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.