Homeschooling feels like a full-time job. I prep lesson plans, set out supplies, create projects and deadlines. I have even started planning field trips and special rewards for completed units. Laundry and housekeeping wait until the weekend, and meal planning has morphed into meal prepping on Sundays. Now I stock my freezer and fridge full of meals rather than ingredients. I know that burning the candle on both ends is not an option, so I go to bed when I am tired, or else risk getting sick. But that means there is limited time for recreational reading, blogging and exercising. There is little time to be anything other than wife and mother.
One of DW’s biggest concerns about me homeschooling The Hare, was burnout and resentment. He worried I would regret giving up my quiet house and hours of uninterrupted “me time”. I think others had similar concerns, with an underlying fear that The Hare would not receive the education or resources she needed to succeed. And I think everyone worried she would miss conventional school. After all, she has been in the system for five years.
At the end of each day or week, The Hare and I are pelted with the same question, “How is school going?”
Perhaps it is my own insecurities, but I hear a tone of pessimism or disbelief in those few words, as if everyone is waiting for me to break down. Waiting for me to say “I can’t do this anymore”, to which the obvious response would be, “Now what?”
Only there is no “now what”, there is only “right now”.
Right now I am exactly where I am supposed to be, giving my youngest daughter permission to be herself. I am creating time and space for her to emotionally mature while learning in a way that most engages her entire being. She is sleeping more soundly and having less mood swings. Her attitude is one of “what are we doing today?” rather than “I wish it didn’t have to be tomorrow”.
This school year, this day, is the answer to the question I asked myself last December “Now what?” when I felt like The Hare was unraveling at a rapid pace.
And for now, it is enough.
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