Do you know what one of the first things I decided about my parenting journey? That I wasn’t going to be a stay at home mom that home-schools her children. Don’t get me wrong here, I have huge respect for my many friends who have chosen this road. In fact I admire the crap out of them.
So why did we choose this path?
Well, it was really two fold. The first is probably the most obvs. It’s basically impossible to survive with three kids on just one salary. I know it’s not completely impossible (I know a whole handful of families with three or more kids that do it successfully). I think the key is that you need to make some hard choices, but honestly at that stage of our lives, we were not ready to make those choices.
Plus I freaking love my job. Which is maybe even weirder because who really loves insurance? Me, I do. Mostly because sometimes I make this happen. But seriously I enjoy being responsible for something outside of my home, having conversations that don’t always revolve around my kids sleep cycles and just the weird freedom of it. Is work freedom? I don’t know, but for me it is.
Secondly, and possibly even more importantly, I was terrified that I was going to ruin my children.
I used to joke that if I had to home school my kids they would learn the TV guide off by heart and know which sunscreen is the best. Which is just another joke at myself because I never really choose to go outside or bother to put on sunscreen. The real underlying concern was that I was so scared of not being able to actually teach my children. It’s a mix of my ability to maintain control, my short fuse and the terror of stuffing it all up. It could have probably ended well, but I know myself and I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t have.
SO, I hear you asking… WHAT THE HECK ARE WE GOING TO DO IN THE CAMPERVAN?
And man, I hear you! We’ve spoken to both schools and the good news is that they are both on board. For Knox we are going to source a good Grade R curriculum to run with over the year (suggestions welcome). For the girls, their school is actually providing us with their current curriculum. Which is freaking awesome!
But that doesn’t really solve the issue of my fear of being able to teach my children. Or does it? The good news is that in our family there are two parents, which means that Seth will be taking the primary role as teacher in the van. I will help out as much as I can, but I will actually be spending the most of my time working while we’re on the road.
At first the need to do this (home school) freaked me out. But the more I think about it, the more excited I am. Our kids have been at school for a while now and they know the groove of it, which means keeping that going should be easy right? Plus I have visions of exploring a new town, finding a sunny spot and everyone drawing what they see in their art books. Of writing up our adventures in their diaries every morning. Of finding cool new plants or animals to draw, label and try and understand. Of walking through museums to understand our rich history. And watching Seth teach them maths while I work (that’s one that I definitely have to bow out of).
We’re all pretty excited for this new chapter, even if it is just for a year. So no matter how the home school goes, (I’m sure we’re going to have our up’s and down’s), we’ll make it work.