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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

My Homeschooling Journey & How It's Changing

What a year 2014 was for my family. For starter's, my husband's job went under changes as his small company was sold to a larger one. In the fall, my teaching schedule became more difficult as I juggled 5 days of teaching Kindergarten and 2nd grade while trying to entertain my 3 year old. My husband and I also stepped into rolls at our church that committed us to teaching the 3rd - 5th grade students on Wednesday nights. And in the midst of all of this, my husband reached a point where his body begged him to ease up his activities. He fainted and ended up in the hospital being tested for the chance that he had a seizure.

Thankfully all was well, but I had some time to sit with him there in that hospital room and tell him "Too much is going on right now. What are the things we can cut out or change to reduce stress?".  We talked over a few different things and agreed to be thinking and praying about everything over the following months.

This year seems to be a theme of change. After one recent conversation with the hubster, I told him I felt like our family would be taking one giant shift this year. Please don't get me wrong, it's all for the good. But even if the changes we're looking at are positive, they're still going to be things we all have to adjust to. We all have to work together to get through this.

One of the greatest and most difficult changes for me is in homeschooling. This coming fall, my 2 oldest kiddos will be heading off to school in uniforms and backpacks. The conflict lies in this - this is what I wanted from the start for my little ones. I wanted to send them to a really good school. At the start, we couldn't afford it but things have changed a bit in that way for us. Now we can send them off...but this mama has to let go.

I think there are great benefits to traditional schooling as well as homeschooling. But when you get used to waking up every day to those little faces who make their way into your bed to whisper "Can I have breakfast?" and then start your day as slow as you like - when you have some of the best days teaching and spend the hard days fighting through the tears and frustrations that come with homeschooling - it gets really hard to just let go.

And oh, the tears. But I give myself permission to cry as much as I need to. I'm doing that "first day of kindergarten" times 2 and 3 years delayed.

But going forward, I think the greatest benefit to this change is my kiddos knowing I'm on their team. I'm here, fighting for the best in them, every single day. They know I'm going to be a very present mom in their school career. They trust that I'll be there for the big important days and the ones that slip in between. They know because they've learned that of me over these handful of years. I'm not out of the picture because another teacher steps in. I'm right beside that teacher in helping them learn and encouraging all those unique attributes I see in each little face.

And yes, my throat gets tight and my cheeks get soaked with tears to think of it. Yah, part of me fears that "all the homeschooling moms will think poorly of me". But I'm not quitting. I don't walk away saying "It's just not for me". Instead, I say "This is the absolute best thing for our family and will help me be a greater support to my husband who needs me more than I ever understood."

Dear friends, the bottom line is this: Out of this deep root grows a plant I never knew existed. I.AM.VALUABLE  and I.AM.VALUED.    Oh, I pray those truths find a way to seep into your own soul. You're not the mom wearing one million hats while you're also invisible. No, you're seen and you are valued.

And I get it. We mama's put everyone first and there are days we honestly, truly believe that no one really appreciates all we do. We feel we need to defend ourselves for the dishes left undone because we can list the busy things that popped up and kept us from completing them. We can even feel unloved when the activity in the house keeps spinning on and things are left here or there after we just straightened up for the thousandth time.   Don't buy into those lies, though. Don't let it sink in too deep. YOU.ARE.VALUABLE.

Let's do this. Let's hang in there together and be there to support one another. Life as a mom is just really, really hard and we would do best to rally around each other and remind each other of the good and true things. <3



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