7 Unexpected Ways Life Changed When We Quit Homeschooling
For the past two years, I home-schooled my four boys. Now that sentence alone should clue you in to the great difficulties I was up against: 4 BOYS, home-schooled! Add that to the fact that I don’t enjoy teaching, and it was a sort of a pressure-cooker for my heart.
The stress was too much for me personally. I gave it up, and enrolled my children in a Christian school this year. It was a change I had to make to save my own sanity. Let me stress here that I am not anti-homeschool or anti-any kind of school! I’ve tried just about everything over the years. Each family must choose what works best for them and their children.
With that said, let’s talk about what has changed!
1. My stress level is actually not much lower than when I was home-schooling. I thought it would be.
However, by the end of this school year I’m hoping that it WILL be WAY lower. The thing is that I also moved across the country to a city and state we’ve never lived in before, sooooooo I still have plenty of things to stress over. Plus, I had to oversee my children’s transition to their traditional private school. Stress. Stress. Stress. Does it ever end???? Someone tell me it does!
2. No one congratulates me on my “excellent educational decisions” anymore.
People are almost fanatically supportive of home-schooling these days. Very often, I would meet people, and they would ask me, “Oh, where do your children go to school?”
And I would tell them, “Actually, I’m home-schooling them…” which at first embarrassed me, but I was soon to find out that there was no need to be embarrassed. Home schooling is HUGE these days.
Many times they would respond, “OH! Congratulations on your excellent education choice! You will not regret it.” Sigh. I appreciated those responses.
Nowadays, I simply say what school they go to, and people nod and say, “Okay.” Haaaaa!!!! Who knew!!!???
But I don’t really care about that. At the end of the day, all that matters is if WE are happy with our “educational choice,” and thankfully, we are.
3. My children have become drastically more responsible, thanks to their new school.
I’m sure some home-schooling moms are better at this than I was, but apparently this was a weak area for me.
“Mom!!! You have to sign this right now. I had silent lunch today because you didn’t sign this!!”
“Mom!! We have to study for my science test.”
What?? Did my child just ASK me to study????
This is fantastic. I don’t even have to tell him to pack his clothes for basketball practice. He just DOES it. Mind blown.
4. It’s December 1st, the house is decorated for Christmas, and half of my presents are already purchased!
Last year I was doing well just to get dressed and remember to shower. Forget about Christmas. We stuck a 3 foot tall tree on a side table and called it done. Christmas presents? I had to ask my husband to buy the gifts for me. It was sad, but there was NO TIME for extra things like that. I had papers to grade, lessons to prepare, and 4 children to manage 24-7. Home schooling is not for the slow or faint of heart, let me tell ya.
More free time? It’s still not free, but there is definitely more possible time. It’s closer to possible now.
5. The peer pressures are drastically different.
Home school kids want the cool educational kits their friends have.
“Mom, can you please get me that science experiment kit like Ben has? You know, the one he used to build a robot?”
“Can I get a Lego set like Elijah’s?”
Instead, this year, Caleb asked me, “How come all my friends are getting their elves already, and I still don’t have an elf. I’ve never had an elf!”
(Sorry, y’all. April doesn’t do elves on the shelves. What is up with the elf? Like we don’t have enough to do?)
Although, thankfully, Joshua did complain that all his friends already have the new Diary of a Wimpy Kid book, and he’s having to wait for Christmas.
One of the boys even asked me for an iPhone! I almost choked on my cereal!!! Are you kidding me, people??? They are kids!! I put that idea to death right away. No worries.
6. My husband studies more with our kids now. I don’t even know what their science test is about.
I’m pretty burned out from the home schooling. I can’t even handle homework for more than a few minutes at a time now. I practice spelling with Caleb, and occasionally math, but Alan handles all of Joshua’s studying. Last week, his science test was on force, energy, velocity, and there were equations I think….I’m checking out for that sort of thing.
Last year, I knew all of their subject material backwards and forwards. Alan didn’t have to get involved much at all. This has been a seriously welcome change for me.
Control freaks wouldn’t like it. Even me, back before I home-schooled, it bothered me to not know every single thing they were learning and doing. All of that control-stuff got whipped out of me when I realized just how hard teaching is!
7. I started washing my face again.
Not even kidding. Next week I may even start wearing make-up again.
But you know what hasn’t changed?
We still look for fun, educational trips to take our children on, like days spent in the woods or at state parks or aquariums. The boys are still learning character lessons and solid academics at their Christian school. I still stress out in the mornings trying to get everyone ready for for school. John David is still home with me all day. We are still the same. We just do school differently.
Whether you home-school, un-school, private school, public school, or space school…..we wish you all a Merry Christmas! Give yourself some grace, bake some cookies, and don’t worry so much!
thumbnail credit: depositphotos.com
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