It has been almost three months since my family started homeschooling. No surprise that making this change has erased some major stresses in our home.
No more crying about school.
No more negotiating about homework.
No more wondering if the day is going to fall apart even before it begins.
Trust me, I am extremely grateful for the disappearance of these things. It had been so long since the pressure started building that I truly didn’t know what it would feel like when we turned down the heat. No homework tears will do that. It will remind you that the hours between after school and bedtime can be enjoyable again!
Some aspects of homeschooling are far easier than I thought. As an experienced teacher with a MA in Curriculum Development, I understand the work. I know how to plan and extend lessons that are math and science and reading. I know how to find ways to include art, music and exercise. My biggest weakness is actually the part that I was warned about.
I’ve never been the type of mom that is drawn to the evening cul-de-sac conversations. If I look down the street and see a small gang of parents talking and laughing with their kids using sidewalk chalk and riding bikes, I will pretend to get a call on my cell phone or walk the other way to get the mail that I may or may not have already brought in. This might be surprising to those of you that know me in real life; I have led a pretty socially demanding job as an elementary teacher for 20+ years and I can be fun at a party especially with my favorite friends Mac and Jack.
I’m just saying.
This socialization issue can be a challenge because my son is happiest being a hermit at home. He isn’t begging to see kids or meet new friends. Add me to the mix and you have two hermits doing home school which can be quiet, and even isolating. We can go awhile before we feel the need to see someone else during the day.
With summer vacation less than thirty days away, I have already started thinking about how I will push us out of our comfort zone and our cave back into the land of living with others. We will need to purposely set out to socialize at least a couple of days a week.
This weekend we have a play date set up with a friend from the school days and a Lego camp is already been arranged for June. I know it can be done, but it takes an effort.
What do you think is the hardest part about home schooling or parenting?
I still can’t say yet what the hardest part of parenting is (setting kind but firm limits), but in preparing for beginning homeschooling in the fall, we’re anticipating socialization to be the most difficult part. We actually set up a “partnership contract’ with our daughter (at 13, that seemed like it might be a good idea), and one of the requirements is participation in a team sport of her choice (she chose synchronized swimming) get together with a friend at least every couple of weeks, group art class of some kind, and a sleepover once a month. We’re hoping this should get her the socialization she should have (I think) at this age though she is really quite the homebody. She does text and Skype with her friends though, and I think that should help.
I like the partnership contract idea for sure 😉
Socialization happened organically for us. I’m a hermit raising 3 (of my children) hermits. We discovered that hitting the playground first thing Monday mornings makes the rest of the week a little easier for us. An added benefit was meeting other homeschool families who came to the park to do the same thing. We’ve also met some other families at our local museums on “homeschool days”. I’m not a joiner-of-groups given my love of hermit-life, but I did find I needed an adult group of friends who “got it” when it came to homeschooling. I was directed toward a homeschool support group that has been a HUGE help to myself and the kids. We meet once a month and talk about everything from homeschooling, local politics, whatever we can squeeze in during the 2 hour meeting. It has been a big help to my sanity to know I’m not the only one struggling with some of the issues we have and checking out different curricula/styles of homeschooling.
Great ideas! I think I am most concerned because he is also an only child.
Lol! Here we go again mirroring each other. Think about it though. Life is what you want it to be. I think back to the classroom and how I’d try to bring a quiet child out of her shell. Not really any luck after a whole year. We are who we are and as long as we aren’t hurting anyone and we’re happy, it’s all good. You will leave the house and your baked potato will want to see kids his age eventually. A few months really isn’t that long with a life changing choice. We are right here with you guys, watching Cosmos, playing Minecraft, and riding the neighborhood on a scooter and we like it that way. On days I feel we accomplish little academics, we accomplish SO much with patience and learning how to help each other more. You’re doing great. Do what the two of you think is best.
Great ideas and reminders! Let me know if you ever want to try and arrange Minecraft on a server for a virtual play date 😉
I am homeschooling an only child too (and we are both introverts). We are members of a 20-family homeschool field trip & play date group, which gives us consistent exposure to the same people and allows for friendships to be formed. We personally only attend one or two events per month, but that’s enough for us, as we do quite a bit of field tripping and exploring on our own. In fact, my son actually prefers solo field trips so he can ask all the questions he wants (he may be an introvert, but he’s a talker!). 😉 We’ve also gotten to know several employees at our frequent haunts around town. Does he have a best friend? No, not yet. Does it bother him? No. He’s not looking for one right now. It will happen when it happens. What I do know is that he’s developed great social skills, and can use them when he needs them. And he’s happy. Don’t put too much pressure on yourselves. 🙂
Thank you! You make great points 🙂 I appreciate your visit and thoughtful comments