I’m always turning to Him. ❤
Being a homeschool mom sounded so wonderful when I was yet a public school momma. I’ve always loved having my children home, teaching them, and waiting for that “light bulb” moment when it just clicks. I love seeing them explore the world. There’s just something about a child’s curiosity and drive that pushes me to be a better teacher, mom, and person.
Educating my children at home is sweet, precious, and priceless. It’s also, pardon my french, at times, hard as crap!
For us, home education is a calling, and something we will continue to do for as long as we feel the Lord telling us to. But man, it’s hard some days. Seriously though, I know it’s all God because on the hard days a momma friend might show up at my door with a cup of coffee, or I’ll get a sweet text from a friend in my inbox. Only God could orchestrate that sort of compassion without me even verbalizing how tough things have been. I don’t believe those things are just coincidence.
The Lord, He’s so good to me.
-Let’s get real, real quick-
My biggest struggle this school year has been adding a nursing baby AND a preschooler into the mix. Finding TIME for it all. Our youngest daughter has been itching to learn more. She’s constantly asking questions, as most young kids do, and out of nowhere decided she wanted to learn to read! She also loves counting EVERYTHING.
I didn’t want to miss that perfect window of opportunity to teach her phonics, but I also had a tough time fitting in preschool lessons amongst 4th-grade spelling, high school math, and everything else on my plate.
First I got all worked up about it, and then I cut myself some slack. I can give you some of the reasons why:
- I’ve got a nursling who crawls and explores all day long. Que the dramatic, “Oh no! What’s in his mouth!?”
- That preschooler I told you about loves to cut up pieces of paper into micro-confetti, use glue out of turn, and tape all sorts of things on the walls (which hit the floor and end up in the baby’s mouth). They’re all masterpieces that we treasure for a short time.
- I’m tired. I’m postpartum. Yes, technically, I’m EIGHT months postpartum, I get it. Folks, making breastmilk makes me tired, okay?
- I’m teaching students at 3 different levels every single subject (well, now I’m co-teaching math for two of them, as that has been outsourced to Mr. Awesome).
- I’m teaching Chemistry & Physics to a high schooler for the first time ever. We’re both learning (& occasionally struggling), as I scored a humble C- in college chemistry 13 years ago.
- I have an elementary-aged boy who would for the most part rather swing a hammer and run a screw gun than be bothered with the academics. Which sounds cool, but won’t fly when it comes time for the SAT. He is very gifted with woodworking and home repair, so I can’t always tell him “no”, as I don’t want to squash his love.
- I can’t ignore the sink of dishes or pile of laundry during school hours, so I’m always “tidying” when I should be teaching.
- My phone is s huge distraction.
- There’s not a lunch lady, and being the lunch lady means I often skip lunch myself so we can get everyone fed, lunch cleaned up, and back to work.
That’s just life, folks. Might as well roll with it!
Once I recognized what wasn’t working, and what was, and where I was struggling it was much easier to throw some routines back in place.
The first thing we had to adjust to was getting up early again. Sleeping in over Christmas break was necessary, but formed a bad habit. Now, when they’re little I fully believe in letting their little bodies sleep until they’re ready. BUT when they’re older, I wake those kids up! I don’t want them to miss all the good daylight hours.
Breakfast needed to be balanced, not beautiful and fun. We’re back to our rule of eating oatmeal M-Th, and enjoying cereal only on Fun Fridays! Sugar crashing is a real thing, and we just can’t have that happening every day like it was (momma was guilty here sometimes too).
We set alarms for snack time. Nobody works well when they’re hangry.
As far as my phone: I limited which notifications go to my watch, and try to turn off wi-fi and my ringer during school hours. That saves me A LOT of time! No Pinterest or Facebook browsing on the job!
I stressed to myself, and everyone else, that the success of the next day really starts the night before. Laying out what we need, going over the lesson plans, the calendar, the meal plan, etc. Things are still a little chaotic on co-op days, but we’re getting there. 🙂
I’m probably Type A. I crave being organized, making lists, and following routines. BUT- I’m also the baby of the family, so I’m good at being spontaneous and going with the flow when things change. Balancing those two is tricky, I can struggle with just wanting to be fun, and then being no fun at all. Something I will continue to work on!
I’ve shared our weekly schedules before, I have revamped those a bit. We used to keep them posted in the kitchen, and then I decided they didn’t go with the decor and I moved them to the kids’ binders. OOPS! Big mistake! Out of sight out of mind. They’re back on these super functional and sleek horizontal clipboards. I love that I can pin them up with a push-pin, and they’re right next to our Berkey, so I can check on them anytime. This has been super motivating for the kids too! Woot Woot!
The thing is friends, no matter how many plans I put in place, how many lists I make, how many times I read lesson plans, count out math blocks, fill water bottles and pre-portion snacks the night before, none of this is possible without God. None of it. Our days just don’t flow the same when we forget to start them in prayer. When I’m doing all this homeschooling business for myself, or worse, for the sake of a pretty social media post, I burn out easily. And I can only stick to a routine for so long before I’m looking to make it better. A HUGE downfall of mine is that I fix things that aren’t broke. Do you have any idea how much time it takes to get back on track when you are always trying to reinvent the wheel? Too much! Sometimes I want to throw the towels in the dryer and take a nice long nap!
When I commit to the Lord though, I feel that extra boost! I place my plans in His hands, and I I feel energized. I have committed educating my children to the Lord, and I know He guides the path for us. Oh, what comfort is found in that. I don’t need to worry if I’m doing it all, or doing it right, because I’ve asked that He fills the gaps here, and I believe He will.♥
Where are you struggling? How can I pray for you, and what can you commit to the Lord today?