Last week was our first go at a full school schedule. There was weeping and gnashing of teeth. Unfortunately (for them) I only find their tears reassuring. If it hurts it must be working. Even though I don’t think there is anything that completely succeeds in assuaging homeschool guilt. No matter what, there is always something I could be doing better, someone who is doing it better, or something I could buy that would make it better. There is no getting around the feeling. Being able to send my children off to a quality private school, at $5,000 a pop, would be the equivalent of mental morphine. Because the heavy lifting of homeschooling isn’t the actual work, but the intimidating weight of responsibility. But then again, they are kind of my kids. And while I could pay someone else to shoulder the load, and presumably do a better job, I don’t think I should complain about getting to do the job myself. Because it is THE job. The rest is laundry. And, as I often to tell my children, we like to do hard things. Hard things should never make us turn tail and run, they should make us roll up our sleeves in anticipation. Because, as I’m sure we’re all relieved to know, if it doesn’t kill us, it makes us stronger. Here’s to round two.
One of the things I like to do is wake up in the morning. I fall out of bed and into the bathtub. None of this messing around with slippers and coffee. I pull a similar trick on the boys. I drag them out of bed and shove them outside. I try not to reason with them much, because at this point conversations aren’t that edifying. The boys take a quick turn around the block and by the time they are home they are little humans again. Later in the winter, when it’s freezing cold, I lay up a little, but it’s just not the same. I think I will try to be better prepared with coats, boots, and the lure of hot chocolate this year, and see how long I can keep it going without them wussing out.
The schedule looks a little complicated because of soccer practice. Fortunately that eventually lets up. A new thing I get to do this year is send the boys running in the afternoon. They are finally old enough to cross the street and then find their way home. There is a nice 1 mile loop by our house and another 2 mile loop that don’t involve much traffic. It’s a great way for the boys to work on their endurance as well as burn off some obnoxious. I’ve also incorporated push-ups in-between math and English to help with the Otto physique. I want to start a chart and see what they can build up to by the end of the year. Is this a school or a concentration camp? Another thing that has helped streamline operations is the gruel. I’ve given up making breakfast and have started making steel cut oats the night before. I have found that with a variation of toppings they can eat oats five days in a row without the brewing of an insurrection. Yogurt, bananas, egg cups, and melon also make varying appearances. I could try harder, but I do need time to do my hair.