I so wanted a good acronym — DITCHiNN isn’t quite it.
We’ve been without a nanny for just over 5 months now, and we’ve had both parents working from home for 4 months.
So, how’s it going?
Pretty good, thanks.
We’re saving a ton of money, of course, which is no small thing. And our homeschooling day is not as chopped up — there’s no rush to make sure we have a reasonable amount of things done before 10 or 10:30. Now we might not get started with anything “formal” before 10:30. (Though we try — especially if we want to go out later.) This has made for a much more pleasant relationship between mom/teacher and Violet/student: we talk together about what she wants to accomplish and how much time she’ll need to do it, and what other things she may want to do — watch Word Girl, go to the park, whatever.
My favorite part of the no-nanny arrangement is that the children make their own fun. We have less of the “What’s our outing today?” and more simple playing around together, inside or outside. I like to see Violet less dependent on someone to provide entertainment, and I really like to see Victoria wandering around the house, figuring out what she really enjoys herself when big sister is otherwise occupied and not providing all the direction. She likes to play with the dog and work on training her, she gives her doll a bath and styles her hair, she does Tux Paint on the computer or she draws with pen and paper.
Violet seems to be getting a lot more done — she’s making it work with 2 languages in addition to history, grammar, literature, math, science, creative writing class, piano, and faith formation. And there seems to be enough time to do it while still running around outside and swinging on the swingset. Victoria — and I suppose this is the age, too — seems to be getting a chance to learn about who she really is.
On a practical note, this is how we try to do it: I work for a block in the morning before 8:30, and another block in the late afternoon before dinner. I usually work a fair amount on weekends. Eggmaster is there if I need to go out, to help get the girls fed for breakfast or lunch as needed, and to be another grown up to check in with throughout the day. In reality, since I’ve been sick, I’ve been sleeping in and working more at night — and just plain falling behind, but that’ll take care of itself eventually.
I don’t work full time, but I aim for 20 hours in a week (actually, I aim to meet my deadlines, but as I plan my work that’s the number I think about).
I’m pretty happy with how it’s working out. I do feel a bit overtaxed, but I’m hoping that once the illness lifts and the thyroid is set (hard to tell how that’s working) I’ll be on surer footing. I definitely like the more relaxed pace of homeschooling we have, and I think both girls are happier as a result.