The More Things Change, The More They...Change

I don’t like change. I’ll just be honest. I like for things to remain the same- especially when they are working well. I’ve learned, however, that kids change. Isn’t that a profound discovery?! And, just when I think I have something working really well, they go and change. Again. Part of homeschooling- and parenting in general- is learning to accept the changes and adapt and adjust.

Kids growing up and changing

Change creeps up when you least expect it. When my kids were 6, 5, 2, and 1 we loved story time at our library. Every Wednesday morning, I’d wrestle four kids into clothes and shoes and into the car and we’d drive to the library to hunt around for a parking place. After we parked- usually far, far away, I’d lug the baby and the toddler into a stroller and walk the crew into the library where we would all happily enjoy the half hour story time. Even though it was hard work, we all loved it, and it was worth it. If I could have had my way, we’d have stayed in that stage of life. Difficult as it was, I loved those ages.

But, somehow, I woke up one Wednesday morning and realized that we hadn’t been to story time in quite a while. The kids were older. Although the little ones were still 4 and 5, the older two were now 8 and 9. They weren’t quite as enthused about story time. And they now had more “regular school” that needed to be finished, making it hard to miss a whole morning. I realized that I missed story time, desperately. And I realized that our routine- that worked so well for use for a while- had changed.

I’ve noticed a trend in my homeschooling and sometimes with other homeschooling moms. I get into a routine that works great for a long time, and then, all of a sudden, I realize that this routine isn’t working any more in the stage of life that I find myself. I get frustrated that this won’t work. Or I keep trying to make it work, and I frustrate my family.

Or sometimes this happens. I see another homeschool family, and they have a great routine that really seems wonderful for them. So I jump in and try this with our family. And it crashes and burns. Then I feel guilty and inadequate. Why can’t I make this work? It’s such a great thing. And it works for my friend.

Here’s the fact, homeschool Mama. We are all in different stages and seasons of life. We have different kids with different needs. Our kids and situations are constantly changing. So we have to constantly change too.

What worked when my kids were 6, 5, 2, and 1 obviously doesn’t work now that they are 15, 14, 10, and 9. What works for my friend who has only two kids in middle school doesn’t work for my four who are in different stages of life

Homeschooling, and indeed parenting in general, is all about realizing the stage of life we’re in, and then adjusting and adapting to do what works. Don’t keep trying to make that old routine fit, like a pair of pants that are too small now. Work a new routine. Try things on, like you try on new clothes. And adjust to the changes in your family and your homeschool.

And, even though I miss our story time days, I’ll keep adjusting and tweaking what works for us. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll have grandkids to take to story time?!

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