Whole Parenting Family

facing back to school & a new resolution

It’s back-to-school time and I reflect on a number of posts I’ve written about school.

In 2012 when I parsed through options for schooling.

In 2013, when I shared thoughts about discipline for prek kids and a few activities to do with them.

In 2014, when I said what I don’t worry about for prek homeschool and feeling powerless as a parent.

In 2015, when I shared my wannabe homeschool books.

In 2016, when I confessed that we’re homeschool drop outs!

In 2018, when I briefly touched on two kids in school.

Now here we are in 2019, two kids going to school, a third doing kinder homeschooled a la his siblings with a little nature school a few mornings a week, and the fourth hanging along like a casual tornado.

We re-evaluate every single spring, is school working for the kids? and truth be told, this past spring I wasn’t sure about our oldest. He was exhausted, crabby, and so cross with his siblings. While he excelled at school and loved his teachers and friends, completed homework without a fight, and was a sweetheart in the classroom, he was really dragging at home. We only had one extra curricular  (violin), spent lots to time playing outside and eating dinner together as a family, and I was at a loss.

With lots of open conversations about what our expectations and and that homeschool was on the table unless things changed, we noticed a more concerted effort to be charitable. We also upped the quantity of food for snacks, dinner, and well all the time and bumped bedtime up. More sleep, more calories, more prayer time as a family shifted his attitude and his spirits were better at home.

Here we face a fourth grader and a second grader (she really flourished at school, another post for another day but it was the best call to have her go!). I hate when school starts. I hate that the younger kids lose their playmates. I hate that I don’t see them all day long. I miss them lots.

It really is what’s best for them and our family but I don’t have to pretend that I love rushing them out the door!

Last year we had themes in the car each morning: Monday was “hopes and dreams,” Tuesday-Thursday the three oldest got to pose a question to the car, and Friday was “loud and proud” (what they were proud of for each other and for themselves). I loved framing our days that way before we prayed in the car and I loved hearing them lift each other up and be proud of themselves. We’ll probably continue that this year! (Proud moments included when youngest pooped in the toilet, when mama brushed her hair, and when third born didn’t shout “poopy guts” for a whole day, as espoused by the two eldest.)

My resolution? To snuggle with each kid before they fall asleep and dip my mothering net to catch those sweet little moments they only share in the vulnerable state of laying down, dark room, mama-only listening. For years I’ve rushed through bedtime in the house of ESCAPING THE INMATES, but not being pregnant or nursing, I can really take these tender times and hold them close.


What’s on the horizon for you this fall? School choices shifting? New resolutions? I’m all ears. 


  1. Jen @ Bookish Family on August 17, 2019 at 9:01 pm

    I’m resolving to be more peaceful. I love homeschooling BUT . . . I don’t always act like I love it in the midst of the chaos. We’ve already been back at the books for month and I think I’m doing pretty well. Now I just need to remember what keeps me sane (daily showers, early morning quiet time) and what makes me insane (trying to bake bread and homeschool at the same time, not taking care of myself, etc).

    • novicenaturalmama on August 29, 2019 at 6:59 pm


  2. murechaton on August 20, 2019 at 3:14 pm

    I love those morning themes – I might need to try something like that with my almost 5 year old and 2 year old. Thanks!

  3. Sarah on September 11, 2019 at 12:55 am

    I feel like we’re on the same train! I homeschooled my oldest just for kindergarten last year, and while I treasured the extra time (and feel like she really needed it! She wasn’t ready for full-day school without being a crabby, overstimulated mess by 3 pm) sending her to our local parochial school has been a good call. I struggle because I’m an idealist and a perfectionist, and there are things about traditional school that I just plain don’t like, especially limited outdoor time and technology use. But the reality is that my two littlest need me A LOT and sending the one off to school has shifted the sibling dynamics in a positive way. My middle is off to a Reggio-E preschool 3x a week, too, so I’m truly getting a real taste of school mom life and loving the structure it adds, and that beautiful time at family dinners when we each share our days together. ?

    • novicenaturalmama on September 12, 2019 at 9:18 pm

      I hear you, friend!!