For the last year, I have been homeschooling both of the girls, ages 9 and 4. It has not been easy. We decided to homeschool because I was not OK with the class sizes in our county. It is too easy to fall between the cracks. I truly believe there is no “one size fits all” learning approach so I chose to take matters into my own hands. During this past year, I have learned so much and I would’t trade this experience for anything. Below are my top 6 takeaways from our year in homeschooling.
1. Teachers are grossly underpaid.
I have a lot of teacher friends and have always thought they were underpaid. Now, I KNOW, without an ounce of doubt in my mind, that they are grossly underpaid. I cannot imagine having thirty 9-year-olds in one classroom all day long. How do they do it? Dealing with one semi-hormonal, very emotional 9-year-old was enough to give me the RIP. Every teacher needs a raise and a bottle of scotch. They are single handedly shaping the future. [golf clap teachers, golf clap]
2. Homeschooling is for everyone if you have unlimited patience.
I truly believe that homeschooling is for everyone with the caveat that you have unlimited patience. They literally sucked every ounce of patience out of me like little gas syphons. By the end of the day, I had nothing and I mean nothing left. You can usually find me in a zombie like state on the couch mindlessly watching Say Yes to The Dress. By the way, I’m totally having another wedding (to the same man) and going to Kleinfeld’s for my dress.
3. The good times were amazing and the bad times made me contemplate my death.
There were days when the oldest was in tears and I wanted to throw my hands in the air and say “F&*k it.” There were also days where everything was pretty much perfect. We were able to take so many field trips, from the Franklin Institute to Mt.Vernon and everything in between. Life is about taking the good with the bad. This past year, I have had to learn flexibility. You are not going to accomplish everything you want and it’s ok. Aim for perfection and if you only get 90%, you’re still making progress.
4. I like myself more than I love my kids.
It’s ok to raise the white flag. I like myself more than I love my kids. I could feel my head slowly going underwater. With a new baby, my training schedule, homeschooling, my mom’s surgery, and a household, my automatic response to everything was “I’m fine.” FINE = F&*ked Up, Insecure, Neurotic and Emotional. Not a good place to be. I’m glad the school year is over. Having to like your kids all the time is really hard. I absolutely love them every minute of every day. Liking them is another story.
5. You have to be really involved in everything.
I think people are under the impression that if your children are in school, the teacher’s are 100% responsible for their education. This could not be farther from the truth. Kids can learn anywhere and they should. If you live in the DC area, the museums are perfect for any age. We’ve lived here for 20 years and there is never a shortage of FREE entertainment. Get out and explore. I want to show my kids the world in all it’s glory and teach them how not be assholes. We have enough of those.
6. Both girls are going to private school next year.
After 6+ months of researching and visiting schools, I found two schools that I love. The oldest’s school has a class size of 5. FIVE! Talk about an amazing student:teacher ratio. Little girl’s school has a class size of 14 and she’ll be in uniform. I fully expect tears on her first day.
Ultimately, our year homeschooling was a success. We all learned so much and even had some fun doing it. I may have also developed a case of alcoholism. (joking, or am I?) Could I do it again? Absolutely. Do I want to? Not in the least bit.