Homeschooling: Some Parts Get Easier

Dear Reader,

This doesn’t apply exclusively to homeschooling parents, but I think it does apply especially to them. There may be things about homeschooling that get tougher over time (can you say calculus?), but I am finding lately that there are also some aspects of life that are getting a lot easier.

I have a lot of friends who still have very little ones, whose oldest kids are just getting to school age and are wondering how they are going to juggle it all. So I wanted to say that this time is hard, but it gets better. The hard years with little ones are really pretty short relative to your whole parenting/homeschool journey.

Here are some of the positive changes to look forward to:

1. Not having to choose between scheduling everything around nap time or dealing with a cranky toddler.

2. Not having to push a stroller or carry a large diaper bag everywhere.

3. Being able to keep going all day and have everyone able to keep up.

4. Not having to make everyone’s breakfast because they can do their own toast and oatmeal.

5. Having really helpful help with the chores. If my 4 kids and I each clean for half an hour, we are getting two and a half hours of cleaning done on our house. That is a lot.

6. Being able to leave some kids home. This comes a but later but it is huge. We began leaving my oldest son (who is 11 this week) home alone briefly this past year. He appreciates not having to jump in and out of the car every time there is an errand or a sibling has a class. I appreciate having fewer  children to shepherd around. We have also begun briefly leaving siblings home with him. Even though I have to drive to every class, for the most part, kids only need to go along to classes they are in which makes them all feel less hectic. Which makes me feel less hectic even though I am still going a  lot of places. It also means I can go to the grocery store with fewer than 4 kids which probably makes many strangers feel less hectic too when they don;t have to encounter us in the aisles.

I took my daughter to her nine-year check up yesterday and didn’t bring her brothers. This provided more privacy for her but also a better appointment all around. Our doctor is a nice, Christian man who has no problem with the idea of 4 kids. But in practice, it is really hard to get through an appointment in those little exam rooms with all of us crammed in and antsy.

I can also take better care of myself. I hate to tell you how many years I didn’t go to the dentist for. Or how much work my teeth needed when I finally went back. But now things are even easier. If I don’t actually leave kids at home, I can at least leave them in waiting rooms sometimes. This applies to regular doctors and eye doctors too.

Remember those days when you couldn’t even shower without taking the baby in the bathroom with you? Maybe you are still there. It is tough. Babies and toddlers bring a lot of joy. But they also bring a lot of logistical problems. But slowly, slowly over time things do get easier. It can be very tempting some days to want to send your kids to school and have those 6 hours all alone. I don;t even know what I would do with that much time! But the later years (beyond toddlerhood at least; we haven’t gotten to teens yet) have their own joys and compensations. Life gets a little easier. I make not be alone a lot, but I get a lot more time to myself. I can shower, and exercise, and go to the store. Sometimes I even go to the dentist (they put on the cooking channel for me while they work on my teeth; it’s kind of relaxing).

Lest you think all the joys are about leaving my kids behind at home, I also wanted to say that the kids themselves get more interesting. Toddlers are cute. But older kids can be a lot more fun. They have real conversations with you. They play games that are interesting to adults as well (no more Candyland! yeah!). We have really enjoyed being able to play board games together as a family. I have been reliving childhood by getting them all the kids’ movies (think old Disney classics, E.T., and the like) I remember seeing as a child.

So that’s it: life gets easier. Wait it out. be patient, and before you know it you will be clean and well-rested again.

Nebby

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One response to this post.

  1. […] ages, don’t worry–it won’t always be this hard. Nebby offers encouragement in Homeschooling: Some Parts Get Easier posted at Letters from […]

    Reply

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