I decided to quit Homeschool this May and it was one of the best decisions I’ve made this year.
Since I started homeschooling my first child in 2012 along with juggling the needs of 2 year old triplets we’ve taken off days here and there as needed for life as well as taken a week as needed here and there. Since I’ve never been a strict homeschooling parent we have always had to do summer school in order to complete our curriculum. Sometimes we completed the year in early fall and started a “new” year without a day off in between.
This year was different. Part of this was self-discipline on my part and part of it was having older kids who were better at doing solo work but we were “almost” done with school when May hit.
In April, MN holds a big homeschooling conference and I was already itching to be done but when May and the gorgeous Spring weather hit, it was shear torture to be schooling and to be schooled.
With self reflection I realized that by homeschooling just to “finish” our curriculum I was sucking the joy and purpose out of what was my primary role and purpose for homeschooling in the first place, which is to build a love of learning in my kids and ultimately nurture their relationships within our family and with their Heavenly Father.
That’s when I called it quits on the homeschooling year 2016-2017, took end of the year photos and put away the books (we continued to do some math and reading to prevent the normal summer backsliding and are trying to do some science now because it tends to fall to the wayside in light of the “important” things I “need” to teach daily).
This was the best decision for our family. For the first time, I’ve been able to be intentional about making this summer the best we’ve had by going new places, getting outside and in water and doing all the small things that make summer so good. I feel confident in saying that I am #winning at momming this summer.
Here’s what I’ve learned by quitting:
My kids aren’t suffering from missing out on the last few weeks of curriculum we skipped. In fact, they are thriving far more then they would’ve if I had continued to force us to finish it.
I’m a happier mom. I needed a break. I needed the calmer, no-plans-for-the-day type of a schedule. I needed to read for pleasure. I needed to organize our home. I needed BBQ’s and beach days.
I want more of this. After a delightful conference speaker outlined the possible homeschooling calendars a mom could follow, I took time to assess what I needed and what our family needed in a homeschooling year. Academically we need approximately 34 weeks to finish school so I planned out next year to start August 1. While this seems cruel, especially to my soon-to-be 5th grader, we will also be done by the next homeschool conference on April 12. That’s right, I’m giving the Andrews 3.5 months of summer vacation next year! I’m so excited and I’ve learned that for me, I am DONE homeschooling by this time and excited to be planning for the next year and the summer.
It’s good to create a schedule and a plan. I am bit a of a fly-by-the-seat of my pants kind of gal and tend to skip school when I feel like it but now I have a plan and I can tell you that I’m more excited for this school year then ever before.
I’m not just letting the days fly by without purpose. This post by the Simple As That blog really struck a cord with me this summer and cemented within me a desire to not let summer pass me by without making the most of our days. I planned for rest. I planned for family memories. I planned for water fun. I planned to be spontaneous and not let another summer pass us by where we finished by asking “what did we do” and “why did I miss out on this golden opportunity to capitalize on this special time?”