September 12, 2012

Back to HOME School

I suffer from a serious disease when I am pregnant called 'brain loss', so my kids took a year long field trip to public school last year. (Really, it was for the best...) But now we are back to homeschool, and boy, is it good to be back!

But a couple of weeks ago I was NOT so glad...

This was a message I emailed to my mom that first week back:
"Homeschool is kicking my butt. My house is falling apart. Dinner is cereal or leftover pizza again. Fridge is empty. Laundry is piling up. Toddlers are neglected and into mischief. My patience is loooooong gone and  I am dead tired. Whose idea was this anyway!? "

Her reply was:
"order out  -   keep smiling  - no one will notice the mess."

My mom always knows just what to say- in as few words as possible. She's gifted.

Then she wrote:

"There is a lot to be said for waving adios to the kids as they ride the school bus. Your sisters are having a blast!"

Nothing like a little reminder of how the "other half" are living come September to make you reevaluate your resolve. Thanks, mom!

It didn't help that my friends were driving around town with empty mini vans looking like they were on the beach with an umbrella drink, while I was at the county library herding more children than I have limbs who were wearing fewer shoes than they had feet. I was dodging dirty looks from the library lady as I shushed the baby, broke up a game of tag, and reshelved the entire biography section my toddler had loaded into the bottom of the stroller. As we made it out the door with our laundry basket full of books I thought, "It's people like me that give homeschoolers a bad name!"

But then as my son held the door open so i could push the stroller through and the girls could haul our laundry basket out I heard a lady say, "Well, that's a good idea... I should be teaching my son to open the doors." I walked to the parking lot thinking, maybe I'm not the worst mom after all. (And then the toddler ran into the street and the stroller rolled away with the newborn when I lunged after her and the 4 and 6 year old gave up carrying the heavy book basket halfway to the car and when we got to the car I almost shut my son in the door. Yep. Mom of the Year. That's me.)  

So, we have eaten a lot of cold cereal so far this school year. I haven't yet gotten on top of the chores and there's a lot of room for improvement in pretty much every aspect of my life, BUT, I got to see my sons eyes light up as I taught him long division this week. I have learned with my children about invertebrates, Texas history, and other things that I didn't know before. I have watched my big kids try to teach the little ones just for fun. I have seen my usually feuding kids become friends. I have snuggled with my kids on the couch while we do school work. And... while my friends were hurrying sleep-deprived kids into the carpool for another day at school we were enjoying the first cool day of the year playing outside.

These moments make all the extra 'togetherness' so worth it. I am so glad to be back doing what I love best- learning with my little ones. And my mom was right- no one has noticed the mess.


------------------------------------ Jana is the mother of a newborn, a toddler, a preschooler, a beginning reader and a know-it all. She enjoys (almost) every minute she gets to spend learning with her short people. .-----------------------------------------------

16 comments - Add a comment below -:

Heather said...

Jana - your trip to library sounded exactly like mine this week. (I have 5 kids ages 6 and under...and my toddler is just like yours!) My current homemaking abilities seem to mirror your current situation too. Thanks for sharing, it helped me to feel like I am not a total failure. This is my first year doing homeschool and I love the school part and being with the kids. But the house-wifey stuff is seriously suffering. Please tell me that after a few weeks I'll figure this all out, and things will improve!

Heather said...

I love what you wrote. I have lived those days, even on days we weren't homeschooling. For the past two weeks at least one of my kids made it to church without shoes as I tried to justify it with "well they just take them off when they get there anyways" because we were already late and I didn't want to miss any more of the meeting. I love my kids so much, and I am so grateful that no matter what happens tomorrow, I had today with them.

Miles said...

I think I'm living YOUR life. Wow, this all rang true for me. That's my scene at the library twice/week with my 5 kids (about the same ages as yours). Thanks for the reminder that it is worth it and for sharing your mother's support!

Carrine said...

As a homeschooling mom of 6 under12 I needed this one today. Thanks!

Ratliffs said...

Loved this post! Spoke straight to my crazy frazzled life. :) Thanks for sharing your thoughts! On the second day of illness for my very newly potty trained toddler, while trying to homeschool 2 and keep the preschooler occupied, I appreciated your words.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing!

Our burden will be light when our children help a little more at home! Then we will all have a BLAST as well!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing.

We can have a BLAST as our children help a little more at home!

Aflyonmyhomeschoolwall said...

It doesn't stay this hard. Yes, you probably need to get your meals organized in advance and put some sort of chore rotation into your day so that you stay nourished and clean enough to think clearly, but it is going to get better. I promise.

I used to have lots of little ones. Now I have lots of little ones and some big ones, too. Life is so much smoother now than it was then. Do your best, but don't worry too much. You're doing a good job.

Daphne said...

I was chuckling through the whole post. It sounds like my life! We have 8 kids soon to be 12(foster parents) and this is a day in our life. It's always nice to hear someone else's tales of woe. One day at a time! You can do it!

Suzuki Mom said...

Thanks, we have some good days - but we have some bad ones like this too.... and it sure helps to know that we aren't alone!

Elissa said...

Sometimes it's nice to hear about the less glamorous parts of homeschooling. And it's nice to hear that others struggle to find balance and organization in their lives. We each homeschool (or not) for our own reasons. We all love our kids. We all have challenges, but try to do the best we can. Thanks for sharing!

Elizabeth said...

Oh I read this and just started laughing. Love it!!

Me :) said...

I have to tell you, I prayed pretty intensely these last few days wondering if I made the right decision to homeschool again this year. My older kids seem to be constantly arguing and fighting with my younger kids, school seems more intense this year (we are with K-12 Virtual Academy with IDVA and the state testing is almost too much). I have been doing some research on other curriculum and wonder if that might help a bit, but it's so tough because I cannot afford to buy curriculum and IDVA is technically a state funded public homeschool (free). Any way, I started googling things about homeschool and LDS families that homeschool and I found your blog. It really may have been an answer to my prayers, especially this post! Thank you SO SO much! It was very encouraging to read this post. My life seems SO crazy some days and I wonder if they would all be better off without grouchy mom and fighting with each other all the time, but you point out some great things that being at home together provides and teaches my children. Thank you so much! I will continue to follow your fun homeschooling blog :) I think it will inspire me to keep going on days that seem tougher than others.

Sarah said...

This is my first year/attempt at homeschooling. I'm hoping I'm in it for the long haul, but I can relate. My youngest is 6 months old and every now and then I think: in 5 years I could have an empty house all day five days a week...One thing that saves my library sanity? I request! I know it's fun for the kids to go to the library, but there's a time and a season. I request everything I need and then when my husband's home I run to the library (alone) - in and out in less than 10 minutes!

hollyctr said...

Thank you thank you for sharing this! It is sometimes a little too nuts to handle but you are right...over-all the benefits way overcompensate for a few hours of sanity!

Liz said...

You totally wrote this post just for me! Seems to be the sentiment here. I totally have preggo brain and this is only my 4th...but we are virtually the same from your second to your 5th.

Thank you for the glimpse into your life. So many portray homeschooling life as perfect and organized and wonderful. I love the benefits you listed, but the whole picture is chaotic now...here is to hoping it gets better...sooner as opposed to later!

I would LOVE to hear more from you.