I was chatting with another parent last night, while M-girl was at ballet. His daughter is currently in a small, private school, but next year will be attending the large, local, public school. From the sounds of it, he and his wife are agonizing a bit about the decision. Knowing that I homeschool, he declared that he could never manage to do it. Then he asked me,"How do you maintain discipline in your home? Are you more the teacher or the mother?"
It's a valid question, but I had to laugh. As any parent knows, life with kids is a balancing act sometimes. Each of us has multiple roles to play, nutritionist, nurse, coach, chauffeur, etc. Homeschooling parents are just taking on another role that society recognizes as one of great importance. I'm always the mom around here, and yet my kids respect me as their teacher too.
I told him that the fourth bedroom in our home functions as our schoolroom. For us it works to have a designated area to go and do our schoolwork. It also helps somewhat to have a room to store all of our school supplies (not that they don't tend to migrate to other rooms in the house anyway).
A couple of weeks ago, K-boy did well on a concept that we'd been struggling a bit with. As a joke I placed a star sticker on his paper, something that I usually reserve for the younger kids. He broke out into a big grin and said, "You're in teacher mode right now. I'm going to hang this on the fridge so you can see it when you're in Mom mode!"
It was funny, but true. Downstairs I'm more relaxed and in mom mode. Up in the schoolroom, I'm in my teaching zone. That's the balance that I've found. I may switch personas a dozen times a day (with each trip downstairs to throw in laundry) but it's what works for me.
By the way, when I got downstairs I gave K-boy a big hug for doing well in school. I'd had a good report from his teacher.