Our homeschool routine prior to going back to work was simple, but a little busy. Additional to our home learning routine, we were part of a Classical Conversations (CC) Community, which met once a week, and part of a Co-Op that met once every other week.
We based most of our school work, activities and writing around the CC memory work, and our other studies. Our subjects and resources were as follows:
Math: Saxon Math (K and 1)
Reading: Sonlight’s Language Arts (and all it’s literature books) and Usborne’s Very First Reading program
Writing: A Reason for Handwriting (K and 1) and CC’s Sheri Ellis Notebook of Memory work
Science: Sonlight’s Core A Science
Art: Artistic Pursuits
Latin: Song School Latin 1
In January of 2015, I began picking up more work hours as a PRN (latin for “pro re nata“, which means, “as needed”). I have to mention at this point, that I’ve always worked, but only every other weekend in the evenings, which I’ve been able to manage for four years.
When March, came in, hubby gave me the announcement that we would most likely need me to return to work full time. My response was that if it was needed, then I would do it, but I would continue to homeschool our children. Hubby couldn’t agree more and said that we would make it work somehow.
April came in, and I was already working full time. The change came in suddenly, and we were close to finishing the cycle with CC and the semester at the Co-Op. It was a little of a struggle since I was also tutoring the Abecedarians class at CC, and I was also teaching a World Cultures class at co-op every other Thursday. By God’s grace I survived, we all did.
Then yet, another change came in May…I changed employer. After 8 years at the hospital I worked for, I ventured into a new hospital lab a few minutes closer to home, and thanks to God, with a higher pay. This new change came with additional challenges: I had to train in the new setting plus, a new area for me, Immuno-Hematology, a.k.a Blood Bank. I’m a certified and licensed General Medical Laboratory Scientist (ASCP)CM, which means I work in several areas of the laboratory. I have experience in Chemistry, Hematology, Urinalysis and some Immunology and Microbiology. The new setting, how ever, required less Microbiology and the new area for me, Blood Bank.
At the interview, I made my new employers aware that I homeschool my children and that my hubby and I share the instruction and care of our little blessings, and they were very understanding (thank you God for all your mercies!). The training through Blood Bank took some time to complete since my employers were nice enough to accommodate my training to the evenings (usually Dayshift trains all shifts) and it was a combination of work in the other areas, plus the training in Blood Bank.
The struggle, was me being able to juggle the training, the reviewing of information, and learning new lab procedures, and undergo evaluations and tests. Every evening, I had to switch my brain from homeschooling mom and home maker to professional and trainee thinking. I always had something in the back of my head causing me stress. There were times when I left work late, so when I woke up in the morning, I was feeling mentally and physically tired. I had yet to get used to the new routine.
Additionally, I was directing a children’s ministry at church, the Adventurers’ Club. I have to thank God for my friends and fellow leaders in the ministry that supported me and took on many of the responsibilities to successfully culminate the year (praise the Lord again for sisterhood and good true friends!)
As our schedule dramatically changed as I returned to work, we had to let go of some commitments to give us the time to adjust ourselves to the new routine. We had to let go of CC community after we concluded the cycle. The whole family dynamic changed. To stay “afloat” with homeschooling, we had to opt for the essentials. We pretty much focused on “the three Rs” (Reading, wRiting, and aRithmetic). Since our children are little, the important things that they need to be learning are:
1)Being able to read and comprehend the literature .
2)Be able to write well
3)Be able to do their arithmetic well.
Anything else, was a well received blessing.
Every day felt quite rushed, and hectic to say the least, with trying to get school done and meal preparation (sometimes I had to buy out lunch). By God’s grace I survived, we all did. I wouldn’t have done it that way, but the return to work happened within a month of the decision. There was little time to re-schedule or re-plan. We had to continue with the same homeschool schedule, until our commitments and class were consumed. In a way, I’m thankful it went that route. It helped me to learn to prioritize better.
Last fall we were able to continue our participation in co-op every other Thursday for a total of 8 classes. The kids took 2 classes each. My oldest took art and history (which covered for my lack of time to teach her) and my son, had an art class as well and a community helpers class. My three-year old benefitted of a story time class and educational play. I was also able to teach a conversational history class (Ancient Egypt). By God’s grace, we were able to manage about 4 field trips which was more than I ever expected, and a well structured Co-Op P.E. class.
By the time November came, I began feeling more trusting of God, and more at peace. I began letting go of the troubles in my mind, of the things I couldn’t change, and it slowly allowed my mind to open to new ideas, to re-think about my personal goals, and to work on a clearer vision for my life that could positively affect those around me.
It has been nine months since I returned to work full time. Now that all my training is completed and we are getting used to this lifestyle and routine, we are able to better plan our teaching with wise and practical planning, and even add a couple of more subjects.
I’m currently teaching Reading, Writing (Handwriting), Spelling, History and Art. I have just slowly began adding the latter two to the schedule. My husband teaches Math, Science and music/piano in the evenings.
The commitment to continue home educating my children still has prevailed. I feel it deep in my heart, that this is what God wants me to do for my children. It is my personal ministry that I passionate share with my husband.
I’m open to all new epiphanies that God is directing me to.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Phillippians 4:13, NKJV)