And, I do learn with them as well!
We do have our days, we do have times when I am pulling out my hair. But, that happens for everyone. However, I am very happy with my decision, and would not change it for the world. If everyone were to put all their great perks in life and all the tests in life in a bag, I would come back to my bag, no questions asked.
When I need help, there are many resources available – family, friends, and homeschool groups – both local and online. We are all in the same position and sometimes it is good to hear that others have the same issues – it makes all of us know that we are “normal” in the sense that it is okay that we do things the way we do, or that things go wrong. That is part of life.
Whatever is your part in life, hope you have help and support when needed and hope you enjoy it! Life really is wonderful most of the time!