Thursday, January 27, 2011


What exactly is home-schooling?

Is it doing school work in the home?

What room would be considered the
"home-schooling room."

 I had very grand ideas of how I was going to home-school my kids.
We were going to be neat,
and orderly,
and prompt,
rigidly scheduled.

Hey, stop laughing.

Yes, all the things that I am not
were going to suddenly pop out of my bedroom door on the first morning of home-schooling Violet this past September.

I was going to be different.

I did do a lot of studying and planning
and I felt ready.
That was good
because I never really feel ready for anything.
We've done some amazing things
and I am thankful for the wonderful time we've had...
like watching our caterpillars we caught out by the pond turn into monarch butterflies.

 And there was the school table.
I had a stained up craft table that I painted white...

 and on the first day of school, the kids decorated it.

 Levi had to ask several times
"You want me to color on the table?
Color it?
I CAN color on the table?"

I had slight anxiety over the possible ramifications of this project.

 We had patriotic snacks when we studied about the American flag and our pledge.

 Violet built Pocahontas' ...hut?
Oh, great.  I forgot what it's called already.
Please help me out.
I don't feel like digging out the book right now.

 Even Pocahontas and John Smith were created.

There have been fun crafts.

(Apparently serious stuff going on here).


 the scientific endeavor to see how long stink bugs can live in a glass jar...
until Levi made the unfortunate mistake of putting the jar on Lillie's high chair tray for her to see
at a time when she thought everything should be thrown off her tray.

Needless to say,
when the stink bugs came tumbling out of the jar that had lost it's lid,
the overwhelming stench made me grab my broom
burst the door open,
and swoosh them out with one swoop before they could regain consciousness.

There was much tears from the boy that day.

 So you see,
home-schooling is full of great and wonderful things,
and this is only the tip of it.

But we are hiding something.

Some days, things don't run like clockwork in the Sunshine Valley Elementary School.

Some days, I wonder which way my head went.

one of those days.

It started with the idea to make pancakes.
Why I forget that pancakes should only be made on Saturdays is beyond me,
but this morning,
I forgot.

You see, I don't just make pancakes,
I triple the batch, because, after all, while the skillet is hot,
why not make it worth it?

My son is mini chef.  When any noise or stirring occurs in the kitchen,
his head peeks around the corner with the question:
"What are you making?"

The answer to that is never completely uttered before he has started to drag out the step ladder and push it into place at the counter.
The frozen blueberries I'd placed beside the pancake bowl were already falling prey to his quick little fingers as I gathered the rest of the ingredients.  I hoped he wouldn't do too much damage to my supply of berries before all could be gathered.

Thankfully at this point,
Violet was working on seat work that I'd given to her.
In fact, she'd already called Grandma once to help her with a problem.
She uses her lifelines early.

Things in the pancake section were going as well as could be expected
with Levi sampling anything that looked slightly edible that entered the mixing bowl;
and Lillie watching us from her high chair, snacking on a banana to tide her over.

But 2 hours later,
when the pancakes were finally all finished,
Lillie was quite ready for her nap.
She'd been up well before the pancake decision had been made,
and recovering from her cold that she is,
she had turned from grinning and saying "Yummy, yummy."
to rubbing her eyes and nose while whining a grumpy "No."

Levi had completed his 20th pancake,
(okay, that may be a slight exaggeration,
but it is funny how the kid takes an hour to eat a bowl of cereal
but eats pancakes til he needs to be rolled from the table)

and Violet had finished her seat work.

The donkey needed some water,
the snow was falling fast and the walkway needed to be shoveled,
the wood stove had burned down to dying coals,
and the laundry in the washer was still waiting to be hung in the basement from last night.

I decided to handle first things first:
that wretched noise coming from the little beast that was now helplessly wrapped around my legs.

I snatched her up and headed to the bedroom,
the overgrown pancake following me,
as is his style.

When I laid her on the bed to change her,
 I noticed that much more than the diaper needed changing.
It was obvious that she'd had too many pancakes, too;
or maybe her cold had decided to take a fast exit.

This was going to need more than just a wipe down of baby wipes.
The tub was then started.

