Mom vs. Homeschool Mom

I can't be the only one that struggles with the blurred lines of mom verses homeschool mom. How much of my time do I spend planning, researching, preparing, teaching, and doing projects. I have even come to view regular childhood activities like the park, children's museum, cooking, baking, and read alouds as part of the "curriculum." The amount of pressure mom's already put on themselves is absurd, then you add on their child's education, socialization, college options, and future career options to the list -- daunting is an understatement.

I wake up with the goal of getting the children moving to start school in a timely manner. We move through the day checking off the planner, going to the activities on the calendar, check, check, check...

I often fail to get laundry done during the week or leave a load long enough in the washer it has to be rerun the next day, and most of the cleaning happens on the weekends. My toddler gets way too little attention, and my mind is never still. By the time I have researched and planned curriculum for one year it is time to start planning for the next! I strive to teach and correct, but I still want them to know I am their biggest fan.

Sometimes homeschooling can seem all consuming. Sometimes, I just need to focus on being a mom. This week we had regular schoolwork, Operation Christmas Child packing, Lego class, music class, gymnastics, piano lessons, play dates, meetings, and a few doctors visits thrown in. However, in the midst of the scheduled chaos, I tried to find time to just be a mom. Time to play with friends, cuddle, read books not on the schedule, play at the park, cook together, paint finger and toe nails, make some new Pinterest recipes, dance and sing at music class and enjoy it instead of thinking ahead to all I have to do when I get home.


Yes, we still homeschooled. I still taught. We did math, language arts, history, and more science than we have done in awhile. We finished a math chapter I have been avoiding like the plague because of all the mess it would entail. It got done, and I enjoyed so much of it.

Yes, we finished science at 8 pm last night because of a doctors appointment, a trip to Chik Fil A, Spanish immersion class, and dinner with grandma. And I am OK with that. We might not have gotten in all four scheduled days of spelling, but we did progress, and we took a week to remember we are a family who homeschools, not a "homeschool family."  I am a mom who homeschools, not a "homeschool mom." Yes, I teach math, cursive, and how to read; and yes, I correct and assign, but I also love, cuddle, encourage, play, and even cook and clean. Sometimes I just need a break from my role as home teacher, and remember that my students only have one mom and she shouldn't disappear just because there is school work to be done.

Finishing Week 14 at the park!






12 comments:

  1. I juggle the same things myself! Our work is never ever done but it's worth it (or so they say lol)

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    1. It is a big job, but yes, definitely worth it!!!

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  2. Homeschooling can be draining, I love those days where we can just relax. Looks like a great way to end the week at the park.

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    1. Yes, sometimes we get to focused on "go, go, go" we forget to just enjoy! I am working on that! :)

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  3. This really hits home for me right now! I seriously have tears in my eyes :( I have been struggling with this for the last two weeks and contemplating setting school aside for a while so I can just be mom. Thank you for this post. I needed to know I wasn't the only one dealing with this.

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    1. So grateful this helped, as homeschoolers I love that we can come together in the blog community and share our struggles and triumphs so others can see we all go through the same things! Hope you get to enjoy your kids this week!

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  4. I think I see your point, but I don't see my life like that. I probably should but don't seperate my role as mom and my role as teacher. Being the teacher is part of my job as mom.Our life is about learning, whether it is braiding hair, cooking dinner, or studying science. I admit I spend a minimum of extra time planning lessons. The curriculum we use plans lessons and keeps records for me. And school includes fun things like learning games (one of our favorite sites is Learning Games for Kids, very kid friendly). Anyway, I guess I look at it as homeschooling is a way of life and everything is part of that life. I have to admit, the park looks like an awesome idea. Happy homeschooling.

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    1. I think many people look at this differently. For example I have read many times of how people say you don't need to homeschool for preschool, kindergarten, or even later. I think those people, like you, may just teach naturally. Not having a curriculum is not the same as not teaching, but some of us don't get it done without a plan. ;) Many people naturally cook, play, and engage their children in everything. I admit, I often have to plan some of those things.

      I don't think you "should" see it this way, you may be just one of those people that naturally mother and teach. That's great! No need to draw lines when they are naturally working for you. :) At the end of the day, it is about teaching and ENJOYING our kids...and them enjoying it is kind of nice too! ;)

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  5. Yay go go Mum Who Homeschools! Looks like you are doing a fab job on all fronts!xxx

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    1. Thank you! Part of the journey is being aware of your weak spots...and then addressing them. I am a work in progress! Thanks for stopping by!

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  6. We have a a 10, 8, 6,and 2 year old. My wife is in our 2nd trimester for our 5th child. I work shift work and she homeschools. Textbooks, spelling lessons, space walk, math. We have tried so many methods at trying to get everything done in a day but it just seems impossible! My wife is at her witts end. She cries sometime thinking how to get it all done. She is a hard working person who is very organized and has her degree in Education. Our 10 and 6 year old are mildly Dyslexic and so we have spent huge amounts of time on diet changes and time intensive programs given to us be the neuropsychologist. We are Christian and besides a moral shield we want to provide a environment for them to have self value and confidence. But with trying to accomplish every thing in a day with the basics like 3 meals a day, cleaning, discipline, baths, phone calls, appointments, and the hundred other things on top of schooling, piano, dance, gymnastics and other activities, this just seems impossible. My wife and I had our first serious talk about the possibility of sending them to school. The kids are a little behind in their education and we yell way to much in a day. We are not providing the environment for them to reach any of our goals. To many times the only attention they get from us is discipline and correction, a subtle message that they can't do anything right, so much for their confidence. We are considering throwing in the towel so that when they come home from school we have the energy and the time to be a positive influence on them instead of this Sergeant parent. Help.

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    1. Tim, I appreciate your stopping by. It sounds like you guys have a full plate. Sometimes it really helps to take a step back and breathe. I hope you have had a few days off from school over the holidays. First, homeschooling is not for everyone, and that is a matter between you and God. However, I will tell you what you are feeling sounds pretty common in the homeschool world. I certainly wouldn't want to live like that every day forever but we all have seasons such as those. Pregnancy is hard, especially when you have 4 other kids. I only have 3 and rarely get "everything" in. You really have to keep your expectations reasonable. You said they are "behind," in what areas? I would make language arts and math the focus educationally and be sure they get up to their level on that. Before even that though, it seems like you guys need a "reset." We all need that every once in awhile. Take some time to pray, be sure of your call to homeschool, take a breather, and take a moment to remember why you are doing this, and take time to see the great qualities of your children. Focus on the positive. Sometimes we need to take a step back from "school" to focus on attitude and behavior because honestly trying to do school without having their hearts is usually futile. A great place to start with behavior is affirmation. Affirm them as much as you can, correct gently, and praise often.
      I hear you on often questioning whether the environment we provide is the one we dreamed of. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. However, what is important is that it is the environment God has chosen for us and them, and that we are striving to do our very best and improving constantly.
      Homeschooling is hard, and sometimes things have to go. My house is not as clean as I would like, we eat too many processed foods for convenience, my husband does more laundry and cleaning than I care to admit, he shops, makes appointments and helps out a ton. I could not do this without him.
      I would encourage you to consider what life would look like if you did send them to school. I know every homeschool parent has had that thought--send them to school and then be the positive wonderful parent at the end of the day. However, their behavior and heart is still your responsibility, now you simply have less time to work on it. The activities like dance, gymnastics, piano, and other activities are on top of regular "school" time and would give you even less time with them. Sending them to school always sounds great until I realize how little I would actually get them after long school days, tons of homework, and activities.
      I hope this helps. Please know my prayers are with you as you and your wife navigate these challenging waters. ~Nicole

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