I never meant to be a homeschooling mom. In fact, I balked at the idea. I was a career woman. I liked going to work and bringing home money. I enjoyed my complete financial independence. Even more than that, I loved getting away and being able to be something other than be mom and wife for 8 hours a day. However, in June of 2014 that all came to an end and I was left wondering what to do next.
For the first few months I feverishly looked for a job. I was constantly on the web trying to see who was hiring in my field of choice. I had a few interviews, but no one wanted to pay me what I was asking for. I constantly found myself saying “I’m not trying to get rich, I’m just trying to pay for child care”. Many understood, but could not meet my demands. So, for a while, I stopped trying, and focused on making sure that Johanna’s education didn’t slip through the cracks just because mommy couldn’t find work.
That first year was hard, there’s no other way of saying it. I hated it and Johanna did too. She missed school and friends, and I missed adult conversation and having professional goals. We had more bad days than good, and I was absolutely over it! I wanted to throw in the towel so many times, but I love my child and realized that she couldn’t watch Sprout all day. So I prayed. I needed the Lord on a whole ‘nother level because this was a mess! Then about 8 months into the process, I noticed that Johanna wasn’t pushing against my teaching as much and I had started to find my rhythm. It wasn’t awesome yet, but it was good, and good was a whole heck of a lot better than things had been.
A few months later I was offered a position that I couldn’t step into just yet, but the offer was made and I felt confused. The position was my dream position at a really good place with really decent money, but a huge part of me felt like I had finally found my life’s calling – being a homeschooling mom. I saw that I was able to give Johanna the things I had been looking for in the schools around us. I had gone to a private school fair in hopes of finding our dream school, but none of them lived up to my expectations. They were all missing some element that I wanted Johanna to have, but in homeschooling I could give her those things. I could give her the biblical foundation I wanted her to have. I was able to take her on many field trips throughout the week. I also was able to teach her in her learning style, something that most schools can’t do for every student.
When Johanna is having a bad day, I don’t have to school her in the traditional sense. I can turn on the chromecast and school her through Netflix. When the day is ending quicker than I would like, I can bring her in the kitchen with me to help me cook, all while going over measurements with her. Being able to teach her in everything we do is such a mind blowing blessing. If it’s sunny and 70 degrees out I am able to take her outside to homeschool instead of staying in the house. We frequently visit a café in the city to people watch and do school work. The flexibility of homeschooling is a beautiful thing! And if you live in a city like mine, there are plenty of free and discounted opportunities. Many museums and theatres have homeschool days where kids are able to participate at a discounted or free price! The opportunities made available to them are fantastic!
If you’re considering homeschooling, the biggest thing I can tell you is to erase what you believe homeschooling looks like because I promise you that it is different for every family. From curriculum (are you homeschooling online? Did you buy your curriculum? Did you make up your own?) to unschooling, schooling on the road, joining a coop – it is more different than you could ever imagine. The opportunities and styles are quite varied. There are also great resources out there; Plenty of websites and groups to guide you (if they don’t overwhelm you first!). I’m apart of some great communities on facebook where I learn a lot from other seasoned homeschoolers, and newcomers like myself. The homeschool community can be a very supportive and nurturing one.
I have no idea how long I will homeschool Johanna for. A few more months? Years? Through high school? I really don’t know. Will I accept that job offer when the time comes? Only God knows. I’m ok either way. What I do know is that I count myself incredibly blessed to have this opportunity to homeschool. I get to spend a ton of time with my child, watching her develop and blossom into this really incredible human being. I get to learn about her interest and open her up to new possibilities. I enjoy not having to hear about it from a teacher these days. I like not feeling guilty like I used to. Our time was so rushed when I worked because we had to do homework, then dinner and a bath, and then it was time for bed. I felt like I was missing her grow up. Not anymore! I also have an incredibly supportive husband who appreciates the work I do with our child. If I didn’t have 100% of his support I could not do this.
Every day is not easy, but we do have more good days now than bad days. But let me be very honest, the bad days still exist, and I believe they always will. We all have a bad day every once in a while. However, God is molding me and showing me how to deal with those days. I’m learning right along with Johanna and I love that.
If you have any specific questions about my homeschooling experience, I would love to answer them. I’ve even thought about doing a periscope about my homeschool life. If you would be interested in that, let me know!