Time With Your Family
I taught in the classroom for 7 years after college and graduate school. I was an Elementary Education major and minored in theater/dance. In graduate school I was also an Education major. And I loved every minute of those years of learning, growing, and teaching. John and I felt so blessed that we both loved our careers. He owned his own Taekowndo school in OB at the time and I taught at a private christian school.
I tell a lot of people this and they don't believe me, but when John and I first got married in 2003 (I was 25), I was not interested in having children at all. I loved being a teacher and I felt my students were my children. I poured everything into my students and my class. Just ask them! I woke up at 6 am to leave by 6:45 so I could be at work by 7:15...we didn't have to clock in until 7:50...but I loved getting to school early, cleaning my students desks, writing on the white board/chalk board, getting our lessons ready for the day. I was so excited to go to work every day! I honestly would have done it for free! I loved my job.
And my favorite part was greeting my students at the door. I felt it was so important to say, "Good Morning!" and watch them drop off their back packs at their lockers. I tried to always be cheery and enthusiastic and I would always crack jokes and tell my class how much coffee I drank and how excited I was to start school that day! My class was my family. I enjoyed spending all my time with them. John and I had opposite schedules. I left early in the morning, and he didn't leave until 3:00 just as I was leaving TCS. He didn't get home until 9 pm most nights. It was hard at first to come home and be alone, but I started to stay late at school, get grading done, plan the next week's lessons, and find ways to make our class time better. I tried to make the most of every minute I had.
It wasn't until I turned 28 that the baby bug bit me! And even before we started trying to get pregnant John and I always talked about how I would stop teaching and be a stay at home mom. When Julia was born on Dec 31, 2007, (I stopped teaching 10 days before) I became a full time stay at home mom. My time was now dedicated to raising this baby girl. And once you become a parent you WANT to spend time with your family. And you want that time to be valuable in quantity and quality.
Quality time is my love language. Growing up my parents worked round the clock. I was dropped off at daycare, before care, took the bus to school, then aftercare. Dinner time consisted of me and my sister at the table alone. I looked forward to the weekends because at least then we were all together, but at the same time I dreaded the weekend because Saturday was chore day. Because of the way that I grew up I knew it was important for me to make a new model for how I wanted our family time to run. I know my parents were only trying to do what was best for their family. They needed two incomes to make ends meet and so do many families today. I feel really blessed and I try not to take it for granted that God has blessed John's two jobs, first the Taekwondo school, and then his financial planner job in the city that it allows me the freedom to stay at home. I know not all moms can do this, and I consider it a privilege. I am trying not to squander this time I have to build into my children and our family.
John and I started early with planning family time. Even before kids came we told our families that Sundays in particular were sacred family day. This way when the baby came there was no surprises. That time was so important for us as a couple, especially since working two jobs didn't allow us a lot of time during the week. Once Julia came we were able to spend such quality time with her and it was wonderful. Homeschooling just came about naturally as we did "school" type activities with her at a young age.
What is so great about spending time with your kids all day?
For the past few weeks I have interviewed 5 women who have home-schooled or are currently homeschooling, or who have been home-schooled. Each women was asked different questions depending on her situation. I felt like their answers really solidified why I am homeschooling and would like to continue to while Micah is still young. I have always felt gifted and called into the classroom, if God provides an opportunity for me to go back to teaching I would love to go back and of course bring my children to the same school I teach at, Lord willing.
Debi H.-(middle age wife/mom to 2 grown kids) home-schooled her son Eric since he was in second grade and he's now in his early twenties, and her daughter since 6th grade and she is now in her upper twenties. Here is a benefit of home-school that Debi found, "A big benefit was no rush after school to come home and get homework done before after school activities and trying to get dinner on the table....less stress for me which translates to less stress for the kids and hubby." "We did do homework four days a week. I told them each day to do one lesson from the next day for one subject. They did it during school hours, not after. By Friday they had 4 less subjects to do and were done with school very quickly and pretty much had a free day!" I loved doing it! I felt like I got really close to my kids. They were my buddies. Going on errands and such with me. We had so much opportunity to be together, especially in the car!"
What other benefits have you seen from homeschooling your kids?
Dorothy H. (middle age wife/mom to 5 kids...2 finished college, 1 in college, and 2 still in home-school)
"Academically, they have been able to proceed at their own pace, whether that be taking extra time when needed or moving quickly through the material. It enabled my children to learn how to interact with wide age range of people, not just people the same age as them. It definitely brought our family closer together. Although the reason we home-schooled was not for social reasons, we did reap the benefit of not having constant peer pressure, bullying, and exposure to foul language and mature topics that can sometimes happen in a school setting. Three of my children have gone to college straight from being homeschooled and it did not affect their ability to attend the college of their choice, their ability to work in a classroom setting or to adjust to dorm life. All of my children have strong friendships and active social lives."
Lindy I. (30 something year old, wife/mom newbie home-schooler to 3 children 6 and under) "My number 1 perk is flexibility! We can travel when most schools are in session and at really discounted rates! The kids and I visited the aquarium last week and practically had the place to ourselves! We're able to do sports during school hours and reserve our evenings for family time. Unless my husband Tom, is traveling on business, we're all gathered around the dinner table together each night. I also love that we can skip ahead once Lucas has mastered a topic or slow down if more time is needed. Plus, we're able to observe "heart" issues first hand and spend as long as needed to resolve them."
There you have it. These moms, and myself included have seen the beauty of home-school unfold right before my very eyes when I see how close I am becoming with my children, I know how much one on one attention they are getting. Not having to feel rushed or stressed at dinner time to get home work done before an extracurricular activity. Quality time and flexibility and closeness. I also loved how Dorothy mentioned that 3 of her children went to college right after being homeschooled and did totally fine in the college setting and dorm life. So many people ask me am I worried about my children's social life? I don't think they realize how social us homeschool moms are! Every family is so unique and different. Actually we may have even more time to do social outings because we don't have the restrictions of a 7-8 hour school day.
Next week: I will share my interview findings on two women who grew up being home-schooled and are now homeschooling and looking to homeschooling their little ones!