I have these visions of how the first day of school is going to look. Why? I don’t know. I have homeschooled long enough to know it never, not ever, looks the way I envision it.
Actually, now that I think about it, I have had kids long enough to know that my visions of grandeur are usually delusional.
But every year…Today was no exception.
My first mistake was to imagine that I would awaken with the dawn…
Wrong. Baby, Sleep-Is-For-Suckers, woke up about 5 times last night. Then the 3 year-old had a bad dream and wanted me to come lay with her. What am I, the mom, or something?
They never come to their dad’s side of the bed. Always mine. What is up with that? Oh, right. They want a response.
Anyway, by the time I got downstairs, 6 of 7 kids were up. Little overachievers.
After consuming coffee and forcing overachievers to clean the kitchen, it was time for school to “begin”.
Since it is Jordyn’s senior year, I wanted to use a multi-level history program to draw us all around the same time period, fostering lots of deep discussions and family intimacy.
The plan is to meet and read about the time we are studying and then break off so the older 3 can read books suited to their level about the same era.
Sounds awesome, right? Then we can come back and talk about it some more.
Just getting my older 3 around the table, while keeping my younger 4 occupied had me at my wits freaking end by 10:30am.
Just as we were really digging in, one of the younger 4 wants a snack. Or they want to tell. Or they want to know when it is their turn to do school. Or they want to tell me that they don’t want to do school. Not ever. Or they want to tell me that Josiah is upstairs playing in the toilet. Or they want to melt chocolate chips in the easy bake oven.
In the midst of 100 interruptions, is a nameless child whose name rhymes with “fake”, sighing and asking, “How long are you going to read? I don’t even understand what rationalism is.” (Even though I JUST read you the definition.) Really? Because I am about to show you what irrational is and then you will know the difference.
Once finished with the older 3, I begin with the littles. Teaching your children to read is one of the most rewarding things you can ever do as a parent.
It also happens to be one of the most I-am-going-to-do-bodily-harm-to-you-child, things you can do as a parent. How on God’s green earth do teachers teach kids, who have to be as annoying as my own kids, how to read when they don’t even love them?
It is unfathomable to me. I love my kids. But it takes every ounce of willpower not to go all “crazy home school mom” on the kid I am doing phonics with. Whichever one it is at the time. This year, there are two. I am not sure we will all be living at the end of this. But we will all know how to read, damn it!
In reality, even though my dreams of a home school “Thomas Kincaid moment” didn’t quite pan out, we did have some interesting conversations about what a cobra’s breath smells like,after reading Rikki-Tikki-Tavi together.
That may not be what Kipling had in mind. But it’s about as good as it gets around here.
Another year. And we’re off.
How about you? Whether you home school or not, any false dreams of grandeur about the new school year? Do share.