Yesterday, we went to the bank and the post office and didn't actually start school until after lunch. Actually though, that's sort of what I hate about homeschool. Everyone has to go to the bank and the post office and the grocery store. It's unavoidable. If you have preschoolers, you take them with you. If your kids are in school, you go while they are in school. But what if you are their teacher and you have a toddler who naps until after four? I guess you gain a lot of compassion for the thousands of working moms out there who go after work. But when do they fix dinner? Maybe I should do all my errands on Saturday. There aren't enough hours in the day! Anyway, my point is that just cleaning or doing necessary errands during the week seems to put me, and therefore all of us, behind. (Not to mention the discouragement that lingers after this inevitable exchange- friendly inquiry "They don't have school today?" which forces me to answer,"Well, they're homeschooled." which is almost always followed by the disapproving "Ooooh.") But since this is an easy week, we managed to start after errands and still knock the school day out before dinner yesterday. I talked with a friend about some of this last week on a particularly bad day. I had started at 8:30am and didn't finish until 5:30pm. This was nothing like the first time it had happened that way. It doesn't make sense. Even laid back George was floored. How could it take me so long? So I understand if you think I am crazy. But this friend, a mom of four who homeschooled for years until just this year, said that that happened to her regularly.
The other thing I hate about it is that I am always always always with my children. Go ahead and think that is a wicked thing to say, but I just need to be Abby and not Mommy for some portion of the day. And that rarely happens lately. I also really miss the days of having other moms over so our kids can have play dates. If I choose to do this now, I have to take an entire day off school. But I do have more than one child, and I figure the younger ones deserve to have their needs catered to as well. (Not that I don't stop teaching umpteen times a day to make snacks, discipline, change diapers, clean up messes, break up fights, get out a new toy or activity, read Where is Baby's Bellybutton, etc. ) And, as I said, this also helps meet a need I have for adult interaction.
Okay, so I have said "hate" several times during this post and I know that is a pretty strong word. I feel like I have been positive about homeschool in the past, but this came across fairly negatively. But because I am writing on an easy day so it came out way better than the posts I attempted last week! I think I am just in a process. I am trying to figure out how doing this will look for us. If I have learned anything about homeschooling from reading and talking with people who do it, I would have to say that it seems to require constant trial and error. So I am not alone in this love-hate thing, I don't suppose. Even for moms who instinctively love the idea of homeschool, I suppose there are plenty of things they find themselves hating even if it is just a math book they want to throw out the window. One thing I have been thinking lately, because I do get so stressed out when we unexpectedly lose a day, and because I get a little depressed during the summer months, is to think about doing school year 'round, with a week or two off when we need it. Doesn't that kind of sound like me? I'm in no way sure I want to do this, but I have just been thinking about it a little. Let me know what you think.
One thing I would be wondering if I were you is what an "easy" week looks like. And for that matter, what does a "tough" week that brings me to tears look like? Well, I'm so glad you asked. But I don't have time to answer today. I'll let you know once the easy week is actually over. It appears that I won't even get the little bit I had planned accomplished, but I will care less because I know that the underlying idea was just to regroup and stop panicking. If you had talked to me last week, you could definitely trust that I am much better now which, in my mind, renders the "easy week" priceless no matter how little we get done! Mercy for all! Hurray!