So, the kids have completed three weeks of school and the short version is, they’re doing great. In fact, we all are.
I’ve wondered many times over the past 15 years if I’d have a crisis of identity when my tenure as a homeschooling mom came to an end, not sure who I’d be without that label. I’ve wondered what I’d do with all my time.
I really thought I’d grieve when it was time to put away the books, whether it was by sending my kids to school or by graduating the last one, but I haven’t grieved at all. I’ve pretty much grieved all I care to grieve this year, just with the challenges our family has faced. (It’s been a rough one…) Those challenges definitely put things into perspective, and I believe that has helped me adjust to these changes so well. (Things are much better lately, just as a side-note.)
We haven’t regretted our decision to send Parker and Anna to our local public school for a minute. They are doing really well and have adjusted to the changes. They come home from school tired but not weary. I was most worried about homework because I have a professional opinion that homework is mostly unnecessary. So far I’ve been okay with what they’ve been brining home. I do not look forward to the day when I find it absurd… but I will have to remind myself that the reasons we decided to send them to school are worth some of the headaches. So far, that has been true. If I had to guess, I’d say they will stay in school as long as we’re assigned to Fort Hamilton, and then we’ll assess the situation when we move to a new location with a different set of offerings regarding homeschool community. By then, they may prefer to stay in school and as we always say, “kid-by-kid and year-by-year.” Based on how I know these two kids, Parker may prefer to homeschool high school if we have a strong homeschool community but Anna may prefer to stay in a classroom setting either way.
So far I’ve found plenty of ways to fill my days:
PWOC (Bible Study), a pedicure, coffee dates (plural), IKEA trip, 35 miles of running, multiple doctor appointments for things I’ve been neglecting the past few months, and I’ve made several dozen cupcakes for different people. I’ve had so much to do that I’ve decided to highlight a day each week as a reminder to schedule nothing. (I literally took a purple highlighter and outlined one day each week in October.)
We homeschooling moms tend to watch that yellow bus go by and wonder what school-moms do with all that time! We (teasingly…longingly…) envision bubble baths, Hallmark movie days, plenty of time to figure out dinner, and a house that is spotless because there aren’t people there making it dirty all day long! I’m bound and determined to make some of that happen! I will say, the house is staying a little cleaner, even though I do still have three people home during the day depending on the bigs’ work schedules.
Riding the bus
One major change in all of this is riding the bus. The first week of school our kids weren’t scheduled to ride the bus because they were new students. We were told it could take three days or three weeks to get things squared away so we were prepared for the long-haul. Fortunately it only took five. That first week we walked the mile to school and then I either walked home or went for my run. Once the bus situation was settled we began figuring out that routine.
They missed each other!
Tomorrow (Monday) is one of my “purple days.” I have a few household tasks I want to do, including decorating for fall – I’m really late on that this year! But I’m also wanting to do one of those activities I always assumed public-school moms do… so, your suggestions are welcome!