Little Who is going back into the public school system.
Before we ever homeschooled, she went to public school Kindergarten. She was in a fantastic school in Kansas City and I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. Well, except for having to get up so early and pack lunches – that is seriously the worst part of all of this. 😂 Other than that, it was a really great year.
But we were always curious about homeschooling and after we moved to Washington, I had some concerns about sending her to school.
You know, the normal worries like “What if she gets teased?” and “What if we want to travel outside of break times?” But there were (and still are) bigger concerns like “What if there’s a school shooting?” At the time, I felt like homeschooling was a good way to avoid all of that until I was ready. Also, I really didn’t want to go out in the rain to wait at the bus stop. 😂
So, we ventured down the homeschooling path and honestly, I loved it at first. It was really fun to go through school alongside her. We slept in, took our time, figured out how she learned best, and we genuinely just loved being together. And we were pretty successful! She is right on track with school standards, so we’re good right?
Y’all, the second year was rough.
Part of it was adding on the extra responsibility of tutoring her Classical Conversations class every week. As much as I can be extroverted, it was really hard for me to be “on” for other people once a week. I’m glad I committed and saw it through but it was a struggle. I quickly learned how much teachers pour into other kids so I will never take them for granted. I only had 8 students and there was always another parent or two in there with me! 😂 It was rewarding and I loved those little people but man, it was utterly exhausting!
The biggest challenge at home was having a 2 year old running around, being… well, a 2 year old. I would get frustrated at every turn – at Lea for not wanting to do schoolwork, at Amy for being so wild, but mostly at myself for feeling like a failure.
Maybe the novelty of homeschooling wore off. I’m sure all homeschoolers go through this at some point. Wondering if they made the wrong choice. Asking themselves if they are only doing this because they are just scared of the alternative.
Or maybe, while I really enjoyed being with my child all day, I didn’t enjoy teaching. I had to ask myself if I truly felt called to homeschool or was I doing it just because I didn’t want to be a slave to the school system.
I’m sure it’s a combination of all of it but by the end of the year, I was convinced that we needed a change. Most days ended in tears and I felt like I was throwing my hands up and walking away more than I was actually teaching. And Lea is a very compliant kid so I couldn’t imagine continuing homeschooling a child like Wild Amy. 😂
The biggest frustration was hearing the (completely normal) moaning and groaning about having to do school everyday. Listen, I know every homeschool parent deals with this. But it was incredibly annoying to have to push past it when I was thinking, “Dude, I would much rather be doing anything else than this.” Call me selfish but I didn’t wake up everyday excited to teach and then to have to deal with the whining? No, thank you.
Every day, I told myself, “You just have to get through this year.” That was my light post. “Just get to the end of the year.” And when we cut our year short in March, to move across the country… All I felt was relief. We could just “be” again, without the pressures of being student and teacher. I instantly felt lighter, knowing that I was done.
Fast forward a few months and today, we are going to the local public school to meet her new teacher. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel like I failed at homeschooling. I love that she just wants to be next to me every day. I love having her with me where I can protect her and build memories. But playing the teacher role was really hard. I felt she could sense my frustration and I don’t want her to ever feel like it’s her fault.
There are so many things that I loved about homeschooling. The flexibility of our schedule, being able to tailor her education to her interests, having the freedom to explore things outside of a standard curriculum, and most of all, letting her just be a kid without any peer pressure. But none of that really matters if my relationship with her suffers.
I hope that we’ll come back to homeschooling one day. I still want that for us when the time is right.
But at this moment, I need to just be Mommy again. She needs to just be my daughter again.
And we’re excited about that. ❤️