Thursday, May 26, 2011

Do Homeschooling Teachers Retire?

This has been the weirdest year for me. I can’t say hardest because I have had some real humdingers. But it has been difficult in the fact that so many things changed and not just at one time, but constantly changing…how odd that term?

I would just get use to one schedule, one situation, one adaption, only to have everything altered. Unsettling. That’s what it was.

Let me reveal the heart of the matter. My job is almost done. I went from the insane world of homeschooling four sons at such different levels and learning styles to almost nothing. Jesse, our youngest son just completed 9th grade. I was so successful in his education that I am basically not needed. What a difference 3 years can make. Having struggled for so many years, I finally figured out at the end of 6th grade that he was a functional dyslexic. Functional being the label attached if one was in a public school setting. NOT FUNCTIONAL in a homeschool setting! When mom knows what you are capable of and you cannot get those results….functional would not be the correct word.

Anyways….because we were successful in recovering, adapting, and treating his dyslexia (yes, FFYB products were a HUGE part of this process!), Jesse is quite the independent learner. I gave him exactly the right tools this year….he took off……he thrived…

Where did that leave me? In a pity party. On the edge of a cliff of despair because I didn’t feel needed. Oh, the issues that already came when the grown sons moved on with their lives- now my purpose was pretty near complete.

Who wants to be left with just

maid/waitress/cook duties?

Where was my worth as a teacher?

I cannot express the joy that bloomed in my heart when my mission was redefined and I felt another purpose.


It isn’t over….it is just redefined. And might I add that this feels fun?

For those of you on the brink of change into this new era, let me offer some reasons why I am excited about making the transition from full time homeschooling teacher to Noni time. ( I am Noni to the babies).

Experience- we know what works and what doesn’t. We know about learning styles. We now know what matters and what doesn’t. We can spot a learning difficulty and we even know how to overcome it.

Time- there is a bit more of it now. What we couldn’t do with our children because we were just trying to get in the basics for each child are now things we could help our young mother’s with: music, cooking, sewing, nature walks, art, those dreaded science experiments. Can you imagine having a woman at your right hand who would do these much needed developmental activities with your children? I am going to be that woman.

Money- face it, I seem to have no difficulty spending any amount of money on the grandchildren. My homeschool budget is not any smaller. I will be shopping with activities, games, and learning tools for the grandchildren this summer. I can buy those extras that the mommies cannot.

I am going to share some of the blogs that I follow that are giving me great ideas and helps with planning “school day with Noni”.

Counting Coconuts- Oh, how I wish I had this blog when my sons were little! I wish I had this knowledge, insight, and energy when I was this young.

Montessori Print Shop- Fantastically affordable site with brilliant ideas. I knew nothing about this method when my sons were little. I DID use this method quite a bit, just wasn’t aware I was so smart!

Teaching Tiny Tots- I hated teaching art when my sons were little. I think it was just because I was to so worn out and tuckered from getting the basics in that I had no zest for it. I am an artistic person. Kind of. But doing something artsy with a grandchild is SO different. You really don’t care about glitter everywhere or the mess. It has all been transformed into something adorable now. The miracle of grandmotherhood.

Once I settled into this new thought pattern that I didn’t have to be done with this ministry of teaching just because my sons were grown, my heart was filled with joy and anticipation for what I can accomplish.

I wish to BE the support network that I went too many years without. The purpose wasn’t gone. It just had to be redefined. So, I am out of retirement. I have my pile of catalogs and lists of blogs to read and peruse.

Anybody need a Noni? I have time.

~Shannon (mother to 4, Noni to 3)