I looked over the last week of school schedule the teachers sent home and laughed out loud.
“A movie day? Device day? Yearbook signing day?” I scoffed to my husband. “What’s the point of that? Should we even send them?”
“They’ve been working hard all year, they can have a few days of fun,” he said. “You were the kid who raised their hand and told the teacher they forgot to give us homework weren’t you?”
I laughed at his reply. But no. I was far from that kid. But I am a former homeschooling mom. Still am one at heart if you ask me. We’ve spent this spring identifying wildflowers and bugs and visiting our State Capital building and some local museums. Packing frozen yogurt snacks to cool them off on our hot Texas spring days. (Fun hack: We freeze them overnight then they’re thawed and ready to eat by lunch!).
I also spent a good portion of last month debating whether or not I’d pull my daughter from state testing but that’s a whole other story.
So here we are, at the end of the school year. We made it! The second half a little more challenging than the first because I actually had to drive them 20 minutes to school after the move. But nicer because believe it or not we got to sleep in and wake up at what used to be our bus time before the sun was up.
So if you can remember, at the beginning of the school year I was a mess. My daughter was struggling to read the directions on an “about me” assignment on her first day. My son seemed fine but I was all nerves about how he’d handle things after the loud popping chips bag in the lunchroom debacle.
That first week was rough but things quickly smoothed out. Once it was settled that we were going to follow this through I threw myself into my work.
I partnered with amazing brands, took thousands of pictures, made dozens of videos and wrote countless words. I launched a new video course for creators, and I’m working on one for everyday moms. And I even hired a couple of babysitters to help watch Lee Lee between her naps. When the big kids get home I’ve been shutting it all down and trying to make the most of those few hours before bedtime. Then I’m staying up late to try to finish everything else. This last week my bedtime has averaged around 3am.
I love it and hate it. Love that we have been able to save and provide so many fun things for them. I love that they are entertained and learning while I’m busy working. But I hate that I sometimes still feel like I’m missing so much of this treasured time.
Yet they had a great time in school. We had two great teachers and Lil’ J’s dyslexia class seems to have helped her gain a bit of confidence with reading.
Big T’s teacher was seriously a Godsend. He loved her, she loved him. She’s won teacher of the year at least two times including this year, but I think she’d win it every year if that was somehow fair. At first I wasn’t sure how much was his teacher and how much was him just enjoying school but whenever he’s had a sub he hasn’t had as much fun. Goes to show how a teacher can make a huge difference. And now I’m hoping I can fill her shoes this summer.
My plan is to get back into homeschooling this summer and I’m really looking forward to it. I’d like to start some first grade math and reading with Big T, and keep up a healthy routine with Lil’ J.
I don’t plan to be quite as regimented as I was before, but I’m working on creating a meaningful summer homeschool challenge for our family. Among other things I plan on taking some field trips. Reading A LOT of books. And reviving our poetry tea parties with a side of Stonyfield Snack Packs and Yogurt Pouches that were frozen ahead of time. This time Lee Lee gets to join in on all of the fun.
But we made it! We survived our first year of public school after homeschool. As of now the plan is to keep them in public school next year–Then starting at their new school which I’ve heard nothing but great things about (but of course I’m still hesitant). But I’m going into it as I did this past year: Hopeful that it’s a good fit but ready to yank them out if need be.
If you’re considering taking your kids out of public school and giving homeschool a try I fully support you. It’s an incredible experience and can be whatever you make of it. If you’re a homeschooling family considering jumping back into public school, I fully support you. It can give you the space you need to do what you’ve gotta do, and it just may be exactly what your family needs right now.
I’ve been on both sides and I can tell you there’s guilt and worry no matter which way you slice it. But don’t let anyone else tell you what’s best for your family. That’s up for you to decide.