Homeschooling: It's not what we do, it's how we live.

It’s Not All Fun and Games

You know how when you’re in labor and the contractions just get stronger and stronger and no matter what you do, they just keep coming – wave after wave after wave and you just can’t seem to catch your breath?

Yeah – welcome to my day without the satisfying feeling of a job well done and reward of a nursling at your breast at the end of it all.

I know I’ve griped many times in the past about Mondays, but they just seem to always be the worst sort of challenge in our house. I usually start the week off with a sense of anticipation. It’s a new week, a new beginning – time to get back into the groove of daily life. Today was no different; I was ready to get back into the swing of things after the long and busy (and really fun) holiday weekend. We’re going to the Texas Renaissance Festival tomorrow, so I wanted to at least cover some of the basics, maybe start a lapbook on the Renaissance, just to get the kids acquainted with the time frame and prepare them for the things they might see tomorrow. It’s an awesome event and I am really looking forward to going.

We got off to a pretty good start. I found a lapbook model on HsKube’s Haven at Home that I liked and thought we could use as a base – we ended up starting with the castle and it turned out pretty good if I do say so myself. We measured and drew the lines to make the curtain walls and parapets, then added the merlons so that the walls were crenelated (yes, I learned those words while making the lapbook. neener-neener) Of course, when it was time to color them, you’d have thought I was torturing them. Coloring. Not writing. Coloring. Apparently, a fate worse than death.

In my searches for cool Renaissance-y stuff, I also found a couple of YouTube videos on castles that were pretty cool. We watched them a couple of times, and then found some Renaissance music to listen to while they finished coloring. The boys thought the dancing was lame, but the music was cool; we’ll have to see if they adjust that view tomorrow when they see the people dancing in real life.

After that, we did a timeline, noting some of the famous events and people from the Renaissance, the clothing and lives of the people during the Renaissance period and went a little bit into the history of the events leading up to the Renaissance. We’re not done with the lapbook yet, but we made good progress on it despite the lack of enthusiasm on the part of certain small people in my house.

What made the day so horribly trying was that mingled in all this learning goodness was constant bickering between the children. Each of them seemed to go out of their way today to bait and tease and deliberately be ugly to the other. It was driving me insane… I did send each of them several times to go do a chore or other assignment in separate rooms so that I could have a moment’s peace; unfortunately, that didn’t seem to help much today. It’s better now; more on an even keel. The kids are fed and bathed and in bed and I’m sure tomorrow will be great  {prayer} oh, please let it be great!! {/prayer}

I wrote this out partially because I needed to vent, and partially to dispel any lingering notions that homeschooling is always perfect and fun and filled with creative learning. There was a moment just after my Loverly Husband came home that I was washing dishes and I was seriously considering throwing in the towel and quitting this homeschooling business. (Yes, homeschooling moms are allowed to think that sometimes.)

It’s a fantasy though, and I know it  is unrealistic. We had the same kind of problem when the boys were in school – worse, actually – they get along much better now than they did in school. It just seems so much more… well, MORE when they’re with you and you’re with them all day. Homeschooling doesn’t usually allow me the luxury of sending them away for hours at a time; they have to be with me so that they can get and do their work. I don’t even get to ‘tune out’ most of the time because we’ve taught them that we’re hands-on parents… my guys demand that time, and most of the time it’s satisfying and joyfully given to them. But homeschooling or not, there are days when you wish you could get out your contract and renegotiate what you signed on for.

Warmly,

~h

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3 responses

  1. Rayma

    You are allowed those moments of Double U Tee Eff. They aren’t always going to get along an you’re enttled to want harmonious days… I wish it always happened that way for you. Hopefully all of the castle learnin’ piqued their interet for tomorrows Ren Faire adventures. If you get a chance, find and listen to Tartanic. They are an awesomely cool percussive and bagpipe Celtic band of awesomeness. Not to mention being mancandy for momma…. what with the kilts, boots and bare chests. Yowza!

    November 1, 2010 at 9:21 pm

  2. Rhonda

    I so hear ya! There have been times of late that I wanted to throw in the towel as well. Or maybe just have a day or two of sending the kids off so I can regroup and think. But then when my son, who just turned 6, comes to me with pencil and paper in hand and says “Mom, look what I just figured out…If you put 2+2+2 that = 6 and that also means 2x 3 = 6…Mom you helped me get that in my head” and gives me a hug and a smile. Yeah those are the good moments.

    November 1, 2010 at 9:40 pm

  3. You got a contract? All I got was a lousy conscription notice. Days when the kids are constantly bickering really do make it tough but as Rhonda so beautifully illustrated, it is well worth it.

    November 1, 2010 at 9:52 pm

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