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I am one of the few who wanted to be a homeschool mom. I came into the job with an open mind and a desire to serve my children. While I fully anticipated ups and downs with five kids in tow and teaching 1st grade, Kindergarten, and PreSchool simultaneously, there were still things that happened beyond my control. My journey as a mom, homeschooling in the city, during a Pandemic, changed me yet again! If you have ever read any of my work, you’ll know I freely use the phrase: “I’m a constant work in progress.” Read more for my confessions of a quarantine homeschool mom.
1. I Am Learning More Than the Kids
I found myself learning much more than the children. Of course, I should know more than a 1st grader, and I do, but being a homeschool mother has changed me into a “forever learner.” I am constantly seeking knowledge all around me and in all subjects.
The answer to this isn’t quite so obvious. I think it’s because I have seen my children learn with my own eyes. I truly am getting the joy of teaching my kids to read and add double digits and then some, but I don’t want to stop there.
There’s this fire inside me and it was longing to be ignited long ago. That fire is my potential. I’m literally tapping into my kiddos’ potential developments as their teacher. (Will they be Math kids, or Art kids, or BOTH?!) So in looking into their futures, I’ve looked back on my past. I have found I too have more potential. I want to keep learning.
Currently I have three nonfiction books I’m reading simultaneously on my night stand. Plus, I have loads of books I reference daily for little things here and there.
What Books Am I Reading?
What Books Do I Reference?
- Around the Year with the von Trapp Family
- The Catholic All Year Compendium
- Catechism of the Catholic Church
- Balanced and Barefoot
- The Mother at Home
- Dressing with Dignity
- The Family Book of Manners
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families
- 401 Ways to get your Kids to Work at Home
2. I Love My Kids More Than I Used to.
I didn’t realize the love I had for my kids. Eek! It’s hard to say that without sounding like a terrible parent, but it’s true. Before I had my kids home with me all day everyday, I didn’t realize all the things I was missing out on, and some of those things made me fall further in love with my family.
I already mentioned above about how cool it was to watch my kids grow academically. I certainly was missing out on that, but that’s no exactly what I’m talking about here.
Since homeschooling, I became more aware of WHO these little children were on the inside. I saw more of what made them boil, and what made them laugh uncontrollably. My life became fully consumed by these kids through every minute of the day. (Yes, I still needed my me time, I’m no super hero… just a super mom.)
Been There, Done That. Right?
So, I actually thought I had already loved them as much as I possibly could before quarantine homeschool. I already went through the transformation of being a more in tuned mother… it’s the soul purpose of this blog. Yet, there was still MORE!
Just as I don’t want to stop seeking knowledge, I also don’t want to stop searching for more ways to love my children.
The love is in the searching, really. But searching for more, can lead you to places unexpected. I find I’m a more merciful mother, a more patient listener, and yet I still have to work on those very skills everyday. It’s a beautiful thing to know we All Have Something to Work On.
3. I’ve Given Up More That I Expected
I’ve given up much in the same way I gave up after the birth of our third. My life has gotten a tad easier because I’ve given up. But what have I given up?
I guess I give up on perfection and it’s many forms. Of course, I’ve given up a lot of time, and maybe some hobbies, but I’ve gained a ton back that way too. (Like that nasty social media hobby… it’s gone! I’ve deleted Facebook for good and it’s so FREEING!)
Giving up on perfection looks a lot like this: I breathe a bit easier. Our house fights with each other a lot less. The kids smile more. No one is rushing around feeling overwhelmed with the weight of the world.
But what does giving up mean?
It’s been so hard to pin point what it is I’ve done differently, but if I have to say something it is this: Think first. Don’t react. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes. But there’s more to it than that.
I have come to realize there are highs and lows to every relationship. This is most evident in your marriage, but it is also true in your relationships with each of your kids. Parenting is all about building a relationship and much less about getting the kids to do as you say.
Maybe that means I gave up on being the dictator. I’m working on being an example of who I want these kids to grow into. My relationship with each one matters to me. But I’m NOT trying to be their friend, as much as I am trying to be their leader, or perhaps a guide.
Make no mistake, I’m still very much the Matriarch. I’m still very much in charge, but a good leader listens to their troops. A good leader hears the concerns of their people.
4. My Kids Are Missing Out
So, yeah, my kids are missing out on things at school, but this year…2020… I’m okay with that. I’m also okay with my kids missing out on all the political stuff that’s happening within the schools too. I can’t believe some of the stories I’ve heard and how often parents get in the way of kids being kids.
Oh, I know, you think I’m shielding my kids, right? I guess in a sense, I am. But what I’m really working at is giving my kids the groundwork they need to walk tall in this cruel world.
The world is vicious! And if you don’t know who you are and where you stand, you are going to be eaten alive. I have more time to show my kids who mom and dad are and what we stand for. I have time to teach them many of the “Why” questions they might hear. Ultimately they’ll make their own decisions about their stance, but they’ll at least know why they’ve been brought up a certain way.
Along with academics, our family is really working on teaching our faith, the virtues, morals, and manners. This is a huge bonus for homeschool families.
5. It Was Bad!
I can’t describe our experience without saying there were some bad moments for me as a mom. But that too, I’m okay with. Here’s Why: You literally can’t work on ANYTHING unless you know there’s something to be worked on. I only knew there were things to be worked on based off my performance, my attitudes, my relationships, and my everyday.
My attitude could have very well been from other things in our lives not associated with homeschool, but none the less, it presented itself during our quarantine homeschool. Being shut in and being isolated in many forms causes a lot of struggles and stresses that just sneak up on you! Or, well, that’s how it happened for me.
I had many days when I was embarrassed in front of myself, God, and my angel. I used each moment to ask for forgiveness, patience, and strength.
There were many tears cried on my end for my motherhood, for my marriage, and for my sorry self. Tears of sadness, anger, and fear. It should be known I’m a highly emotional person.
But through prayer, seeking knowledge, giving up, slowing down, and building stronger relationships with the people in my house (husband and kids), I came out on top. I became a much better version of myself.
If I can just be 1% better than the day before, I’m doing something great. Many saints will tell you, there is greatness in the small things.
And Sometimes It’s Okay to Add to the Chaos.
Sometimes you have to let things go as a parent… I don’t know why, but I allowed my almost 3 year old to ride his Strider Bike through the house for a week. It was great! He’s almost ready to move to a pedal bike and our 1 year old is starting to bike around on his little balance bike.
Parenting is all about the give and take, and when homeschooling and multiple children are involved, it’s the perfect time to learn to give in just a little more (there is an art to it, so don’t think I’m saying give your kids anything and everything).