I have homeschooled at least one of my 4 kids since 1991. Who knew when I kept that first little kindergarten boy home so that he could learn in freedom and nature and live a natural little boys life...that I would still be doing it 22 years later!
For the most part, I loved those years. I loved having my kids with me, I loved the naturalness of our days and their freedom to explore their world. I loved watching them be excited about the books they were reading with no book report looming over their head. We could just talk about it and discuss ideas. I loved sitting and breastfeeding a baby while one read aloud to me.
*Most* of the time it flowed....it was a lot of work too. We had to work out relationships daily, keep short accounts, I couldn't work and homeschool a passel of littles so I stayed home and we made due on one income for many years. There were days the messes of at that time, 3 littles and their buddies felt like too much. Sometimes the sibling fighting was a lot to navigate. But overall, those were some really good times.
Little one just finished up the 6th grade. She is enrolled in a wonderful charter school where she goes to school 2 days a week and is home with me 3 days a week. It has been the perfect blend for us. However she has now chosen to go to the charter school full time, 5 days a week, beginning in August, the 7th grade.....and I am happy about that! I am so tired. I am not as young as I was back in the day and my enthusiasm for thinking up ways to engage a middle schooler are completely depleted! lol I just want to be her mama now. I don't want to worry about if she is getting everything she needs academically. I just want to take she and her friends roller skating (their new passion...so funny, so 80's) and out for ice cream. I want to snuggle on the couch and watch movies. I want to go shopping with her for her new wardrobe because she just had a huge growth spurt and is now 5'4 and 107 lbs! My baby.
The fact is not lost on me that I am the homeschooling mom whose daughter grew up to be a heroin and methamphetamine addict. Little one is right at the age when we watched our girl transform into someone else. She went through the same exact huge growth spurt and then she plunged into a pit never to come out. Don't think I am not filled with sheer terror that it will happen again. I am watching and am praying and am gently loving her. We talk about depression in general terms....what it feels like, what you can do if you ever feel depressed. Who you can talk to.....all of us, because we all have struggled at one time or another with it! What help is available. Information is power. We are not helpless victims to what ails us...we can be proactive with our mental health and the health of our children.
Have a good one kids.....
PS: I'm still praying for all of us.