We have been homeschooling for four months now and in these past four months I have experienced a few surprises about homeschooling:
1. Increase in Cost of Utility Bills
Wow! I honestly was not expecting our utility bills to go up! Duh! This makes perfect sense. More warm bodies home during the day + energy used in our home = an increase in electricity and water usage. I can’t believe I didn’t consider this one!
Since homeschooling, our electric bill has more than doubled. The past two months, we have paid $40 to 50 more!
2. Grocery Bill Increase
I didn’t take this one into consideration, either. I thought our grocery bill would stay the same or go up $50 at least. Nope! Our grocery bill seems to have gone up by $100! Now, I’m not sure if the grocery increase contributes to homeschooling or my teenage son’s big appetite! Our family inside joke is our teenage son is a growing Man-boy.
Within the past two weeks, I have made at least four trips to the grocery store! I usually make one big shopping trip per two weeks. Ridiculous! I’m sure part of the reason for our bill increase is also I no longer make sandwiches for school lunch and we eat hot lunches 5 days a week. But still! I feel like I’m feeding a school and not just two children and a baby!
3. You Don’t Always Want to do School
It’s true. Some days we do not always want to do school. Some days I wake up grumbling to myself, “Ugh, I don’t want to do school today!” The first two days of the school week, I feel ready to go. I’m ready to seize the day and accomplish many subjects and topics. But once Wednesday hits, I’m like, “Is it Friday, yet?!”
I also seem to have more of a challenge keeping my daughter motivated to do school than my son. Elijah has his days, too, where he really wants to take a break. But bless his heart, he is really good about keeping a positive attitude and staying focused on getting his school work complete.
Mj, on the other hand, can be a bit of a bear at times when trying to get her focused. Sometimes she literally sounds like a bear, too, because she has a bad habit of growling. The dreaded “uggghhhh” sound. On those days, there’s a lot of gnashing of teeth and pulling of flesh. Not really. But there’s definitely a lot of resistance from Mj when she doesn’t feel like doing school.
4. It’s a Challenge When You Have Smaller Children
For the most part, I think I am managing pretty well with two teens and a baby. But I do have my days where it is harder than most to lead a discussion and entertain a 12-month old baby.
For instance, while discussing Tom Sawyer, I’ll have Zhen climbing on my back or trying to take a pencil from one of the kids. I hate not giving her the attention she needs. Sometimes I feel like it’s not fair to her that I have to teach a lesson when she wants to play. I know with older toddlers they are more independent to play for a bit. My baby is still young and her independent play lasts about 20 minutes.
We just have to make it work. If she gets too fussy or needs more playtime, I will ask the other child to help out or we will simply take a break so I can tend to Zhen. There have been times where we have had to finish a lesson the next day. I guess this is actually the plus side to homeschool is if you need to take a break or begin again the next day, it’s okay. There’s no rush in meeting a certain timeline.
WHAT SURPRISES HAVE YOU FOUND WITH YOUR HOMESCHOOL OR AFTER-SCHOOLING EXPERIENCE?