I love my job. I love teaching second graders, and I am really loving learning how to work in multiple ways to meet the different educational needs of special education students this school year.
I sometimes am hit right in the face with how much I loved and miss homeschooling my kids, though! Today, I was clicking through my personal email, looking for a writing prompt I’d received a couple of weeks ago that was just perfect to send home to my students right now, and there it was: an email from Discovery K12 (an online preschool through 12th grade reading, writing, and research based curriculum that is available for free use by anyone, containing 180 days of lesson plans). As I was clicking through, looking for that particular writing email, BAM! There was the Discovery K12 email – and of course, I clicked on it.
I realized while looking through the site how much fun I used to have with things like this for my kids, and I believe that they had fun, too. There was so much planning that went into our homeschooling, so many trips to the library for literally hundreds of books that we used during our unit studies, so many amazing field trips that I took the kids on to extend their learning.
Don’t get me wrong; I am so thankful that Sahara and Jake have had great educational experiences outside of homeschooling. Sahara has earned over 60 credit hours (half of what is needed for most bachelor’s college degrees!) as part of the free College Credit Plus program, and Jake has wonderful teachers and staff at his school who truly do care about him and want to make sure that he is successful.
I guess I just miss so many things that I took for granted while homeschooling. I miss having them here with me all the time. I miss spending so many hours together all day long, and I miss being in charge of their learning. I miss making sure that their learning was fun and engaging and that we hit all the important parts of every topic as well as the unimportant ones (because that’s where most of the interesting stuff is!). I miss teaching my kids to be well-read and how to produce well-written works of art. I miss when we were extensions of each other and one complete well-oiled machine. I miss working together to plan unit studies that interested them all and kept them coming back for more.
It feels like we go opposite ways all the time now. Janeesa and Teddy have moved out and have their own independent lives now. Sahara and Jake leave for education outside the home every morning, and I spend all day teaching other people’s children. Maybe I was over-involved in their lives before, but I feel overwhelmingly under-involved now. I know that’s not true; I am still very close with all of my kids. It’s just that…….Sometimes I read over homeschooling websites or back over my old planning binders when I’m cleaning the bookshelves, and I am struck with how much we accomplished in their educations with so little money. I know I did a great job homeschooling them because I poured my heart and soul into it for so many years….and sometimes, as busy as I even am now with all these others things (work, farm, college, home), I would give it all up to go back to when things were just simpler for all of us, and I had one laser-like focus in my life.