Ideals vs. Reality

I had grand visions of what life and school would look like when we started homeschooling this year.  We would all wake, dress, make our beds and the children would happily gather at the breakfast table for a hot home cooked breakfast.

After morning chores, I would guide them through their school work with a smile and kind, gentle instruction.  We would wrap up the days work around noon.  After lunch they would enjoy the rest of the afternoon reading on the porch or exploring their various interests.  My house would be spotless and always smell of freshly baked cookies.

So….yeah.  Not so much.  The ideal and the reality couldn’t be farther apart!

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That doesn’t mean, however, it’s not just as good – or even better!

On the days when we aren’t hurrying out the door to meet friends for basketball, or a special program at the library, or an amazing science day (like yesterday!) we are barely rolling out of bed by 8:30 because I’m recovering from the day before.

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We live pretty far out of the closest town, so I thought mayyyyybe we would go to town once or twice a week.  Some weeks we go EVERY.SINGLE.DAY.  It makes me tired, but the kids absolutely LOVE it.  Our daily “routine” is anything but.  It takes some serious coordination on my part, especially when I try to add in my own errands and grocery shopping.

I don’t think we have any 2 days of the week that are the same and I find myself absolutely coveting the days when we don’t go anywhere!  I thought those days would be boring and we would struggle with too much down time – now it’s a blessing!

Today is just such a day; and there is the added bonus of amazing weather.  The doors are open, the kids are running around in the yard, there’s still school work to be done and dishes in the sink and I don’t even care.

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I’m not sure if I have a particular message I wanted to share with this post, other than; if you’re considering homeschooling and are worried about what life SHOULD look like – don’t!  Wacky days are sometimes the best days.  Bad “schooling” days can be your best “learning” days – they are packed full of teachable moments; and when the sun is shining…GO GET IN IT!

Unlike the years when the kids spent ALLLLL of their day at public school, (and we had great experiences and great teachers, we definitely don’t regret those!) saying “yes” to extra things was so difficult.  We were all exhausted and there was just not enough time.

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I have the freedom to say “yes” so much more now.

You want to do a science fair project?  SURE!!!

Sleepover on a school night?  WHY NOT!

Comic book class three weeks in a row at the library?  ABSOLUTELY!

We look forward to science night, and arts night, and the homeschool drama class play instead of dreading one more thing to pack into our day.

We obviously don’t say yes to everything, but it’s a lot easier now to say yes to MORE things.  We’ve decided for however long we are blessed with this homeschooling life – we need to take advantage of it.  We try to learn when we can, rest when we can, cry when we need to, and laugh at every chance we get.

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