January 16, 2013
My Two Jobs
If you would have asked me to pick a word for the year for the past few years, it would have been failure. Some of this was due to other situations going on, but a lot was due to homeschooling. I couldn't understand how other homeschoolers got anything done around the house. I was perpetually behind on where I thought I should be regarding laundry, dishes, cooking dinner, and so on. As I am currently only homeschooling one of my kids, I was panicked at the thought that this was going to be my life for the next two decades. I wanted to throw my kid into school. Some days I wanted to run away.
Then I read an article LoraLynn wrote for Simple Homeschool. In it, she equates homeschooling to being the equivalent of holding a job. For some reason, I had never thought of it like this before. I knew she had a point.
In my state, I am required to homeschool my son for 4 hours a day, 180 days a year. That comes to 20 hours a week, aka, a part-time job. Granted, some of the work my son does is on his own, but he still needs a good bit of supervision even with a worksheet. For people with more than one student they are homeschooling, I can easily see the hours spent homeschooling as being equal to a full-time job.
I know that there are a lot of moms out there who stay home full-time and send their kids to school. These moms stay busy too. I know, because I have had the privilege of being a full-time SAHM since my son was born. And I have stayed busy! Why, then, was I surprised when I stayed home full-time, spent 20 hours a week doing school, and then couldn't stay caught up?
When I did work full-time outside the home, I wasn't surprised if I had dishes that had spent the day in the sink, or laundry was undone at dinner. I was gone all day, so of course I wouldn't have had time to do the stuff I would have done had I been at home. I realized that I had been equating homeschooling my son with a regular day at home, with an extra chore thrown in. No chore takes 4 hours, though; at least not any that I have to do!
With my revelation that I wasn't just a full-time mom, I was a full-time mom with a part-time job at home, I began to think differently about how I set up my days. When I worked, I got up early and got ready before my job began. I didn't show up in my pjs and try to shower when my students were at recess. When I worked, I had my lessons planned and the corresponding resources pulled days in advance. I didn't turn to the teacher's guide and read what I needed the day I taught the lesson. When I worked, I did laundry and shopping on the weekend. Now, I will most likely still do a load most days, but if I have to do laundry on the weekend, that's fine. Big projects like cleaning my son's bathroom, or cleaning all the floors, wait until the weekend too, barring a major disaster.
This may not be a major thought revolution for anyone else but me. But just in case someone out there is reading this and was just as surprised as I was, don't give up. Maybe you just need to change how you are viewing your situation. I have no doubt that when my youngest starts being homeschooled, I will be thrown for a loop once again as I try to juggle teaching two kids who are five years apart. :)
Be sure to check out LoraLynn's article that inspired all of this over at Simple Homeschool. Without her words of wisdom, I never would have found what "Works for Me!"
I am also linking up to Edie's Time. On Purpose series. Be sure to check it out!