Back-To-School Separation Anxiety: Homeschool Edition

Back to (home)school.

Back to (home)school.

As I type, it is 5:30 a.m. All I can think about is my kids in a classroom.

Eight years ago, my husband and I decided that I would homeschool our kids.

It made perfect sense. I am credentialed to be a teacher. I have a degree. I love teaching.  

Boom. Done.

The schools around our last home were . . . not so great, so homeschooling was a great decision for us. I found a bunch of homeschooling groups to join, I went to conventions, we filed all of our paperwork on time — it was a pretty sweet deal. I really enjoyed teaching my kids how to read, and what biomes were, and how to count by sevens through song. We had a lot of fun.

This year, we are trying something new.

Earlier this year we moved out of state, and we are now around schools that are pretty fantastic. They are so fantastic, that they have an entire department dedicated to homeschooling.

No, I haven’t heard of this either.

But it's totally true! They have a homeschooling department right smack in the middle of the high school. Homeschoolers can sign up to be a part of it, and homeschooling kids will be in a classroom twice a week with other homeschooled kids. There will be history, science, art, music, and Spanish together — the rest of the math and language arts will be done at home.

Talk about a sweet deal! I was super-stoked to get involved with this group. I was the first to turn in all the paperwork and the first to show up to registration day! SO EXCITED! My kids are going to love this! THIS IS GOING TO BE AWESOME.

I think.

Maybe not.

I'm not sure.

As I type, it is 5:30 a.m. All I can think about is my kids in a classroom. Will they be OK? Is my daughter going to fidget all day? What about lunch? What if the teacher is mean? Will my son be able to stay in his seat? How can I help them be the best students they can possibly be . . .

when I am not going to be there.

This is back-to-school separation anxiety: The Homeschooling Parent.

I have always been the one in charge of the classroom. I have ordered all our curriculum for the past eight years, I have a whiteboard to teach lessons, and I have been the teacher. Granted, we have participated with other groups in the past that have had the kids in small classes where I wasn’t there either. But this time, it is different. This time, I am not in the nursery down the hall if the teacher needed me. Or if my kid needed me.


I’ll be at Starbucks, freaking out over my latte, convincing myself that all the time we spent learning how to stay in our seats, and how to raise our hand if we have a question, and how to take notes, was all for this moment. This moment, when they were in a classroom. ALONE.

Without Mom.

I know sending kids to school is the most normal thing on earth. I know they are going to do great, and I know they are going to flourish. And I know it is only twice a week, and I am still the teacher the rest of the time. 

But I also know how much I sincerely love teaching them as their homeschooling mom. And even though this is the best for them, and probably for me, I know that their mom (ahem, me) is going to have some serious separation problems when I watch them walk into the classroom, adorned with desks and nametags and motivational posters telling them they can do great things. I know they can do great things.

And I’ll be OK.

(rubs temples)

I’ll be OK. I’ll be OK. 

They are going to do great. 

I’ll be OK.

Like . . . 97% sure. 

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