As young urban professionals with blossoming careers, Ellis and I both worked full time (and then some). I cut back to part-time after our first was born (and second, and third, and fourth), but Ellis was still expected to be in the office during “regular” business hours. It wasn’t so difficult with in-home childcare a few days a week, but once our oldest started school, the shuttling and juggling act began. Not that a few hours twice a week was that big of a deal, but child #2’s naps got rearranged, and the same on down the line as the kids got older.
We thought things would slow down or get easier when we made the move to a rural area. No more traffic, no more commuting. School is 2 miles away, my work was 5 miles away. Our town just got its 3rd stoplight, for pete’s sake!
If we’ve learned anything from having a baby at home, a preschooler, and 2 elementary aged kids, it’s that there’s still a lot of hauling kids to and from school, the park, errands, extracurriculars, etc. (And the sad fact is, we don’t even participate in that many extracurriculars!!) It helps having Ellis now working from home – I don’t have to wake the baby from a nap to make the 3 mile round trip to pick up the preschooler, for example. But nonetheless, this last year felt “busy”.
After contemplating the leap to homeschooling for nearly a year, I think we’re ready. I am very nervous about not having my few hours of “me time” a couple days a week (read: “me” and just one kid!!) but I know that I can teach my kids at least as well as they are getting in public school. But, I’m nervous about making sure that they know everything that they are “supposed” to know. So far, our local public school has been good for them (and they do love to go to school), so I have been on the fence with this decision for quite some time. However, I see the bad habits they are starting to pick up from other kids at school, and my oldest already came home on President’s Day to tell us how Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves. (Yes, we set her straight, and she proceeded to go back to school and set her teacher straight! LOL) My biggest dilemma is trying to figure out how to make it all fun. I am a math and science girl by nature – I like things that are straightforward, and I struggle with creativity. However, “straightforward” is not exactly inspiring to the elementary crowd. So, our family will be a work in progress…
We’re hoping that all this homeschooling business will give us a chance to travel and take a few trips that we might not otherwise do if we had to keep pulling the kids out of school. We also have intentions of them learning practical skills that are not taught in school. And maybe that will be enough “fun” to keep my kids happy and wanting to stay at home with us. Either way, it will be interesting!