Well goodness. Life has a way of turning out unlike anything you would have expected. So there’s a few reasons I’ve been MIA for so long, and I’m sorry it’s taken me awhile to fill you all in! Around the beginning of the year I felt like I hit a wall, creatively and physically, and while the Holidays usually leave me feeling joyful and refreshed, this year they just left me feeling exhausted. I decided I needed to take some time to regroup, so I put my Etsy shop on vacation mode and took a step back from creating to figure out what I really want and am able to do. I know some of the exhaustion was due to some health issues I had been dealing with, but I think a lot of the problem really came down to feeling disconnected and overwhelmed by our crazy schedule.
I realized I had kind of been on autopilot–homework, check. Dinner, check. Bedtime, check. Clean the house while wrangling my now very mobile toddler….not so much, but the effort was made. The kids were bored, I was irritable, and between all of our obligations and getting everyone in bed early enough to be somewhat functional the next day, poor Papi wasn’t getting any quality time with anyone.
As the year wore on, I was feeling more and more frustrated by the amount of homework being piled onto the kids (when did they start giving homework in preschool?!?) and watching as their enthusiasm and love for learning was slowly being squashed out of them by the endless test prep, drills, and pressure to meet the “standards.” A was already dreading Kindergarten and B was bored out of her mind with the constant review of concepts she already knew. Something needed to change. We thought about switching them to private school, but it just wasn’t possible due to finances and the lack of good choices near us. That’s when we started talking about homeschooling.
This is something I had never even considered because, let’s face it, I’m not the most patient or organized person in the world, and I was afraid I would be a terrible teacher, get frustrated, and end up ruining my kids. But the more I looked into it and prayed about it, the more I was convinced this is what we needed to do. Not just for the kids, but as a way to bring the whole family closer. So we finished out the last few weeks of school while I learned everything I could about what we were getting ourselves into.
Now that the new school year has started and we’ve been at it for awhile, I’m so glad we decided to go for it! I’d be lying if I said it was easy, but it has been very much worth it! The freedom it has given us is amazing. The kids are flying through their lessons and they finally have time to just be kids–no homework to take over their fun time with Papi, no stress over getting up early or missing assignments. And I’m getting the chance to re-educate myself and fill in the gaps my own traditional schooling left. Despite my fears, I see they’re actually learning and once again excited about it. I think my biggest problem has been relaxing a bit and realizing there is no one perfect curriculum and there’s no one right way to go about it. It’s a matter of finding what works for us.
So things are still a bit crazy around here, and the house still isn’t clean (and probably never will be now!) but we’re finding our joy again. And I’m finally picking up my hooks again. I promise I won’t turn this into a homeschool blog, if you’re interested in our adventures on that front I am starting a separate site for that. I just wanted to share with you the unexpected turn our lives have taken, and let you know that I’m finally feeling inspired to keep creating and sharing with you all. Thanks to everyone who has stuck around, and I’ll talk to you soon!