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Chana Voola
Artist, publisher, creator
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Homeschooling is…

I know many people can't imagine attempting this juggling act, but for me, the wonder is that they send their kids to school!
Photo by Brands&People via Unsplash

There is just so much to homeschooling. It can’t be measured by the day-to-day things we do, but the day-to-day things add up in the long run. Homeschooling is a great juggling act of moments, days, months, and years! So, here goes. Here is my list.  Homeschooling is… 

  • Homeschooling is a lot of late night snuggles and laughter and giggles. And wondering how I’m going to get kids to sleep. And staying up extremely late so I can have some quiet to myself.
  • Homeschooling is blissfully waking up at 9 a.m. And also wondering how to get myself up earlier so I can get more done.
  • Homeschooling is finding interesting ways to get my kids to do schoolwork that they may not find so exciting. And letting go when it’s not working. And not letting too many easygoing days go by where no work gets done. And sometimes letting go for months at a time.
  • Homeschooling is finding the things my kids are learning so fascinating! It’s joining in their learning, and giving myself a homeschool basket, because this is just a way of life for all of us.
  • Homeschooling is a messy house. Like, layers of mess. And being okay with a messy house. And cleaning up. And seeing the cleanliness unfold into layers of mess before my very eyes after we all spent most of the day cleaning! It’s also teaching my kids to be responsible for cleaning up, and sometimes that is hard.
  • Homeschooling is lots (LOTS!) of art and drawing. It’s scribbles on the walls, and finding broken crayons all over the house. It’s seeing how creative my kids are, and letting creativity happen. It’s being creative myself.
  • Homeschooling is long nature walks, seeing birds and hawks and vultures we would have missed had I sent them to a classroom. It’s watching our garden grow, and drawing the different leaves. It’s going to the park with sketchbooks. It’s learning the sounds of nature just by spending the time outside. And finding books that help teach us about the nature we saw. It’s looking up all the Latin and other unknown words in Harry Potter and taking notes as we go through the series together (again).
  • Homeschooling is baking a lot of cake with my kids. It’s sibling arguments over who gets the spot by the counter, and who gets the spot by the sink (sometimes it’s not baking cake).
  • Homeschooling is waking up to hugs and happy kids (usually). Siblings who are best friends. Siblings that hold each other’s hands when one is having a cavity filled. Siblings that can annoy each other like no other. And working through that. I hear my own voice in the way they speak to each other. And it’s a lot of nachas to see them play and make up games and write stories together, and giggle into the late night together.
  • Homeschooling is sometimes overwhelming. The task of educating five people is enormous. But I got this. And it’s telling myself I got this. And using outside resources where it’s needed. It’s feeling overwhelmed and venting about it. And people hearing me vent and asking me why I still homeschool. And not caring because I still love it, even though at times I need to vent. And then picking myself back up. Writing. Journaling. Art. Exercise. Creating. And also loving my life, though I can feel overwhelmed, because motherhood is intertwined with it all, and motherhood is just hard.
  • Homeschooling is people wondering how I do it. And me wondering how they can send their kids to school!
  • Homeschooling is having an inner peace, understanding and appreciating we are all unique, that all families operate differently, and wishing the best for others while doing our own “thing.” And finding my tribe of friends that is like no other.
  • Homeschooling is a lot of asking Hashem for help with everything! It’s asking Hashem to please clean my house for me and safeguard our family. And not saying Tehillim (Psalms), and also telling myself I should be one of those moms that says Tehillim every day. And then realizing how I’m just doing what I can, and I get it in when I can, which is rarely ever, and that’s cool, because I do a lot of other good things! Homeschooling for me is a lot of 10-second davening in the moment and asking Hashem to help me with, literally, everything.
  • Homeschooling is lots of necessary conversations and discussions with my husband. It’s speaking about what’s going well and encouraging each other. It’s being fully supportive of my husband’s ways, though we may have different perspectives, and respecting each other and laughing about it all in the end.
  • Homeschooling is setting aside a book that we read together at supper time. It’s having no limit with time, and no limit on what, when, or how to learn.
  • Homeschooling for me is a gift and a blessing. It’s hearing my kids reassure me that they are happy with what we do and learn together. It’s being reminded why we are not in school. It’s learning as we go and catching the joys of life! I wouldn’t change it for the world!

What’s on your “Homeschooling is…” list?

About the Author
Chana Voola is journeying the homeschool journey with her husband and five children. She creates and publishes Jewish journals of many different topics and for all ages, Jewish homeschooling workbooks, and the popular fun & activity books, called “Kef Books,” and can be found on Amazon.com. Chana is an artist, and sells her art on society6.com/chanavoola. She also has a Masters in Social Work from Rutgers University.
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