I wanted to let all of you wonderful readers know that I have discovered the best. invention. ever.
It’s this magical place where you take your kids every morning, five days a week. They actually have trained professionals who will teach your children at age-appropriate grade levels all of the subject matter they need to learn that year.
While they are gone, YOU can clean up your house. You can play games, go for walk and sing songs with your toddler. You can go to the grocery store. You can plan dinner. You can meet a friend for coffee. And you can even focus on your part-time job!
OK… I know you all want to smack me right now for my sarcasm, but I do have to say that I am loving our new non-home schooling life style. Is that a horrible thing to say? I almost feel guilty even admitting it! (Almost.)
I would love to stop right there and tell you that everything is absolutely perfect and running smoothly since we started school one week ago. But the reaction to school has definitely received mixed reviews.
We have one child who asks each day if it can be his last. What is wrong with home schooling? You don’t have to sit and listen to teachers all day. You can get your work done on your own schedule. You don’t have to deal with lockers and tons of rules and homework.
We have another child who loves his class, his teacher and doing his work at school. School would be great if it weren’t for the 30 minutes right in the middle when he is still trying to find someone to play with at recess. He has made progress, but recess can be a long and agonizing half hour of awkwardness.
Then, we have one child who couldn’t be happier. She loves her teacher, loves her friends, loves hot lunch, loves recess, loves the library and comes home bursting with stories about Christopher Columbus and facts she learned in science.
We have definitely been working to just figure things out and learn the systems this week. I don’t regret one minute that we home schooled. We have so many fabulous memories, family moments and awesome friends from that experience. But I have to admit that when I dropped them off on Monday I was wondering WHY I had not discovered this magical place earlier!
For the first time in YEARS, I feel like I’m getting a handle on things around here. The house is relatively clean. I know what we’re having for dinner. We have food in the fridge. I’m even caught up on the laundry! Most of all, so much stress has been lifted off of me that I feel like I could float sometimes.
I worried that the toddler would be bored out of her mind. Instead, we have been having a wonderful time together. We are able to run errands during the day, play outside or read books together without feeling like I’m in a hurry. I’m even thinking ahead to the weekend and realizing I don’t have to scramble to catch up on all of the housework and shopping!
I was enjoying my paradise all day Monday until I picked up the kids at 3:15 and reality hit. We got home, they dropped their backpacks and started unloading books, folders and papers to sign. The great thing about home school is that when you are done with your work for the day, you are DONE! The evening is yours. Suddenly, the realization hit me that those days were gone. We would have to spend our evenings doing homework. I almost cried. (Almost.)
The second day wasn’t as bad as the first. We kind of knew what to expect. On Wednesday, the school doesn’t assign homework because it’s youth group night. So, we will see how tonight goes. I’m hoping that once we get in a routine, we will know how MUCH homework to expect and WHEN is the best time to get it done.
I went a little crazy making cute homework charts and calendars to put on the fridge and I bought some organizational items to help me manage the incoming papers. Just doing a few things like that made ME feel better anyway!
I’m trying to start setting up fun outings and play dates with the toddler. This morning, we created a fun adventure around my 3-mile walk. I pushed her in the stroller along the riverwalk and then stopped at a park to play. We had such a nice time, and I’m looking forward to planning more of these outings together!
Week One is almost a wrap in our world. How about you? Is your school year off to a good start? Are you facing any new challenges this year?