Wonky homeschool days

I don't want to give false impressions. I post pictures of neatly separated workboxes and children dutifully completing math assignments at individual desks. Yes, that is sometimes how homeschool looks at our house. But not all the time! So here's reality.

Yesterday, being a Monday, meant we went to co-op classes. However, one of Lucy's four classes was cancelled by the teacher, after she was told she needed to find someone else to watch her baby and toddler during the class (which to me was a no-brainer - what job lets you bring your baby and toddler? - and she was getting paid to teach this class). So that was a let-down, and now Lucy only has 3 classes. Anyway, I digress. In the morning, my darling children told me I had to stay upstairs for awhile. So I was obedient, and took a shower. When I came downstairs, they had set the table with cereals and juice and dishes. They were very proud of their work! I was impressed. It was a great start to the day.

We leave home about 10:30 a.m. so there's not a whole lot of time in the morning for 'school.' We are lucky to get a piano practice and 1 subject covered. But yesterday was an especially awful Monday (aren't they all awful to some degree?), in that my dear husband is in another state for a nerd user experience design conference. Single parenting is tough stuff.

So we did manage to make it to co-op on time, with all children present and accounted for, and with lunches packed to boot. Not too shabby. I go with Truman to his sewing class first, and I go with Penny to her sewing class later, though really they don't need my help too much.

We then made it through lunch, recess, more classes... and left around 4:00 p.m. On the way home, we picked up Truman's best friend, Bryce, who came over to play for a couple of hours. They are so cute together (yet, being seven year old boys, would hate to hear being called 'cute'). After Bryce went home, we all did chores, and Lucy volunteered to make dinner (one of her favorite foods - red beans and rice - and she did a pretty great job). I consented to eating dinner in the living room and we watched an old episode of The Cosby Show (Halloween episode where Vanessa has a crush on Robert, you know you remember it!). Then it was Skype with dad time, prayers, books, and bed. 

It wasn't a typical school day for us at all, but I realized I do not feel any guilt about "counting" it as a school day. They each took classes (Lucy: choir, sewing, and stage skills; Truman: sewing, Bible, stage skills, and PE; Penny: choir, Bible, sewing, and PE), they helped with cooking and cleaning (Lucy read and followed a recipe, including converting fractions), they read and were read to, and they got plenty of exercise and socialization. I call it a good day.

Today, Tuesday, was a wonky day again. Dad is still out of town. Mom is showing signs of wear and tear (seriously, I was never cut out to be married to a traveling man; I knew this very early in my life and flipped out when my high school boyfriend even mentioned joining the coast guard - the COAST GUARD! ha!). I want to be physically with the love of my life, on a daily basis. So I have been grumpy and difficult. The children also miss their dad and take it out by being hyper and excessively loud. This morning we had to leave right after breakfast in order to get to Lucy's piano lesson at 8:45. Except the road was closed and we had to take a long detour and didn't get there until 9:00. So her lesson was only 15 minutes long, because we had to leave to get to art class by 9:30. The art class is at the Y so I can work out while they are in class (I really needed it today). We left the Y at 10:30 and had to stop at Target. I had this master plan that would involve NOT needing to take my three children into a store, but Lucy woke up with a nasty blister/cold sore (she gets them from time to time because of her dry lips and the friction from the rubber bands on her head gear), so we needed to get some Abreva and chap stick. We also realized we were starving while in Target so I let them choose some lunch stuff (Hot Pockets and the like). We came home, I heated up lunch and cut up some fruit, and sat down to eat. While they ate, I read a chapter of Little  House aloud, then we watched an episode of Little House on the Prairie (I've decided that everyone in the world needs to watch this show; it would cure all of society's ills). After lunch, I did not feel well at all. I had to lie down. Lucy played on DIY, the other two took turns playing on websites like Build-A-Bear. Not totally educational but not brain-crap either. Does all of that constitute a school day? There was a piano lesson, an art lesson, a history lesson. Under the circumstances, it sounds good enough to me.

Also, the most exciting moment of the day - Penny lost her first tooth! Fell out in a chicken sandwich at lunch time, no blood at all. She spent a lot of time writing letters to the tooth fairy today. She has very high expectations.

Some days, our homeschool is about books and lessons and organized plans. And other days, it's just about being together, and doing a few things that are necessary, and a few things that are just fun, and helping each other through the hard places. I'm grateful my children can see when I'm stretched thin, tired, and need a boost, and that they pitch in to fill the gaps. I'm grateful to be able to spend every day with these marvelous little people. 


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