I think I’m failing at spending time with my kids at home. I yell way too much. I’m upset and angry too much. I spend too much time resisting my kids and mentally checking-out.
And so I’m considering homeschooling. I feel called to throw myself into motherhood 100% to be better and really conquer this stage, rather than just letting it slip by and waiting for it to be over.
Now I know we’re not supposed to conquer motherhood. It’s a relationship, not a job. But I feel called to do so much better. Is it just because I’m a product of the times, where a million blogs are promising the secrets to be a better fill-in-the-blank?
Stumbling through the day
With my kids in school, I feel like I’m able to get-by with a B- effort. I’m able to stumble through the morning, because even if it’s not graceful it’s only an hour. And then after school, I get-by the afternoon, because it’s only about 3 hours til Carlos gets home.
But if I were homeschooling I would be forced to set up routines and rhythms that really allow us to thrive, because otherwise we would all surely perish. I mean 8 hours of just-barely-holding-on-by-the-skin-of-my-teeth would be unbearable. If I didn’t get my act together, it’d be 8 hours of yelling, fights, messes, TV, and endless snacks.
An Ideal Homeschool day
If I did get my act together, we’d start the day with a morning hike. We’d sing songs. The kids would prepare their own breakfast and wash their dishes afterwards. We’d do art, crafts, puzzles (and the kids would clean up each activity before beginning the next). After lunch, we’d have a quiet rest time, and then we’d prep dinner. After dinner, we’d go on another outdoor adventure with Carlos.
Now, some of you contrary types might be wondering, “oh, c’mon, can’t you just do that stuff when the kids aren’t in school?” And “what makes you think it’s gonna look like that if your non-school time doesn’t look like that now?”
The Problem with school
Well, those are valid arguments. The problem with school for my boys, right now (maybe not forever, but they are still little) is that their school environment is noisy, hectic, and over-stimulating, while at the same time requires them to be penned into a very small space, and even sitting a lot of the time. It’s noisy and hectic simply because there’s a lot of kids in a small space. So that over-stimulation in a tiny area is proving to be problematic for my kids. And often when they get home they are crabby and need to decompress.
Also being forced to be somewhere at a certain time is difficult. There’s the morning rush. Now if we were rushing off to the beach, the boys would be a lot more cooperative. But I’m rather tired of forcing them to get dressed and go someplace that they’d rather not go.
And then there’s the pickup. The ride home in the car is always terrible because everyone is super cranky. And then after listening to all the fighting in the car, I’m cranky too. Not a great way to start the afternoon at home.
And by the way, I personally spend TWO hours doing drop off and pick up daily. That’s insane, especially considering how small this town is.
So, I wonder if I cut all that out, the hustle and stress of getting to school, the hectic time at school that wears on my boys, and just focus our attention on living peacefully and respectfully, could we have a better time with each other?