Homeschooling When You Are Homesick

I have dealt with a lot of things during my years as a homeschooling mama.  Loneliness.  Insecurity.  Chronic Illness.  Doubt.  I’ve gotten through those things and become stronger.  You know, just in time for something new, right?  Le Sigh.  Such is life!

This year my family of six is tucked in a couple of bedrooms after my husband lost his job in the spring.  We are grateful for those couple of rooms and we are grateful that my husband is back to work.  We are in a good situation.  We are very grateful.

But I’m not going to lie to you with sunshine and lollipops and rainbows and bunny tails.

I am homesick.

cloudy day

I am a space lady.  I like things *just so* and I crave solitude.  I like turning the music up high and dancing around with the kids in our jammies.  I like sleeping in and staying up late.  I like getting up early and being one with the early morning hours.  I like curling up in a blanket fort to watch a movie and I like shouting across the house for my kids to straighten up before I lose my mind.

Homeschooling this year is going to be different.  Most of our stuff is in boxes, and that’s how it’s going to be.  It’s not all that bad, but I do look forward to the day when I can take my bra off.

I’m not at home if I can’t take my bra off.  Sorry, not sorry.

Anyway, we have successfully had a full week of classes and I’d like to share what’s what I’ve done to manage for recording purposes and as always, just in case there’s somebody out there who can take something from it or be encouraged.

This year my day is divided up like so:

8-12                       School Hours
12-4/5                  Mommy’s Writing Hours/Kids Independent (ish) Free Time
4/5-Bedtime     Family Time

This schedule is working out well for us.  We are also using a block schedule this year, though I’m still tweaking it a bit.

M/W:  Character, Math, Science, Music, Spelling, Memory Poem, P.E., Spanish
T/Th:  Manners, Reading, History, Art, Grammar, Writing, Theater, French

Fridays we have “off”, which gives us wiggle room if something crops up during the week.  This first week I had a migraine on Friday, which worked out well.  Thanks, head, for fitting into the schedule appropriately.

Anyway, to combat my homesickness, I’ve done the following:

  1.  I visited the library in our new community right away.  There’s nothing like a library to help me feel connected.  I ADORE our new library.  They’ve been warm and welcoming, and helped connect me to the homeschooling community (by chance, and thank goodness!)
  2. I’m signing the kids up for classes (free if possible).  The library has a STEAM class that the boys will attend, and another for the girls.  We are looking into coop options, and I’ve got a whole stack of papers for classes they can take once we are back on our feet.
  3. I am accepting (grudgingly-sorry, I’m stubborn) the fact that this year will “look” different around the house.  This one is hard on me.  No posters.  Fewer decorations.  Most of our work will be web based.  Fewer “big” art projects, as we literally don’t have the space to spread out.  And that’s okay.  We can do this.
  4. So basically, we are going paperless to some degree, which I think will be a good thing.  It’ll help me find a good balance when we do finally have a home.
  5. I am utilizing outdoor public spaces more than ever.  We are fortunately blocks away from a park.  It has areas for playing, biking, volleyball, tennis, basketball, soccer, and baseball.  It also has a pavilion, so we can go there to do some lessons.  We are also close to a lake, so we will be going on hiking trips this year.
  6. I also keep in mind that I (and the kids) are going to have  human moments.  We are going to have to practice, above all, patience with each other and the situation.
  7. To focus better, I’m looking forward and making plans for the day when we get back in our own space.
  8. I am pushing forward with my writing career.  I have to write, or I’m not a good person to live with.  And let’s be honest, how mom feels affects the entire family.  So I write.  My career is important, and so is my sanity.
  9. I am focusing on loving my kids and husband.  This year it’s new for me to set “family/rest hours”.  But my kids (I have four, 5-10) will only be kids for a short time, and my writing career is here until I die.  Also, I have to be strict with myself about work because I do have the tendency to work hard and long.

You know, homeschooling is a lot like marriage (and writing, for that matter!)  It changes over the years.  It’s a choice to get up every day and make it work.  It’s dedication and commitment and sacrifice.  I’d be lying to you if I told you that I wanted to do it all the time.  But I said that I’d do it, and I will.  I don’t know what this year will look like, or how I’ll feel in a few weeks.  How I’ll feel once it’s over.  We will likely move half way through, but we also might wait until the end of the school year.

You know, I’ve been wanting to write this post for days, may a week or two.  But I kept telling myself not to because what do I know?  I’m merely at the beginning of this adventure.

I guess it’s the storyteller in me.  People connect through stories.  We learn, we grow, we change, we strengthen.  They help us navigate through new waters, and direct us to new lands.

So this year my story is one of homeschooling through homesickness.  Other homeschooling moms have sailed these waters, and so will I.  And I’ll do it in a way that fits my family.  Aargh, mateys!  Rough seas ahead, but we will work together as a crew and we will find that island and that treasure at the end!

Live Bravely,
Love Strongly,
Sail Away!
-AEMs

 

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