We are still working on renovating our new house, and thus we are still living with Jon's generous parents.  And since we are living here, we are schooling here.  But a comment from his mom gave me some insight into some non-homeschoolers' comments about homeschooling.

We usually "have school" up in our bedrooms, since that is "our" territory while we're living here.  But it is not a soundproof house, and so anything louder than "inside voices" is easily heard from downstairs.

Barbara's comment was, "It's not how I imagined it. Actually, it's how I imagined it might be if I was doing it, and that's why I figured I could never do it."

Yes, folks, homeschooling is not usually a calm, quiet, everyone sitting nicely together doing schoolwork experience.  It involves the toddler getting mad that she can't use all of the math manipulatives at once.  It involves the toddler scattering the ones she does use all over the room.  It involves the third grader who hates writing crying about his assignment and questioning (loudly and with a whiny voice) why Sonlight wants to torture the students with Diamond Notes. It involves the new reader kicking the wall when he gets stuck on a word, and wiggling around generally as he thinks about words.  It involves the preschooler begging for more math right when Mom is in the middle of explaining something to someone else.  It involves any one or more of them pushing the beds apart and spilling the covers on the floor during the course of schooltime. It involves multiple people asking for help (or otherwise interrupting) at the same time. It involves Mom losing her patience and yelling.  It involves Mom wondering if she's going insane and on the worst days crying because she doesn't feel like she's good enough.  On the very worst days, everyone cries.  On the best days, only one person cries.  (I don't think we've had a single school day yet where Joy hasn't cried about something during the course of school time.)

And yet, I would say this year is going well.  We are covering Bible, History, Language Arts, and Math.  Noah is learning to read, Jonathan is learning to write, Joy is learning to be patient, Faith is learning letters and writing and numbers.  I'm learning to keep my patience and correct calmly.  They're all (except Joy) memorizing scripture.  They remember much more math than I would have thought based on our very long summer break.    And we're getting our assignments done before noon!

So if you've ever thought, "Wow, I could never homeschool." The answer is, "You can."  If that's what you decide is what is good for your family, you can do it.  If you decide it's not for your family, don't hold up the homeschooling moms as some otherworldly beings who can manage something you never could.  There are plenty of days we wonder if we can manage it at all.  Just like any mom anywhere in any circumstance.

Posted by Heather Daley on September 29, 2012, 9:15 am | Read 64627 times
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Thanks for the peak into your homeschooling life. Not many people write so honestly, so it's easy to feel alone when I have bad days. This year, I've been doing all of our schooling during Ruth's naptime because I just can't handle another distraction. It's hard enough with Caleb around. The most common problem we face is arguing over who gets to sit next to me during our reading time.

Posted by Kelly on September 29, 2012, 10:49 am

I never thought I'd laugh at a paragraph that describes my daughter yelling, crying, and feeling inadequate. But you wrote it so well I couldn't help myself!

Posted by SursumCorda on September 29, 2012, 11:38 am

So, it's not just us! And to think, I only ever had to do it with 2 (and they were older).

As lovely and welcoming as your in-laws are, I think your stress level will go down when you are in your own house and can spread out a bit (and no one can hear you yell).

As you said, you can tell that the kids are learning and you also know they are good kids. Just remind yourself of that every once in awhile.

Posted by dstb on September 29, 2012, 4:04 pm

It will be better in your own home, with a dedicated room, and a regular schedule, I guarantee it. There will still be moments when you have excruciating doubts, but as you said, that comes with the territory.

Posted by SursumCorda on September 29, 2012, 7:44 pm

Kelly and S - that's one reason I made the time to post it. "It's not just us!" is something every homeschooling family needs to realize. We can help each other if we don't keep pretending that everything's perfect.

I am looking forward to being in our schoolroom! It is painted now (just needs the trim done) and the bookshelves are coming along and looking really good!

Posted by joyful on September 30, 2012, 6:40 pm

Thanks so much too, helped me open my eyes that our family is "normal" too (:

Posted by S on December 30, 2015, 3:40 am

Thanks for commenting, S!

We've now been in our house for three years, and we still have plenty of challenges, and successes. (And two more kids!) And we've even had some days where no one has cried!

Posted by joyful on December 30, 2015, 9:38 am
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