Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I'm not *just* a homeschooler...

First and foremost...a huge thank you to my sweet friend for sending me a copy of this post.  I accidentally deleted it while trying to edit, and she still had it in her blog reader.  I really want it to be part of my journal and was not looking forward to trying to recreate it!  Thank you, V!!!  

I would like to preface this post by reiterating that this blog is my personal journal.  It is a way for me to keep a record of what happens in my family, what I'm feeling at any given time, and often my virtual soapbox.  Avert your eyes for the remainder of this post if you choose to avoid my soapbox rant.  It's okay, you won't hurt my feelings.  If you choose to read on, you can laugh at me or with me. 

I am a homeschooler.  Surprise!  Oh wait, you knew that already?  Well, I am.  And if you've read this before you know that I'm not usually at *home* when I'm *schooling*.  Well, until this year.  But that's old news.  ツ 

This afternoon we had a Brownie meeting at our house.  After the meeting one of my co-leaders and I were chatting and I started to write this post (in my mind).  This evening, during a long conversation with my hubby, I continued writing this post (in my mind).  Now, I sit here staring at a grey screen, and my mind is blank.  Can I undo the delete?  ctrl+z...did it work?

Here we go...SOAPBOX WARNING...if you're offended by this then I may be talking about you...  (borrowed that one from my friend)

I take homeschooling my kids very seriously.  I mean, come on, I only have one chance at this.  I don't wanna mess this up.  There's always therapy (which I wholeheartedly support) but with that comes resentment and a whole lotta bills.  It would be best if we could avoid that.  I do take my job seriously.  I am, first and foremost, a wife.  But to be a wife in this family, I also have to be a mom.  I love being a mom.  Better yet, I love being a homeschooling mom.  I work my tail off.  But I don't think people see that.

You know that saying that you shouldn't take your work home with you?  Homeschoolers laugh at that.  Our work is our home.  We never stop.  It is virtually impossible for me to just do something without thinking about what my kids can or will learn.  For example, last week we went on a hike through the wetlands near a local lake.  We could have just walked the trail, crunched some leaves, marveled at the beauty of our surroundings.  Did we?  Nope!  There were so many lessons in the wetlands:  golden algae blooms, seed pods growing out of the water, scat to study, footprints to discover and identify, survival skills to discuss, et cetera. 

And you know what?  That's okay.  It's my job and I love it.  Do I get tired of it?  Occasionally.  Do I wish I could stop?  Sometimes.  Is it what I live for?  Pretty much.  I'm not complaining.  I promise!

Now I'll complain:  What I'll never understand is how and why people don't understand that it is a job.  I'm not "playing school" with my kids.  I am educating them.  My job, teaching my classroom of 3, is just as important as your job.  Yep, Mr. President, I'm talking to you, too. 

You see, someday MY kid could change the world.  Remember the ripples from the pebble?  Remember how those ripples are far reaching across the entire pond?  I tossed that one pebble...  Remember that what one person does affects everyone around them?  The entire community?

Belle wants to be president.  Funny story, actually.  She asked me one day who mows the grass on the side of the highway.  At that moment we were on an interstate highway, so I explained that the federal government is responsible for interstate maintenance and upkeep.  This led to a discussion of levels of government, and she deduced from that entire lesson conversation that the president hires the people who mow the grass.  Now she wants to be president.  I love that kid!

Back to my point.  If I'm raising a future Madame President, well, that's a huge amount of pressure.  So my ultimate reason for telling you this is that my job is just as important as the next guy. 

Yeah, some days I do it in my pajamas.  Jealous?  Sorry.  Some days I do it at the library.  Or a museum.  Or by watching YouTube videos.  Or by playing games.  Or curled up on the couch with a cozy blanket.  But it's important.  It's my job, and I take it very seriously. 

My schedule is flexible. ...and I still have 9 million things to do in any given day (most include feeding, dishes and laundry).   It has been assumed, many times, that I can drop everything to help others out of a lurch because I'm *just* a homeschooler.  Uh huh.  Well, if your lurch is serious or there is an emergency situation, then I'll help you out. I love being able to help friends in need, because I've been in need and I know how it feels to be helped (a meal, a cleaning, a ride for a kiddo, etc).  I also believe what goes around, comes around (good and bad). 

I don't have weekends off.  I try.  I'll tell my hubby that we're going to take a few days and just have fun.  No learning involved.  Uh huh.  Right.  I'm NOT good at that.  What I'm good at is hiding new experiences, teachable moments, inside of fun activities.  It's like a two-fer-one deal.  Fun and learning all in one!  (I'm also good at helping others figure out what their kids learned by watching a certain movie or performing a certain task...just FYI in case you need help validating something in your own mind...hehe). 

It's all on me (a lot of time time).  My hubby is awesome.  He never misses a beat.  When he's home he jumps right back in, teaching and learning with the girls.  He sends me out as often as possible so I can feel refreshed.  He keeps us all grounded, but he's also gone a lot.  When he's gone I feel a tremendous amount of pressure.  People assume that because I'm happily married my life is just peachy, and it really is.  However, I do feel a lot of stress being the primary caregiver for these kiddos, without a break, for long periods of time.  Yesterday I cleaned my bathroom because I knew nobody would come and bug me lest I may suggest they help.  ツ 

All of this to get to my one main point:  please don't treat me as though I'm *JUST* a homeschooler.  My time is valuable as a wife, mom, and teacher.  When my kids go to bed at night I go to the kitchen table and plan for the next day or sit down at my computer to send emails to those I work with in various volunteer roles (all of which are chosen and agreed to because they help our family and our community).  When I wake up in the morning my goal is to get everyone through morning routines so we can start our day, get to our first activity or sit on the couch and read together.  But everything I do as a homeschooling mom is just as legit as everything you do at your job.  Well, except the pajamas.  

1 comment:

Kim S said...

So, I've been slowing reading through your various posts but this one really struck home (and I just finished reading the one about commenting) so I thought I would.

Well said! I can't tell you the number of times people think I can just drop everything do help them. I always look at it and wonder if they would ask me to take my kids out of a classroom to help. If it's that important, ask away but, if not, this is their education and you are interrupting it.

I've been wondering for a while if it gets better as they get into higher grades. I'm guessing from this post that it likely doesn't though.