Not Back To School 2014 - momgineer

Not Back To School 2014

This is the time of year when most parents breathe a sigh of relief. It's back to school time, and that means the kids are being cared for and taught by a wonderful teacher (most of the time!). This is the time of year when a million and one doubts creep into my mind.

Are we really going to do this another year? 

Is this the year I need to really buckle down and pack more schooling in?

What am I *doing*? 

Most of the time, I am happy we homeschool. Those moments of doubt make me longingly look at my Facebook feed of friends sending their kids off to school. I know that won't ever be us. Maybe someday we will find a school that is a good fit for my kids' needs and doesn't break the bank, but for now this is where we are. I know my kids. I know it would be a disservice to them, their potential classmates, and school teacher to send them to school. This is our best option for now, so we'll keep doing it.

I have posted before about what a day in our homeschooling life looks like. Our days don't change too much during the summer or school year, though summer in the past has been less structured, this most recent summer was not. The boys had a week of swim classes, a week of chess camp, a week at the beach, several nights away with their grandparents, and BK (big kid) had two weeks of video game camp. The summer went by FAST! Fall is looming and I am worried I overbooked us. The kids will have chess class, soccer (practice and games), music class, farm school, online classes, a new co-op, and perhaps one or two other activities. For a family of extreme introverts, that's a lot going on. We will likely have a much quieter winter and I hope that is when we can tackle most of our book work. 

Our homeschooling rhythm is not like a traditional classroom. I have tried that but it never sticks with us. I went to Catholic school through high school and it was very structured, overwhelming, and anxiety-inducing. I think that has influenced how I do things differently. What we've been doing lately:

A lot of gardening. It's peak harvest time. My kids know when various vegetables and fruits are ready for harvest. They gather them, and often count and weigh them.

A lot of geeking out. I don't think there is a way around this one. My husband and I both have advanced degrees in engineering. This often makes me wonder if I will fail my kids in their liberal arts education, but I hope my awareness or our tendency towards geekiness is enough that I don't fail them. BK showed LK how to make his own video games. The created a new game, in addition to the one BK made at camp, that had various levels, obstacles, and characters. There is some coding involved, though it's much more GUI based than the primitive languages I first learned!

Why yes, that is a C3P0 Angry Bird flying through space, collecting coins, avoiding Jabba the Hutt.
In addition to the video game design, they are building a new machine for creating even more games and for online schoolwork. 

A lot of playing! For BK's first 5-6 years, he didn't really play. He played board games, yes, a LOT. He worked on puzzles (from < 12 months). He never played. LK sparked an imaginative play streak, though, and for the last almost 2 years, there is a lot of playing going on. I think playing is probably the most important thing they can be doing right now, so I never interrupt it for something else. One of the best things about homeschooling is prolonging this sweet childhood time. Kids grow up way too fast, and I will not stand in the way of their world filled with such wild imagination. 

So, while I have my doubts I know this is where we need to be. I do have a few things I know I want to tackle this year so I have some goals in mind:
  • Read more with my kids. Of course I read with them already, but I want to read more! I need to find some books that they are both interested in, and hopefully encourage LK to read with more confidence. He has the skills to read but is often hesitant because he doesn't want to make mistakes.
  • Explore nature more. They attend farm school but we slacked off on other nature walks last year when my husband injured his leg and wasn't walking well for awhile.
  • Be more present with them. I need to work on this one. There is often so much to do (making food, figuring out homeschooling work, cleaning, driving, working on my TpT store and all that entails) that sometimes I forget to slow down and just BE with them. I have been taking more and more tech breaks and I really like what that does for this goal. Sometimes it's just a Facebook break, and that helps a ton.

That's all for now. I just wanted to share some of my recent feelings about homeschooling. I'd love to read about your homeschooling thoughts. If you have a blog post about them, please share it in the comments!

momgineer Meredith Anderson

STEM education is my passion!


  1. Thank you for this! I'm having the same doubts/uncertainties - longing even somewhat for the peace of being child-free during the school day.
    But I.just.can't. For all the reasons you said.
    And my doubts are tied up in not being academic enough. But like you, they are getting a lot out of life and academics are there, little by little.

  2. Thanks, Sarah! It can be so overwhelming at times, right? I am hoping that as they become more and more independent, the burden/responsibility will shift in part to them and in part to just finding ways for them to fulfill their needs, as opposed to being totally my burden (figuring out what they really need to know and then teaching them in a way they will be engaged!). There are just some basics we have to get through first. =)

  3. What a thoughtful post! As a homeschooling mom with older children, let me offer encouragement; independence and self responsibility will happen.
    Meredith, it sounds like you guys have such a fun time learning! Your kids are so fortunate.
    Have a great school year!