Thursday, December 1, 2011

Homeschooling—without mojo


....never stops.

Not even when I'm driving kids to "real" school, and back again, each day—almost an hour total. (This doesn't include getting four kids into/out of the vehicle!)

Driving time, in our family, is put to work. Driving time is for reciting poems, spelling words, going over "ways to make 10", or when everyone is too whiny and tired for mental work, listening to stories.

Right now we're enjoying the Hobbit (read by Rob Inglis), the Chronicles of Narnia (a dramatized version narrated by Paul Scofield), and most recently some BBC recordings of MacBeth and King Lear. These last aren't child-appropriate by any means, but the boys love them and I make allowances because, well, it's Shakespeare. In the words of Bertie Wooster, "You mustn't listen when a girl is giving you hell. It's like Shakespeare. It sounds alright, but it doesn't mean anything." Ha ha! For us that's true. I don't want my boys to understand the dark, sad, complicated, adult passions that drive Lear and Macbeth to ruin. Not without a dash of P.G. Wodehouse to lighten the heart. Plenty of time for that. For now, we just enjoy the thick, juicy, gorgeous English.

Anyway. Homeschooling. Because, as we all know, it's a way of life, not a system, right? Please say yes because I've lost my homeschooling mojo, my crafting mojo, my clean house mojo, and my day-planner. I've lost everything other than finding socks, keeping food inside people, and tending to various bodily functions.

I'm exaggerating. Are you kidding? Socks? What are boot liners for? Matthias hasn't even had pants for over a week. I'm not sure if this is because his pants were sucked into the event-horizon of laundry, or because he somehow doesn't have any.

Two blessings: First, Willie and Hugh like cutting paper snowflakes. We make snowflakes without cease. Montessori bases a whole philosophy on cutting paper—eye-hand coordination, valuable motor skills, concentration, not to mention the delight of random cutting—all the fun of destruction with the satisfaction of creating something beautiful in the end. 

Even if every other ball gets dropped (not to mention pants), we have Shakespeare and paper snowflakes.

The second blessing is that Matthias copies whatever his brothers do, which considerably reduces my work.

Oh, and another blessing: Raphael sleeps. I don't expect it to last, but I don't need to tell you why this is boon to humanity.

So the homeschooling putts along, in spite of us.


  1. Dear, dear Mary. Thank you for your honesty, it is much appreciated as I sit in my pjs surrounded by mess, screaming babies on tables and morning sickness.

  2. Mary, your math is off - numero 6. Almost 14 weeks.