It has been a little over a month since Taniya and I began our homeschooling journey. It was an idea in March, and it became a decision in June. The planning and preparation for our new journey began in July. I pulled several all-nighters because that was the only time I had peace and quiet in order to focus, couldn’t sleep from pure excitement, or from being overwhelmed about the huge change that would be taking place. It was in June when I experienced I love my daughter but… I couldn’t believe I was opting out of the opportunity dealing with only one child at a time by keeping them both at home with me. But it was a decision I grew extremely confident and passionate about.
Since our journey began, I have been observing Taniya’s growth and response to the change. I honestly thought she would be over homeschooling within two weeks of starting, but it’s been the total opposite. She’s so excited to learn, and constantly says “mommy I’m so glad you teach me at home, it’s so much fun!” That’s music to my ears. She even asked if I would be her teacher for college. I quickly said no lol, however I blushed. It felt good to know she was that comfortable in my ability and in our journey to want to stick with me throughout her college schooling as well.
In June, Taniya and I were really struggling bonding and growing together. It was painful because I didn’t imagine experiencing that with my firstborn, or a 6-year-old at that! Since we’ve been homeschooling, there has been a massive shift. I believe Taniya was really missing that one-on-one time with me. There was barely enough time in a day for her and I to truly have our alone time like we were able to do before Jayla was born, or when it was just her and I when my husband was driving over the road. Being at home has allowed her and I to spend countless time with one another and given her the opportunity to spend time with her sister. When she was in public school, she would only witness Jayla sleeping and nursing for the most part.
In addition, Taniya now gets to see and speak to her father whenever she likes (when he’s not super busy). When she was in school, I would be on the phone with him all day, so there wasn’t a huge void for me. But when she would get home from school, he would be driving or sleeping because he was in a different time zone. I know for a fact that was a strain on my baby girl. She felt that void, not me. Now she is able to experience him more throughout the day. Of course she would rather have him in person, but she loves the time they spend on FaceTime and talking throughout the day. She’s able to see what he does and speak to him for longer periods of time.
Actually, he participates in activities with us and helps me teach lessons. For example, when I taught Taniya about the three branches of government, James was able to participate in the role play activity that I set up. Each of us took turns playing one of the branches and the laws were based on our family set up. You could see the joy on her face. James also helps me to teach Taniya math, science, social studies and history. I honestly try to keep him from teaching math unless I really need his help. He has a different way of teaching and understanding math, so if he teaches her a different method I will be a lost cause. He has free reign in the other subjects. Family time has taken on a whole new meaning for us. It’s totally virtual when James isn’t home. Having James a part of our day not only gives me a little virtual break with the girls, it also makes him feel involved and not so far away. He doesn’t feel like he’s missing out on everything that is taking place with the girls.
I’ve also noticed that Taniya and Jayla’s relationship has bloomed into the most beautiful thing. Taniya has always loved Jayla, but you could tell she had a few ill feelings when it came to her. She was navigating the feeling of no longer being the only child and all of the attention being on the baby. It didn’t help that after a long day of separation, when Taniya would finally get home, Jayla would need my attention for breastfeeding on demand. Once Taniya and I got a little time alone when Jayla napped, it seemed like it only lasted for 30 minutes. Nowadays, Jayla is screaming for her sister’s attention and following her every move. She jumps up at the sound of Taniya’s voice. Taniya has grown into the big sister role and is very protective of Jayla. For example, if Jayla doesn’t stop crying with in 10 seconds, she comes over to look at what I’m doing in order to make her sister feel better lol. She’s so mesmerized by Jayla and tells her she loves her every moment she can. She also does her best to mimic what I teach Jayla.
It is still the beginning stages of our journey, but it was the best decision that my husband and I made for our family.