It’s finally here! The first day of school! The day every parent looks forward to after a very busy and hot summer. Finally, some down time, independence, sweet handmade crafts, and afternoon naps. This is how I envisioned my life when my oldest would be entering school. I would get a piece of my life back!! Somewhere along the years my heart changed.
My husband always suggested we homeschool since the day our oldest was born. I had no interest. Every stereotypical reason came to mind, “our kids won’t be social, I don’t have a degree in education, it will be too overwhelming, my kids won’t want to learn with me, I will lose my sense of self and sanity” this list goes on. In 2014 we went on my favorite family vacation yet! I was seven months pregnant with our second and our oldest was fifteen months old. At the time my husband had a two door Jeep Rubicon and his dream was to off-road in Colorful Colorado! He took about a week to himself to drive out to Colorado and do some camping while I flew into Denver with our oldest to meet him. We took the next four weeks to off road, camp, sight see and discover the beauty of Colorado. That trip ignited a fire in my soul. I wanted to have family vacations like this all the time! Obviously that’s just not practical but it did pique my interest in homeschooling. I thought how great it would be if we committed to one year on the road, buy a camper or RV, rent out our house and explore some magnificent terrain. From there I finally started doing my own research, checked out some how-to homeschooling books from our local library and asked questions when I came across other homeschooling families in our area. I slowly started to become more confident in my decision to homeschool. The benefits for our family outweighed the cons. Bonus family time, learning on the go, faster or slower pace learning depending on my children’s individual needs and growing together in education as a family.
I would say I’ve been very confident this summer and looking forward to this chapter in our lives. Last night before bed my nerves started to get the best of me and I asked my husband “Do you think we’re making the right decision?” Of course he tells me yes and I dozed off to sleep. This morning wasn’t the rainbows and butterflies morning I had envisioned. My kindergartener woke up with a sore throat and upset tummy. I was so disappointed! This was not what I had planned! I quickly had to change my mindset. We are HOMESCHOOLING! CHILL OUT! YOU GOT THIS! I snuggled in bed with my melancholy scholar and enjoyed the quality time. We can pick up class tomorrow or later in the day. It wasn’t until 10:30am when we began our first lesson, Spanish! Not only was he captivated by the interactive material but his three-year old sister was right next to him answering questions. It was so humbling to be apart of it. Not only were they playing nicely together but they were learning together too! Even after continuing onto Math, they were still being sweet and silly using the phrases they had learned during Spanish time. I thought it would be fun to go to a Mexican Restaurant for a late lunch. Apparently my children are the only human beings on Earth who do not like tacos!! I know, huge parenting fail! Of course there was a meltdown when no one got dessert for not finishing their food. What I thought would be a fun outing was absolutely miserable! After coming home and cooling down in the pool for a bit, we had a great evening! Leftover tacos was on the dinner menu and my witty little three year old looked up at me and said “No gracias”. I can’t make this up! She used what she learned earlier in the day to be funny and remind me she didn’t like tacos. I ended up serving them without the shell, mixed with rice and beans. It was a hit! My point in sharing this anecdote is selfishly for me to look back on at the end of our school year. Our first day wasn’t what I expected but it wasn’t horrible either and we survived! My children learned something new, my dreams for our future are coming a little closer and I still have my sanity!
[Raising a glass] Here’s to all the parents out there who waited to bawl their eyes out after dropping off their kids, kept their sanity after being asked the same question three times, and had a fabulous or just okay first day of school!