Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Big Change

Well....I have a bit of news. I am no longer a homeschooler. This is kind of bittersweet for me. This year I tried to homeschool Aaron and Whitney...and if you remember my post on The "H" Word, I was pretty nervous about homeschooling 2 kids at the same time. Well, my fears were confirmed. I just couldn't do it! It was SO hard to try and bounce between the 2 kids and making sure they weren't falling behind. We weren't getting done with school until about 5:00 in the evening! It was awful. :( I turned into this totally stressed out monster and felt like all I did was nag, "Finish your math! Come on! We've been working on this for 2 hours!!!" And I just think Aaron couldn't handle me being his mom and his teacher at the same time. It was so frustrating! He is an interesting boy. His mind works like nobody I've ever seen.

Here was our conversation:

Me: "Aaron, today we're going to learn about an awesome color! Can you tell me what color your shirt is today?"

Aaron: "Um......it's red!"

Me: "Good! Now...can you tell me what color Lightning McQueen is?"

Aaron: "He's red!"

Me: "Good! Now, what color are our dining room walls?"

Aaron: "They're red!"

Me: "Great job! So, can you guess what color we're going to talk about today?"

Aaron: "Um.....BLUE!"

I swear...I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.

My husband had taken off two weeks, and his second week off was our first week of school. It was kind of embarrassing to have him home to witness the chaos. Me trying to help Whitney with her math AND help Aaron with his writing with Kate crying at my feet, "Mommy! Mommy! Hold you? Hold you? WAAAAAAAAH!!!" I wasn't dressed...I hadn't done my hair or makeup in three days, the house was a WRECK, dinner was never made on time, and I was in tears at least twice a day.

So, he came and sat with me and said the magic words. "Honey, I think we should look into putting the kids into public school. "

I was relieved and heartbroken at the same time. I know it's what was best for the kids, and I knew they'd LOVE school and everything would be okay. But...I was heartbroken that I couldn't handle it. It's embarrassing to admit....I failed. So many other parents homeschool like eight kids all at once! And I couldn't even handle two! Sigh.

So, the next day I took the kids to the school and enrolled them. I got to have a tour of the school and meet the teachers *who are just SO cute!* and I felt much better.

I couldn't sleep that night. I was so nervous. What if I slept in and they missed the bus? What if they won't wake up? What if I forget to put their lunches in their backpack? What if they start crying? What if I start crying? What will I do all day? Will they be okay???

The next morning we all said family prayer together, I took them both to school, walked them to their classrooms, gave them big hugs, told them I loved them and went back home. I didn't cry like I thought I would...I was more excited for them than anything. I knew they were in good hands and that they would make friends and have a blast! But, I couldn't wait for them to come home! I couldn't wait to see them get off of the big yellow bus and come running to me! And...they did. :)

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I have to admit...I am LOVING the peace and quiet days I have now. I am LOVING going to the grocery store with only one kid to worry about. I am LOVING taking naps with Kate during her nap time. I am LOVING having a clean house. I am LOVING baking things so they can have after school snacks. I am LOVING having dinner ready on time. And I am LOVING hearing their stories of their adventures at school when they come home! They seem so happy and excited! And...I think everything is going to be okay.

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10 people leaving some love!:

The Yoder's Four said...

Oh, I am relieved for you! Don't feel that you're anything less because you couldn't handle homeschooling TWO KIDS with a toddler at your feet! I think you're amazing for even trying!!

I totally understand about Aaron--I was Madelyn's Primary teacher for a few years (not by choice)and she was always a brat for me. She was totally fine with someone else as her teacher, though!

I'm glad you have got some peace, quiet and order back in your home! That is priceless!!!

Mike & Rachel Barton said...

I am happy for you. I'm know you've probably felt guilty.. but you are doing what you feel is best for your family and the best things change often. I'm happy for you that you get that time to have "you" time.

Love you!

Sarah @ This Crazy Blessed Life said...

You made a good decision for you and your kids. I totally understand the anxiety though. Mine aren't in school yet, but I just want to keep them with me forever and not let them go. I know that I'll have to eventually though.

And imagine all the time you get to spend with Kate and all the things you can get done! I'm happy for *you*!

I'm sure your kids are loving it!

Heidi C. said...

I have often thought of homeschooling, but I have never been brave enough to even try. Caleb is a freshman now and public school seems to be working for my boys. Enjoy those quiet moments with Kate, they are priceless. I enjoyed my time with Wes when he was home with me while the others were in school. Time goes by way to fast!

Chris said...

My husband is really keen on what causes my stress or when I am at my limit too. I guess I just get so used to the chaos & little perfectionist me wants to keep trying until it's not caotic anymore. It's nice to have great men who know help us be the best we can :)

Natalie said...

Oh my goodness, Nat, not a failure AT ALL!! Remember that saying, you only fail at something if you never try! You tried and gave it your all and it wasn't for you guys at this time. And how awesome that we live in a country where we have such a fantastic alternative if that doesn't work out! Not only will they thrive at school, but you will thrive as a person. It can be so liberating for everybody involved. You're a great mommy!

Lara said...

Your outlook on Homeschooling is SO refreshing. I love how it is a legitimate option - but not the only option. So many people (whether for or against homeschool or public school) are like rabid cult members. Circumstances change! All must be considered and re-evaluated. Like when I told my MIL that I would consider Homeschool and she flipped out - it will definitely be a consideration. It's an option! It's so good to have options!

I am glad you've been able to take advantage of all your options. And I wish you'd blog more. I love reading. :) (Maybe you can, now!)

MeganD said...

I was really happy to see this post. I have to say that I found your blog when searching "how to make rosettes" and became a fan! I was discouraged through some of the comments of some of your readers on your initial homeschooling post, and did not read for awhile. I am a very busy, very underpaid, but very in-love-with- my-job public school teacher. I feel like public schools get a bad rap sometimes (because don't get me wrong-there are bad ones!) I love the 22 kids in my class like they are my own, and feel that God is in our school through the actions and words of the staff. We even prayed over the desks before the first day of school. Thanks for the positive public school post!

Jim and Bea said...

Choosing public schools is not a failure in home schooling. Thomas Edison tried 423 different methods to make an electric light bulb, and he always said that he simply found 422 ways that it wouldn't work. So you found ONE way it wouldn't work. 421 to go...

Enjoy your quiet and order. Remember, as important as academic education is, you will still be teaching your children the most important things they can know and do - who they are, where they came from, and what they have the potential to be.

Lolly Jane said...

i was wondering when i saw your earlier post "now that the kids are in school" i was confused.

that's a tough decision. i think i would have a similar experience trying to h-school my kids. i really don't think i could do it.

BUT i can be the vice pres on the pso. and i can volunteer weekly. and i can be a good homework helper. and i can make sure they have healthy breakfast, lunches, snack after school and dinner.

you're awesome, nat. a great mama. good job, girl!

XOXO, kelli (: