“So, how do you do it? What does your day look like?” I think pretty much everyone who homeschools is asked these questions at least a bajillion times. At least. You know who asks them the most? Probably fellow homeschoolers. HAHA! Seriously though! I think it’s because we are all trying to see if we are “doing it right”. (If you could hear me laughing right now you would be ashamed of me. There is serious nose snorting going on. Don’t judge. It’s in my genes. 😉 ) Anyway. We homeschoolers are a confident bunch. I mean that sincerely. It takes chutzpa to go against the flow and say, “I know better.” That being said, we are still parents, and I dare you to show me a parent on earth that doesn’t question if they are screwing it up! I DARE YOU!! We all wonder. Sure, we have that assurance that we are doing the right thing. But are we doing it the right way? Hmmmm….there’s the kicker. Well, here’s my answer to all of you…public schoolers, homeschoolers, teachers, parents, nosey people that just want to know 😉 , all of you. This is how we, in the household of Queen Aimeé the Awesome, do homeschool. (I love alliteration.)
We do it AWESOMELY. 🙂
Did you expect anything else? HAHA! You probably want a bit more, so I will give it to you, but trust me. It’s going to be awesome.
- We do mornings LIKE A BOSS! – Trust me on this. Nobody can do a morning like us! I always have this idea of how the morning will go. My idea: My amazing children will rise, like the angels I know them to be, at exactly 7:00 when I have finished with my morning routine of scripture study, prayer, exercise, and meditation. Then we will proceed to make beds, dress for the day, eat breakfast, clean up, brush teeth, and prepare for what comes next. There will probably be the faint sound of a heavenly choir in the background the entire time because of how holy we all are. Doesn’t my plan sound amazing? You know it does. My plan sounds perfect. I love my plan, and I will never ever relinquish it. Never. Here’s how it usually works out: In the middle of my morning routine, the most disruptive child of the day wakes up at the worst time and wakes up the dog and decides to get the dog all riled up. Then the dog and the child go and begin to bug the other children who only wish to sleep. Then we all are forced to begin the bed making, dressing, etc earlier than planned, and the other children are sad. 🙁 After eating everyone has recovered…because food makes everyone able to think more clearly. But hey. We tried. Honestly? All my life I have hated mornings. I have been working really hard for the past year to change this. Most mornings, I end up laughing in my bathroom at the utter ridiculousness that people call mornings. But hey, we do them.
- We do Devotional, KidSchool, MomSchool AWESOMELY – This is actually true. We are amazing at this part. I tend to be a regimented person. I love routine…until I feel trapped. Basically, it’s like this. I like routines that I make. And I like to break the routine when I have decided to break it. That’s all. No changies; No addies; Infinity plus one. 😉 Anyway. I used to do devotionals my way. Everyday the same thing. The little babes hated it. It made me sad. So we do this instead that appeals to their insane need for fun and my need for routine. Musical Monday, Television Tuesday, Wise Wednesday, Theatre Thursday, Faith Friday, Soundbite Saturday. One day I will explain those in further detail. Then we move on to KidSchool where we do some learning all together. It’s awesome. For instance this week we learned about barnacles. I loved it, and so did the kidlets. Then we take time for the kids to do their own thing and me to do my thing. I call it MomSchool, but that’s not really what it is. I have one child that always uses this time to study mathematics. She loves math. (I wonder where she gets it?) Sometimes she does an engineering type project. One does some reading with me on the couch. My son usually reads near me so that he can underline words he struggles with, look them up, and ask for help. I usually spend the time with my own studies for a bit. I am going to college, so sometimes I study this stuff or sometimes I study other things I want to learn more about. Other times I write. Whatever I am needing to do for my own education. After all, it’s not just about them, is it? Of course not. Otherwise they would soon surpass me! Anyway, we do this until lunch. To tell you the truth, though, some days this time is plain survival. Why? Because life happens. Not everyone is having a great day every day. Sometimes one child needs an immense amount of support (emotional or otherwise). Some days I don’t feel well. Some days a friend needs service, and I think it’s important that we teach our children that it’s OK to help sometimes. But you understand that we are shooting for this all days, right? Right.
