I’m currently tossing around the idea of no longer homeschooling and sending my kids to public school. My oldest will be attending a transitions school next year, but she’s technically graduated at the end of this school year. My middle daughter wants to go to public school. That leaves my son and two options that I have to consider: 1) Keep homeschooling him & sending him to co-op classes once a week, or 2) Send him to public school. Why not a private school, you ask? Well, that’s a long story, but I don’t have any love for “Christian Schools” which seem to be run by fascist males who hate women & care nothing for actual Christian or academic values. So that’s a big fat NO.
My son doesn’t want to attend school. He loves homeschooling, so that makes the decision a difficult one. But he’s an extrovert, so I know wherever he goes, he’ll fit in. It’s hard though for me to consider sending him out into the big wide world when I have seen public school kids pick on him. He’s a sweet kid. That’s why I hesitate. I don’t want the public school to suck out his soul.
Life After Homeschooling: Mid-Life Questions
But if I did decide to do that, I have to wonder what I’d do. It’s weird, this mid-life process. Do I go back to work? Do I find a part-time job? Do I take up hobbies? I have no clue. I’m 40 years old, totally capable of working (homeschooling and running my kids to classes and events is a FULL TIME JOB), yet I can’t imagine trying to “people” and work for someone when I’ve been out of the workforce for so long. I’ve held part-time jobs throughout my 20’s & 30’s and even those were too much, but I was also homeschooling. With homeschooling off my plate, I am wondering what I should do next.
I might wait a few years to send my son to school, but still, in two years, I’ll have to figure out my life. I am not even sure what I should be doing. Should I go back to school? Should I find a laid-back job that doesn’t pay much but keeps me busy? Should I go work at Target? I have no idea.
I have a lot of skills. I’ve homeschooled my three children for over 11 years. That involves a lot–dealing with the county, the school system, signing up for classes, playing taxi, being organized, finding teaching materials that fit my kids, implementing strategies for special needs, academic testing & remedial help, learning about high school options, and on and on. The list of things I’ve done over the years is not on any job resume, but on my personal list of things I’ve learned from teaching my kids at home. I’ve also held part-time jobs in the web design field and know how to use computers really well. I used to build websites. I know graphic design, social media, and other related technical skills. But I don’t have a college degree or a lot of job experience. So that makes me feel as if I’m not worth hiring.
Options to Consider
I’ve tossed around the idea of blogging as a business and concluded, at least right now, that this is too much work with little pay. You have to have a lot of know-how and I don’t have the patience for it. I do run an Etsy shop and make a bit of side money, but it’s not really all that much (not like working a part-time job even). Again, it’s a lot of leg work with little return. If I had the magic pill like some bloggers seem to have, then maybe I’d be rich, but I don’t–so here I am pondering my work existence.
I wish instead of “Job Skills” on LinkedIn, they’d have a record of all the things you learned in life. Life experience is much more valuable because anyone can learn most jobs. Especially jobs I’m qualified to do. Even web design can be taught. The skills are not rocket science. They take work to learn, but they aren’t impossible. But perseverance, hard work, and a pleasant attitude will get you much farther in life. We’ve all met that super smart guy that is a giant jerk. He gets ahead because he intimidates people or he owns his own company, so you have to listen to him. But otherwise, he’s failing in the people skills department. Even as an introvert, I know how to be nice to people and I have embraced my empathetic side. But you won’t see me on the top of the hiring list because I lack “job skills”.
It’s a bit depressing being at this stage of my life. I was so excited when I graduated high school, got married, and had children. Life was a big adventure for me. I know the same is true of my children. I’m excited to watch what they do with the life they’ve been given. But it’s a bit hard for me to see this process where I let them go. It’s hard to see it as an adventure. I want to. I know that’s a healthy view. But I also mourn the fact that it is ending. I feel insecure that I won’t be able to bounce back and find who I am outside of my children and my role as a mom and homeschooling parent. Maybe I just got way to comfortable being in this role and it’s extremely hard to transition into a new one.
I know I’ll eventually find my place through this transition, but not knowing and wondering is sometimes hard for me. I have a load of questions with no answers and anxiety to accompany those thoughts. In this stage, I will just continue writing about my life and see it where it leads me. Maybe I’ll feel brave enough to submit some writing articles to a few places and hope for the best. Because I love the simple life–and thinking about entering the workforce again is a scary thought to me, especially when their standards are too high and the pay is too low.
Life is more than a paycheck. Gotta find my happy place in this big, confusing world.