This year is strange.
Big transitions are happening in our home and the entire homeschool vibe has changed.
If I am honest, after we make it through Morning Time, my day feels a bit scattered and disjointed. After that, I spend a lot of time jumping around and assisting very independent kids.
And that just isn’t how things used to be around here.
So it feels weird.
Time to Myself
I have an increasing amount of time for myself during the day.
In fact, I have been known to kick my feet up and read my own book for 30 minutes while the kids read theirs. I’ve found moments to type an Instagram post or compose an email in the middle of the school day. And I feel a little weird about it.
I find myself wondering, “Is this okay? Is it allowed? Can I really sit here on my laptop while they are working around me?“
This situation isn’t completely new. In years past, I have been able to go to the gym or take a run during the school day, but I typically I knew their work would have to wait until I was back.
But this year they are getting most of it done without me because they are WAY more independent as an entire group. I can leave a checklist of schoolwork and know that 3 out of 4 kids can do complete all of it without me present.
This is HUGE. Like HUGE.
A New Season of Homeschooling
I am entering a new stage of homeschooling mom life. I am supervising a homeschool full of teens and tweens and closing the door on a homeschool of elementary schoolers.
I have felt the changes happening in our family as much as our homeschool.
And while it is all good, I have to admit that I feel a little lost at times.
I know I shouldn’t be shocked by these changes because this transition began a few years ago. But knowing that a change is coming and actually sitting in the space where the change has happened are two different things.
When Kayleigh kicked off this shift toward independence in 7th grade, I still had three children in elementary school. I could still rely on the familiar routines of homeschooling that still existed with the majority of my kids.
But this year is so very different. All of the kids have left elementary school behind.
So Many Pathways
My babies are forging unique, individual paths toward their own goals. And their paths don’t intersect with each other a whole lot anymore. Their routes have diverged as each child explores unique classes and personal pursuits.
These new paths involve a lot of instruction and guidance from teachers – both in-person and online – but more often than not, their teachers are NOT ME.
And this leaves us with a homeschool day that feels oddly independent. a bit disjointed. and completely strange.
I feel like it was just yesterday that I was leading my four little babies along the path of learning. Together we played and toured and explored and discovered all day long. Now the grown people are all running off in different directions and I am running back and forth and up and down as I visit all of their different paths to provide assistance.
And I have to admit that all of this hopping from kid to kid creates quite a disjointed day and I feel a bit unfamiliar with my new role. But the good news is that it seems to only be me who is feeling out of whack.
The kids are contentedly focused on their own journey. forging their own path. discovering themselves.
It’s what they have been doing from the beginning.
What a Day is Like
My oldest is only “enrolled” in one class at my homeschool – American History. Her other 11 credits are being completed through dual enrollment classes at the local community college. My “teacher role” in her life consists of occasional quick tutoring moments, tons of encouragement and support, and help with paperwork and college planning.
Basically, I have started to officially say goodbye to my role as her teacher and I am 85% “just mom”.
Wow. It’s weird. But it’s good.
My 10th and 8th graders are also both on their own paths. One is pursuing theater and fine arts and the other one has discovered a love for game development and coding. Their schedules each day reflect their personal interests and contribute to the disjointed feeling of our day.
My 6th grader still needs me for math instruction for about 4 more weeks. Then he is eager to begin using Mr. D Math just like his siblings. He still turns to me for instruction more often this is siblings, but much less often then some of the other kids did at his age. I think he is becoming a product of an environment filled with independent teens.
My kids are getting to know the amazing people they were created to be. They are beginning to discover what sparks passion and ignites learning in their own souls.
And I helped guide them to these places. We’ve partnered in this journey for a long time. Now I am watching as they take over and discover their unique adventures.
Which is amazing. And I know this has always been the end goal.
But it feels a little weird because I know I am at the beginning of the next major shift. In just a few years, they will all be doing their own thing in high school and beyond.
And it will be so good. And so weird.
It’s coming. I can feel it.
While it Lasts
But in the meantime, I am enjoying some of our familiar routines and time together. Morning Time still happens each day, though it’s a bit different with teens. We accomplish current events, Sign Language, and our own rotating list of videos and books. Sometimes we continue the morning with our History reading, though the youngest isn’t’ required to join us for some of the upper-level books.
And some mornings the teens begin giggling and chatting and laughing at memes and sidetracking.
And I let them. Just like I did when they were little. Because I know that in a few years, I’ll never regret lingering over these moments – I never have.
Grieving and Embracing
Sometimes I wonder what on earth I’ll do to start my day when it doesn’t being with CNN 10 and a couchful of kids.
I am sure I’ll figure it out, right? (*wink)
But it feels weird to acknowledge that the household shift happening right now ends in a place where kids kick off their own mornings independent of me.
the place where I do my own thing all day.
the place where they tell me about their day and their learning and their experiences because I am no longer an immediate part of it.
I know I’ll be a part of their lives forever in so many incredible ways but right now part of me that feels a bit sad about the reality of saying goodbye to The Wilson Academy Elementary School.
It was a magical and precious place of good memories, good times, and togetherness.
And the Wilson Academy Middle and High School is wonderful too! It’s just different, and sometimes, I miss the days of learning and exploring everything together.
But it’s good and I’m good. I actually ADORE this new stage. And both things can be true at the same time. I can completely love my houseful of teens while occasionally missing the wonderful stage of little ones.
Don’t Worry About Me
I know I’ll make it through this transition.
Cause making it through the art museum without panic or saying “Don’t touch” isn’t a bad thing. (*wink)
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