I've mentioned before that I don't spend all that much time thinking about homeschooling. For us it is a fact of life--14 years of life--and after that long we just do. Not a lot of thinking required.
But my friend Susan posted something that got me thinking. Re-entry.
Our homeschooling has always been a fairly solitary endeavor. We haven't been big joiners. The kids haven't taken a bunch of classes or been invovled in many activities. At first this was because there were no other homeschoolers nearby. Later, it was due to the fact that nearby homeschoolers were fundamentalists who tended to find us questionable. Over time we came to enjoy the freedom of our lifestyle so much that a group, co-op, or other organized activity would have just been an unwelcome interruption.
The kids were each others' best friends. Most of our friends were remote. Life was pretty smooth.
That has all changed over the past few years. The introduction of outside classes, the subtraction of siblings off to college and work, and many more social opportunities for all of us have changed the pattern of our days. This year is the worst. Most late afternoons/early evenings we are all making re-entry. And we are all cranky. My kids fight more now than they ever did when they were younger. They aren't as patient with each other. It doesn't help that we're all coming home tired and hungry to a house that is messier than it has ever been. Ever.
What is hard is to know what the answer is. The classes the boys are taking are beneficial. They enjoy the abundant opportunities to see their friends. I am definitely NOT getting too much friend time. I hardly see mine since our schedule is so packed and my kids are older than most of theirs. I need to work. And until Patrick can afford car insurance I need to drive him to class. I know I can't have those lovely bygone days back when all I had to do was cook, clean, and hang out with my kids, but I wish I could figure out how to make the way things are now more pleasant.
It almost feels like we have lost most of what we have always loved about homeschooling. The HOME part. I need to think about that.