When people hear that I homeschool, one of the most common comments I get is that I must have a lot of patience.
I assure you that this is not true. I see why they would say this, but I just handle things differently is all. I am blessed that I have been given ways to deal with what I need to deal with.
All parents must have *some* level of patience. Unless they are candidates for the world's worst parent, that is. So I do have this small reserve. It's not enough to carry me through without special measures, however.
It is ironic that I started college intending to become an elementary teacher. I am wholly unsuited to such an endeavor. Shhh, but I honestly don't love other people's kids. And, the politics and methods of school teaching would drive me bonkers. Oh, it would. I would be a candidate for the world's worst teacher. Not that I can't teach or wouldn't have good ideas, but my patience is no where up to the task for the amount of love I would actually have for the career (which would be little).
It was my first choice in school because...I wanted something practical and I had no practical interests, lol. (This is still almost true.)
Yet here I am, teaching my own children. It's not the same, of course, thank goodness. But I do have that patience issue.
One of the ways I cope is through selfishness. I need time to myself and I need to pursue my own interests. I have to take that time. I have to. So some days it might seem like I manage to do a lot, but it is just one of my coping methods. I either do these things, or I will turn to...less productive means to deal.
Another way I cope is through organization. Not that this works ideally, not by any means. But it helps. I spend a lot of time in this, and I am lucky enough that I enjoy at least this aspect of keeping house...well, to a point. And on those days I don't enjoy it, I can at least enjoy the product and I know it is necessary. The more organized things are, the easier they are to clean, and this is my absolute life line.
It helps that I just love boxes and shelves and containers....
Another thing about my methods is that my children are expected to do much themselves. I still get inundated with needs and arguments, but I must often shut down from them...parents are never as consistent as they think they are, anyway, so this does not harm them.
As for school work...I admit, I get bored. I get reeeally bored with it. Bored, bored, bored. Much more than kids do, and kids can get really bored! So in this, I cope by being eclectic. We change methods, we change schedules, we change things around all the time. I can't handle curriculums for long. They are always the same thing. The kids don't like it and I like the repetition even less. We can use them, but not as they were intended.
It is difficult balancing this. I need flexibility, but I also need to be sure that I am covering everything. We've managed well so far, but this year I have needed to find some new ideas that I really hope can stick for longer because I am currently even less able than usual. I am excited because I think I finally have, and I also feel a little dumb because it is so simple, lol. But we are all in our little boxes and things are not always obvious to us; things need to be brought to us, and it helps when we are open, seeking.
So, I'm excited...New methods and I think I have finally adjusted our school room in such a way that it is finally ultimately workable for us. (Fifth time reorganizing the room in the six months that we have been here!) I still get mad when kids can't seem to manage the simplest things, but my role is not, in fact, control--it is guidance. So I can let go of some things. And there is much I need to release.