This blog is all about passing on ideas and discoveries that I find to be beautiful or inspiring in Our Holistic Homeschool journey. That being said . . . it’s not always a pretty picture over here, people!
And because authenticity is very important to me, I want to be up front and transparent with my readers about what my day-to-day life as a Homeschool mama actually looks like. That sometimes includes our mistakes, our mishaps (remember the chalkboard fail?), and . . . yup you guessed it . . . our messes!
We’re all on this crazy Homeschool train together, and we parents often have as much to learn as our kids do! So, today’s post is a therapy post, baby! I’m fessing up; sharing with you every raw truth I could think of about my daily life as a Homeschool mama . . . including the ones I’m not super proud of. So, brew yourself a cup of tea or coffee, laugh with (or at) me, and nod along as we all join in on a collective “Yup! Been there sister!”
~Confessions of a Real-Life Homeschool Mama~
1.) I don’t always wake up before my kids.
I’m not one of those 5am club mamas. More power to ’em, but it’s just not for me. My best is waking up about a half hour before our kids to do yoga. Not a workout . . . not a run . . . just yoga. Even so, when I need the extra rest, I guiltlessly give myself permission to sleep until the kids wake me up. Being a Homeschool parent is a lot of work. And I don’t function well when I’m short on sleep. Just ask my husband.
2.) I don’t always manage to get dressed before we start lessons. Oh, and sweats, yoga pants, and leggings totally count as dressed in my book.
3.) Some days I consume more caffeine than water.
4.) I don’t often do my hair on weekdays . . . unless a headband or messy bun counts.
5.) And I only put on makeup on days when I’m leaving the house or when people are coming over.
6.) Some days the laundry doesn’t get folded. Scandalous, I know.
7.) My phone is almost always on silent, and I almost always forget to check my messages. Yup . . . I’m that girl.
8.) I get tired. I get flustered. I get grumpy. I lose my temper. I get burned out.
9.) I have a serious love affair with nap/rest time. When do you think I blog?
10.) I am constantly thinking of ways to get dinner on the table faster.
11.) And yet . . . dinner is almost always late.
12.) I don’t spend very much of my time actually “teaching.”
If you are curious about what I mean by this or how you can facilitate more and teach less, please check out our previous post From “TEACHER” to “KEEPER”; Freeing Ourselves to Facilitate in our Homeschools!
13.) And we don’t finish every single last lesson.
We complete lessons on a needs-basis, not a check-the-box-off basis. What I mean by this: Math comes very easily to our son and he does not require very much practice or worksheet time at all to master a new concept. This may change as he gets older and the lessons get harder, of course. But for now . . . I let him skip portions of the math book that are redundant or simply too easy for him. We have accelerated his pace through his workbook because he is nearly ready for the next grade level . . . which we will begin in April instead of September . . . because we can. In Language Arts, however, we complete almost all the lessons and even some optional practice and review work since that subject is at this point in time more challenging for our son. This upcoming year, he may be a half a year or more “ahead” in math and right “on course” in Language Arts. A perk of Homeschooling.
14.) Also, I don’t actually “lesson plan.” Seriously!
I actually don’t even have a planner, come to think of it! When our kids are further along in their elementary years I probably will need to do *some* lesson planning, but for now I only work with your everyday, no frills paper calendar. Yup! I’m able to do this because both our son’s Math and Language Arts books are “read-as-you-go” with no teacher manual involved. Can I get an “amen”? I just LOVE how easy and accessible they’ve made it. I literally don’t even have to look at what we are doing ahead of time. I just open the course book each morning with our son and it’s all there, ready to go! Talk about a weight off a Homeschool mama’s back. (You can check out what curriculum we currently use here. I don’t get paid for recommending it . . . I’m just a Homeschool parent like you passing on a good thing.)
In addition to this, I only actually plan and write down ONE thing for each school week: a theme. That’s it! For example, we are currently on “Ocean week” which I didn’t even have to decide on. Our son simply asked the other day if we could learn all about the ocean. And so, I jotted down “Ocean week”, created a “Finding Nemo” playlist for lesson time, set a few incredible ocean books up on the shelf by the “Cozy Corner Bucket”, added a few awesome ocean documentaries to our watchlist and . . . um . . . that’s it.
