Have you ever done something that challenged everything you thought you knew about life and parenting, and yet, you knew deep down that it was the right thing to do? The kind of thing that would set off the best adventures and opened your eyes to the opportunities that are yet to come?
This year, I took a chance on the possibility of living my life more fully and making an impact in my kids’ development. 2015 will forever be the year where my husband and I decided to homeschool our oldest two kids, a decision that was just that, life-changing.
Their curriculum is both online and with traditional textbooks
A year ago, I knew of a couple of families that homeschooled their children and thought to myself: I could never do that. I don’t have the patience, I’m not that organized, and my kids would resent me for pulling them out of regular school and they’d miss their friends.
Until, sometime in the middle of last year, in the heart of my busiest travel season ever, I realized that I wanted to share the moments I was so blessed to experience with my children as well. Book tours, events, and work travel would become shared adventures. I missed my children terribly when on the road, and even when they were gone at school most of the day.
Crafts related to their studies are part of their day
The second biggest reason for homeschooling my oldest two kids is because homework time brought out the worst of me as a parent and my kids. At the end of the day, they were tired. They had given their attention to their teachers and when it came to doing homework they were mentally checked out. Naturally, we fought a lot, and I didn’t like the type of parent they saw during that one hour or more before they were rushed off to activities.
The moment I realized that someone else was getting the best of my children’s time it was as if I was struck by lightning. I realized I needed to make changes (and big sacrifices), so I could get that time, for me.
Weekly public library visits help my kids explore the subjects they are interested to learn more about
And that was when a seed was planted and I begun discussions with the kids that next year something had to change; for me, for them, for our family. I didn’t know what life would look like, but I knew it had to be different. Just like that, I decided to homeschool, taking it one year at a time, and never looked back.
I will say, homeschooling isn’t for the weak of heart. It takes creativity to find activities to occupy the “school hours,” discipline to get through the curriculum you have planned, and the wisdom to know when your child needs to learn differently. We’ve already switched curricula twice and while they are not perfect, I feel like my kids are now more open to trying new things. Plus, the age-old questions: “How was your day?” and “What did you learn today at school?” are gone from our conversations. Instead, I too am learning to talk to my kids about life, without being rushed or tired after a long day; not because I want to check on how their day went, but because I am genuinely interested in what they think about what they are learning and doing.
So, how does a full-time working entrepreneur pull off homeschooling? Not without getting up earlier (and going to bed when the kids go to bed), drinking a lot of coffee, scheduling everything, and help -both at home and in the home office.
Homeschooling can be done from anywhere. Here, I took my kids to a café because it was a nice day
Finally, the ability to travel with my children is perhaps the biggest reason homeschooling was a priority. I’ve made it my mission to explore the world, one country at a time, with them. I want my kids to know and learn about other cultures -including my Spanish heritage and language, at times when it’s most convenient for my husband and me, without being limited by the school calendar.
Just recently, I took my oldest two kids to Spain for two weeks where we had the time of our lives. We are already planning the answer of “where to next?” Oh, and don’t worry, the little one will come with us too!
Homeschooling allows me to travel with my kids – Photo: recent trip to Spain
I’m often asked how long I plan on homeschooling my kids for (among a hundred other questions), and my answer is always the same: I am taking it one year at a time; for now, we want to live life to the fullest, as a family.
I partnered with Abbott to share our story as a part of their LIFE. TO THE FULLEST initiative, and I encourage you to visit the site and be inspired by other stories from all over the world where people have their own unique ideas about how living fully looks and feels. But there’s one thing we share: we each want to live the best life we can.