Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Our First Homeschool-iversary.

It has almost been a full year since we started this journey.  This year went insanely fast... while also crazy slow.  How do I feel about homeschool as we enter year two?  Well, basically they same as I did when we entered year one.  Excitement, apprehension, joy, fear, less stressed, more stressed, but I will add a new one this year - EXHAUSTED.  This 24/7/365 parenting/teaching/chauffeuring/guiding/disciplining/cleaning-up-after thing is really hard! I mean, with a 3 year old in the house I suppose I'd be doing all that 24/7 anyway, but with an 8 year old around too, yikes.
Some days I think I should've just kept on fighting the school.  Maybe it would've been less exhausting. Perhaps I'd be slightly less stressed.  Possibly I'd even have a bit more peace & quiet in my house on the daily.  Except... no I wouldn't.  I'd be exhausted from fighting administration & teachers who didn't really want to "deal with" my child.  I'd be more stressed knowing my child would be walking into an environment that wouldn't alter things to reach him where he needed to be reached.  I'd have more peace & quiet for several hours a day - but that after school kid that I got every day was SO. MUCH. MORE. than the kid I get all day every day.  (Parents with kids in school, I think you understand that! These poor kids save all that energy & angst up all day & let it out on you the second they get home - am I right?) I guess what I'm saying is, that when I sit here some days, having a pity party for how difficult I've made things for myself, I need to remember how wonderful I've made them for my child, and ultimately our family.
We still follow more of an unschooling theory.  We do some math (Life of Fred is awesome!!), and we've been working on grammar (First Language Lessons, while a bit boring, are fairly easy & seem to sink in well. I do suppose "forcing" this subject is against unschooling principles, but I want KMan to sound as intelligent as he truly is.), with lots of reading & the occasional other misc "work" (Mad Libs are KMan's personal favorite).  We did a session of GameEd Minecraft School (he chose a science class), but KMan didn't get into it quite as much as I thought he would. I'm thinking of adding some art over the next few months because both boys enjoy it so.  Other than those things (which take up about 45 min of a day). We go to Bible study weekly, MOPs every other week (both of those have a class for homeschoolers!!), we do recess almost every day (this is FANTASTIC for the kiddos!), and a weekly American Ninja Warrior class.  The rest of our time we spend discovering outside, building Legos, playing board games, and fighting learning how to work out differences. We also do chores, which is of course the kiddo's favorite thing.  ha.
The days, they slip by so quickly! On the harder days, I try to remember how fast this journey has already gone & that it's not that long until my children will live in their own houses & do their own things.  I will long for these days again, because I feel quite certain that the hardest moments will be erased from my memory over time.  I will most certainly cherish the fact that I was able to spend every. single. day with my children & know them on a deeper level than most parents get the chance to do.  --That doesn't mean that some days [right now] I wish I didn't know them quite so well...
We are not promised tomorrow, so I do try not to stress over how things will go next year or the year after. Being a planner though, I do wonder what our life will look like as the years go by & if there will come a day that KMan wants to try public school again (though doubtful) and how I will feel about that idea.  The kid is just so very smart (I don't mean that as a mom brag, just a fact), and has so much potential for the future...  I do hope that I am doing right by him & that I am nurturing his intelligence in an appropriate way, not dwindling it by leaving it up to him to choose his studies.  I think all parents - working/stay at home, homeschool/private school/public school, single/married, old/young, etc, etc wonder if we are doing best by our kids.  I think we all also believe we "could never" do something another parent is doing.  I once said I "could never" homeschool my kids.  Well, here we are.  I think I'm doing an okay job most days.  I still have plenty of hair left to pull out, the kids are still alive, and the hubby hasn't run away.  I wish I could find a way to feel more joy in the ups & downs of the day, but I am working on that. Meanwhile, we're going to venture on to HOMESCHOOL YEAR 2 - grade 3. (That's right, just 9 more years to go... with the oldest anyway.)

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