Being judged by others, having no down-time, being responsible for every subject, playing referee, worrying if I am doing enough, and finding evidence of school in every room can take its toll. The grass starts to look greener on the public school side of the fence because I forget what was and only remember what is.
The ease and perks of homeschooling can be taken for granted because that is our life now, until I slow down and remember and remind myself of the blessings that homeschooling brings our family.
Here are four scenarios where I have let myself be grateful for our opportunity to home school this year:
1. My husband travels a lot for his work. He was gone for much of the month of October. He was literally home one day before he was off again. But the one Tuesday he was home, so were the kids. I realized that they get to see him more because they are home. We don’t have to coordinate their school schedules with dad’s work schedule. When he’s home, we’re home. That one day he was home we had breakfast together. Chad helped Crew fix a flat tire, and he helped Elle paint a frame. I took a break, and he left at 3:00 to take Crew to a game. If the kids had been in public school, they would not have seen him the only day he was home. Homeschooling gives us more time with dad.
2. We got “Boo-ed”. This is when someone anonymously leaves a goodie on your step with a note to pass the fun on and “Boo” two other families the next day. Most moms probably love this, but I’m normally like “Crap, this wasn’t on my radar today and that means I have to make something I wasn’t planning on or run to the store and pick something up.” In both cases, I have to add one more thing to my to-do list. After all, you only have 24 hours to fulfill your duty. But this year felt different. When we were “Boo-ed”, I had time. We all had time, and we wanted something extra to do to fill our day. So I just had Elle and her friend make some cookies as part of her life skills requirement in home schooling. Homeschooling turns extra to-dos into fun school opportunities.
3. Since Chad’s been traveling so much and Crew has had many late night baseball games, wrapping up his fall season, I have been letting my kids sleep in until they wake up. Consequently, they have been sleeping in until 9:00 am. I am always wondering, “How sleep deprived are our kids?” and my second thought was “Imagine if I had to get them up for an early school bus?” I don’t know what life would be like if I HAD to wake them up every morning despite our late nights. I take for granted our peaceful, slow mornings because we have had so many of them. Crew’s space derby went until 9:30 pm and we didn’t stress at all because we weren’t bound to a clock in the morning. Homeschooling allows us to have fun events at night and still get the sleep we need.
4. My kids have been sick on and off for a couple of weeks. While I can get down about all the coughing and snotty tissues, I remind myself that I didn’t have to decide each morning if my kids were too sick to go to school. It wasn’t an all or nothing call. They could still continue to learn even though they weren’t 100%. When they are mildly to moderately sick, we still proceed fairly normally. They can lay and read in their pajamas, cozy up to the computer with a blanket, listen to read aloud and still sleep and rest as needed. Homeschooling allows learning to continue through illness.
The grass is not greener on the public schooling side of the fence, nor is it necessarily greener on the homeschooling side of the fence.
The grass is greener wherever you water more.
We water our grass when we put time and effort and joy in to where we are now, not where we wish we were. Grass grows greener when we look for the blessings on our side and when we don’t compare our blessings to others. We water our grass when we trust our decisions and don’t wonder if maybe the other side is better.
So I am going to continue to water our homeschooling grass because that is where I choose to be this year. And I want a lush, green lawn.