“Waaahhhh!!!” I wail, “It’s working!!!”

Even after four kids, I don’t know what’s worse when bringing my wee ones to the church nursery:

  • The toddler wails, plump tears dripping down his face, all available body parts clinging to me, eyes wide with terror, the epitome of “separation anxiety.”
  • The toddler wobbles off, eager to play with new friends and new toys, with nary a backward glance to The Mom.

I’ve been thinking that, all this week, as I’ve viewed the apparent success of my plan to have my 10yo, Ethan, do most of his schoolwork independently.  I made a month of lesson plans, putting an asterisk next to the assignments which we would do together.  He does the bulk of his schoolwork Monday-Thursday, with Friday reserved for only two regular assignments, and any corrections he needs to make to that week’s work.  Most of his work, I’m not even checking daily — my first time ever.  I’ve told him that I’ll check it all on Friday;  the fewer corrections he needs to do, the more free time he’ll have that day.

I was certain he’d be Toddler #1, as described above.  Instead, he’s Toddler #2.  I’ve been checking in on him, “Are you sure you don’t have any questions?” 

“Nope, Mom.  I understand what I’m doing.” 

“Would you like to listen in as I read Charlotte’s Web to Grant and Wesley?” 

“Nope.  We read that together, plus I’ve read it on my own, plus I’ve seen the movie.  I’m OK.”

This week, I’ve only read his science to him, and gone over his science work with him.  Oh, we also have done a small devotion together, and today, we did some history discussion questions. 


I felt so much like I’d been abandoning him, I sat down as he watched his Latin DVD this morning.  It’s a review lesson, as we actually got through the first 7 weeks or so of Latin, last year (w/o the DVD).  He looked at me in some bewilderment.  Clearly, I was not needed.  Still, though, I put my hand on his leg, and sat with him for 20 minutes or so…

Odd.  I homeschool my child — this is our 6th year doing so — and I feel like I’m not seeing enough of him.

I don’t know whether to be happy or sad. 


About Karen Joy

I'm a partially-homeschooling mother of six -- 3 boys ages 19, 17 and 15 years old, and three girls: 11, 8, and 3. I like birding, reading, writing, organic gardening, singing, playing guitar, hiking, the outdoors, and books. I very casually lead a very large group of homeschooling families in the Phoenix area. I have a dear hubby who designs homes for a local home builder and who is the worship pastor of our church. I live in the desert, which I used to hate, but now appreciate.

Posted on September 12, 2007, in Homeschooling, Motherhood, Sad Things, The Kids. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. I am so not there in my homeschooling journey but wow, I think that is amazing for Ethan. Why is it so hard for us when they actually do what we taught and trained? Stay close and available.

  2. It sounds like you’ve done a good job and he’s ready to go on his own. But I know what you mean – you want them to grow and then you also want them to stay your little baby. Parenting is one long experience of letting go.

  3. I can so relate to that, Karen!! My kids are in 9th and 7th grade so they do most of their work on their own. Sometimes I feel like I’m not doing what I should be doing; sometimes I feel like I’m neglecting them. I think part of that is the public school in me – since I always had a teacher in front of me lecturing it just seems odd sometimes to NOT be doing that. They bring stuff to me that they don’t understand and they bring it to me to grade but other than that they do most of it without me. It’s so weird! They are very bright kids and do extremely well on all of their work though so apparently it’s working. 🙂

  4. Thanks for stopping by my blog! I’ll be stopping by yours on a regular basis! Good stuff!


  5. I feel the same way some days, happy that he’s so independent but worried that I’m not doing enough with him. I’m glad it’s not just me!

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