Friday, October 22, 2010

This Home Schooling Life: The Reality of Schooling With the Littles

Although I haven't been home schooling "officially" for very long, I have been teaching my children since they were born.  They have all been with me, all the time, since the get- go.  And yes, I still really like being home with them, and I like having them home with me.
I have longed for this for as far back as I can remember and God has given me the desires of my heart.
Lest you think that our days here at the George Emmerson Academy are all sunshine and smiling children in knickers and starched pinafores.   Children who sit at the table with folded hands and ankles crossed saying things like, "Mummy, dearest, may we please do our arithmetic now?"  Lest you think that I only tell you half truths, I give you this: 
a little bit of reality.

The reality is, I have to do school with a 2, 4 and 6 year old.  The little ones don't run off and play while I have uninterrupted time with the oldest.  Not at all.  In fact, the 4 year old wants to do school right alongside the 6 year old.  And he amazes me by how well he is doing.  That competitive drive can be a wonderful thing.

And the 2 year old, well she won't be left out of anything.  So she is right there with us.  All the time.  Sometimes she "writes" with them, listens to their stories or reads her own books.  And sometimes I give her something of her own to work on.

Which often distracts the 6 year old.

And sometimes, if she is particularly antsy, I give her a special treat, like letting her wash her baby doll in the kitchen sink.
And a bit later, when James goes into the kitchen for a drink, I hear this: 
And I walk in to find this:

Because really, why would you want to just bathe your baby doll when you could strip naked and bathe yourself?

It makes perfect sense, don't you think?

This was one occasion where we all laughed, but there have been others, where the damage or the mess was a bit more, that I have not felt like laughing.
But it is reality.
And it is not forever.
Soon she'll be able to sit at the table with us for longer stretches of time and I'll be schooling 3 instead of 2.  For now I work with it and do my best and laugh a lot.  
It helps to be laid back.
Because I know that if my kids were in traditional school, they'd be dealing with interruptions  there too.

For example, let me tell you another tale of reality.
The reality of my 5th period class, my first year of teaching.  They were 35 9th graders at the end of the day.  They were, truly, a class from hell.  My mantra before each class started was, "don't cry and don't cuss them out."
This was just one, just one, of the many, many, many interruptions I dealt with daily in that class.  After asking Gustavo to stop talking, stop whistling, stop getting up, stop looking at comic books, stop poking the person in front of him, to stop playing with his tech deck, to stop using his pencil as his tech deck and to let me teach the class, I finally sent him to sit in the hall.
A few minutes later, another teacher knocked on my door, asked me if he, pointing to Gustavo, was my student.  
"What is he doing?" I asked knowingly.
"Crawling around to each classroom door on all fours, and barking into the room like a dog."

See what I mean? 
Life is full of interruptions.  
And we have to learn how to deal with them and still get our work done.
Otherwise, we'll all be really terrible at parenting, won't we? 

I hope you are enjoying these glimpses into this home schooling life of ours.
I'll be posting next about some of the more regular subject like math, reading and science.
But before I do, I am taking a little break to post about our vacation.
We made some mighty good memories and I'd like to put them down for posterity.  
Or at least for us.

Be back soon!
Love from,


Tammy Callis said...

i LOVE this! I so needed to hear this today. It was a rough week filled of Grace interruptions and I was feeling a bit discouraged. Thanks for letting me know I'm not alone and also for reminding me of the interruptions that happen in public school as well =)

Pam said...

What a fun and insightful post. Love those faces on your children! It is great that siblings do "school" together; love it. Good contrast in schools too. Take care.

Lillian said...

She is something else...whats next with our Lilly?
I love the pictures, James being distracted by a puzzle a 2 year old can do, and Williams look of concentration. They are such individuals. I love them so much.

Summers Family said...

What fun! Oh my, could she be any cuter - love her :-)

hugs to you my friend!

Lillian said...

I keep looking at these pictures...and this granny says "she is so stinkin' cute!!!