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Balancing Homeschool and "having a life"?

Posted by on May. 22, 2012 at 9:54 AM
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Hi.   I'm new to homeschooling and new to this group.   I started homeschooling my 1st grader in april when we pulled him from public school.   Next year I will be doing 2nd grade and Kindergarten and will have a 1  year old as well.

I know all the pros of homeschooling and I want the best for my kids.   But I am REALLY struggling with the whole homeschooling lifestyle.   I always thought my kids would get old enough for school and then I'd work part time, volunteer, and pursue my own interests. Then be back home to spend time with them after school.  I know I can still have my own interestes while homeschooling but it is so much harder.....especially since my husband works long hours and I rarely have anyone to watch my kids so I can go do anything I want to.   I cant commit to anything bc his schedule could change and he wont be home to keep the kids.   And I cant afford a baby sitter for 3 kids very often.

I just wondered if anyone else has this same struggle?

by on May. 22, 2012 at 9:54 AM
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by on May. 22, 2012 at 10:07 AM
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Argh. I wrote out a long post and it turned into a 'bump' somehow. Let me see if I can recreate it.


I hear you. My kids have always been in public school, so I've had years of time to myself and my projects. Then my mom moved in with us a little over a year ago. She's partially disabled due to multiple knee surgeries, so I spend a lot of time taking her to and fro to appointments and on her errands. Not to mention, she just generally likes to keep me on my toes.

We moved house a year ago.

We pulled DD out of 9th grade at Easter.

I can't remember the last time I wrote anything. I can't remember the last time I went to a coffee shop to just "be" for a little while. When I volunteer, at least I can take DD with me, but I enjoyed my quiet time shelving books in the library. I'm never alone in my house anymore and it's driving me batty because I'm one who enjoys my solitude.

Every once in a while, I indulge in elaborate fantasies where I hop on a plane and move to Spain. Then someone needs help with Geometry and I need to go grocery shopping if we're going to eat tonight. *sigh*

I wish I could be more gung-ho encouraging, but at least you know you're not alone.

SusanTheWriter ~ Wife, Mom, Author

by on May. 22, 2012 at 10:26 AM
LOL every moms dream right.LOL

Now here's reality. LOL. Your child starts 1/2 day preschool or kindergarten, there is just enough time to clean the house and be bored for half a second and the little tornado gets off the bus. There's lunch, a ton homework and the day is gone.

When they start all day, we did the math there was no point in going back to work after you factor in all the days off and sick days ( because they get sick more) unless you work from home It's just a pain to find a babysitter or find a job that's willing to work around your children's homelife. LOL.

Dh works long hours too. My inlaws all work and ya, my moms not even an option. So I know how you feel.
The way I figure it is there will be plenty of me time when the children are grown and your doing the most important job there is right now. Before you know it there will be sleep-overs and no time for mom because Sally or bobby wants to do this today.
Not that I don't completely crave some adult time with out children a lot.LOL.
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by on May. 22, 2012 at 10:32 AM

At the age your kids are at it is hard no matter if you are homeschooling or not. This is just a season in your life. It will change, your kids will grow and mature, and you will be looking back on this time in your life as a distant memory that you learned lots from. So, my advice is to find other homeschoolers to hang out with, even join a co-op or support group. Being a part of the greater homeschooling community has been a huge blessing for me. We joined a co-op thinking it was for the kids, but in the end it has been just as much for my sanity than anything else. In my opinion, you will quickly burn yourself out and be done with homeschooling if you do not find support. Other moms will encourage you, offer advice when  you need it, provide opportunities for adult interaction, and even boost your ego, all of which can be very healthy things.

You are NOT alone : )

by on May. 22, 2012 at 10:39 AM
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Please don't take this as judgmental or unfeeling, but I think as homeschooling moms, we have to put our interests on the back burner for a while. That doesn't mean that you will never have any alone time. My kiddos are 13 and 11, and are very independent. My 13 yo is extremely responsible, so she "babysits" her brother for a few hours every other week so I can get a manicure (my ultimate mommy de-stress lol!). From the dawn of time, moms are the primary caregivers. Public school changed that natural process. It became the norm for kids to be away from home for 7 hours a day, and moms began filling their free time with interests. My kids were in ps until we pulled them three years ago. It took some time to adjust, and I admit that I felt a little sorry for myself for a few months. Then I reminded myself that bringing them home was the best thing for them, put on my "big girl pants", and got to work. I found that as soon as I stopped focusing on the negatives, the positives became even better. My kids have become more confident, polite, and caring than I could have ever hoped for. Give it some time, and remember that the sacrifices you make now will lead to remarkable results. You have the unique privilege of really knowing your children, and setting the path of lifelong learning.
by on May. 22, 2012 at 12:09 PM
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 IF it is something you really want to do take the kids with you, you never know they may love what you love!

by Group Admin on May. 22, 2012 at 12:49 PM

 Right now I am preschooling a 3 yo, pre-k (5 yo) and my oldest (7) is doing some 1st grade work and some 2nd grade math, history and science.  My dh works 10-12 hours per day unless he's on an install then he's gone from Sun afternoon until Saturday.  You are not alone.

