Is it possible to be a dedicated homeschooling mom while still making time for myself as an individual (a girlie girl who likes cute shoes)? I like to think so. Follow along, and I'll let you know for sure.

Trust me . . . it's not ALL about the shoes.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Thankful Thursday - The Joy of Homeschooling

Ever get struck in the middle of a crazy, hectic day by overwhelming wave of gratitude for being able to share a special moment with your kids? Well, that’s what Thankful Thursday is all about. Each week, I’ll aim to share a special moment that I would have missed had my kids been away at school . . . and I’m counting on all of you to share yours, too. It will give us something to reflect on during those other six crazy, hectic days!

When Jim and I decided to start a family, it was pretty much a given that I would stay home with the kids. To be honest, I didn't like having a job before I had a baby so I was pretty certain I wouldn't want to return to one afterward. Now before you start thinking I'm lazy, let me remind you that I'm still the same girl who's been up until 2AM the past few nights finishing the cars lapbook!!! I enjoy work - on my terms - it's just having a "job" that's not my thing.

I'm going to level with you here and admit that I've been complaining (my nice word for it) a lot lately about all the things I have to do and how little time in which I have to do them. As always, let me preface this by saying that I'm immensely thankful for my jobs - especially the fact that I can do them at 2AM so I can be with my kids all day - but sometimes they add up to too much. And when I'm overwhelmed with work (and since I'm being honest, usually when the hormones are kicking in), I tend to do a little dramatic spiel questioning how I'm supposed to balance my jobs as a technical writer, resume writer, translation coordinator, mother and teacher in just 24 hours a day (and that's assuming I don't want to sleep!)

It was during one of these little tirades that something about that thought didn't sit right with me - and it seems even more absurd now that I see it in writing.  

When had "mother/teacher" slipped from being a privilege and a joy to being another "job" in my long, tiresome list? When had it become another thing I needed to "get through" each day? And how had I not noticed this sooner???

I've spent the past few weeks reconnecting with those roles, and it's brought me to a place of being truly thankful to have them. Of course, I've always expressed gratitude for them, but I'm not sure my actions always backed up my words.

This year, I'm aiming to make school something I experience with the kids rather than something I plan for them. How many parents are lucky enough to watch their children learn every day? To see what interests them and watch passions develop? To identify challenges and help them overcome them? What a truly amazing gift for both a child and a mom. Is homeschooling "work"? Yes. But is it a "job"? For me, the answer is now "no". It is a privilege that makes all the other jobs worthwhile.
This week seemed to be the official start of school in our area, and I've spent my week watching adorable "first day" pictures pop up on Facebook. It was so fun to see moms and kids alike thrilled that school was back in session, and it's great that it works for so many people . . . but when I closed my eyes and imagined that it was my kids walking off towards the bus stop with their little backpacks on, I got tears in my eyes.

Maybe it's selfish, but I just couldn't do it . . . I couldn't miss an entire day of their lives. It's already going by too quickly, and I want to be there to cherish every moment. And I'm so thankful that I can.


  1. Great post Jess! You are a great Mom!

  2. Wow, I felt like I could have written that myself. I have been thinking a lot of those same things lately. Laurel was in Park Maitland for pre-school and when she came home and would tell me about her day, I was just bummed that I wasn't there to participate. I think it has a lot to do with the lifestyle we began with our kids from day one. From the beginning, I took the kids to the library, read with them, went out of my way to teach them about things about the world when we were out and about. I think that is typically true of h/s'ers and so "teaching" became our job/passion from the day our kids came home from the hospital. Now, to hand that over to a classroom would take something away from them and US!

  3. It is hard to balance life, and to remember to balance ourselves as teachers at home, too. You are doing a terrific job and such a great inspiration for so many.

    I felt those same tugs at my heartstrings seeing all the photos this week. I'm so thankful to be able to homeschool my children. And as Shelly said, I love that "'teaching' became our job/passion."

  4. Thanks, ladies . . . and I definitely agree Shelly that this is just an extension of what we've always done with the kids. I just need to remember to focus more on the "passion" part and less on the "job". :)

    And I have to say, after writing this post, I had the nicest day with the kids! It was so good to bring myself back to *why* I do it.