Have you ever had a potential homeschool mom contact you? You know, the mom that’s on the fence. She’s not quite ready to take the plunge, but she’s giving it serious consideration. She’s full of questions. What curriculum do you use? How long does it take every day? Then she asks the biggie question…..What is the hardest part of your homeschool day? I always try to be honest with this mom, because homeschool is a daunting task, even if you have all the details, much less when you are working on faulty information. No, the hardest part is not the Algebra. The hardest part of homeschooling is that I am with my kids all the time….like 24/7.
Now sometimes we homeschoolers paint an extra happy picture. One where it’s all arts and crafts, and snuggling up for read-aloud time.
In reality though it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. I couldn’t tell you the last time I went to the dentist alone. Yes, to the dentist. I sit mouth wide open in the chair, having my gums picked to death with an ice pick, and across the room, my kids are staring at me. They are sitting patiently in the chair, as they always do. They learned at a young age not to make a fuss. Where I go, they go.
We arrive back home and they are hungry, because in my home there is a never-ending feeding cycle. In between meals we pick-up, pick-up, and pick-up some more. The clean-up song grew old a long time ago. See day in and day out, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, my kids are where I am.
I know what you’re thinking….Don’t I love my children?
Of course I do, what kind of question is that? It’s just that the constant togetherness can wear on a person’s soul. Apparently, even our bathroom has an open door policy. No, I didn’t initiate the policy, but it’s there just the same.
This is my 6th year of homeschooling, and that means that I have 5 years under my belt. I am now what you call a “veteran” homeschool mom. What else does that mean? It means that I have spent close to 1,825 days homeschooling my children. Yes, I counted the weekends, but we are all here on the weekends too. Using 12 hour days (probably an underestimate) that’s 21,900 hours! Granted there are a few blessed hours (or days) here and there that a grandma swoops in and saves me, but most of the time they are here with me. This life is my norm.
By now you are probably wondering if I regret the decision to homeschool.
The answer will ALWAYS be a resounding NO. Choosing to homeschool our children has been one of the best decisions we have ever made. When the days wear me thin I look back to all the great memories we’ve had as a family, and all the firsts that I’ve been able to experience.
I was the one who taught both of my daughters to read. I watched their eyes light up when they “got it” for the very first time. I’ve also been able to teach my children things that they would have never learned in the public school system, such as our character & moral beliefs. I can decide when we scrap the books, and step into something different. Some years we take the entire month of December off “school.” Instead, we read books, bake cookies, do unit studies, and make loads of crafts. We’ve had a great deal of fun!
In the end though, I am always COMPLETELY honest with the potential homeschool mom. Let’s not sugar coat it. They deserve the right to make an informed decision. Yes, it is a VERY hard choice, and a huge undertaking. You will invest a great deal of time into this endeavor, and your “me” time will most likely disappear. Guess what though…..for me those 21,900 hours have been one of the biggest blessings in my life! For our family, the cost of another method of education would have been too great. It all comes down to what you are willing to give up. Potential homeschool moms should go in eyes wide open, and know what they are getting into. For me, a little bathroom intrusion seems like a small price to pay for the perks of this way of life.