Homeschool + Preschool: It's OK mama
I've been homeschooling for 3 years and at the end of each school year I always ask myself what could have been different. Each time I'd recognize that one of my biggest blessings was also the biggest challenge - my youngest kiddo, Luke. You see, I've been homeschooling alongside him since he was born. He was what motivated me to homeschool. Let me explain. My oldest attended school across the street, so he'd walk himself there and back home. But my daughter was going to preschool and I found that by the time I dropped her off and settled back home with a newborn (Luke) it was time to pick her up. It was causing an unnecessary rush. I had recently met a few homeschool families, and after a few conversations with them I knew I could handle homeschooling my pre kindergartner. It was a temporary solution. Fast forward, I now homeschool all kids haha.
In my heart of hearts I don't think I'll ever not homeschool, but I also don't feel pressured or obligated to do so or to homeschool the same exact way every school year. When I first made the decision I'd often say, "I am committed to today." It's allowed me to not be attached to the outcome because I trust someone who will work it out no matter what education looks like for us, God. So, when it came time to deciding if preschool was a good fit for my youngest I had to seek discernment through a lot of thoughtful prayer and self awareness. I first had to own that homeschooling alongside a newborn through now age 3 had led to my feeling exhausted. Then I had to allow myself to realize that that is okay! I am not a robot. Anything that is worth it will require some grit and homeschooling is NOT the exception. Then I had to push through the pressures you find in the homeschooling community! Homeschooling your multi-age family is actively encouraged and supported, and I wholeheartedly understand why. Although tiresome I can attest to the value that homeschooling alongside my tiniest human has brought; lessons and life experience my kids would have never learned. Nevertheless, the pressure to not put any of your kids in a school setting is there. It's subtle, but it's there. In a recent conversation with a homeschool mom, finding herself burnt out, she shared that if she were to decide to put one of her youngest ones in preschool or with a sitter she'd feel like a failure because so many homeschool moms appear to be excelling even with very young ones at home. It shouldn't be like that. We can share the value of homeschooling alongside very young ones while sending the clear message that what works for me may not work for you - and that's okay.
So, Luke starts preschool. Gah! He'll be on a part time schedule gifting him hours of active play and gifting us hours of uninterrupted homeschooling sessions. Although nervous for this new milestone I'm also excited for this new season of homeschooling! I pray it'll wrap up 2020 with a refreshed mind.