My husband is away. Far away on business. In Australia (which is just plain wrong for many reasons). It is an uncomfortable feeling. We are not used to it. The children are uneasy about it. They all end up in my bed. There is someone missing and a general feeling in the house of waiting for our unit to be whole again.
Our family life has become far more enjoyable since we started homeschooling. This is my 5th year of homeschooling. Prior to homeschooling were attending a well respected Montessori school. We picked our location based on proximity to this school and I respect and admire Montessori education.
My intention was to keep the children in this particular school all the way through middle school and be part of the school community. Tristan started this school at 14 months. (eek!) It was a beautiful school and I spent a lot of time there observing in classrooms, volunteering and fundraising. The problem was that my children were just not thriving in it. Claire found it difficult to find like minded peers and Tristan wasn't ready to sit for 3 hours a day, independently and alone doing close ended activities using fine motor skills. He needed to move all the time and was extremely social. By the end of his short school career he was miserable and only 4 and a half.
So one of the greatest joys for me homeschooling is not having school at the center of our lives. What replaces it is the four of us talking about all the things we dream about, the activities we are doing, documentaries we are watching, recipes we want to cook, who we want to see and where we want to go.
All that negativity has been replaced with this positive energy that is directed towards the center of the family unit. We feel much more bonded. We really listen to each other and know each other. We have a wonderful sense of belonging to a tight family unit which was an unexpected gift of homeschooling. We meet with other homeschooling families that are also experiencing the close family bonding and the children really seem so nourished by the security of that.
These are the kinds of families I want my children to be surrounded by, not just by peers but whole families with children of all ages and fellow like-minded parents who my children can seek out to ask questions and get advice on their projects and life experiences. These are families who we are lucky to share our homeschooling journeys with and will hopefully be close to for the rest of our lives.
In the meantime, we are holding our breaths until our Papa safely gets home.