So. Turns out having kids in school is just as hard as homeschooling.
I have three kids in school right now, a 3rd grader, 2nd grader, and 1st grader. Tonight, like many nights, they each had homework. By the time I was able to work with each child individually, 2 1/2 hours had passed. (The kids are at an age that they need a parent or adult to do the work with them as most of it is reading together and checking work and memorization.)
As a result of that, dinner was late on the table. The kids were late to bath, and then late to bed. Baby was grumpy and in need of her own bedtime ritual, which was also sorely behind schedule.
And then, as if writing and reciting Bible verses and spelling words and reading about Ruff the dog wasn’t enough, now it is time to read with little Eddie before bed.
I am tuckered out.
Basically, my kids enjoy school (a lot) and don’t mind homework. (I am absolutely fine with the amount of homework each child is given, and in no way find it excessive. I would actually like to be able to devote more time to each child one-on-one, but cannot conceive of a way to do that.) It’s me. It’s all me. I don’t know if I can handle that much homework at night and be expected to still do everything else the family needs!
Truthfully, the transition to the kids being in school has been harder than I imagined. But not in the normal way, in a weird i-am-mommy-but-not-homeschooler-anymore-but-work-fulltime-but-stay-at-home-mom kind of way.
I just sort of assumed that I would be the mom who was helping out in class and ever present in the kids’ learning and social development. It was a given that I would know who they are hanging with and who is influencing them and that they would be the brightest most well behaved kids in the class and that Audrey would have perfectly perfect styled hair every single day.
That I would have had the kids’ teachers over for dinner, or at the very least, met with them so that I know more about them.
The truth is, I have not helped out in class. Not one time. Granted, I have been at home with a 3 year old and 1 year old, but you’d think I would find a way to be there for all my kids. I am just now, very slowly, starting to figure out who the people are who have such a huge influence in my kids life.
I am lucky if Audrey’s hair gets combed in the morning.
Lets just call this look… “messy pony”. We dominate the messy pony. (I also just discovered that one of my children has been wearing dirty underwear to school because I mentioned that it is ok to wear pants more than once between washings. They just assumed that also applied to underwear. AND socks. I am mortified. And laughing because I often laugh at inappropriate times.)
I have not talked one-on-one with either of my kids’ teachers (Parker and Audrey have the same teacher as 1st and 2nd grades are combined) nor figured out a date when they can come to dinner. It’s already looking like mid-November.
None of this is going as planned and I didn’t even know I had a plan. So I sit here exhausted and a bit defeated and a lot hopeful that someone can shed some light.
Tell me please, if you would be willing… how do you do it? How do you manage school work with the kids and still manage the home? (As well as the needs of the children not in school?) What kind of relationships do you have with teachers and what should I be doing differently? What does your after-school schedule look like?
And thank you in advance for any insight you can give this weary mom.