In Our Own Time

The one thing I have really struggled with while staying home is keeping Nora entertained. I felt like I needed every minute planned and to give my time completely to her. It was very difficult and very draining. I didn’t fully realize it, but I was trying to keep up with what she has been doing for the past four years of her life, which is daycare.

I do not run a daycare. The articles I’ve read about homeschooling put daily chores (mine and hers) and things of the home just as important as the academics the kids are learning. I have been mulling this over for a while now. The past two weekends we’ve been busy. We had friends visiting and then Amber and Ryan’s wedding. There was a day or two where school was skipped or we did the bare minimum on that day and our scheduled got messed up. I was a little worried that we would not continue with school and that this would be one of those things I start and don’t finish.

What I realized once we got back on track is that I really enjoy the school work time Nora and I have together and she needs it. Not only does she need to continue learning, but she needs that time and attention from me although it is rarely more than an hour of time. She is very good at entertaining herself, but often times she will come to me and ask what are we doing next? Or if I let her watch something, when it is over she immediately is wondering what we are going to do now. I finally explained to her that we aren’t going to jump from one activity to the next and we’ll probably only do one a day besides her regular schoolwork. One day we’ll bake, the next go to the park, the next grocery shopping or whatever errand needs to take place. I’m finally okay with that and I think she is learning that it is okay too. That we don’t always need to be running from one activity to another.

Back in August I planned a few activities to commit to because I thought we would be so bored. This past Monday was our first day at the library storytime and although it was great, it was such a pain to go and then Nora was upset because I wouldn’t let her play on the computer as well. (There is only so much cooperation from a 6 month old in a quiet library). The next day we stayed home and it was so nice. We did her school work unhurried. I was able to get some housework done alleviating the guilt of being out and about neglecting the house. Much better!

I’m not happy that she was in daycare for so long, but I feel that it was necessary and I’ve accepted the consequences. I’m not happy that she was a day late for starting kindergarten, but I’m also seeing that it too is necessary. I’ve been given an opportunity to slow her down and teach her things that she wouldn’t be learning in kindergarten; how to bake, that cleaning the house is a necessary evil, that it isn’t all about her and that I have to share my time between her and Lorelei, that quietness (no tv blaring or kids screaming is a good thing), not to mention manners. I try to do this patiently, but like I’ve said before, I’m not always patient. I’m getting there, though, and so is she, all in our own time.