We’re nearing the end of 1st grade and our first real year of homeschool. I have to admit that there have been times lately that I’ve wondered if this is the right choice for us. John is happy and says he definitely wants to keep homeschooling. I like it and have enjoyed the year. But it’s also been stressful with having a new baby in the fall and all the moving related issues this spring (and yes, we are definitely moving in about two weeks). I think many Moms live in a state of semi-perpetual anxiety or guilt, wondering if we’re making the right choices for our kids. For homeschoolers this is intensified because we are making so many of the choices. So my doubts are more along the normal questioning rather than real misgivings but the doubts creep in just the same.
Today was a day that helped me remember why we chose this lifestyle. It had the potential to be a stressful day. We are leaving for a short vacation tomorrow and moving as soon as we come back. Our house is a mess of boxes and suitcases. The buyers for our house needed to come over today and do a walk-through before settlement. I set out to get the minimal amount of school work done, knowing that I’d be busy packing and last-minute cleaning. We got “school” done, I felt ok about what we’d accomplished.
John and David went outside to play while I worked on some packing. John came in all excited because he’d found “honey ants”. They had been just sitting observing these ants, decided they were honey ants because their bellies looked swollen and had tracked them back to what they determined was their nest. Now, I’m not really sure that these were true honey pot ants as I don’t think those are found around here, but I was impressed that he even knew what honey ants were. Plus, I was glad they had the freedom in their day to just sit and watch ants.
We needed to be out of the house for the walk-through but our van was at the mechanic getting its AC fixed. We went for a walk (me) and bike ride (John and David). It was a beautiful day and I was thankful that for recess we were able to all be together, get some physical exercise and John got to work on the new skill of riding without training wheels.
We walked to the park where they had fun pushing Ruth in the swing. She loves both her brothers and laughed and laughed at them. John especially has developed a very close bond with her, that I’m not sure would be the same if he was in school all day.
Later, they made a ship out of some rope, some chairs and a dogwood tree. They helped me pack. They set up a Roman battle using a bowl of seashells and shark’s teeth. They built a castle out of blocks. They sang to their sister to keep her happy while I did some other work.
All fairly ordinary. But it was a day that reminded me that even on the days when we do very little official school, there is a lot going on.