Tuesday, October 28, 2014
My oldest sister visited last week with some of her children. She's been homeschooling for a decade more than I have, at least. I picked her brain on my stage of life. (I've got kids in middle school, elementary school, and pre-school.) She helped trouble shoot a lot of my difficulties. (What to do with two active boys while trying to make sure the education I give my older children surpasses the quality of the public school education they would get is my constant struggle!)
The solution is elegant and simple: let the girls "school themselves" in the morning while I give uninterrupted time to the boys and the baby. Then, in the afternoon, set the boys to doing quiet things while I give uninterrupted time to the girls. Why did I never think of this solution? After only two days, there is much more peace and much less angst in the homeschooling portion of my day!
Homeschooling is not for the faint of heart. In my young and enthusiastic days, I might have imagined that anyone could and should homeschool. Not So!! Now, at every turn of the school season, at every new year, my husband and I review the question of whether we should homeschool another year. This year, the answer happened to be, "Yes, one more year." We don't know what the answer will be next year! Every day of pre-algebra my daughter and I can get through with all our hairs intact is a major victory! (Between us, we have a full brain for math. . . I can compute, but often miss concepts; she gets the concepts but can't compute worth a toot!!) And any day when all the "piano aged" children get their practice in is a victory! And any day when there are three (sort of) square meals on the table is a victory!
Which is why when the "glory moments" come, when you actually talk to your child about something meaningful, when one child slows down to help or encourage another instead of blowing up at him, or when your husband can share laughs with you over how your daughter taught you a new method of figuring percentages when you thought her concept was impossible, it's more than a victory. It's euphoric!