It's time for my annual "BLERGH! January is impossibly long and horribly grey and I can't take it anymore and we still have all of February to go before the sun will come back!" rant.
I don't like January.
It's also that time of year when I need to start figuring out where my kids will be going to school in September. Most likely all but Lizzy are going back to school next year. And possibly Lizzy, too. It depends on if we can get her back pain under control before then. Lyme disease has messed up her back and sitting on hard chairs for hours is extremely painful for her.
I am never sure if I talk about homeschooling too much or not enough. There are so many things that I really honestly love about it. If I could clone myself, I would probably try to go another year. But, it is just really demanding time-wise, and I am constantly torn between the two little girls that need my attention and the three school kids that need my help with their classes.
Not to mention my house. I know it is probably quite obvious to everyone else, but it didn't occur to me how much dirtier my house would get with all the kids at home all day. DUDE. It is impossible to keep clean this year. --Especially since while I am working on school with the big kids, Lydia is emptying out every box of crayons or cereal box or closet that she can find.
It is lucky that I have such a low standard for cleanliness.
So, even though I do love 90% of this homeschooling stuff, I am unable to pull it off. Friends have asked me why I'm stopping and there isn't just one reason. First of all, Bennet wants to go back to regular school. He misses his friends. Lizzy also really misses the social side of public school.
The thing that really pushed me back into the arms of public school is that Kitty goes into Kindergarten in the fall. And I cannot conceivably find a way to add 2 more hours of schooling to my day. I feel like a beavis admitting that because I know Mormons that have more kids than I do and homeschool all of them, but honestly... I can't add more. I barely shower as it is.
I really will miss a lot about this homeschooling business. So, if you are considering it in the future, I don't want to dissuade you. I think homeschooling is great. I think some of the online programs are excellent at teaching the material.
And I really enjoy being with my kids all day long and seeing them interact. I love watching them learn and succeed in their classes. It has been enormously beneficial for us this year. If I was better at organization or time management, I would stick with it for longer.
But, we have had very good experiences with public schools as well. And I'm glad that we also have that option available to us. Our dietary restrictions have lessened so that packing lunches is no longer a huge obstacle. Well, maybe we should technically still not be eating dairy and gluten, but I will tell you something: dairy and gluten are delicious. And it used to make us feel achey and awful when we would eat it, but now it doesn't so much.
For the last two months we have been eating whatever the H we want and I have gained, dead serious, like 10-15 pounds. In two months! And I have had the time of my life, I will tell you what. Somebody asked if I was pregnant a few weeks ago. --That was not awesome, I must admit, but I comforted myself with a package of peanut butter cups.
So, that is our status... I have had a good time this year. It has also, at times, been really, really hard. (That sentence has a whole lot of commas in it. Probably too many. I am bad at commas, as you probably have noticed.) I must confess that sometimes on the challenging days that I fantasize about sending them all off to school next year. And how quiet things will be with just me and the baby at home. And how I would be able to take a nap if I wanted. And paint something every now and then. And probably do laundry, too, while watching Downton Abbey or some Jane Austen film.
So, my hat is off to all you successful homeschooling moms. Seriously, I don't know how you do it! You're amazing!