For the last eight years, all of our kids have been homeschooled.
It’s so weird. I didn’t even want to homeschool my kids when they were little. I used to pray and ask God to please, please, please give us a great public school.
But then we moved and I heard some concerning things about the school my oldest was supposed to go to for kindergarten. Kindergarten seemed like an easy thing to teach a kid who had already taught himself how to read. Like most humans, I like to do easy things that make me look brave.
So I homeschooled him.
Our first year went okay. We reassessed the next year. I was like, “Sure, I’ll do it again. Why not?” Every year after that, it always seemed to make sense to keep homeschooling for one reason or another. I kept saying, “Mommy’s got this!”
Sure, I was stuck at home. Yes, I had my kids with me all the live long day. Abo-freaking-lutely, a couple of my kids were challenging to motivate.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, my friends.
But generally, the kids were learning oodles of cool stuff, and I liked all the upsides to homeschooling: the customizable curricula, the flexibility of our lives, the one-piece life.
Homeschooling worked for us.
But this year everything is changing- at least with my oldest three. My boys are off to a real, actual middle school. They’ll be in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade. There are many reasons for the change, but the most important one is this: they need more than I can offer them at this point in their schooling.
It’s just time for a change.
I’m excited to see how their year goes.
I’m really sad about what feels like the end of an era for us.
I have a lot of feelings. A plethora, in fact.
I can’t really talk about it. Or write about it. Hence the heavy load of gifs in this post.
But here’s the thing: Every time I think I’ve learned that motherhood requires me to let go of precious parts of my heart so that my kids can live the lives they’re meant to live, I end up having to learn it again. Today my lesson involves standing outside the front doors of a middle school watching three giant parts of my heart go find their place in the world in a new way that doesn’t involve me like it used to.
But this deal also means I get a little bit more of myself back, too, so it isn’t all that bad.
But it’s different and a little bit hard.
Anne Lamott once wrote, “All these people keep waxing sentimental about how fabulously well I am doing as a mother, how competent I am, but I feel inside like when you’re first learning to put nail polish on your right hand with your left. You can do it, but it doesn’t look all that great around the cuticles.”
My cuticles are messy today. But I know everything’s going to be okay, because we’re getting Sonic after school is over. What can be wrong once I get a cherry coke and a corndog in my hands?
Nothing. Am I right, or am I right?