Like many moms who work outside of the home, last winter I found myself at wit’s end. My then-3rd grader was bringing home all kinds of work he couldn’t get done at school. He was tired and frustrated every night – and he wasn’t the only one. Our whole family was miserable. We spent our evenings yelling at each other instead of relaxing in each others company at the end of the day. I remember thinking, “Is this all there is?”
Then, after the mother of all nights and the kids were finally in bed, I asked my husband, Scott, “Are you happy?”
“If you’re asking me if I’d like to have a repeat of tonight, the answer is no, absolutely not.”
I had talked with other parents, many of whom had children at different schools, and their stories were essentially the same. The only difference was that they were willing to accept it as part of life. It became increasingly obvious that changing schools (or teachers) wasn’t going to bring about meaningful change. If we wanted real change, we were going to have to do it ourselves. Our solution was to homeschool.
Scott and I agreed having peace in our home was priority number one and if that meant giving up two incomes, then so be it. For a number of reasons, it made the most sense for him to leave his job at NCR. Despite the loss of income, we haven’t looked back.
Our lives have improved in so many ways. For starters, all schoolwork is done during the day – what a concept! The kids get more free playtime in the afternoons and we spend more quality time together as a family without all the meltdowns. If one of the boys doesn’t understand a lesson, it is repeated the next day (and again the third day if needed). I’m convinced they are learning more and mastering skills they had previously struggled with.
For families who are able to juggle school and work, I salute you. I know it isn’t easy. I also know homeschooling isn’t right for everyone - but it is for us. We finally have peace in our home again and our blessings continue to multiply. I’m happier at work and more focused because I’m getting better sleep now that I don’t have to worry about how my kids are doing in school. And we’re eating healthier too - no more greasy take-out – which I will detail in future blog posts.
So, back to my original question: ”Is this all there is?” The answer is a resounding NO.