I remember when Raisin was in his can’t-talk-only-scream terrible two’s and I dreamed of the day that I’d get a break from it all: elementary school!
At that time, I did not know then that I would end up homeschooling him, and that in some respects I’d never get a true break.
I’ve always wondered how it would be to have a day with my son gone, delegated in to someone else’s care. Some moms get a break from their elementary-aged kids from 8 or 9 in the morning until 3 or 4 every single day! What would it be like? How much would I get done? Wouldn’t it be wonderful?
For the last two weeks, I had my chance for the first time. My son had summer day camp. He had beach time, field trips, and other structured activities with his counselor and age group for 10 full days, from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. I was free of his constant care for those two weeks!
And to tell the truth, the break from my son was overrated. Here’s what I learned from sending my child away for just two weeks.
- My daughter missed having my son around to play with.
- I missed having my son around to help out with simple every day things.
- My son came home each afternoon super tired but still eager to play. But there was little time left!
- I don’t use my time very effectively, and having my son gone did nothing to help me be more effective.
- My daughter and I both missed being a part of my son’s fun, and he could not always tell us what he had done.
- Likewise, my son missed being a part of our fun! (“Can we go to that park again with me next time?”)
- My son learned new songs and vocabulary from counselors and peers that I did not necessarily want him to learn.
In short, when my son was gone all day, he was more whiny and crabby during the hours he was with me.
Although it was nice to let him have a fun two weeks, I realized once again that I’m glad he normally gets to stay home with us during the days. It re-energized me to the new year of homeschooling (beginning next week!) because I know better now that homeschooling will still be the best for all of us.
Homeschooling provides the time to my kids to play together, since it does not take as long as a day at public school. Homeschooling will give Raisin time to help with the daily household chores he is accustomed to, and because we’ll homeschool, my son won’t be so burned out from a long busy day when he does return to me. He’ll be with me all along.
I had anticipated feeling freedom and delight at letting my son be gone all day. I instead found that I really prefer to have him as my daily buddy during our family adventures. Homeschooling really is right for us right now.
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