The first week we began homeschooling I remember standing in the middle of my living room blinking at the clock.
There is no way we are done. How can we already be done? It's only 11:30 in the morning!!!
But we were done. And that was my first taste of freedom. Schooling one kid (or even a few) simply does not take all day. There was time to play. There was time to do housework. There was time to run errands.
There was time for other stuff.
My older daughter went to public school and private school. I know how much time it can take out of a family's week. I also remember being hostage to the preschool calendar on my refrigerator. I must run to the store at 10:00 at night because she is supposed to bring a WHITE SNACK tomorrow. I must do laundry after she goes to bed because tomorrow is RED DAY and her red shirt is dirty.
So we were loving the freedom last year...our first year. I continued to walk around and blink in disbelief. We have the whole park to ourselves? We can go to the museum while everyone else is at school? We can have school in the backyard? We can do "reading" on the couch?
For a former public school teacher and former public school kiddo--the freedom was so much fun!
And yet, academics have eaten up too much of my time. Too much of my thoughts and concerns have been focused on "the subjects." I feel the need to do math, reading, spelling, writing, science, history (NOT social studies--that was news to me!), etc. The subjects have been keeping me too busy. If you place too stringent of expectations on yourself or your child, you can lose that freedom in a hurry.
And folks, there is other stuff I want to teach my girls.
I've been thinking a lot lately about manners. We must have time for fancy dinners and tea parties so they can practice being young ladies.
There has to be time for cooking lessons. I want my daughters to know how to cook and cook quite well before they leave home.
There must be time for archery and bike riding and swimming and playing with sidewalk chalk and blowing bubbles and playing with play-doh and working puzzles and drawing and reading and all kinds of childhood pleasures.
There should be time for sewing lessons.
Oh there is so much I want to teach them!!!! May math and reading and science and all the other subjects never cause my children to miss an opportunity to learn something really exciting that they can use for the rest of their lives!
I know academics are important. They absolutely are. And maybe it's other things in our life that threaten to squeeze out that free time with our children. But it's time we cannot ever get back.
That's why this year I plan to make time for that other stuff. The stuff that I'm allowed to do because we homeschool. I guess I'm just saying that this year I want a little less attention on the "school" part and more emphasis on the "home."
So today I'm dreaming. I'm dreaming of all the things a mama and two little girls can spend their days doing. What's the "other stuff" you are going to make time for this year?