“So, how’s it going homeschooling four?” Well, let me tell you.
1. HomeSCHOOLing. You define school. Then let me.
2. The teacher has two functional boobs and one half-functional brain. Sometimes.
3. Five o’clock. Let’s talk about five o’clock. There’s big hair band music blaring locker-room loud to soothe a screaming baby who doesn’t like the squeaky, squilly violin which is trying to overcome the sound of the blender in the kitchen while the beeping of the oven is ding-ding-dinging while the five-year-old is trying to write her letters, begging for a snack, not liking the answer, then asking how to spell “Can I move to Grannie’s?” (Y-E-S. Yes is the answer. Let’s sound it out. Yuh—eh—ess. Yes.) Someone is practicing piano with the metronome ticking. The phone rings and a text comes in. Aaaah. Relief when I hear someone pull into the drive. My husband! Reinforcements! I run to the door, shut my eyes, pucker up, and open the door. It’s the Schwan’s man. But at least my shirt is buttoned.
4. You want to know “So how long does it really take you to do school when you homeschool?” All day. It takes all day. And then, kind of, not all day at all. Explain that.
5. That counts! That counts! That counts as school!
6. Oh, good. It’s only December. We still have time to start the first semester.
7. You don’t want to learn to read? Well, fine. I don’t have time to teach you anyhow. Can you cook?
8. I wasn’t trained for this. Maybe a nanny isn’t such a bad idea after all.
9. Can you say one word? MESS. Make it plural. MESSES. Some on the floor. Some in the kitchen. And some up the back of the baby.
10. Get in line. Get in line. There are three in front of you.
11. “Get dressed.” Elapsed time. “Get dressed.” Elapsed time. “I said get dressed.” Elapsed time. “DIDN’T I SAY TO GET DRESSED. WE HAVE TO GO–NOW!” Dang it. Now I understand people who wear pajamas while shopping. I think they were homeschooled.
This school year, my pre-schooler moved up to “kindergarten,” and we added a new baby to the (scribbled) home-education picture. We’re homeschooling three now with a baby. Adding a newborn to our homeschooling family of three has produced moments of sheer pandemonium, where I thought, “Stuff her back in! Stuff her back in! I can’t do this!”
Mayhem. Bedlam. I can laugh, but our homeschooling experience is metamorphosing. Metamorphosing. We’re a little rough and ugly right now, but I can see a murky, gray outline through the ratty looking cocoon. Therein lies a thing of beauty which will rise up on wings and fly away from me. Beautiful. My daughters are learning to learn on their own. Me–I’m learning to trust the homeschooling system an older, wiser mom told me about. The system that says a child will learn if you watch for their needs and allow them to.
Yesterday I was coming down on myself for a miserable day of homeschooling. It literally felt like I hadn’t done anything school-wise all day. Positive, objective, self-talk is important. I stepped back and tallied our accomplishments (actually, my daughters’ accomplishments–I was busy being lunch) for the day. I looked at all that had happened without me. The girls plowed independently through math and grammar. They practiced violin and guitar. The Spanish teacher came. One attended dance lessons. One finished reading Harry Potter. Another e-mailed her grandfather about a book she was reading. The oldest taught the next two how to use the sewing machine to sew a simple felt purse. They looked up how to make real chocolate with cocoa butter and cocoa powder and made Christmas chocolates. Without me. Without me. That’s quite a day.
The days of sitting down for three hours together to do school are gone. Someone once told me, “You’ll get a routine you like–and then it will CHANGE.” Oh, does it change every single day now. I quit work to gain more control of our lives, homeschooling, and family, but the whispering winds keep chasing me, never stopping, forcing me to see that, yes, it was a shift of PRIORITIES, but not a gain of control.
School lasted from 9 am to 9 pm.
Wishing you a peaceful home full of happy chaos.