- We do lunch in KILLER fashion – Honestly, I feel bad for anyone who isn’t homeschooled. Every time we eat lunch at home, I reflect on the spoiled appetites of my kidlets. Homemade food for virtually every meal? Who else gets to have chicken linguine with Alfredo sauce and broccoli and peas or tomato florentine soup for lunch? Who else gets to learn to make that stuff for themselves at such young ages? We really do lunch pretty awesome in this house. I’ll be straight with you and tell you it takes them a while to clean up the lunch dishes though. Like almost 30 minutes. But the reason for that is because they can’t stop playing and laughing. And I’m totally OK with that. It used to make me angry, but not anymore. I just decided to let it be. As long as they get the work done right, they can be happy and enjoy each other. This part of the day is the best part. Why? Because by now I have warmed up to the day. Morning (or as I used to think of it mourning) is over. I am well into the day now.
- We ROCK afternoons – This is where we shine. I am usually hoping for a little bit of everything in the afternoon. My idea: We will have it all. Something that enriches the mind; something that strengthens the body; something that feeds the soul. Do I set my sights high? Mmmm…maybe. But who cares? We strive for excellence, and then we strive for consistency. 🙂 In all honesty, I think we hit this more than I give myself credit for. Why? Because I think playing outside with friends does a lot of those things, and they do that in the late afternoons. We also usually have our individual lessons (like horseback riding) in the afternoons, and I know that hits all three for my children. Aside from all the secular material they study in the afternoons, they get much more out of just plain living than I have given them or myself credit for.
- We BLAZE through dinner and bedtime – By dinnertime I am Wiped. Out. Weird, right? 😉 I am. Thankfully my kids are old enough now to help me with dinner. Thankfully my mother had the wisdom to tell me years ago to do the uncomfortable thing and bring my children into the kitchen with me when I was cooking. Oh, how I wanted them to leave me alone to cook. I really did. If you like cooking with your children, more power to you. I didn’t. I like to be alone. But my mother told me to do it anyway. So I did. She was so wise. Now my children do much of the work with/for me. My throat is actually tight right now as I write this because of all the gratitude I feel for my mom and my kids around dinner time. You have no idea. After dinner, I set a timer because at this point I can’t handle any lingering in the kitchen. Unless Mr. Fantastic is home. Then he just takes charge. Why? Because he loves me. For reals. Then everyone gets in jammies and meets me in the living room for my most favorite part of the day. What’s that? Family read-aloud. I love this part. The kids sit and color or do needlepoint or something quiet while I read aloud from whatever book we are reading. I love this part of the day. Everyone winds down. It’s over. Then it’s time for bed.
As for me, I stay up a while longer finishing some chores or watching TV or chilling with Mr. Fantastic a bit. But most nights I go to bed wondering why I didn’t do enough, why I couldn’t get more done with my children that day. I do! ME! Me, who spends virtually every waking second with my children!! Yes. I wonder that. And it isn’t until I sit down and write things out that I realize they are getting more than I realize. My point is this. It doesn’t matter how you do homeschool. Are you doing what is right for your family? Are you doing what is right for your children? Are you doing what is right for you? Are you doing your best every single day? Then I think you’re doing just fine. When I started this homeschooling journey I had the perfect day in my mind. I have alluded to it a bit in my list. I still have that perfect day in my mind. I’m telling you now, I have never, not once, had that perfect day. You’d think that it would crush my soul and take the desire to homeschool right out of me. It doesn’t. First of all, I’ll never let the dream die. NEVAH! 😉 Second of all, all the days in between the beginning and that perfect day (which will come) have had their own moments of perfection. Like when my youngest passed a typing level she thought she could never pass but was determined to pass, or when my middle child sits next to me on the bed and tells me how much she loves numbers and patterns, or when my oldest finds a way to resolve conflict without resorting to screaming or pushing.
We all homeschool differently, and we all do it for different reasons. But then, we all do it for the same reason…for our children. I have never met a homeschooler who homeschooled for themselves. Never. I don’t think I ever will. That’s just crazy talk. So just keep doing your best. Keep evaluating yourself, certainly. I think there is always room for improvement. None of us are perfect. (Although…I’m pretty close… 😉 ) Remember that you don’t necessarily need a ton of money to educate a child. (Nobody knows that better than a homeschooler! Why can’t the government figure that out? That’s a whole other topic…) Remember that there’s not one “right way” to homeschool. And finally remember this. You’re not alone in this. Sure, you have fellow homeschoolers like me and other bloggers who can give you ideas. But more importantly, you have God. Nobody can help you in your homeschool or just plain parenting like He can. I promise you that!
Take It, and Be Thankful