When people find out we homeschool, one of the top questions I get is: “How do you like it?” Usually I’m able to respond in a positive way and tell people that despite the tough things about it, overall it’s an amazing process that I feel so lucky to be a part of. Something like that.
But not today. If you ask me if I enjoy homeschooling today, something negative is going to spew out. It can’t all be rainbows and unicorns, can it? When we hit a tough day, I usually have enough mental and emotional fortitude to see it for what it is, and work around it.
Kid’s bad attitudes slowing us down? Maybe we need a break from the regular grind, and we go on a nature walk. My exhaustion becoming a hindrance? Maybe today we skip math in favor of more read aloud time. It all works out in the end.
But not today. Today I can’t seem to see past the whining, exhaustion, the runny noses, and my water bottle that everyone thinks is their own. If I could take the emotion out of it, it would be really easy to see the incredible progress my kids are making. Miles and Gwen are totally in charge of taking care of the animal chores in the morning, are becoming pros at keeping the fire stoked all day, and moving efficiently through their school workload. However, today, all I can see is the water leaked on the floor from the rabbit water bottles, the trail of dirt and leaves tracked inside from gathering wood, and the mounds of books and other school supplies piled up on the coffee table. Lindy and Benson are becoming wonderful friends and playmates and Lindy is rapidly improving her letter and sound recognition. However, today all I can hear is the loud squeals and shouts from their play and can only focus on Lindy’s frustration when she misses a question- knowing I’m going to have to put on a happy face and build up her confidence again.
When we all have an off day, I usually feel like it’s my duty to “fake it till I make it” to help change the course of our day. I’ll try and interject something out of the ordinary and fun to shake things up a bit. I’ll make more of an effort to make a regular subject more entertaining. I’ll respond to their negative attitudes with a smile and a tickle.
But not today. Today I just feel like they should get their work done without complaint. It’s not like I ask an absurd amount from them! I feel like I want to send them away on that pretty, yellow school bus and lean into that desire of mine to do absolutely nothing all day, while their teachers are the task-masters.
I had to run into my room twice today before I completely blew up at the kids during school work, so I could melt down in private. And it took everything I had to leave my cozy bed, dry my eyes, and help them finish their work. Before the official school day had even started, I had to break up two fights between different pairs of kids and I was drained before the day had really even begun. I asked all the kids to find a quiet place and we’d all say our own prayers asking Heavenly Father to help us change our attitudes and the spirit in our home. I think it worked pretty well for the kids, but not for me. Why? Homeschooling is usually an overall joy and I never want to do it any other way.
But not today.