Have you ever wondered what it would be like to go from teaching other people’s children to teaching your own? Join me on this page and follow my journey as I go from school teacher to homeschool mom.
I started my teaching career as a young single lady at a private preschool working with two-year-old children. (I know what you’re thinking, “Isn’t it just babysitting at that age?” But that’s a post for another time.)
My focus for the children in my class was to teach them to be independent in some basic areas such as feeding themselves, using the restroom, and taking care of their own things. We also tried to cover some academics like colors, shapes, letters, numbers, and going over Bible stories while helping them with their social-emotional skills to help them get along with the other children in the class and school. I was able to spend a lot of my time at home browsing for ideas online, shopping for preschool/toddler books and supplies, and making charts and posters to use with the children because I didn’t have any other responsibilities. I enjoyed working with the toddlers (most of the time. Toddlers can keep you very “busy” at times and with eight to sixteen of them… OMG!).
After five years at the preschool, I decided it was time for me to get my elementary teaching certification, so I went back to school for my Masters Degree in Elementary Education. I married my husband, Matthew, and I got a job as a first grade teacher at a public school. I taught first grade for four consecutive years and then moved to second grade my last year before taking this teaching hiatus.
Working in the public school system came with a long “Must-do” list, which included Common Core State Standards. (I hope I didn’t get anyone started on the CCSS debate.) The CCSS are pretty much the goals each student needs to reach by the end of the school year and they are what I focused on in my class. The first three years I was able to spend pretty much the same amount of time gathering ideas and supplies and making things for my class as I did when I worked at the preschool. (Matthew is not a demanding husband at all and pretty much treats me like a princess.) I enjoyed this time of teaching (for the most part. Hey, first graders can keep you very busy, too.).
The way I spent my time at home changed after we had our first daughter, MJ, during the second half of my third year teaching. I found myself torn between spending time organizing the house, spending time with my newborn, or spending time working on teacher stuff. I did a little housework or school work here and there whenever my little one slept, but I would forget to check on her because I would be so caught up in the task. So then I decided I would do whatever work in the room or area she was sleeping in, but I would be so focused on not waking her up that I wouldn’t get any work done. I ended up getting work done when Matthew was home to take care of MJ and when he was not I would put off work to spend the time with her. I felt like a horrible mother (and wife) and teacher because I wasn’t putting 110% into being a mommy or 110% into being a teacher. It continued like this for the remainder of my time as a teacher. I wasn’t enjoying my time as a mommy or teacher.
I’m very grateful to Matthew who works so hard to provide for our family. Because of him, I am able to take this time off from my teaching job to spend time being a mommy to our two girls. Oh, don’t worry, I’m still in the teaching profession, it’s just in a home setting now. I’m currently trying to do homeschool preschool with MJ, who is three-years-old. I have also included in our school sessions our six-month-old daughter, ER.
The purpose of me doing homeschool preschool is to get our girls ready for elementary school. I could send them to a preschool but I figured since I’m home I’ll work with them on preschool things (and did I mention I’m taking time off from my teaching job which means we’re a one income family and we need to save money where we can). We’ve just been doing circle time, reading, journal writing, and other (hopefully fun) activities. I am enjoying being a mommy and a teacher now (well most minutes of the day).
I’m finding that for me there are pros and cons being a school teacher mommy and homeschool mommy. Here is my list.
- A second family income
- Classroom full of same age students that I can help
- Collaborate with other teachers
- Daily socialization with other adults
- With students from 7:50am-2:05pm
- “Alone” time before and after school and on the drive to and from school
- Amount of time needed to do this job (it’s more than just a 7:50-2:50 job)
- Teaching other people’s children is stressful (making sure all students meet the CCSS)
- Spending too much time socializing
- Spending all my time with my girls Being able to watch them develop in their early years
- Wake up whenever, eat whenever, play whenever, nap whenever, get up a go whenever (well it’s usually on baby ER’s schedule but thanks to the Ergo baby carrier it’s a lot easier)
- Spending all my time with my girls (no daily socialization with other adults or a break from children. I love my girls but sometimes I need a break from them.)
- Girls are different ages and have very different needs
- No second family income
I do miss being in the classroom and being able to help many children (and the extra money), but I love being home with my girls and watching them grow more (at least for now I do). Stay tuned to see how I trek through the next year and a quarter homeschooling the girls.
What are your thoughts on educating your children? Send them to school or homeschool them?
***Schedule for posts***
I apologize but for now I’m going to be on a three week rotation for my posts until I can get more efficient with my writing and some sort of schedule. My goal is to post a piece in each of my interest areas once a week which that means I’ll be writing three pieces a week. (Yikes it takes me a week to write one piece 😳)
next week (4/24): education post (working on it)
5/1: health post (haven’t started yet)
5/8: creativity post
5/15: education post