The extreme way to get more family time

August 16, 2012 in Hearts at Home,homeschoooling

A magazine article about the crazy life of over-scheduled families made me wonder how they got so busy. I was always home. Nap schedules of my littlest dictated when we went somewhere and how long we stayed. I wished for more to do, not less.

Fast forward 4 years and we were that frazzled family. I had tried not to let my kids participate in too many activities, but the options were exciting and hard to say “no” to : book clubs (learning to discuss books early), gymnastics (individual sport), soccer, (team sport), swim lessons (because I didn’t want them to drown), Sunday night church youth group ( so other people were teaching them about God too). Most of the time only two-three lessons happened per week, but as my youngest started taking lessons too, our calendar spiraled toward the ridiculous level of the families in that magazine article.

We cut back. Dropped the gymnastics, graduated from swim lessons, skipped book club during crazy months, quit going to Sunday night (which I regret). Still, my oldest sometimes had an hour and a half of homework in 4th grade (and she wasn’t a slacker). After school we snacked, did homework, rushed to soccer, ate dinner late (about 8 pm) and then showered and went to bed. My dear hubby was the coach which worked well as far as controlling the practice and game schedule (plus he loves it) but family time was rare. And when there was time, we were so tired it was usually a family movie.

Now add to that a little girl who dreams of playing soccer in the World Cup or Olympics. She used to get up 20 minutes early to practice soccer moves in the dark before she got ready for school. And a few coaches around here (besides her dad), think she might have the makings of a great player. Do I really think she will play in the Olympics? No. But I want to let her pursue it. Reaching it or failing to reach it, either will develop her character tremendously. But such training takes more time.

We know from others that the years ahead get busier and more complicated.  So, starting next week, we are making a big change. To preserve family time, to be able to teach our girls all the things we think are important without running out of hours in a day, and if you ask my daughter, to build more soccer practice into the day, we are switching to homeschooling.
Our new schoolhouse, in a different season. I’d show you the inside schoolroom…but it doesn’t exist yet!
And I am terrified. In my former life I was a high school teacher. The teaching part isn’t as scary as the socialization. I don’t worry about the kids as much as I worry about me. I have a fear of being insulated–knowing only people who share my beliefs and philosophies. And please don’t take offense, but I don’t want to be a long haired, skirt-wearing, goat milk-drinking mother of six precocious kids with Biblical names (my homeschool stereotype). It’s not that I don’t admire her, because  she amazes me. But I don’t want to be her. I worry that my friends still in the trenches of public education will forget me, that we won’t have enough in common or that I will never leave my house alone.

For me, the decision to homeschool came because it made sense for our family, because I do love teaching, and because I am choosing to let go of my fears and trust God that He can provide for all our needs, even my own social ones.

Today I am participating in a Hearts at Home blog hop on how to create family time. I wish I had a cute post for you on 5 easy ways to create family time, but it isn’t easy (maybe the other bloggers have simpler ideas, you should check them out). I hope you don’t think that you need to home school to have family time. I don’t. It’s where God has led us for now and what came to mind when I read the topic for the month. 

Let the adventure begin.  

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Heather August 16, 2012 at 11:06 am

Good luck! Homeschooling is one of the few things I have always said I would never have the patience or attention span to take on! I have all the respect in the world for those who can.


Mothering From Scratch August 16, 2012 at 1:44 pm

{Kathy} Yowza! You are awesome. I, too, am an “ex-teacher”. Your comment about the homeschooling stereotype was a riot, yet honest. Break the stereotype! Cut your hair and drink Coca-Cola! I am kidding, sort of. Your heart is in the right place: you are seeing homeschooling as a solution to a problem. That is extremely healthy and I think you will be blessed for it. Go, go, go!


Holly Tumpkin August 16, 2012 at 2:13 pm

I completely understand and have lived all parts of this! Did the same at one point. What I’ve learned, live one year at a time, you can do it and He will make it all work for each member of family. He may change direction next year, who knows? I thought we were done changing school decisions for good, and He had me switch just my youngest this year. you can do it, you will remain who you are, and you’ll be fine! 🙂


Mothering From Scratch August 16, 2012 at 2:22 pm

{Melinda} I have many homeschooling friends and I honor and applaud your choice, Laura. It is not an easy one, but whatever God calls us to He will equip us for.

I have two almost teenagers (one 15, one 12) and it does get crazier and we are deliberate about not overscheduling. My daughter is on her high school soccer team and my son is on a traveling baseball team. That’s all they do. That and school. And our lives and schedules are very full. One thing I try VERY hard to do is to eat dinner together most nights. Even if it’s at 8:30. And do a short devotion at mealtime. It is a thread that keeps us together throughout the nuttiness of the week.

Got your email … thank you! Will be replying soon. 🙂


Mandy August 16, 2012 at 4:02 pm

Sounds like you are carving out family time in the best way that works for your family, and that’s awesome! And I cracked up at your goat milk stereotype… we all have those, I think. I admire your decision and pray that God will use it in mighty ways! Thanks for hopping with us today!


Adventuregirl August 16, 2012 at 4:33 pm

Too funny…I started homeschooling last year for the same reasons. We loved it! I also chose to blog about it for the blog hop.:) I think you will do awesome, and it will fit the flexibility you long for. God bless you and your family! (Many of your fears will be gone in just a few months when you begin to see the benefits)


Lisa August 16, 2012 at 7:47 pm

I also often wonder how families get so busy. Mastering the art of saying no has worked wonders for us. We have gotten pretty good at knowing what activities will put too much of a dent in our family time.


thecurryseven August 17, 2012 at 1:16 am

I’ve been homeschooling for a long time (and only one daughter drinks goat’s milk… because she is allergic to cow’s), and I have never regretted the decision. This is especially true when some of my children grew older and hit the high school years. I know my children and spend time with them in a way that my friends whose children go to public school don’t. There is nothing like just having time to spend together and really get to know each other. It actually made sending my oldest to college easier… because we had all that time together before she went.

And don’t worry about socialization… for you or your children. There are many, many different types of homeschoolers out there. I find my group of homeschooling friends to be more diverse than other groups.

From a fellow hop participant…


Tristi August 17, 2012 at 3:11 am

Huge respect for homeschooling moms. I hope it helps your family find more time together.


Pam August 17, 2012 at 3:41 am

Enjoy your homeschool journey; we will probably head down that same road in 2 or 3 years!


The Røsviks August 17, 2012 at 6:22 am

How exciting for you and your family! I admire you soooo much for being so proactive in the fight to preserve family time. I see so many families around us spending their lives running from one thing to the next…it makes me dizzy just thinking about it! I hope you and your girls have so much fun learning and spending time together, and I pray that He will remove your fears and bring dear friends (old and new) into your life through this new era. (BTW, I looooove your house! It is beautiful!)


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