1. Will I be Okay?
Okay - by definition to me, means mostly sane and happy. Being around children 24/7 can do crazy things to you and I have already experienced some of this insanity with two young children. What happens when/if more come along or the difficulty of questions and repetition of questions increase? Thankfully, I have an incredible support system. My husband is all for homeschooling, many friends with similarly aged children are also starting this journey, and my mother (who homeschooled me) is only a phone call or short drive away. I have confidence that I will get through this season but do wonder how many brain cells will be left at the end....
2. What will happen after I become an empty-nester?
I know this is far into the distant future since my youngest isn't even old enough for school, but I keep hearing that they fly the nest faster than we can blink. So, rationally I don't think this a strange question to ask myself.
I went to college and received an AA. I was even close to a BA when I got pregnant and lost all ambition to do any more schooling. But what happens when they are done with school? Will I have to start over in my late forties waiting tables or taking classes? I don't know if living off the husband will be all that fair or fulfilling when I am not wiping noses and teaching his offspring to read. Starting over does not sound appealing either, as I have been there done that before children and don't really care to repeat that season. I work part-time from my computer at home when the girls nap. But if anymore children come along I don't see how I will manage even working part-time. I will just have to trust that this job or one like it will be available maybe even with a few more hours, when my raising children years are over.
3. Will all my friend lose interest in me?
You know how people get when they are immersed in something, good or bad, it can become a bit much. I don't want to turn into that friend that can only talk about her kids, and homeschooling her kids, and did I mention the wife that reports on her kids? Will I be able to tell when my friends are sick of hearing about homeschooling? I don't want to cause/start/tolerate any child/school/parenting comparing/judging!
....I think I may have a new obsession with the "/" sign...
How will I stay an interesting friend balanced enough to be able to hold a conversation about a vast number of topics? I'm thankful for those friends that are walking this journey with me, because we will be on the same page. I will strive to retain some other friendships that will be uplifting and non-kid focused to the best of my ability.
4.Will I butt heads all day long and have to fight to make it interesting?
When my first daughter was born I was convinced that I had a strong willed child. When my second one was born I realized I had two! Both are strong personalities, but thankfully they love being praised and cuddled. The whole family seemingly shares the same two primary love languages of Words of Affirmation and Touch. So, as much as they aggravate me with some of their antics, they equally astound me with their love.
As my four year old's curiosity increases so do the amount of her questions and demands. We are working on finding the loving balance of allowing the child to be heard but having respect for what mommy and daddy say. We have discovered peak times of the day that have the optimum attitudes for learning and others that just equal quiet time. Learning types are also showing themselves and allowing for tweaked lessons. But inevitably we run into a subject that has run just a bit too long or an interrupted lesson that doesn't want to be resumed. I want them to understand that sometimes in life we have to do things when we don't want to and there are deadlines in life. So, if we are already butting heads now, what happens when algebra comes along?
5.Will my kids hate me for not allowing them to do the "normal" thing?
This one I am only mildly worried about since I loved being homeschooled. I know it is not for everyone, but I thrived going at my own pace rather than waiting on the class clown to get his butt in gear so we all didn't have homework because of his antics. I had the opportunity to experience, public, private both here in the USA and abroad as well as homeschooling. I asked to be homeschooled after experiencing 7th grade in public school. I was tired of teachers and students wasting my time. From 8th on, I was homeschooled.
My girls won't be choosing but we will pray about options each year to see where they might thrive best. I am not set on it until they are 18 but I am hoping. They will have friends that are homeschooling like them, friends going to public school and private school as well. I am hoping I can shape their view of homeschooling to be one of advantage instead of them feeling left out of the "normal". We will have plenty of opportunity to socialize, so I am really hoping to avoid the issue by keeping a balanced peer group for them.
6. Will I get any alone time ever?
I recharge by myself and you have probably guessed by now that I don't get as much alone time with two young kids as I would like. I do try to plan either a date night with my husband or a coffee night out with gal pals once a week.
My daughters seem much more extroverted like their father and are constantly asking where we are going and who is going to be there. My oldest is definitely an extrovert like her daddy and she constantly wants playdates. Will we be able to maintain a healthy balance for her and for my introverted self?
7.Will getting involved in a coop be too much craziness?
I have actually been a part (kind of) two different coops. There first one was when I was in high school/homeschool and the other girls in it and I never really clicked. Some were so sheltered and shy they never made eye contact or engaged in conversation beyond yes and no. And the other kids I knew from youth groups did the 'who is dating who?' conversations which I found juvenile when you can't do anything legally with that relationship anyway. Why date until you can get married? Okay, that is another topic. ;) The other coop I taught in when I was pregnant with my first child. I grew up abroad and learned Russian so I taught a beginners Russian language class. I was not involved in the ins and out of the actual coop and only knew part of the families making it up.
When I think of coops I am wary of who to link myself with or allow to influence my teaching and my children. I know socialization is important, support and sharing helpful, but it can also get out of control quick! I love the idea of sharing resources/ideas and maybe even sharing the teaching load for subjects that aren't my strengths. I am leery of getting involved in a group where I am constantly having to explain/defend my beliefs about God and creation or teaching styles. I will have to pray long and hard about joining one or maybe start my own so I can influence the main vision of the coop. Time will tell if it is too much craziness. :)
8.Will i neurotically over-schedule or lazily under-schedule?
If you haven't guess by the list making, I have a Type A personality. I both like this about myself and hate it. A turn off switch would be very helpful for this trait! I love being organized and having a rough routine, but I am purposefully and slowly trying to train myself to be more Type B for several reasons. I know no one thrives for long under Hitler, so I don't want to be so scheduled and organized that I kill the love for learning and my children's natural curiosity. They are both left handed and think with the opposite site of their brain than I do. They tend to be more artistic and spontaneous and I want them to be free to do things differently than mommy.
I know no one thrives for long under Hitler...
But at the same time, reporting to the state and having a portfolio at the end of the year seems daunting at times. Will my idea of an awesome education balanced with field trips, book work, natural curiosity lead learning be enough to impress who it needs to impress? I have no doubt that the education will be unquestionably awesome (not because I am so awesome, but because my kids have a thirst for knowledge and are sponges!), but I wonder if I will do a good enough job tracking, and explaining all we learned into the correct school board lingo?? Time will tell....
9.Will I become obese?
You may laugh at this one, but for every woman or man who has been at home can attest, food is readily available in fridge and pantry. And I am sure I am not alone in being guilty of reaching for a comfort snack when I am overwhelmed....whether by children or just life in general. The added stress of not just being with children but fitting in quality teaching without regular breaks has definitely added to the challenge of not stress eating.
I am currently going strong with a personal workout Monday-Friday and have eliminated a lot of bad food from my diet, but as the scale refuses to budge there is that small irrational part of me, that cries to be a size 6, that wonders if homeschooling will allow me to reach that goal ever?! The more rational part of me just wants to lose the marriage/baby weight and be back to a heart healthy weight. Either way homeschooling the children will be an added stressor. :(
10.Will it all be worth it?
Okay, you know what they say about hindsight being 20/20? Wish you could jump in a time machine for a moment to know how it will all turn out? I guess what keeps me from complete panic mode when this question slips into my thought pattern during the day...... God's whispered "TRUST ME". God has placed in our hearts (my husband's and mine) the peace and desire to homeschool our children this year. We prayed together asking that God would make His will known and God kindly confirmed His calling for us. Following His direction is ALWAYS worth it!
....and peace returns....