04 September 2008

Major Change of Lifestyle

No, we aren't moving away from Maine, we haven't lost employment, nor have we won the lottery. But of those three, I'd certainly take the lottery.

It's this homeschooling thing. Yes, I'm beating a dead horse by bringing this up YET AGAIN, but it's the big news of the year in this household, and it's affecting our lives more than I ever imagined.

I homeschooled my two daughters from the get go, and this week, they began classes at a large public high school. What this means in terms of lifestyle change is that they went from doing school in their pajamas to getting up and dragging a 50 pound backpack off to catch the bus before 7:30 a.m. They went from finishing all their academics for the day before 3:00 p.m. to spending six hours at school and then coming home to several more hours of homework. They went from having lots of personal time, down time and free time to being subjects of the system and breathlessly going on to the next thing.

Needless to say, my two kids are experiencing culture-shock.

Funny how we can still be in our little town in Maine and just go from one small lifestyle to another, only to find that our heads are swirling and we're overwhelmed with life. Yes, I said "we." The kids aren't the only ones who who's heads are spinning.

Why, you ask, should I be overwhelmed? After all, I'm the one who isn't teaching for the first time in twelve years. I'm the one who has all the time in the world now to write and to finish those hundreds of household projects which have been waiting for me in our basement. Plus, I'm not the one who has to navigate the crowded halls of the public high school each day, and all that goes with that. (I do shudder to think of it).

The reality is that I have hardly written anything this week, other than this blog. The reality is that the only project I've finished this week is cleaning the kitchen, which I do every week anyway. And yes, the reality is that I am still teaching.

Wait, what was that last one? How (and why) would I still be teaching when I should be leaving that to the professionals? Because in that respect, really, nothing has changed. The kids go to school, received their assignments, and come home to do them. "But what if I do it wrong?" they ask. "What if they don't like the way I write?" they ask. "What if the teachers realize how little I learned in homeschooling?" they ask.

Yes, they have said that to me more than once. Such little darlings, aren't they? In fact, after their first day, they came home and announced, "Wow, Mom, those teachers know SO MUCH!" Nothing like a big ego trip to help soften the blow.

I spent hours with them tonight encouraging them with their homework. I want to say I "helped" them, but that's not allowed... and really, I didn't help in that way. I just cheered them on and told them they were doing it right. I'm not sure when or where I instilled such paranoia in them, but they are very, very afraid that they will do or say something wrong, thus bringing down the wrath of the teachers onto their poor, little homeschooled selves. I keep telling them how smart they are and they just roll their eyes. After all, what do I know? Those teachers all know SO MUCH more than I do.

Oh, and during my days? I've been returning school things that my kids bought but no longer want, searching out the perfect school supplies (no, two nights at Staples weren't nearly enough) and continuing on the quest for the ellusive, perfect backpack.

So, that's what's going on in my corner of Maine this week. The weather's great (hot even) and there are tiny hints that the leaves are trying to change. School is in session and all is well.

I think.

Copyright © 2008 - Paulla Estes

1 comment:

Judy In Aroostook said...

Try LL Bean for the perfect backpack, they even have wheels! Love your blog.