Around Here Normal is Just a Setting on the Dryer.

After spending over a decade in law enforcement, victim services and social work, we circled the wagons and brought our kids home from public school. Now, we are on year five. After the first years, we learned to lay to rest all of those good intentions of facilitating unrealistic goals of growth, having tri-lingual kids, and raising prodigal children. We now focus on strong vitals and an education that stands just above 3rd world countries.

Frankly, our boys live like college freshman – stay up late, sleep late and cram like it’s their job. Yes, we have the same 24 hour day as the rest of you, but the mental exhaustion of homeschooling puts that productivity at around 4 hours a day. By the time I do my own jobs, home school and some typical chores, I am mentally done. So, I add wine to the equation and gain a few more hours of productivity.

What do I do with this 2nd wind, you might ask? Mostly, I curl up with a book and ignore all types of responsibilities for a couple more hours. What are my boys doing during this sacred time? They are enjoying endless amounts of technology – YouTube, Xbox, Ipads, TV, etc. Why? Because it keeps them quiet. Because it keeps their vitals strong. Because it protects my sanity.

My boys often ask if we are normal and I say, “Yes!” with resounding confidence. I explain to them that they belong to an internationally, renowned private home school program, I somehow manage to work enough to contribute to my part of the household bills and 80% of our food budget goes to home-cooked food! Did I mention the strong vitals?? We are good, I say!

What’s ‘normal’ anyway. Around Here Normal is Just a Setting on the Dryer.

Thoughts from a Deranged Homeschooling Mom!

Some say that February is the hardest teaching month of the year. As a homeschooling mom,  I tend to agree. All the built-in breaks of the holidays are over, with no end in sight. As a homeschooling mom, we hope to recoop lost time from the holidays and this battles with the kids being overwhelmed with the interminable task of school. All together, this should sum up my thoughts for this month:

Original Plan:

  1. double digit multiplication
  2. geography of the Middle East & Central Europe
  3. diagramming Object Complement Nouns and Adjectives
  4. Creative Writing
  5. WWII leaders
  6. Newton’s Law
  7. Latin & Spanish Memory Work
  8. Read, Spelling, practice guitar, Cub Scout knots and typing

Revised Plan:

  1. What do you mean help? It’s addition!
  2. What country do we live in?
  3. Seriously, please for the love of baby Jesus, tell me that you know what a noun is!
  4. Stop asking me so many questions. Its just writing. Aim for subject-verb agreement!
  5. Just remember Hitler.
  6. What don’t you understand?? Your little brother goes until I stop him!!
  7. Our language is English.
  8. No, I don’t care if you read an Xbox magazine. Guitar is not necessary right now. How should I know how to tie those knots? I will just type it for you.

There is always next month…………………



Are Your Eyes Brown?

As I enter my second semester of my fourth year homeschooling, I finally need to just rant. If I had a nickel for every time I hear that “there is no way that I have the patience to homeschool my kid(s),” or “my kids wouldn’t survive in homeschool,” I wouldn’t need to keep buying lottery tickets. What do these people think happens at my house? Surely to the great God in Heaven, people are not accusing me of Sainthood?!

Do they think that maybe we wake up to the sounds of music, hold hands while we praise our Lord, patiently and happily cook breakfast while our children are milking cows and churning butter? Or perhaps they think that we convene on our living room floor in our Sunday best, make our own plato to build a science project later, break an egg yolk to mix with our chalk for art or dutifully copy the Bible in Latin?? (All the while, wearing smiles and aprons?) Do people think that we are awaiting Daddy to come home with smiles and stories about our awesome, fight-free day??

If for any conceivable reason that you might be in the above camp, let me take a few moments to point out some truths of our homeschool…….which I may rename, the House of Pain. Let’s start with what we planned to happen:

  1. We planned to enjoy classical music, while pursuing learning at a higher level.
  2. We planned to orchestrate real life nature adventures to learn about botany first-hand.
  3. We planned to ‘face our food,’ grow a garden and dry our own herbs.
  4. We planned to spend whole days devoted to foreign languages.
  5. We planned to make our own detergents, plato and star charts.
  6. We planned to skip grades and enter genius-level promotions, especially in Math and English.

However, in reality,

  1. I throw something at least twice a week. Almost never at anyone.
  2. I threaten public school on a REGULAR basis. The first time is usually by mid-afternoon on our very first day….
  3. I literally jump up and down screaming at my kids and asking them WHY I should even bother?!
  4. I scream GET OUT!
  5. I cry.
  6. My children cry.
  7. We cry together.
  8. We decide to fashion award charts that will be abandoned within 48 hours.
  9. We decide to get on a schedule that we have never in four years adhered to.
  10. I question my sanity.
  11. I wage my sanity against Common Core.
  12. I celebrate if we meet the minimal state standards and have strong vital signs by Friday night at midnight.
  13. I pour a glass of wine.
  14. I agree to do just one more day.

Many of us were not groomed to homeschool…nor did we ask for the responsibility. We made the best choice for our family and just blog to survive!