The time has come upon us where lots of moms are stuck betwixt a rock and a hard place. Some of us are happy to see our children go off to school. Whether it’s for the fact that our summer was a bit too busy, or too loud, or too something. Or maybe it’s because our children really do blossom during the school year. They may really thrive in the school setting. Yes, even in this day and age. Some children actually DO love being in a classroom setting, and some parents DO love having some time to breathe. There is nothing wrong with either scenario (unless you like your kids out of the house because you don’t like THEM) but that’s a post for another day.
Today, Nathaniel started classes as a sophomore, and the ladybug started Kindergarten, while the twins are in their last year of preschool. For me, typing that the ladybug is still in Kindergarten based classes is difficult. She’ll be seven in a few weeks, and well, I don’t think either of us is satisfied with her progress when it comes to tactical issues of homeschooling. If we were just having a conversation, my girl is AWESOME! It’s just the writing, and the reading that we’re having an issue with, and well… I think that we both may be in tears if we hadn’t have found a couple of ways to go about handling the situation.
As with anything I do, I tend to research too much, and too long, and then come back to something that I read about a long time ago. Reading Eggs happens to be one of those websites that I’ve come back to. All of the times that I’ve been offered to write about them for payment, and now, here I am, paying and writing about them. Go figure. What I love about it from first glance was the fact that the ladybug kept up with it for a bit of time. So much time that I had to tell her to stop. Talk about being able to command focus. Sir Twizzler, and Lil Miss are also signed up, and they enjoy it as well. As with everything, Lil Miss is taking her time, and Sir Twizzler is steamrolling through the lessons. What an amazing array of children that I have.
Which brings me to this point. All of my children are different. They have different learning styles, and they blossom in different environments. Sir Twizzler is perfectly fine being alone, or one on one with me. He can have an entire day without anyone next to him and be in heaven. Lil’ Miss needs interaction. Not every second of the day, but she doesn’t enjoy being alone all of the time, and she has no problem expressing that with me. The ladybug is a little bit of both. Getting to the age where she doesn’t always want to hang out with her little siblings, but realizes that they will probably hang with her more than her oldest, she figures it out as she goes along. Finally, Nate. He’s fifteen. He can go from ridiculously happy and chatty, to the brooding teen that everyone warns parents about the first time around.
Which is why sometimes sadness envelops me. They are growing too fast, but not fast enough. They want me to hug them, they don’t want me to hug them. They want my help, they CAN DO IT! It’s also completely difficult when you decide to go back through your photos on Facebook from when they were little cherubs. Fat cheeks and thighs, and drooling mouths. It’s one of those things that you long for, but are kind of happy that you’re done with. Or maybe that’s just me.
One thing I WON’T be doing is poo-pooing on parents who are happy that their children are back in school. Who are getting some sort of balance in their lives, so that they can be better parents. Not screaming all of the time. I also won’t call any homeschoolers weird who don’t line up with my view of homeschooling. It’s just not worth it. I’m struggling hard enough to figure out how to educate these three little people on a daily basis and still feed them when I’m supposed to. Trying to find time to connect with Nathaniel, and still be a wife to Mr. Houseful all while taking care of myself. Yep. Sounds SUPER easy, doesn’t it friends? Not.
This year, I’m promising myself to be a little more gentle. Mostly with me, but a lot with the kids, and my husband too. We’re going to be deliberate about learning, but not psychotic. We’re going to realize that the joy of homeschooling is being able to speed up or slow down the pace if we need to. More visits to museums, and less time worrying about perfection. I don’t NEED kids with a higher IQ than Einstein or Hawking. Nothing against the wonderful girl who scored it, but there will be no push from me like that. If it comes on its own, then so be it.
For now, we learn. We laugh. We live.
Have a great schoolyear everyone!