With the start of a new semester and resuming school after a three week break, I am always a little overwhelmed and need to take a lot of deep breaths. I get the feeling that the reality of my life is a little bit crazy. As in, I must be a few notches off to attempt this thing called home school.
So I will tell you what it is like. It is not denim jumpers and big bows in everyone's hair and matching clothes and singing hymns while we walk around the house cooking stew in the crock pot and winning every spelling bee we can enter.
It is me, living with some measure of anxiety/guilt every day of my life worrying that I am either not doing enough or I'm permanently screwing them up. It is me, realizing that this is not true or healthy since my children are doing fine, then beginning to fear that my unhealthy anxiety/guilt is the very fuel that drives my teaching to an acceptable level and is therefore necessary to maintain my children's level of academic excellence.
It is hard, mostly.
So I've been asking myself why I do it and what makes it worth it.
What I've realized is this: The best part of being with them all day and teaching them is that I get to observe my children. It is fun to see little Juliet putting her baby in a stroller when she doesn't know I'm watching. To catch the kids pretending together. To see an older child read to a younger one. To figure out what method will make the math concept stick.
As their mother, I will be quite the influence on them for much of their life. They will cry to me, ask me for advice, and rejoice with me during the triumphs in life.
To be there for them and be able to contribute something worthwhile, I need to really know them.
So this thing called home school is an education for me. Hopefully in being their teacher I can learn about them.
Now I must get to things in the kitchen. The girls are sewing new bonnets and snapping the beans. Tonight we are churning our own butter and baking bread in the wood stove. My boys are out back chopping wood. Just a normal home school day at the Alley's!