After a lovely 9 whole days off from "school" we started our homeschool work back up again this Wednesday. Wednesday is piano lesson day, which means we need to finish all our work before 1:40 PM or so, so I can take the older girls to piano. For many homeschoolers...this is a piece of cake.
But...not...for us. We typically get a later start to the day....which means we don't finish our actual "work" until a bit later.
Homeschooling feels like this huge balancing act to me...like if I lose my balance for just one second we all fall off and land face first in the ground. Kinda like how this seal feels...I'm sure.
This is how a typical homeschool day goes:
John is the only one who wants to do school...and the only one not legally required to be in school (ironic..no?). So, as soon as I announce "It's schooltime" with a big cheerful, happy smile on my face he pesters me to do his "sublects" and while I'm trying to help him, I'm also trying to get Heidi and Greta (who are considerably less enthusiastic) started on their work.
They each pick a subject and start working independently...for about 3 minutes. Then, the inevitable happens. Someone calls out "I NEED HELP" and if I don't help that child THAT.VERY.SECOND she wanders off to parts unknown. Funny how a house that seems SO SMALL most of the time, can seem SO HUGE when a child wants to make herself scarce.
Meanwhile, while I'm helping Child A, Child B has finished her assigned work in that subject and had decided to wander off for unknown parts.
So, then I find Child B and help her and keep her on task..meanwhile Child A finished something and decides to wander off before I can assign her next subject.
I find Child A and get her started on something and while I'm teaching or helping Child A, Child B finishes and wanders off, so I get Child B started and then Child A finishes and wanders off.
And, the above scenario repeats..well...repeatedly (duh) until we finish (or um..don't finish) our work.
Yep..this is how we do school in our house! I have no idea what John is doing in this picture...but since this was taken last March and he's still running around, we figure he must be okay.
Now, I realize I shouldn't get too mad about this "wandering off" business...they totally get it from me. I was raised in a family where we were modeled that time is never to be wasted..not even a second. I can remember us all waiting for my mother to go someplace and she'd be off finishing this thing or that thing saying "I'm just using my marginal minutes while everyone gets ready." So, I can't really blame my kids for wandering off...after all I hate to be idle and waste time too...so I always have a book (or kindle..LOVE the kindle) handy for waiting rooms, or I'm always finding something to do while waiting for something else. I'll even admit to reading while giving the kids their spelling "tests"...I figured out that it takes them about the same amount of time to write a spelling word as it takes me to read a sentence or two. This makes me super efficient...no? So, I can understand their desire to be reading or drawing or playing something while they are waiting for me...but I still find it so frustrating.
After all, one of the hardest part of parenting is realizing that it is our own traits we see in our children that drive us the most crazy. At least for me it is...I've come to realize that the child that is most like me...is the one that drives me the craziest. Ha!
So..where was I...oh that's right..this post was about balance. But, I'm having such a hard a time balancing everything that I've lost my train of thought and can't quite remember where I was going with this. Other than to say, that I feel we need more balance in our lives and in our schooling. I always envisioned us doing a lot more "fun" activities while homeschooling..you know...cool stuff like science experiments and art projects.
Never mind the fact, that we almost NEVER have those "basic household things" that most science projects call for. Like an experiment will call for rubber bands or something, and I'll go to get the rubber bands and realize that our rubber bands are older than our oldest child, and they just snap in two. So, there goes that experiment.
So, this year, in 2013..my goal is try to find a better balance for our school..find a way to keep all children engaged at once and find a better way to balance our time, so we have more "time" for the extra, fun stuff...like Latin. Ha...bet you never saw the words "Latin" and "Fun" in the same sentence before.
Anyone else have any cool goals for 2013 they want to share..feel free to use that nifty little comment box below. I think all the cool bloggers call that a combox..but I'm not sure what that means...so I'll just call "that box where you can add your own comments."
And, carry on fellow homeschooling mamas..carry on!