How was your transition from homeschooling 4 kids to Zoe now who’s doing most of the work herself? I’ve been homeschooling for 12 years and my kids are about the same age as yours. Although I worked some hours, most of the hours were planned around them and I’d love to know how you’re managing 1) not being needed all the time 2) empty nesting adjustment 3) future plans that don’t include them which had always been the case before. I’d also appreciate an INFJ perspective from a reader with a similar experience. Thank you.
Oh hey there, fellow INFJ!
This question might hit differently if it were not for the marital experience I have had…but I am where I am, so I will just answer from that place.
For me, it has not been a hard transition to be less needed for my kids’ schooling. I’ve been homeschooling for the last 19 years, and honestly, I am not all that sad about this period in my life coming to an end.
Nearly two decades is enough time to spend on a job, I think!
Also, I can think of two other reasons this transition has been ok.
First, it’s not like my kids don’t still need me. The way that they need me has shifted, but I still am an important presence in their lives. I still give them practical and emotional support in a variety of ways!
Second, I have plenty of things to keep me busy. I have my blog, I have my schooling and future nursing career, I have hobbies, I do volunteering…I am not even close to sitting around twiddling my thumbs.
I have poured most of my adult life into being a mom, yes, but there’s still plenty of me that exists outside of full-time mothering.
And to go back to what I said at the start: because I am in the process of getting divorced, my future from here is already going to be full of change and adjustments.
I suppose in some ways that is going to make my transition to empty-nesting a little easier; a divorce requires the readjusting of expectations and plans, so it is giving me a headstart on that process.
Would you be willing to write about your experience homeschooling? I have been homeschooling my kids for one year now and could use all the suggestions someone like you may have with benefit of hindsight. I wonder if you would even homeschool if you had it all to do again. What would you do the same and what might you try to do differently?
Like the first question, this one feels a little funny to answer. There are ways in which my homeschooling mom life was intertwined with my marriage, and there are so, so many ways I would operate differently in my marriage if I could go back.
And perhaps those different choices would also have affected the way I mothered and taught.
There is also some sense in which I look back at my efforts to create a happy and enriching home environment for my kids, and it all feels pointless now.
You can try so, so hard, and still, everything can fall apart.
I will process through this disillusionment with time, I know. I’m just saying that it colors the way I answer these types of questions.
And man, I don’t know if that makes sense to most of you…but any of you out there who have walked this path after homeschooling can probably understand.
If it was appropriate to share more here, that also would help you to understand. If you and I had coffee together in real life, I would tell you more.
But alas, this is the internet, so I am limited in what I feel comfortable sharing.
Let’s see…would I homeschool again?
Yes, I think I likely would, at least for the primary grades. The flexibility that homeschooling offered during those years was really helpful, and I personally find grade-school learning to be pretty enjoyable to teach.
If I had it to do over again, I might consider doing more of a hybrid approach during the middle school/high school years.
I also would make more of an effort to get connected with other homeschooling families when my kids were younger. We were rather insulated for quite a few years, for a variety of reasons, and I think it would have been good for my kids to have had more fellow homeschooled students in their friend circles.
It probably would also have been helpful for me to have more relationships with other homeschooling moms.
In terms of educational quality, I think homeschooling prepared my kids well for higher education. They’ve all done really well in their college classes (plus trade school classes for Lisey), and even when they take college classes in high school, they’ve had no trouble keeping up with their traditionally-schooled peers.
I also think that homeschooling has probably simplified my own return to school; all my years of teaching have kept my brain from getting rusty, and I think this is particularly true when it comes to math.
I would have struggled so much more with my science classes and the TEAS test if I had been out of the math world for the last 25 years.
Also: I am a homeschool graduate myself, and straight out of high school I was a 4.0 student, even with a heavy class load.
So I definitely think that homeschooling can give people are very strong, useful education that translates just fine to a college classroom.
1) You let an invoice go for what? NINE months? That is very unlike you– you did the work, you deserve to get paid ( 30 days from when work was completed)
2) Do you ever keep textbooks? I have my botany book from when I went to community college EONS ago, and I use it ALL THE TIME to look up stuff– faster than the Internet cause I know what to look for– and my “old” Norton literature anthologies, philosophy and art books have been valuable resources.
I know, I know. This is rather unlike me. I think the issue is that I did the work in the spring, which was a tumultuous period for me; I was finishing up finals and also moving into this house and, well, I probably dropped a lot of balls around that time!
(In case you missed it, I forgot to send an invoice for $500 of freelance work I did for a company! I sent it nine months late. Better late than never, I say.)
Occasionally I keep textbooks; I still have my Anatomy and Physiology textbook because I love the material and because it’s nice to have a physical book to refer back to when I’m trying to remember something.
However, if I had owned a physical copy of my chemistry textbook, I most definitely would not have kept it. Ha.
I also would not keep any textbooks that are frequently updated, such as tech-related books. It’s best to sell those ASAP before they are worthless.
Basically, my default is to sell textbooks immediately, unless there is a very good chance I will need them for reference in the future.
Usually, at the end of Q&A posts, I asked readers to share their answers to these questions. But today’s batch of questions mostly just applies to me.
Still, if you have comments on any of these topics, go for it!
P.S. If you have a question you’d like me to answer in a future Q&A post, you can email it to me (email@example.com). If you leave your question in the comments, I might miss it or forget about it, so email is the best option.