The Life of Homeschooling

Well there’s a post I never thought I’d be writing. I tell everyone that homeschooling was never part of my life plan, so I thought. I loved the idea of it in theory but it was one of those “oh good for them, I could never do that” type of things. Until I really had no choice. Thus ensued one of the craziest, challenging, and rewarding experiences of my life that my family will always remember…

Aug 5 2020

Well here you have it folks, my homeschool or more formally known as the dining room. It’s a work in progress as this impromptu idea finally takes hold. Rearranging the entire house to accommodate the desk workspace in the back room was a fun time. As well as digging up anything I could repurpose for this absolutely insane adventure. I have many reasons for making the agonizing decision to do this, it is NOT the path I ever wanted and I’d be lying to say I wasn’t angry at what I feel forced to do here. However, I’m hoping this “mustard seed” blooms larger than life and I’m crossing my fingers to keep a shred of my sanity in tact over the next 10 months. I feel an immense amount of pressure to do this right for the sake of my children’s futures and my perfectionism allows no room for grace for myself. 4 kids. 4 grades. I think I can. I know I can. #operationhomeschoolisback#hangingonfordearlife#dinnerpartieswillhavetowait

The best way to tell the story is to start at the end because it sums up the entirety of this experience and most notably that we survived. The long and short of it is that we decided to pull our kids out of the public school system after the epic disaster that is “remote learning” and homeschool them for the school year of 2020-2021. Our intention was to take it one day at a time with the goal of them returning to the public school system after the chaos of Covid19 had died down. I will detail our year in various posts but the takeaway is the finish line. For anyone considering this, here’s a peek into the last day of our year.

May 27, 2021

It is nearly impossible to put the last year into words. We logged 185 days of school diving into 11 units in a mere 10 months among a myriad of chaos, travel, medical pursuits, job juggling, you name it. And we made it to the finish line. 

I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to say that. I wanted to throw in the towel at LEAST one million times, ask my kids and “the Principal” (also known as my husband), it was so HARD. It was one of the most challenging endeavors of my lifetime because I put a lot of pressure on myself to make sure they got everything out of this time that they possibly could’ve. I would never forgive myself for letting them down if we didn’t succeed and this weighed on my heart 

Was I doing a good job?

Were they actually learning?

Was I screaming too much? (there was so much screaming not gonna lie)

Was I making it fun enough?

Were they going to hate this year?

Or me when we were done?

Or each other because we were on top of one another for an entire year with no break?

Day in and day out was a rollercoaster of feeling on top of the world and feeling like I was failing everyone all at the same time. 

Days would go from excited and optimistic, loving the idea that we were doing super fun stuff and they would light up and actually rattle off facts they learned (they DID listen!) to a complete cluster where I would throw down my book and walk out of the room and tell them to teach themselves. 

The struggle was real. Visceral. 

But every time we all reached the end of our respective ropes we regrouped and came back together and moved to the next activity and topic and found the fun again. It was the longest experiment in perseverance I’ve ever seen. We all had to dig deep to get to the finish line and I am SO proud. Proud of my kids for swallowing this journey with me when none of us knew what we were doing. We fumbled along, sacrificed together, hugged out many tears, and laughed amongst the chaos. 

We learned so much! All of us! I can’t believe the things I learned and I know they did too. HL told me he learned more this year than he has in all of school and D proudly held up all 11 of his workbooks admiring the crazy amount of hard work it represented. 

Boy did we put in WORK! 

I will have a hard time letting this year go. On one hand I actually consider the idea of continuing on because I know it was one of the most incredible experiences of my life and something I will remember forever 🙏❤️ On the other hand I know it might kill us all if we try 😄

These 10 months of precious time with my kids that I would never have had are everything to me. It’s time that is irreplaceable and for that I am eternally grateful. The universe has a crazy way of teaching us. I wouldn’t trade this year for anything. I hope my kids feel the same and look back on our time fondly. 

It was one helluva ride. 

To my Principal thank you for talking me off the ledge eleventy billion times. For bringing me flowers and constantly encouraging me and all of us. We never wrote this one into the life plan. Your support was everything even if I never told you that. Thanks for not letting me quit. 

To my kids, may this be a year you never forget. For the right reasons. You are all incredible, resilient, and the world is lucky to have you! Thank you for your unending patience with me. 

To myself, I am proud of YOU! Girl you did it. You’ve always been able to do hard things. Check this one off the list of accomplishments that change your life. You are a good mom. To the one and only ringleader of the Homeschool Circus, job well done ❤️