After many restless nights (or not), you finally come to the decision that you are no longer going to be a homeschool teacher. Whether that decision came easy or not, there is likely something related you’ll need to deal with. For me, the decision to start homeschooling was easy and natural. The decision to end that path and return the kids to traditional school – even if only for a while – has been anything but.
Recognize your reasons for the choice. Perhaps, like me, you have too many hats on your head and need to add another. In addition to sending the kids back to school, I will be going back to school myself. I also am a freelance journalist with several clients and am founder and co-owner of a media company. Because I cannot halt either of these related businesses (can’t pay the bills without a career), the homeschooling was unfortunately the major task that would make room for my own education if eliminated. Once I finish school, I may be able to go back to teaching the kids. But for now, I am transitioning them back into traditional school.
Don’t be too hard on yourself. I have had to repeat this advice to myself several times on this journey. No matter the reason for your decision to end your homeschooling journey (whether temporary or permanent), you made the choice for a reason. Sometimes things happen in life that are out of our power and not our fault.
Feeling guilty won’t help you adjust. As long as the new schooling situation is a positive environment, there is no need to feel guilty for this choice. Again, I remind myself of this one. It’s true that no one will care about your child’s education more than you. However, that doesn’t mean you are doing something wrong by sending them to traditional school. Remember that what you have taught them will follow them. Also, you can (and should) still help with some aspects of education, even when they are in traditional school.
Cry if you need to. The feelings can often get overwhelming. That’s understandable. After all, these are your kids and their education means everything to you. Crying can help get out those built up emotions and sometimes you just have to. This is a natural coping mechanism and if sending the kids back to school invokes tears, let them roll. Just try not to do it in front of the kids to keep their experience as positive as possible.
Get some exercise. Yoga often helps reduce stress, as does running and many other types of exercise. If you need to relax, opt for stretching and yoga. But if you need to release pent up feelings in a more active way, go for running, bike riding, or even power yoga.
Get involved in the school. Maybe you don’t have time to teach the kids all day anymore. But you can still volunteer to commit some time to school activities. Join the PTA, chaperone field trips, help with a bake sale, and more. Whatever you can assist with will likely help both you and your child cope with the fact that you will no longer be the teacher. This shows your child that you do still care and it also may help relieve some of the guilt associated with dropping the teacher role.
Related Articles from Lyn:
Helping Kids Transition to Traditional School After Homeschooling
A Typical Busy Day as a Home School Mom and Writer
Questions Kids May Have when Switching to Unschooling