The answer to this varies.
In many circumstances I am searching for concrete. To me, there is nothing concrete about homeschooling. Before #1 was born I was a classroom teacher. There were a lot of rules that I had to live by and I knew my role. I had my classroom at the end of the hall where I taught 1st grade. The curriculum, standards, and schedule were dictated to me. Not all bad. With homeschooling, for better or worse, I’m the superintendent, principal, teacher, cook, janitor, secretary, community liaison and the parent. No one is telling me what units I must do, or what due dates there are. There are no set school hours or calendar. There are no tests. No report cards. No conferences. No one else in charge of his learning. I don’t have any idea how many months or years I will be doing this. These are all good things for the type of learner #2 is, and I am fortunate to have the opportunity to help him in this way. I enjoy the challenge, but it’s sometimes very hard for me to live with the chaos.
Life is still happening. The house gets continually used (trashed). #4 is home much of the time doing what preschoolers do, moving things around. Last year #3 was home too and they moved throughout the house like a pack of wolves just waiting for an opportunity to deconstruct something. If I had a job in which I left during the day I think it would be a matter of “out of sight, out of mind.” However, I sit by #2’s side at the dining room table for most of the day with the knowledge that if I turn my head the house looks like this:
and get ready…..
In response, I make my bed every day.
When the day is particulary chaotic, at least there is this.
And you better believe there are crisp hospital corners.
The emotional answer to the question is that it’s hard not being able to spend the time with #4 that I spent with the 3 boys when they were little. Again, if she was out of the house, it would be different. However, she roams for much of the day, stealthily flying under the radar. She is independent, happy and easy-going. She seems to understand that her brother needs my attention and she doesn’t. Her preschool teachers said they think #4 should go around with a banner that reads:
“Live and let live.”
Perhaps I have found the principal for my homeschool.