For many parents, the decision to homeschool their children was not made because they woke up one morning and decided that it would be lots of fun to be stuck at home with their kids every day. In some cases, it was a decision made of necessity—a child who was being bullied, or who was struggling in school, or who was ill enough that they needed to be at home. Choosing to virtual school is even more often a decision forced by outside circumstances, and not because the parent had a burning desire to homeschool from the very beginning.
Once the decision has been made, there’s a transition that has to occur—not just for the child, but for the parent. Suddenly, your activities are severely limited compared to what they were. You’re stuck at home for at least a chunk of every day. Even if you’re used to having your kids at home with you, and taking them everywhere you go, you’re used to being able to go. Grocery shopping didn’t have to be arranged around class connect sessions. Playdates with friends (yours and theirs) were the norm. If you wanted to get out of the house for a little while, you found an appropriate activity and went.
Suddenly, all those friends your children were having playdates with are in school. You have to worry about getting your schoolwork in each day. Class connect sessions are the first item on your schedule every day, even when you don’t want them to appear at all.
It’s a rough transition. In many ways, you may feel trapped, restricted, and even resentful of the child who has put you in this position. Luckily, there are ways that you can overcome that feeling.
It will ease as you adapt. Once you are used to your new schedule, it will become a new sort of normal. You will find activities that keep you busy at home, and learn to participate in your child’s lessons and learning in a new way that is very rewarding.
You will take advantage of field trips, and learning coach sessions, and opportunities to be around other adults. You will discover yourself carrying on way too long a conversation with the cashier at the grocery store—but you’ll laugh about it. You’ll enjoy your children’s company in a way that you never did before.
You will plan fun activities to keep younger children busy while their older siblings are homeschooling. You will invite friends over. You will find new ways to interact with other adults. You will count down the hours…the minutes…even the seconds until your spouse is due to walk through the door.
And you will adapt. It takes time, and effort, and patience; but eventually, you will adapt and be able to enjoy this new method of schooling.