Wednesday, September 9, 2009

School is in Session

The school room has been ready for weeks with computers and desks for Jace and Brynna and a miniature table accompanied by tiny chairs for the little ones. Educational posters adorn the walls and I have spent more than my fair share of money on school supplies. I have had grandiose thoughts of what it would be like, this new school adventure, how I would be amazing and my kids would excel under my tutelage graduating early with 4.0 GPAs. Fear has gripped me at moments as self-doubt has over taken me, not knowing exactly what to expect since Sunday School is the only teaching experience on my resume. Now it is here, the moment has arrived, the moment of truth, and now I have officially done it for two days. I am a homeschooling mom.

The first day of school is always such an exciting moment in a kids life and I think parents share in the anticipation, because it stirs memories of our own childhood. I only imagined that my first day as a "teacher" would be all the more filled with wonderment. Alas, reality has once again rained on my parade. Knowing full well, and dreading, what my next statement will bring; an onslaught of "I told yous", disgust from moms who do it well and could never imagine saying negative things about their kids, and sympathy from those who have been in my shoes, I will proceed regardless. As of yesterday...

I hate it. Yes, I am afraid I have made a huge mistake. I abhor homeschooling.

This is not my cup of tea. My poor attempts at organization have yet again been foiled. My patience has waned. Never before have I ever felt like such a failure. The first day left me tired, burnt out, hungry without an easy dinner to prepare, and the very existence of my children grated on my nerves. I longed for bedtime; both theirs and mine. I'm sure it didn't help that yesterday school began at 8:00 and finished around 6 pm. It was a very, very long day. My mind swirled with images of the moms who do this and the ease they portray as they handle their days, their lives and I began not to like them. I thought of the moms who said I would have these days and couldn't imagine that they had lived lived this day, because if they had they would have quit. Truly this day that started off with "greatness" was now in a hand basket somewhere in hell. I pushed through my pity party with clenched teeth, unkempt hair, and crazed eyes anticipating relief but thinking it was only a farce. After dinner, Brian and I sat alone at the dinner table for a minute and I lost it, I began crying, telling him I couldn't do this, that I didn't want to do this, and that I would not be birthing anymore children for him. Bless Brian's heart, he never knows how to handle my emotional episodes, thankfully this outburst he didn't pat my head like the family dog as he did the last time I sobbed. He remained relatively silent. I pulled it together still discouraged, but functioning. That's when I noticed he took the kids outside and allowed me to catch my breath. He even had a heart-to-heart with Jace that night and addressed some of the issues of the day. The load felt a little lighter.

Today was better than yesterday, with the first book being cracked just before 9 and the the towel being thrown in with one subject untouched at 3:00 (this included making cupcakes for Brynna's Girl Scout Troop tonight). I figure we can try and catch up tomorrow and if not we will get to it eventually. I would hardly call this a happy ending, I don't think I will see that for at least another 6 years, but at least today I didn't push my own limitaitons, I'm still welcoming their hugs and kisses, and I know if I need it my man has my back. Do I still hate homeschooling? Well hate is a strong word, so maybe I will re-think it. How about, "I don't care for it." Does it mean I'm quitting? I'm too prideful for that and if anything these couple of days have allowed me to see that Brynna really needs the extra attention that I don't think she would be afforded in public school. Most importantly, if I believe that this really was God's calling, then there is no other choice. It's time to step up.


Annette said...

It sounds like you and the kids will need to know when the day is over. 9-3 sounds good (but I wouldn't know). You and the kids both need the school day to end...but with additional prep for you in the evening and homework for them. Keep us updated! Glad you didn't throw in the towel!

Jessica said...

Good for you for pulling yourself up by the bootstraps and keepin' on keepin' on. =) Hang in there - you'll both get used to the routine soon, and it will get easier. I admire that you're doing it.

Tonya said...

I usually start our year off with one or two subjects per day for at least a week! :-) It IS overwhelming when you first start - and I started with ONE in kindergarten. Honey, cut yourself some HUGE slack. Don't worry about getting all the subjects done every day. Even in public school they never finish the entire book, they have days they don't get it all done! OK?

Tell me, when you first got married, had your first baby, didn't you have some days you felt like quitting? Give yourself some time. Cry buckets of tears. Ask friends for help, encouragement, support. Most of all, go to the Lord. Tell Him that if He asked you to do this, then you need His strength.

One of the hardest parts of homeschooling is seeing just how ugly I can be. The lack of patience, the irritation, the frustration, the lack of organization. I mean, didn't I conquer ANY of these sins yet?

One of the best parts of homeschooling is when you see glimpses of Christ in yourself and your children. You will have those moments. Cherish them!

We will pray for you!

kris_tea said...

There is that famouse vers in the Bible that talks about God not giving us more than we can bare, but I think sometimes He lets us take on more than we can bare so that He can show how powerful He is & make us rely more on Him. You are going to be a great homeschooling mom. I often do the same thing, I dream up these great ideas on how things are going to be & they never turn out that way. I'm learning to not try to "picture" myself in the occasion, whatever it may be.

Also, my mother is a public school teacher & I can tell you there are days when she has felt exactly the same way. Granted, she got rid of them at the end of the day but she had me & my sister to contend with & as we got older & to this day, she still comes home & teaches piano for 2 or so hours. I really don't know how she does it.

I love your honesty. I have no children but I would like to homeschool if I am ever blessed with them & I like that you shared with us the not so pleasant side of it. I think sometimes we can become dissillusioned by all the positive things we read & hear about homeschooling. I'm not saying anything that those others say is wrong & I appreciate all of what they say but just like any job there are going to be rough days & if you don't hear about them from others you start to think you are doing something wrong or that something is wrong with you. It isn't. It is just life this side of Heaven. :) Thanks again for sharing.

The Ties that Bind Us said...

Well, how's it going? It's the 14th. Did you survive another couple of days? I've got 5 too, but I started homeschooling with just 2 so I've had a slow start. I've been praying for you. There's some good advice here in this comment section. Did you take any?

Sarah said...

How's it going now?

I hope you end up loving it!