Our first two weeks of school are not starting out like I’d hoped and well, I’m okay with that.
Let me tell you about the past 10 days of my life… and at the end, I’ll tell you why it’s okay.
You see, I planned for us to get back to school last Monday (August 26) and I was determined to get the year started off right!
I should’ve known that I was in for a disappointment when the Thursday before, one of the kids got sick. Then another. Then another.
You get the idea. The (mild) virus worked it’s way through all six children in seven days. Of course, they couldn’t all be sick at once and get it over with. That would be too much to ask.
So we started school with a couple of mildly sick kids and then had a sick one each and every day through Thursday… but that wasn’t going to deter me. I was determined. I had a plan! I was going to plow through and get our school year off on the right foot.
Even if I had a toddler climbing up to stand in the middle of the table and dance while I walked out of the room to make copies… :-/
I pushed and pushed. I cried. I screamed. The kids cried. I pushed some more. I called my aunt and almost put my I-must-have-all-of-your-attention-all-the-time toddler in daycare part time just to try and gain a touch of sanity.
We also have a new puppy demanding attention. He’s so cute and “Mommy can I hold him while I do my school” and “Mommy don’t you think he needs to get out of his crate again?” and “Oh Mommy, he’s whining…..”
I should also mention that Friday of that first week was my husband’s Friday off. He works a 9-80 work schedule, meaning he squeezes 80 hours of work into 9 days and gets off every other Friday. We love his schedule and having 3-day weekends all the time. Except….
When Daddy is home, doing schoolwork is challenging. My kids never want to do school when he’s home… he’s just too much fun! That’s not a bad thing – it just didn’t quite fit into my plan.
But again with more crying and yelling… we finished week one. It was not pretty, but it was done. Deep breath.
Then it was time to start week two. And it was the Labor Day holiday. Exactly where was my head when I chose our start date? Was I on drugs? (not really – I don’t do drugs – unless you count ibuprofen and Tums, ahem)
But seriously, I knew this day was coming, I knew there was a holiday, but we don’t really “do” any typical holiday things on Labor Day so I thought we’d just press on like a regular school day. Sounds good right? Not.
Because my husband had the day off. What was I thinking? Did I already tell you that doing school when Daddy is home is a no-go?
But being a hard-head, I was still going to try… until one of my kids got sick. Again. This time with 103°F and crying and nausea. Yeah… we did nothing yesterday.
That was just Monday.
And then there was today. We started off sprinting. We were rolling through assignments like there was no tomorrow. Asher (the toddler) was playing nice and not demanding all the attention.
There wasn’t even crying or screaming from any of us… things were going well. We were on track to “catch up” from all the work not done yesterday and maybe even finish today’s work too… but then my brother called and was on his way to the ER. Oh Lord Jesus, help us.
He’s okay (praise the Lord!!), but needless to say, we didn’t quite finish our schoolwork, or anything else I had planned for the day.
And then… as if I needed another “thing”, my kids reminded me that tomorrow is my son Caleb’s birthday.
Now of course I remembered his birthday (I’m not that out of it yet), but what had somehow slipped my mind is that I always let all the kids have the day off for birthdays…
What does that mean? Tomorrow there will be no school.
So, there it is… in our first 8 days of our new school year we will have already skipped 3 days. And if I’m being honest, the rest of the week is not looking so hot either.
If you’ve followed me at all personally or over on Rose Bakes, you may know that I stopped taking cake orders for August and September a few months back. I needed a break from cakes – some time to slow down and catch my breath.
Well I did really well to have lots of “easy” weeks but somehow, this week, week 2 of our new school year, happens to be slammed with orders. Six cakes, 6 dozen cupcakes, and 100 (very intricate) cookies.
Again… what does that mean? It means I probably need to work all day tomorrow (on Caleb’s birthday) and then all evening Thursday and probably all day Friday to get it all done and sleep a little bit.
I just wanted to cry when all of this started bouncing around in my head this afternoon. I felt like a failure and the school year has hardly started. We’re alreadybehind before we’re even going good.
And then my very wise Mama said, “But Rose – isn’t this one of the benefits of homeschooling? Can’t you just step back and take the time you need, then start again next week?” And a light came on in my head.
Yes, yes I can. I can do my best with the rest of this week and then, I can just let it go. I can have the kids read and work independently on the things they do alone – help each other with the things they can help each other with… and the rest of it – we can pick up next week and begin week 2 again.
I could beat myself up and feel like a loser and cry and worry and try to cram “all the things” into a few hours over the next few days just to be able to say that we finished week 2 on time… but then what?
Who’s going to pat me on the back for that? Who am I trying to impress? Nobody. One of the top reasons we homeschool our kids is because it allows us to be flexible, to do what’s best for us when it’s best for us, and to work at our own pace.
So the first two weeks of school were crappy for sure. Yes, we’re technically behind where I wanted to be and will already have to adjust our calendar by a few days or a week.
But tonight when I go to bed… I’m okay with all of that.
PS. I’m even okay with the happy baby dancing on the table. It made me shake my head and smile in the midst of a very hard day and it’s a memory that I know I’ll be glad I captured.
No, my plans didn’t work out over the past couple of weeks. But Mama reminded me that that’s why we homeschool in the first place and God reminded me that it’s never about my plans anyway.
“For I know the plans I have for you, ” declares the Lord, “ plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11.
Are you a homeschooling Mommy? Have you had days, weeks, months that look like this? How do you handle falling behind or missing days? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!