I’m headed into a season I haven’t ever experienced before. As I write this, I’m an hour away from my adult son’s home in MO. We will be visiting and traveling for a couple of weeks, arriving back home just before the school year would typically begin for conventional educators.
I’ll then load up and head to speak on a panel at a conference.
When I come back home, I will dust off some books, dig out some pencils, and embark on my 17th year of homeschooling, but my first as a full-time working, homeschooling mother.
I have a rising 6th grader and a rising 1st grader. I’ve graduated their older siblings, so it isn’t that I’m new to walking a student through lessons or assessing for understanding, it’s that I only have so much executive function.
I don’t imagine my reality is unique. The flexibility of homeschooling is simply too beautiful for me to be convinced I need to give it up. However, when I began working full time, it was under the condition that my compensation would afford us a full-time nanny to step in and educate my children.
Sustainable funding wasn’t in the cards for our organization, so near the end of the academic year,, our nanny went on to pursue a new job while I took the instruction of my children back over.
I had to step away from running West Virginia Families United for Education until the academic year came to an end.
It’s ironic that what provides me with the know-how I have is educating my children at home, what gives me the motivation to do the work is the reality that my children are still young and can benefit from the work that I do, but what does it say if I can only do that work if I sacrifice the educational model that has served us so well?
I’m not opposed to hiring help again, but as I toyed around with the idea of running another program or enrolling my children into something else, I just couldn’t get past wanting to stay true to the life we love.
Here’s to a year of poetry, read-alouds, maths, letters, sounds, music, painting, handicrafting, and more play than anyone can fathom.
But from the hours of 6am – 1pm, here’s to emails, Zooms, consultations, and all the things that also bring me great joy and satisfaction.
I know women can’t have it all.
I know there is a sacrifice.
But I think I’m here for it.
What about you?
Do you educate at home and work?