 At this point, little man was still following me and telling me in his pausing-monotone way
such important essentials like
"Whales eat krill, Mommy.
Sharks have lots of big teeth, Mommy."

As the baby splashed and Levi chatted,
I noticed something peculiar about the bathroom.

not peculiar.
Maybe I just hadn't been in here in the daytime lately.

It was filthy.

What creature had swooped in here and done this to my bathroom when I wasn't looking?

 I then added cleaning to the escapade.

A knock was heard on the door.

"Um, Mommy,
I'm reading my book to you.
Can you hear me?"

Oh, that's right.
I have another kid.

and she's in school right now
we were.

"Hey, come in here with your spelling book.
You need to take a test."

here we are
all squeezed in the tiny bathroom,
baby splashing,
pancake man digesting,
and scholar tapping out
on the windowsill while I wipe down dried toothpaste and balance the spelling book in my other hand.

Does every school have such high standards of cleanliness as ours?

But I had to admit,
not only was my daughter getting an education on the essentials,
she was watching me clean,
watching baby get bathed,
showing her brother how to think even when situations aren't exactly
for thinking.

Not everyday does this happen.
My motto is always:
"Get it done;
do it well."
It might not happen during the same hour slot every day;
it might take more hours one day than the next;
but we are certain that it always gets done and gets done well.
I won't skimp in that area.

Lots of times it's predictable and smooth
and I'm sure my students are getting the best education they could be.
But some days,
some days you might want to call before you stop in.

We might not hear you knocking from where school is going on.

"And thou shalt love the LORD thy God
with all thine heart,
and with all thy soul,
and with all the might.
And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
And thou shalt teach them diligently unto they children,
and shalt talk of them
when thou sittest in thine house,
and when thou walkest by the way,
and when thou liest down,
and when thou risest up."
Deuteronomy 6: 5-7

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  1. Oh, Tonya, I loved it! You're such a GOOD Mom and wonderful teacher to your "students"! You're making great memories with all your crafts and learning projects! Lots of time invested in those young minds won't go to waste and YOU've taught them,, not another person or some video,, YOU! I love it!
    I could picture you all in the bathroom and Levi chattering away covered with pancakes!
    Great post!!

  2. Sounds like a great day of learning and teaching to me. More then they would learn in classroom for sure.

  3. What a great post. I enjoyed reading about your fantastically full and quite lovely day.


  4. OH My GOODNESS! How do you do it!!!!!

    What a busy day!
    Thank you for stopping by and following. I hope you have a great rest of the week! :)


  5. Thank you! It's fun to home-school...most of the time. :) Thanks for visiting

  6. I don't know how you home schooling moms do it. My hat is off to you!

    I'm going to remember your motto.

  7. Yes, homeschooling is like that, isn't it? You start one thing and end up doing another. Teaching and homemaking become a juggling act. Maybe that's why it's exhausting. But it's worth it.

  8. Ahhhh....I love it! As a fellow homeschooler, I love reading what other homeschooling mommy's do in their day. This year I only have one at home and the others are in school, but next year I will have three - a Kindergartener, first grader, and 3rd grader. (I send my kids to school in the 4th or 5th grade, if they choose to go. We have an open-door policy here for any grade, but the grades we usually have them home are 1st through 5th, the elementary years) Anyway, love your blog, and you have such a beautiful family. I love the photo of the little one in the bath. He reminds me of my Andrew for some reason. I think it's in the eyes.

    (visiting from Serenity Now)

  9. I love reading posts from other moms about a REAL day. It makes me feel better to know that I'm not the only one who gets a little frazzled. I am always so impressed with homeschooling moms--the patience, planning, and dedication it must take!

    Thank you so much for joining my party. Hope you'll stop by Serenity Now again soon! :)

  10. LOL! We're in our 3rd year of homeschooling and that orderly, prompt, rigidly scheduled person has yet to pop out of my closet either. I'm just happy to get through the day with my sanity still in tact. Who cares that I'm still in my pj's at 2pm?

  11. Thank you, ladies. It's always good to know I'm in such great company! :) Thank you for visiting my blog!

  12. Great photos! Thanks for sharing. I want steal the one with our son looking int he jar to scrapbook. Love the projects and the attitudes.


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