Friday, March 28, 2014


hand wash only
When I started out as a new homeschooler I had a few expectations. I was pretty sure my life was about to get much busier. I felt an immense amount of responsibility to do everything just right or else risk my children never being able to get into college or get a real job. I was very concerned that I keep every piece of paper we generated in order to produce the perfect portfolio to prove I was doing a good job.

I never really thought I'd practically have a science lab in my house.

This week, while cleaning up after another science experiment, I took a look around my laundry room and realized it didn't look like the average person's laundry room with beakers, flasks, and funnels on top of the dryer. That made me start thinking about the other unexpected outcomes of our homeschooling journey.

at least I got a dining room

I have discovered that I spend LOADS of time researching, organizing, finding opportunities, and planning the boys' studies. I did not expect that we'd spend so little time in the classroom we added on the house when we made the decision to homeschool. For the first few years, we did spend more time in the classroom. As the boys have grown older, they have found their own places in the house to do their independent work. Other than the time I spend planning in the classroom, we only spend about two hours a day in there for schooling.

Everyone seems to think that homeschoolers get trapped alone, at home, and never socialize. I expected to feel a little isolated in our new routine, but I was wrong about that one too. We have met many families at homeschooling events, at the library, at state park programs, and through blogging about homeschooling. In fact, I probably have more friends now than I did before homeschooling. The boys have also made many friends both local and across the country via the internet.

The biggest surprise of all has probably been that I am not counting the days until this gig ends. Yes, some days I want to throw them out of the house... and have, on occasion, locked them out to play in the yard so I can take a break... but most of the time we all get along very well. We enjoy one another's company. We laugh at the same jokes. We have many of the same interests. We love to travel together. Way back in 2008, I was sure I'd want that big yellow bus to come take these boys away in just a few months, but the days passed and we adjusted to our routine. We found out we loved the homeschooling lifestyle. I didn't miss the stress of getting reluctant kids out the door before the sun was barely over the horizon. I didn't miss meetings with teachers that turned into yet another issue we had to try to resolve. I didn't even miss the free time I had that allowed me to keep the house clean.

The unexpected results of homeschooling have brought me more joy than all that free time or the cleanest house or that big yellow bus could ever have.

No comments: