Con: I made my first ever outing during ‘school’ hours (for what we now refer to as the mainstreamed folk) alone last week with all three children. We barely made it out alive, and under 45 dollars. I only needed Acrylic Clear Coat + some Spray Adhesive, but you’d think we were rabid baboons, because for some reason the kids were able to pull me down every aisle and ask for things. Repeatedly. And since I now home school, I wanted people to think that I am patient and kind – basically the opposite of abusively negligent. That meant no clenching of the teeth and whispered death threats. Instead, Aiden stood on one side of the buggy and completely tipped it in the aisle (see: ridiculously tiny shopping carts a-la Hobby Lobby.) while Malone crouched on the other side screaming “Oh no! Oh nooooooo!” As loud as humanly possible until I could scramble over with my bottles of paint. This was all while Emerson asked if she could “pppllllleeeaassseee have thisssssssssssss” in an epic whiney wail about three octaves too high for my taste. It was just enough commotion to summon all the older ladies who were also shopping that day, like moths to a flame. They cast doleful, borderline curious glances full of meaningful concern sprinkled with wiry smiles. So I gave in to a few requested crafts for the offspring because it was just a really long September and, well, bribery.
Whilst corralling the natives, I even saw another homeschooling mom and her brood. Right now, because we’ve been in adjustment mode, these beings in public and in action are a lot like unicorns in their rarity. I want to reach out and touch their hair and maybe even give it a creepy sniff while whispering, “Are you real?” So they can mace my face or something else completely overreactive for totally normal behavior.
All was fine and dandy in the wood aisle until we walked by a lady who was totally minding her own business. As we were passing, Emerson asked in the loudest and most innocently curious of voices possible, “Mama, is that a Boy or a Gurl?” So I did what any other normal person would do and totally ran away. Because sometimes it’s just easier to literally haul it out of said situation with your children before they say something else completely mortifying. If some kid called me a shim, I might punch their mom in the face. Just saying. When in doubt if the question was heard, haul it into another section of the store and play dumb. It’s like a rule of motherhood or something. (We had a talk later, but I will now use home schooling as my crutch if someone decides to confront me on the subject of why my children are so baboon-ish in public.)
Pro: I can go shopping in the middle of school hours.
Con: I integrated Malone, who usually has preschool of the Tuesday through Thursday nature, into the process on Monday. This means he drew a little, sat quietly through a few lessons, and then remembered that he’s basically a four year old hyped on chocolate milk and he’s exempt to normalcy with his crapping-the-pants exclusivity privileges. He took off in full Speed Racer mode around the kitchen island. Only to run into my giant sign I’m painting in the middle of the kitchen and be knocked flat on his rear, interrupting my verbal warnings which did absolutely no good whatsoever. I mean, doesn’t everyone create giant paintings in the middle of their kitchen? At first I thought he’d broken his nose. But he ran into a table the day before that. So basically, his face looks like he lost a gang fight with about three more four year olds, and I’m torn between getting his vision checked, vs. maybe I’ll stop rearranging the furniture because clearly he can’t handle change. It definitely adds to the visual interest when we venture into public and he screams in the middle of shopping aisles summoning the doleful glances during prime school hours. Awesome.
Pro: He goes to preschool so I’m still legit.
Pro: Ninja drills. It’s totally normal and way better than tornado or fire drills. I don’t have to worry about my children being lost in massive herds because I only have three to keep up with. They’ve been trained well for the UPS lady, and it makes a fun game if anyone actually ventures to the door. Because no one should have to see lady bits through pajamas at 11:00 when most normal people are dressed. And I don’t answer the door for randos. That’s how you die and or are chloroformed and taken to a second location where a man named Tuco wants to even the score in his latest drug deal while you question him confusedly because you have no earthly idea what he’s talking about. At least that’s what happens on TV. Duh. Maybe I should scale back on the Breaking Bad epis because I keep having weird dreams about drug dealers. There is no con about this one.
All sarcastic humor aside, in other (completely serious) news, I’m teaching Emerson how to read and she’s the driving force. There’s nothing cooler. I’m feeling kinda awesome at the moment even though I’ve done nothing other than create an environment for her learning. And this is amazing. The end.
And on another serious note because I’m not completely derailing this entire post off the interstate on it’s way to crazy town and into a field: A few of you guys have written me with questions about home school… on where to start. Here’s some things right off the bat that have helped me, and I was hoping you guys might share a few more of your fave resources in the comments section below. I’m (obviously) still learning as well and would love to hear!
If you’re thinking about home schooling your children, the first steps that help:
1. If you’re even thinking about home schooling your children, ask anyone and everyone you know who actually does it. Friends of friends, neighbors, etc. Get a well rounded picture of the process from there. It’s the first thing I did. Jamin even had lunch with another dad. We spoke to so many parents and mothers, we were inspired, and felt like we had a great grasp on it all before we even made up our minds and took the next step. Making the decision to home school can feel isolating and scary. Like there’s no one there and it’s all you. Surround yourself with wise people. Also, it helps to have a good friend you can count on who totally gets it. We have some amazing teacher friends, and home schooling friends (Shaunna, in particular, who has totally held my hand through this. It means the world.) It’s truly the most important thing you can do.
2. The Ultimate Homeschool Guide. Do not pass go, Do not collect 200. Order it yesterday. Devour it. She may have said a few things I don’t agree with (one pertaining to House Beautiful and never getting into their magazine if you home school- I took this personally ;}) but she’s a great read and real. You’ll love it.
3. 1 + 1 + 1 = 1. A few of you guys and some of my friends recommended this gem. I’ve already purchased two recommended products on her site and Emerson loves them. Her printables are endless and perfect, and her ideas… she’s my blogging idol in the home school sector. I want to knock on her door and sit at her feet and observe. Check her out here.
I hope some of this helps. In the beginning, what were some of your favorite resources or some great places to start that you’d like to share? We’d love to hear!