In every home education journey you find pockets of the year where the echoes of your non-homeschooling friends run over and over in your head.
- “Kids home, all day, every day? And teach them? Are you crazy?” “When do you get a break?”
- “We basically can never go to lunch again.” “
- How are you going to teach high school science?”
- “Your kids are going to be so weird”
- “Do you only grocery shop in chaos because everyone is always with you?” “I would lose my mind.”
Suddenly, we find ourselves fantasizing about the big yellow school bus chugging down the road to whisk the insanity out of our home, for just a little break. The yellow school bus fantasy most often happens in the month of February, which many of us home educators have declared “National Homeschool Burnout Month.” So what do you do when you’re fantasizing about the yellow school bus in the middle of the winter? Stick it out and hope for the clouds to clear? Wave the flag of surrender and enroll everyone in full-time school? Or, maybe consider a completely new option….
The university-schedule school.
As homeschool moms, we sometimes live within two extremes. Sometimes we have these beautiful, smooth, and easy days, where having our kids at home is the dream we always wanted it to be. No, it’s not perfect, but the pace of the day is unhurried. There’s time for academics, and time for reading, time for a hobby, or simply time for kids to run free and wild, the way it should be. Dad comes home after work and instead of the flurry of after school “stuff” that would come home with your kids on the yellow school bus (such as long evenings spent doing homework) you get a less stressed evening. There’s time for dinner, and reading aloud, sports, activities, or just being together. Even ushering kids around to activities is less hectic because you don’t have kids cramming hours of homework into the van rides to and from soccer practice. You find yourself thankful you’re not in the frenzy of the traditional 40-hour school week away from home.
But then, there’s the other extreme- the days where you feel so overwhelmed, so stretched thin, and exhausted from having your kids home all day, every day, and you just want some adult conversation, or even an afternoon alone! You wonder if your house will ever be clean again! You don’t feel like you are meeting everyone’s academic needs. The kids are grumpy, and at each other’s throats because they need a break from everything and everyone too. They ask for playdates to see friends and ask why they can’t “go to school.” They want to know why “all the other kids get to go to school.” You sigh, you feel like you’re failing them, but you also know what the rat race of traditional school is, and you know they will eventually burn out too. You want to keep their childhoods as care-free and age appropriate as possible, without the high stress of full time school, all while giving them responsibility, a high quality education, and life-giving social structures.
You want them to experience the community of school- the friends, the supportive and caring teachers, things like recess memories, Valentine’s day parties, and Christmas programs. But you aren’t willing to sacrifice their childhood waking hours for it. You try co-ops. But those are just as exhausting and take time away from the stuff you do need to accomplish, and they almost always interfere with the baby’s nap. And really, they don’t give much of a break. You look around for private schools that let homeschoolers attend gym, or art, or other such classes, but they begin to feel like outsiders because the other kids are all together all day, every day.
So what’s the answer? Are there really any happy mediums between home educating and full-time, traditional public or private school? Maybe you’re feeling like most home educating moms- you kind of just want some relief. You want some confidence back and some joy in a structured, well thought out plan….one that you don’t necessarily have to create, and you want your babies spending more time at home growing up, than in a school classroom. You just want a little bit of both- home and school.
Well, we have the answer! The university-schedule school. It just might be the perfect blend you’ve been waiting for, even if you didn’t know it!
So instead of spending the rest of the school year wondering if there’s a better way, come check out the first, classical, Christian, collaborative school in Fishers, Indiana. Why not jump in and try something new? Maybe the collaborative, five day academic program, but with two days at school and three days at home is just what you and your kids need to find more balance, beauty, and blessings in educating journey.