We are only one week into adding Fiona to our homeschool routine, and already it feels like a massive weight has been lifted. Homeschooling isn’t some perfect, magical solution, but it is amazing how much happier Fiona seems already. It has been a great relief for me as well.
Last night, I realized that I didn’t feel the normal sense of dread that I usually felt on Sunday nights. Our weekly routine generally involved at least two hours of struggling to get Fiona to school in the morning while trying to also help her work on being calm and happy. The entire process wore me out, and by the time I was done with that, I needed to jump into working with Connor on his homeschooling. If I was lucky and it was a lower stress day for him, I might have an hour to breathe and just focus on the baby before Fiona came home. Once she was home, the tension and stress from the day usually came with her and I spent the rest of the evening trying to support her. Then we’d eventually get the kids to sleep and have to start all over again the next day. Weekends were a brief reprieve and Monday mornings were the worst. Now that major stressor has now disappeared. Although there are still many opportunities for anxiety to creep in and supports are still needed, nothing compares to the dark cloud that school had become for Fiona.
My biggest concern was that homeschooling Fiona would take away from Connor’s time. Since he started homeschooling he has relished in the one on one time that it gave us together while Fiona was at school. Obviously that changed a little when Cara was born, but it was still a break from Fiona’s moods and meltdowns that had become especially intense over the past year. Bringing Fiona home has led to some bumps, but they have been manageable and nothing near what I worried about. My hope is that as we get more and more into a routine, those bumps will continue to smooth out.
The best thing about having Fiona home is that her light has started to come back. Fiona has always had this beautiful, bright light in her, but the dark cloud of anxiety and sadness was starting to take over, and that light had gotten so dim lately. Since we pulled her out of school, I have been so happy to see that light returning.
Bringing her home has added so much to our homeschool as well. She brings so much enthusiasm and excitement into the daily routine. Last week, we had poetry tea time for the first time in at least a year. It was something we had tried to do in the past, but with just the two of us it never felt quite as magical as others have described. Poetry tea time with Fiona brought a whole new level of enchantment.
Making the decision to homeschool Fiona is something that we really struggled with. I constantly went back and forth, not knowing what the right decision was, and not wanting to make the wrong one. Seeing the clear shift in Fiona though, it is clear that homeschooling is the right choice for now, and I am so excited to have her home with us.