When I told everyone I wanted to homeschool Lorelei this year, they said, “How will you possibly find the time to do that?”
See, even though I am at home, I am not strictly what the internets call a SAHM (stay-at-home-mom), terminology which implies that I don’t work. (LOL. No one works harder than a stay-at-home-mom.) I am a WAHM (work-at-home-mom) only since what I do is act as my husband’s legal assistant/secretary/office manager, I don’t even get paid!
Over the past four years, what started out as me answering the phone while I went about my usual business has morphed into a job that keeps me at my desk from 8:30 to 1:30 or so most days, and let’s not even discuss nights and weekends. I’m not complaining about this sweet deal which allows me to pretty much structure my own time and take care of my family the way I want to, but I guess it was reasonable for people to wonder how I was going to fit teaching school into that.
But it hasn’t been difficult at all, really. We start by reading about the saint of the day and saying a prayer around 8:30, and then I get her started on her first assignment and I start on my work. When she finishes we take a minute to talk about the next thing she’s doing, and then we both return to our solitary labors. She sits right in the office with me at John’s desk, since he’s usually at court. By 1:30 p.m., she’s done.
Instead of making my life harder, homeschooling has made it easier. Last year, I had to get up around 6:00 a.m., wake up two kids, fix two breakfasts and two lunches, and make sure two kids were dressed and ready to leave the house on time. This year, I get to sleep until 7:00 a.m., probably what John and I would both agree is the number one best change homeschooling has occasioned. It is daylight when we wake up and getting out of bed is easy. No more that awful first-day-of-school feeling where you think, “Oh my God, do I really have to do this every day for the next nine months?” And the effects last all day–I rarely feel like I need to nap in the afternoon, and I always felt that way last year whether there was time to do so or not.
Last year, I had to get dressed every morning and drive William to school while John took Lorelei. This year, I can stay in my pajamas all day if I want, because John takes William and Lorelei stays right here.
Last year, I had to stop working no later than 2:00 p.m. to shower and dress for the school pick up odyssey, which started with the 20-minute drive to Sacred Heart, followed by the drive back to Cedar Bluff to get William. With one thing or another, I was in the car for about 1.5 hours, and I was usually struggling to stay awake. It was miserable, and I dreaded it. This year, we pop out at 3:30 p.m. to get William from school five minutes down the road. Lorelei doesn’t even have to come along if she doesn’t want to. And there have been many days when pickup time coincides with John’s return from court, so I don’t have to leave the house all day!
Last year, while fighting over homework with William, I also had to deal with Lorelei’s chronic homework stress. I had to discipline her when she didn’t start her work until close to bedtime. I had to help with awful torturous activities like constructing dioramas and making saints out of Pepsi bottles and styrofoam balls. No more. This year, I choose the school work around here, and there is no homework at all.
Last year, there were school meetings to attend, and folders to sign, and papers to review and return. This year, we still have these things, but only for one child and one school. We have more free time and more family time in the evenings.
Last year we were stressed out. This year we are still stressed out, but not about school. Lorelei is happy, and so am I.