Monday, October 6, 2014

Shifting Identities

Coming to my blog makes me feel guilty lately. It's been so long since I posted a comic strip.

Life as a part-time unschooler has been wearing on me lately. I love my job and I love being mom to creative homeschooled kids, but at the same time I'm frustrated. My focus has shifted. I'm not the one home with my youngest and last homeschooler. I don't bring her to as many activities as I used to bring her siblings to. I can't even convince her to come to work with me regularly, which I considered an advantage of working in the library. I miss being around my kids.

At the library, I meet a lot of children and their parents, as well as children with babysitters. The majority are on the public school path. I don't see as many homeschoolers here. There simply isn't that large a population of homeschoolers in our area. To the patrons, I'm the library clerk (or librarian, as most don't know the difference). I feel a loss of identity here, or a second identity forming, as if I were a superhero or spy, living a double life. I can hear the intro...

Strange visitor from an alternative reality, she is Homeschooling Mom! Protector of learning, advocate for her kids, and who, disguised as Cristina, mild-mannered library clerk, fights for truth, knowledge, and a homeschooling lifestyle!

Except I don't talk about homeschooling much at work. Homeschooling isn't something we do, it's who we are. Instead, I compliment kids who borrow books my family loves. I recommend biographies by Mike Venezia to young readers because they were engaging to all of my children. I suggest graphic novels for reluctant readers (which some of their parents don't approve of--"You mean...comic books?"). I've reassured parents that it's OK to let their kids read books below their reading level if the children really love them. It's weird, I feel like I'm trying to homeschool the community.

Lately, my time has also been eaten up by my volunteer work at the library and the nature center. Each have big events coming up on the same weekend. These are also separate identities with their own sets of responsibilities. Superman had it easy. I'm stretched a bit thin.

To maintain my sanity, I try to do some creative things, even though I don't have the time or energy for comics. Here are my latest CD creations. I'm hoping to add more soon. Because I don't have enough to do!

Cat

Spirit of the Wind

Minotaur

4 comments:

Ma F. said...

"Homeschooling isn't something we do, it's who we are."

I love how you said this.

I suppose the independence in your youngest shows how successful your path has been thus far. But sniff babies growing up!

My Librarian Dh feels the same way about his interactions with parents over graphic novels ;)

Susan Gaissert said...

Cristina, I can imagine how frustrating it must be to have some of Homeschool Mom's power sucked away by the job. In 2008, I worked very hard on the presidential election, and I was convinced that I had thoroughly neglected my one and only. I found out later that she had taken great pride in my work and learned a lot from it. So, even when you're otherwise occupied, "homeschooling the community"," your own kid is watching and soaking it all up. Best wishes!

Inner Elder said...

Life leads us on new paths; what we learn along the way sometimes takes a while to realize. Already you see that you are "homeschooling the community". BTW the CD art is awesome! Love, Mom

Lisa said...

I put my remaining children in school after 19 years of homeschooling. It is like losing a job, it was such a part of my identity. Yes, it is who we are. Sadly, it just wasn't meant to be for us anymore.

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