I've seen several of those "Day in the Life" posts recently, and thought about doing one of my own. I love "Day in the Life" posts, because I like to get real glimpses into other real homeschools.
Then I thought, "But which kind of day?"
I know, I know ... I'm supposed to just pick one, chronicle it, and get over it.
But, I don't get over things that easily.
I might happen to pick a day that was a stellar example of home learning. Let's say it looked something like this (the following is a dramatization -- do not draw any conclusions about homeschooling from said dramatization):
We got up (this is always a good beginning.) Atticus and I prayed together before he left for work.
The kids and I cooperated to get breakfast on the table. We read about the parts of the Mass while we ate. They asked probing questions and received appropriately glowing looks from their mother.
We tackled some math and no one complained or cried.
We read about the Bayeaux Tapestry and my adorable children oohed and aahed and received appropriately glowing looks from their adoring mother.
We tackled some household chores and no one complained or cried.
The children did some writing, and their appropriately adoring mother oohed and aahed in all the right places. I received glowing looks from my adoring children.
Dinner (efficiently placed in the crock pot sometime during the morning glow) was ready when Atticus walked in the door that evening. We ate, shared our day, and laughed. We cooperated to get dinner cleaned up, and later enjoyed a little more read-aloud time over ice cream. Everyone shuffled off to bed, smiling and content.
Or, I might pick a day that went something like this (the following is a dramatization -- do not draw any conclusions about homeschooling from said dramatization) :
Atticus dutifully got up. (Thank heaven for his stability.)
I, having stayed up too late writing the night before, was a bleary-eyed monster and wanted to be dead to the world (Atticus starts the day at a startling hour.) But, I couldn't be dead to Ramona, who came padding into our bedroom, convincing me that even if I'd wanted to get up, I had to get her back to sleep, because a sleep-deprived Ramona is not a pleasant Ramona.
Atticus must have prayed alone, because by the time I got Ramona back to sleep, he'd left for work.
I checked email. In an attempt to clear out my Inbox (a never-ending task) I kept saying, "Just reply to that one ... just one more ...." I suddenly realized that it was past time to wake Anne and Betsy, so hurried off to do that.
Over breakfast, as I read to the girls about the Last Supper, they asked me things like, "Do you think if you give up complaining for Lent you can have it back on Sundays?" and "Has the Veggie Tale pirate movie come out yet? Can we go?"
We tackled some math. They complained. I cried.
We skipped history reading because:
a. We had to go to the orthodontist
b. The car was dead and I had to make several phone calls to figure out who might be able to help with a jumpstart
c. I was going to show the kids the Bayeaux Tapestry on several websites, but the computer got cranky and I followed suit
d. All of the above
We tackled some household chores and I spouted a handy-dandy lecture about how they would one day understand the importance of routines and maintenance. We all complained. Someone may have cried. I don't remember. I was too cranky to be compassionate.
I told myself that frozen pizza has a variety of food groups in it, and thus is a fine dinner.
Atticus had to work late, so we ate without him. I lectured the kids on how to correctly execute their after-dinner chores, and then we all retreated to separate corners of the house, distinctly grumpy. Ramona's retreat lasted only two minutes, and then she asked me to play Barbies. Afraid I might scream if I had to play Barbies that night, I instead assigned the older girls to play with Ramona. They complained. I cried.
Heaving the sigh of a martyr when they asked for some read-aloud time before bed, I picked up a book and slogged through it. We all made it to bed without anyone else crying, but I think I complained in my sleep that night.
Which one is real? Which one is typical?
You already know the answer. They're both real. We've had Day #1 and we've had Day #2, but the majority of days are something in between.
Day 1 & 1/2, if you will.
That's the day wherein the car did break down, there was sibling bickering, and there may have been some math anxiety, but there was also an awesome conversation about the origin of human beings, and there were questions about how God works so intimately in our lives. There was excitement over diving in to a new book series and shared amazement over Ramona's newfound reading skills. There was a lecture, but also a loving hug. There may have been some unnecessary sighing, but there was also the maternal attempt to cover it up.
"A Day in the Life of Our Homeschool" isn't easy to pin down.
It's sort of like life: We're fallen creatures, climbing toward heaven. That makes for a strange mix. But it's all we've got.
We strive for the ideal: Heavenly Day #1.
We sometimes crash into the pit: Fallen Day #2.
In the end, we find the balance that is life on this earth:
It's not perfect, but it has its moments.
And that's a day in the life of our homeschool.
(Clipart courtesy of RetroGraphix.com)