We’re on to Day 5 of The Great Homeschool Public School Experiment! Today I’m giving you an honest look at all that “alone time” you picture when you think about sending your kids to public school.
On some of my worst homeschooling days, I’d fantasize about how “free” I’d be if my kids were in school. I’d have hours of solitude to get the house cleaned, plan meals, and even go shopping if I wanted! I’d read books I’d always wanted to read. I’d finish knitting the afghan I’ve been working on for over a year. I’d even think about painting the walls in my house. (Something I’ve never done.)
Of course, that didn’t happen. I do get more alone time during the day, but it comes with a HUGE catch. Here’s my take on the plenty of alone time you get when your kids are in public school.
How I Spend My Days
Bear in mind that I still have Miss Piglet (who’s 2), so I don’t have quite the break that I’d have if all of my kids were in school. But I will say that having a house with one toddler in it during the day is FAR quieter than a house with four kids.
Generally, I drop the kids off at 7:15 and make it back home by 7:30. I get Piglet settled with breakfast and I start cleaning the kitchen. Piglet and I spend time watching JW Broadcasting, then we color and read a Bible Story. This takes a couple of hours. I make her a snack, then she takes a nap around 10:30.
Now I get to enjoy that vaunted “alone time”, right? Yes and no. I get about an hour and a half alone while Piglet naps, but here’s how I usually spend it: Doing laundry. Our kids’ school requires uniforms, so I end doing laundry and ironing more than I’ve ever done in my life as a mother. (Our kids often did school while still in their PJs.) If I’m actually caught up on laundry, I start on MY school assignments.
I make time to do something I want for half an hour (usually reading or taking a nap), then I get Piglet up, make lunch, and straighten up the kitchen yet again. By then, it’s time to get the kids. Seriously.
How My Evenings Became Even Busier
So, yes, I do get alone time in a way. But here’s yet another catch: My evenings are busier than ever. By the time we finish homework, it’s time to make dinner. And we have to cram in all the talking we used to do during the day around the dinner table. After dinner, the kids get about half an hour to unwind, then they get ready for bed. By the time they go to sleep, it’s time for me to finish up my schoolwork and get ready for the next day.
The quiet time during the day that I get is really helpful while I’m in school, though. Just having time to think clearly about what I want to do and how to go about it makes the evenings run much more smoothly. And after I’m done with school this spring, I’ll probably be able to enjoy that alone time a little more. 🙂
If your kids have ever gone to public school, did you find that you had more alone time? How did you use it? Do you miss it at all? Share your experiences in the comments!
This post is part of the series “The Great Homeschool Public School Experiment“! Read about our other adventures in trying public school for the first time!