15.) Even though I LOVE Homeschooling, I don’t LIKE it every minute of every day.
If you are curious as to what I mean by this, check out my previous post: 33 Reasons Why Our Family LOVES Homeschool (even on days when we don’t LIKE it very much)!
16.) I readily agree to Papa being lead parent on weekends.
I seriously love being a mama if you haven’t figured that out by now! Even still, getting a break from the constant decision-making and settling of sibling squabbles is a major part of my weekend self-care regimen. Thanks Papa!
17.) Because our kids are totally nuts!
Don’t get me wrong . . . they are amazing, creative, passionate little people and I love them more than anything in the world. But they are both very verbal (like I’m answering about a thousand questions a day over here), both very energetic, both very intense, both very opinionated, and both very driven to do . . . basically everything! Plus, they can be really, really loud.
18.) But then, ironically . . . I look forward to Mondays. (Yes . . . you heard that right!)
Our Homeschool weeks can get crazy . . . but they can also be calm and cozy. I make sure of that! Our weekends on the other hand . . . aren’t. We pack our weekends pretty full of fun and adventures. It’s so great to get out and hike or ski or sled or do some crazy family projects together (you wouldn’t believe some of the things we get ourselves into). But when my hubby starts to enter his Sunday night blues (yes, he loves us that much I guess) I feel guilty because secretly I’m looking forward to Monday morning. A cozy day at home . . . lots of tea . . . the simple Homeschool routine . . . reading to the kids . . . working on lessons together . . . listening to classical music . . . painting together. It can really be the best job ever sometimes.
19.) My brother runs our errands for his room and board.
I’ve only gotten groceries and done a Target run ONCE since my brother moved in with us this past June. In exchange . . . we feed him. We all think pretty highly of the arrangement. If you can possibly subcontract out your errands, do grocery pick-up, or tag-team with another Homeschool parent, I highly recommend it! This one thing saves me a few hours each week.
20.) I love it when my kids cash in on their movie ticket system almost as much as they do!
When our kids cash in one of their movie tickets, I’m always amazed how much I get done in just over an hour! I value being a low-screen family . . . but . . . since this is confession time and all . . . I’m seriously happy not to be entirely screen-free!
21.) I am totally addicted to Thriftbooks. Like . . . they probably know me by name at their warehouse.
22.) I don’t often tackle huge Homeschool projects by myself.
When our son wants to tackle some elaborate project or other (I don’t know where he comes up with half of his crazy ideas), I often chicken out and cover my butt by saying “oh, well . . . we wouldn’t want to leave Papa out of that one! That just sounds like way too much fun to keep all to ourselves! We better tackle that one on his day off.” GUILTY.
23.) I agree with Ralph Waldo Emerson that “there was never a child so lovely but his mother was glad to get him to sleep.” I’m tired and I approve this message.
24.) Every so often, I take a “Mama-In-Service Day!”
Sometimes, when I get “Homeschool Burnout” or just plain old, everyday “Parent Burnout” I call off school and suspend our regular routine for a day. I read to the kids a few extra books, I let them watch a movie or two, I take nap/rest time all for myself just to read or rest, and I hop in the tub for some stress-sloughing when Papa gets home.
25.) It’s not always picture-perfect over here.
What I love most about blogging is how many of my interests and hobbies I am able to combine in one creative outlet. I love to write, I love to cook, I love being a mama, I love education and Homeschooling, I adore books and reading them to our kids, and I love to take pretty pictures. How lucky am I to get to do all the things I love in one place!
But I have to tell you . . . it’s not ALWAYS a pretty picture over here! I do spend a lot of time and effort to keep things clean and pretty. I love natural wooden manipulatives, I adore arranging pretty trays on display, and I love a clean, simple Homeschool space. But I most often take pictures of the extra-lovely, perfectly calm, exemplary moments in our Homeschool day. I like to capture that which is especially beautiful and inspiring.
But it does get messy! And I have some “Spring Cleaning Posts” coming up this next month to prove it!
Power on, Homeschool Mamas and Papas! Comment below with your own Real-Life Homeschool Parent Confession!
Thanks for reading!
Love, ~Our Holistic Homeschool~