I know how this works. I’ve been here a few times. I know that the beginning of homeschooling is amazing and every day is new and lovely. I know that the kids obey well and do their chores and don’t fight as much because they are excited about the new also.
I know that it isn’t always like that and to be ready for the fall of attitudes and excitement. I know that there will be days in which I can’t handle the curriculum I picked out or the kids are in tears.
I’m trying to come at things proactively this time around.
I’m not researching curriculum. In fact, I’m not looking at anything else at all. That always makes me feel like I need to change, and I’m unwilling to do that this time around.
My good friend/neighbor said she will hold me accountable to that on the hard days, and I’m 100% happy with that.
It also helps that I literally don’t have the money to buy other curriculum. We are on a super tight budget, and I’m so much more frugal than I used to be.
I’m having the kids follow a routine, but not a schedule. They have a list of what has to get done in a day and they just go down the list. They will do some things with me and some things independently. Ethan absolutely needs the structure or I wouldn’t even do this because I’m trying to be super relaxed. But he needs it and craves it.
I’m trying to just enjoy things. Enjoy reading aloud. Enjoy free-writing. Enjoy teaching them multi-digit multiplication with the help of Math U See. Enjoy Poetry Tea Time. Enjoy the days when we don’t get much done. Enjoy going for hikes and talking about nature. Enjoy teaching them how to diagram a sentence. Enjoy writing projects.
Enjoy things instead of feeling fear, anxiety, and panic about doing all the things right. I keep reminding myself that what I do at home is probably more than what they were doing at school. They will get what they need because I trust God.
I will mess up. There will be fits. They will drive me crazy. Some days I will regret making this decision. But the next day, I get up and keep going.
I have been reminded about some important things from friends:
Homeschooling isn’t consistent; it’s not like public school.
We do what we need to do in each season and re-evaluate.
Throw out the idea that the kids are in a specific grade. Meet their needs right where they are.
Some days I’m going to want to send them back to school, other days they will rock it.
I picked curriculum that is pretty minimal. It doesn’t take up much space and it was inexpensive. It’s fun and engaging. It’s thorough but simple.
I’m not lesson planning. I never followed it anyway.
I’ve been much slower to organize things this time around and it has annoyed Ethan because he is ready to start! Haha.
We were planning to go to my friends’ house next week and the boys are so eager that we decided to start next week and plan another time to go to her house. She had something come up as well, but ultimately I just feel I need to go with the boys’ eagerness. Last night Ethan asked if we could start today, and I told him no because I don’t want him to get burned out.
I am trying to keep our weekly schedule the same. We will go to church on Sunday, I will go to AA on Mondays, we will have church on Wednesday nights, and starting this week Ethan and Karis will be starting a Food Program through 4H on Thursdays (just till March 30th when the Food Show is).
Ethan is continuing his bike riding/training and races. Homeschooling has actually helped this so much because he can train with his other friends that are homeschooled.
I really need to figure out what Levi wants to do extracurricular because he’s just not interested in much. He loves his Transformers and that’s about it! He’s not an outside kid at all, doesn’t like sports of any kind, doesn’t want to do 4H, etc. I guess we’ll figure it out! His doc says it will really help his mental health if we can, but he said to not force him to do any sports… he needs to want to. His doc suggested taking family hikes to start, so we’re doing that today. Something to get him outside and moving.
On another note… my peace has transformed my sleep. I have struggled with sleep for YEARS and I have gone to sleep by 10/10:30 every night this week, slept through the night, gotten up easily in the mornings, stayed awake through the day (I took an hour long nap yesterday because we were going to be headed to town), and last night I slept 11 hours! I feel super rested.
My friend sent me this verse today:
“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” ~Isaiah 43:19