Sunday, December 28, 2014

A day in the life of an imperfect homeschool

You probably have heard it, said it or thought it... How do you do it? You must have a lot of patience. What about socialization?  I could never homeschool.  Don't you have to be qualified?  Some of these questions and statements come from the truly curious and some come from people with a true disdain for homeschool.

Here are my truths about my homeschool
1.  It's crazy hard (and overwhelming)
2.  It gets harder with each kid I add
3.  I don't worry about socialization a single bit
4. But I do worry about their education
5. Patience would be nice but not a requirement
6. I could never do this alone and thank goodness I don't have to

So I have read blog post after blog post of people posting their homeschool schedules with their 8 kids.  Usually they begin at 5 AM with a cup of coffee, time with God and a run. And breakfast starting  at 7:30 with dressed kids and beds made and then they outline their cute school schedule promptly ending at 1:00 pm.  Not all homeschools look like that and since I am a master of open and honest.. Let's check out a typical day of mine.

Disclaimer:  Kid#1 and Kid #2 and Kid #3 are not an indication of birth order.

Insomnia the night before so I don't roll out of bed until 9 am. Thank goodness the kids have been playing quietly.  Where's my coffee?

 10 AM rolls around. I assume the kids have eaten. I call the first kid to do his math. He yells "Noooo. I don't want to do school today!"  I guide him to the breakfast room table anyway and attempt to get him started even though the breakfast room table looks like this..

Get Kid #2 started on Math. Kid #1 is still screaming.    Kid#2 starts screaming because he has to have complete silence in order to do his math.  Move Kid#1 to a different room and beg him to please be more quiet. Dash back to breakfast room to save Kid#2 from Kid#3 who is singing "lalalalala" as annoyingly as he can because he discovered that Kid #2 is trying to do his math. Lock Kid#3  in his room. Ever play the game Diner Dash? It feels sort of like that.

Okay all kids doing math.  Drink more coffee. Check email. Check Facebook. An hour and half goes back. Wait? What? How did that happen? Oh yeah I clicked on 3 articles on Facebook and responded to 5 emails. Sigh.  Text message comes in from best friend "Lunch?"   Lunch already? Well the kids got Math done.. so why not?

3 hours later... We eat slow.  Or err umm..yeah who we are kidding..we pick places with playgrounds and drink several refills of tea.

3 PM Quick history lesson and then a You Tube video on Henry Hudson.  Mom falls asleep "like she always does" - quote from the 10 year old. What can I say? Insomnia is a killer.  

4 PM .. School work not done. Send the older ones off to do something educational on the computer while I try to teach the younger one how to read.  Now where did I put his phonics book? Oh yeah I last saw it in the school room.   Oh hmm.  Humm.. Oh dear.. okay skip phonics.. maybe I should clean up and start again tomorrow?

6 PM rolls in. Husband comes home. Kids and I are busy doing some spelling tests.  He thinks "Oh wow. What a great wife! She's been schooling all day"   "Night school again? I bet she went out to lunch, took a nap and got distracted with email and Facebook"  (note: while he may think this because he knows me well, he is my #1 cheerleader in my homeschooling endeavors).  Yep.. that pretty much sums it up.  Bedtime is not until 9PM so I still have 3 hours left of good solid school time!  

This is NOT AT ALL what I thought homeschooling would look like when I started. But it's a reality. Not for all days but a lot of days. Add in sick kids, sick mom, errands, extracurricular activities.. homeschooling can look crazy!

Now before you judge me or call the truancy officer or quiz my kids to see if they really do know how to read, let me tell you that there is a PART TWO of this homeschooling journey.  There is a lot that I have learned about homeschooling in the last 4 years. There is one part of my homeschool that is absolutely PERFECT.   There are things in my homeschool that I wouldn't change or trade for the world.  There is beauty in this mess!   So if you are curious.. stay tuned!!!

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