Most of us don't like change; we are creatures of habit and like our comfy spots. Some changes are inevitable, and we can do nothing about them like birth, death, children growing up and moving out, illness, and more. Other changes we know are for the best, and we freely choose them, but they are painful none the less.
If you have homeschooled any length of time, sending your children to school can be a painful and difficult transition for children as well as for parents. I have found that this change has been much harder on me or maybe just more visible. Children tend to adapt well to change. They still have that flexibility that comes with youth. As we age, no matter how many changes we face, it takes longer to stretch us and limber us up to where it doesn't hurt as much.
So what kinds of difficulties can you expect from this change from homeschooling to school? I thought I would share in two posts what kinds of changes we have experienced: The ones for mom and the ones for the children.
Since moms are nurturers, we feel deeply. We jealously guard our children and everything about them. I think that is why this change is so much harder for us. We invest a tremendous amount of energy on our families. The changes mentioned below are a few of the more common ones I have heard of before. Please share in the comments if you have experienced something different.
1. Guilt: I felt like I had cheated my child by sending them to school. I took away their free time, their time with me and siblings, and put them in an harder environment. What I realized is that they really still have the first few items but less of it, and the hard environment can strengthen them.
2. Failure: Along with guilt, I felt/feel a sense of failure. I feel like I have given up, that I couldn't hack the work, and I should have homeschooled no matter what. I realized, though, that giving them a happy mom is really the best thing I can give them, and I am not a quitter. I have just chosen a different way to educate them.
3. Friends: Most of my friends are homeschoolers. My family has been involved in the homeschooling world for 19 years. We no longer have that commonality with them. Inevitably, I won't/don't see them as much, but I can make new friends with parents at school, through my volunteer work, and at church. Plus, the real close friendships I will make a point to keep.
4. Loss of my role: This has been a biggy for me. Now that I am not homeschooling, what am I? Just a mom doesn't seem enough at times. I am filled with a lot of time to fill, and that scares me a bit. Shifting from teacher role to just mom role is an adjustment.
So, my cheap advice is to embrace the change, realize it may be painful, and give it time--plenty of it. Some moms aren't as flexible as they used to be.
About Rest for the Weary
I hope you will find this little spot a place of rest and refreshment for your soul. My intention is to build up women in the trenches of homeschooling. This includes veterans who are burned out and former homeschooling moms who have decided for one reason or another to put some or all of their children in school. Thanks for stopping by. Take a deep breath of refreshment for your weary soul.