December 23, 2010

You'll Never Get a Break From Your Kids!

The following is a post that I wrote the first year that I decided to homeschool:

"Yesterday, while visiting with another homeschooling mom, we discussed how many moms complained about their children being out of school and how they couldn't wait for the kids to go back to school after the holidays were over.

Several of my friends have made comments like this on their blogs, and I don't want them or anyone else to believe I think they are bad mothers...I was the exact same way! It was one of my biggest fears as a homeschooling mom - we would all be stuck in the same house and be at each other's throats in no time.

Then I made the mental shift of changing roles - from mom to teacher/mother. I took back the God-given responsibility of being my children's teacher 24/7. This made all the difference. Knowing that I was now responsible for all the minute details that I always overlooked, "Oh, they'll learn that in school..." was no longer applicable.

When [my] child approaches [me] and asks a difficult question such as, "Mom, what is the fastest jet?" Instead of giving some quick answer, we go together and find the answer. I LOVE the internet! One day my daughter asked about glass blowing, we were able to find a documentary (enlightening and entertaining for her and me) on Youtube. Another day we learned the history of the Star Spangled Banner and its significance. The entire experience resulted from a spelling word. They would never be able to stop class in Public school, go to the internet, print out the lyrics, find Francis Scott Key's experience, and hear old phonograph recordings of the National Anthem. With Homeschooling, this is always a possibility.

If there is one thing I want my children to learn, it is that they can always learn more, to never stop asking questions, and then go find the answers to those questions.

One other HUGE difference for me is making the conscience choice to be patient. It's not easy having 3 kids age 4 and under that need my attention. It seems the oldest two suck up a lot of my time, it's a balancing act. However, how I react to it is much different. If one child interrupts I simply state, "I'm working with X right now and I'll be with you when I'm done." They have learned to accept and respect this, just as they would have in public school.

Now that we've been homeschooling for a while, I have found the exact opposite to be true of my earlier fear. I
nstead of being at each other's throats, having my children home has filled our home with more love and kindness. Before homeschooling, they seldom would ALL play together and, if so, it was for a very short time. Now it is a daily occurrence and often I have to ask them to get to work or they would play their imaginative games all day together!"

Now that we are in our third year of homeschooling, I have four children ages 5-12 "in school", one 3 year old, and a baby on the way. I still find that our home is generally happy and loving with only occasional bouts of bickering and teasing. The children are frequently playing together and thinking up all kinds of imaginative games and crafts. We have received such extraordinary blessings because of our decision to homeschool. Although I initially was a terrified and reluctant teacher/mother, I am so thankful now for the opportunity to have my children with me all the time. "This is the way God meant it to be," often passes through my mind as I sit among my children as they do various activities.

Were any of you as frightened as me to have your kids with you all the time? How did you ease into the transition?

Jenny is the nutty mother of 5 kids, with one more one the way, and is married to a child psychologist (it's great to have psych help on site). Her varied ramblings are found at We don't call people poopyheads. Her interests are basically anything that makes her abnormal, such as homebirthing, homeschooling, herbalism and natural healing, holistic iridology, and a survivalist wanna-be, to name a few.

6 comments - Add a comment below -:

JRoberts said...

I am now in my second year homeschooling and I still get that from people.

I agree though, the boys love eachother more, play better together, we have MUCH more free time, we LOVE spending time as a family together (not that we didn't before, it is just a priority now), and so many more benifits.

We are still the "strange" ones who homeschool, and now spend WAY lots of time together, but we are loving all the side benifits of family time and love for eachother.

We wouldn't have it any other way. (and I have asked!)

Dana ♥ said...

I hear this often from parents. I think it is sad that they are missing their greatest joy.

I personally have never felt that way. I was always saddened by the thought of school resuming again. We started homeschooling when my oldest was finished with 5th grade. I was happy and thrilled to finally stop sending him away each day.

Jessica said...

I am like Dana. I never liked sending my children to school. For me it didn't feel right or natural. Now that I have them all home with me all day it feels so good and right! I love being surrounded by my four girls. They are my best friends and each others best friends too. I didn't have children to spend much of the time away from them. Homeschooling has brought such a wonderful feeling into our home.

FairyLover said...

There are times when it really becomes a challenge to stay at home with my son. I think a lot of that is because I only have one at home. My others are all grown with families of their own. But I wouldn't give it up for the world. I agree with a previous poster, I didn't have kids (or in this case adopt a child) to have someone else raise him for several hours a day.

Kathi Sewing, Knitting, Candle Making, Homeschooling Mama

Amanda said...

Before my kids were old enough for school, I had a friend that would tell me, "Just wait until your kids are all in school, you'll love all the free time and you get a break from them." I spent about a year looking forward to that day, then my son was acting out in preschool and I was going every day to pick him up from preschool because they couldn't get him to respond. I then got a taste of 'just wait until your kids are in school' and it didn't taste so good!

I laugh when people talk about getting a break from their kids and I (most of the time) embrace this precious time in our lives and can see, just as you, that this is how God intended us to be. I have my moments that I would like a day off, but I'm in charge of that. I don't wait for a school teacher to give me permission to skip homework or take a mental health day...I make those choices for our family!

Angie said...

I have many friends who also say the same thing...or a little let's schedule all kinds of activities and summer camps and swimming lessons so the kids don't get bored at home. I used to think that sending my kids would be a break. And maybe in a way, it is. But then I thought that I have to organize my family's schedule around the school schedule, and drive my kids 3 times a day (because I would also have a kid in K and 1st grade at the same time) to school because the school I would choose doesn't bus, I would likely be involved with PTA and volunteer to help with reading in their classes, and make sure my kids do their homework and still do their chores and eat dinner and get ready for bed and allow them some "down time" and be involved with lessons/sports all in the few hours between school and bedtime, I realized that those couple of hours of "break time" weren't worth it to me to create a hectic pace later in the day.
I love the freedom of having my own schedule. I'm glad that my kids can be at home most of the time and not get too terribly "bored." I love that they participate in the family work...and that they have the freedom to do it in their time. I appreciate the opportunity I have to teach them about appropriate behavior...and that they have consistency. I love that they play together and play well. I love that they take on their own education. I love all of the family time we get together.
The biggest adjustment I had to make was a change of mind. I needed to realize I didn't need a "break" from my kids, but that being with/teaching my kids can provide me a "break" from the duties of life.