You know something that homeschoolers rarely say? There are some weeks we'd just rather sell them all to the gypsies and sit on the couch and eat bon bons. Something else we never tell you? Sometimes, especially as the kids get older, these wonderful, miserable weeks happen on the VERY first week back.
I mean sure, we learned a ton of stuff this week...Math, Grammar, we're digging through both the Civil War and the Space Race (more on the strangeness of that combination in a future post)...but you know what you learn MOST in the first week of school? How to wake up in the morning and get to what you need to get to. You learn that making the bed has to be done before you eat and if you lollygag those eggs are gonna be cold (ga-ross). You learn that if, by chance, you decide not to do an assignment, mom is going to find out when she grades in the late afternoon, and you, dear child, are going to stay in from playing with the neighborhood kids.
You learn to share the resources that you've become accustomed to having for your very own and you have to get over it because you are the teacher and those kidz gotta has pencilz. Even those pretty, brightly colored crystal ones with .9 lead that no other self-respecting adult would admit to loving...the same pencils you've been hording in your elephant all summer. (Actually, Toad looks a little judge-y.)
Realistically, it was a pretty great week back. But I keep forgetting that vacation mentality is so very different than "time to work" mentality and I mourn the loss of wolfing down some cheerios and watching TV and then heading to the pool as much as they do. As a matter of fact that was one of my whiney moments...I wanted to go to the pool for crying out loud...but they got up so late and were so slow, I didn't get to. WAH!
We all do it. For me, it sets up a fear that I have had nearly every first week of school for the last 11 years. Fear that I will never be able to teach these kids, that it's all too much. Fear that I'm not smart enough, not strong enough, not able to be what I need to be for these amazing kids and I will somehow fail them. There's a bit of honesty for you. We, Homeschool Moms, spend time fearing every single year.
The first week back is NOT a good week for me to talk to you about the joys of homeschooling because the first week back is so mentally debilitating that all I really want to do at the end of my day is lay down and hope, usually mistakenly, to sleep. Constantly going over if Bear will ever get up and shower instead of reading "One more chapter", or if Beanie will ever NOT start every sentence with "I don't KNOW" or if your lesson plans will EVER not have been too much or too little and EVER finally fall into the just right category.
And JUST when you've decided this whole homeschooling gig is NUTS...and there is still time to buy school supplies and enroll them all...one child will say, "Yeah, but more people died at Shiloh"...or respond gently with, "Oh, but see, you just forgot to carry the 1"...and your momma heart will sing... and you will remember that first weeks stink. They stink for everybody...I mean, seriously, look at all the traffic posts about getting kids to public school that first week.
For us, the second week is ALWAYS better...always. And remembering, once again, that this too shall pass, as it always has, reminds me to be faithful, and patient because the joy? It's TOTALLY coming.
See ya around...