That said, I sent my first to kindergarten and half of 1st.  There was no time for me.  And I had no hopes that there would be when the others went to school.  Mainly because they come home wiped out, tired, cranky and ready to either beat on each other or sit in a corner bawling.  There areHOURS of homework and yes that's even in k and 1!!  Mine had to read a story, write his spelling words, write defs for vocab, and do at least one math worksheet after his hour busride home.  It was exhausting.  Not to mention we had wanted to do some Bible Study in the evening... that never happened!

Although I have a little less time for myself, my household is so much calmer, we get so much more done, we have so much more of the Ahh HA moments and so much less of the crying jags than we had that all the time is worth it!  We begin our day when he used to get on the bus and we are done with our lesson material by a little after lunch.  Then we schedule the stuff each can do on his own for the littlest naptime.  my 5yo does some and some coloring and mazes, the oldest does some reading and a reading journal followed by the math games on  I put the youngest for a nap and the others know that if no one is bleeding and nothing is burning they are not to come into my space.  They are very good about it and I get about 30 minutes to an hour to read or take a bath. I'm a much better mommy and no babysitter is required.

PS.  I usually find my 7yo teaching my 5yo some new game (fractions, time, even/odd) on the computer or them curled together reading a book during my time.  They can be together better than you think and they love to learn, so they do.

by Group Admin on May. 22, 2012 at 12:51 PM

 Sorry, didn't realize I had written a novel.

by Jinx on May. 22, 2012 at 1:11 PM

It gets easier as they are older.

Mine are now 14, 11, and 9 and I can leave them home for short periods of time. DH workds nights and gets home ithe early morning hours but then sleeps till anywhere from 12-2pm.  I often leave the kids home with an assignment sheet for an hour or two to go out and have coffee with a friend or walk my dog and have quiet time. I know that if there is an emergency they can wake DH but even Ds at 14, is old enough to dealwith most things. I've started doing dog training for extra $ and do this in the early am hours before the kids are usually even up.

I also have made friends in sports and activities the kids are interested in. My oldest DS and DD both love karate. After a few months of sitting on my butt watching them work out, I took up the instructor's offer of trying the adult class. OMG!! IT IS SOOO MUCH FUN! It gives us something to bond over and we workout together on weekends and at home.

I do the same with Scouts- most of our good friends are from boy scouts and Girl scouts - so we trade kids with eachother. Sometimes I will take all the kids one my friend K gets free time. her DH passed away of a massive heart attack two years ago so she needs the time. Sometimes she takes the kids and then they don't bug her because they have friends over.. LOL  I have a few friends that we are close enough to that we kid swap, or leave the kids home with DHs or on their own for adult time.

A lot of times we put the kids to bed and then meet up at their house or my house. Everyone brings snacks ot share.  We play cards or dominoes, put on the tunes and PARTY!! while the kids are asleep.

by on May. 22, 2012 at 1:15 PM
Here is my story! We have been traveling on the road for a year. I had dd in prek for a half a second she loved it but now its looking like we aren't getting off the road or even getting the break from the road agh we are gypsies for life. Little said babysitters are not trustworthy everywhere and dfs co workers drink when they aren't working. The other ladies who travel have turned out to be psycho bitches who turn on you and yeah...but I get a little break from dd this summer when she goes to bio dads for a month I don't do well after the second or third day she is gone =[ blah beng a mom is ruff but its so worth it *huggles*
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by on May. 22, 2012 at 2:20 PM

So much great advice!

It does get better/easier as they get older.  Also, explore different curriculums that work for your family.

I am finally back in the workforce as my oldest is 11 and my twins are 8.  DH works during the day and is home by 5 or 6.  I go in at workplace is only 10 minutes from the house.  My thought...if my kids were in PS and I were working a 9-5 job, they would get off the bus around 3ish and be by themselves til 6ish.  Now, this works for my children.  I believe they are at an age/maturity level where they can be trusted to be home safely for these 3 hours that both DH and I are at work.

I leave them for an hour at a time and run to the grocery store or to the salon.

There will definitely come a time when you will be able to venture out on your own and leave your children at home for a short period of time...and as they become older/more mature, that time will become greater and greater.  Until that time comes, search your local area for local homeschool co-ops and support groups.  We have several in our area.  They plan group field trips, classes, fun get-togethers and mom's night out.  Within these groups, friendships are formed and babysitting is traded off.  Also, during some classes and most fun get-togethers, the kids are in one area and the adults are in another (of course the children are still being supervised) and you will have that adult socialization time we all enjoy. :)

Good luck and hang in there! :)

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