I love, love, love to sing the praises of homeschooling. We just sit around our kitchen table all day getting smart, basking in sibling on sibling kindness, and endless parental patience. Ummmm, no.
Homeschooling is amazing. Except when it’s not. And, honestly, there is a tiny part of every day when it’s not.
If anything, homeschool brings any ugliness to a head because we are together. All. The. Time. Unfortunately my letter of intent to homeschool did not come with an extra dose of patience or an exemption from sick days and family emergencies. Life still happens, we just conquer it together, convenient or not.
Today I woke up with a back problem. I’m walking like an old man riding a horse. I have been rolling around the kitchen in an office chair and ordering my kids around to fetch me things. My kids are confused. My patience is lacking.
Being the grown up is hard!
My seven year old has frustration issues lately; big ones. It hits quick and hard. While deep down I know she will,work through it and and this will pass I cannot help but dive into that deep pool of parental worry. I literally googled anger issues in children this morning; searching for a way to help her work through her feelings. Google and I are good buddies like that.
There have been ice packs, tears, ibuprofen, slammed doors, harsh words and blank looks. I have let harsh words and my own frustration slip out when I should have swallowed it down.
It is hard to be the grownup all the time. To be the bigger person all the time. To be the one to exclaim over the tiny positive when all you want to do is crazy rant over the negative is so, so hard. But that’s just parenting in a nutshell.
The Small Stuff, Also Known as The Big Stuff
We get our school work done for the most part. If there is one thing I’m good at it’s checking things off my list. It’s the small stuff that’s hard. The taking time to listen, to read that extra story, listen to which Lego guy is the champion for the millionth time. (Notice I said “listening” twice. The listening part can be a such a jerk.) That stuff is hard. And sometimes makes me need a cup of coffee in my hand to stay alert and upright. Those little moments are the reason I love being with my kids all day. But there are days when a “little moment” all to myself sounds pretty sweet.
At the end of the day which had so many more of those glaring negatives, the day that things squeaked out of me that shouldn’t, we are still okay. There are more good days, or more good moments anyways. When a bad attitude pops up, or a recurring fight between siblings, we have no choice but to address it, nip it in the bud.
My family and I are so far from perfect. But we are in this thing together. My kids spend lots of time together for which I am so grateful. My oldest and youngest would barely see each other during the school year were they in public school. The younger two are inseparable. They do everything together. We are lucky enough to have family nearby and we have time for them. Time.
Dark days of homeschooling won’t stop us!
There is no perfect family with perfect days all in perfect rows, not if they are being honest. No matter how you educate your children you are human and so are your kids. When my kids went to public school we had some pretty awful days and some pretty great ones. It’s the same from the homeschool side of the fence.
I’m getting better at turning those dark days around (some days.) I have discovered a few fool proof methods for getting out of my own head and helping my kids learn to do the same. Mostly these involve going outdoors and moving. I’ve stopped seeing changing the pace and the scenery as a reward to the poor behavior or choices that brought us that far in our day. It’s just what we need that day.
All of us parents and kids deserve a bit of grace and forgiveness. We are not perfect and never will be. But at the end of that horrible homeschool day we are still in it together. We still love each other (and mostly like each other too.) And we are going to wake up and do it all over again.
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