08 January 2009

Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy

How many of you think that homeschooling must be a piece of pie? Come on, I know you're out there. Let's see a show of hands.

Well, I am here to tell you that it is most decidedly NOT always a big slice of lemon meringue deliciousness.

Sometimes it's more like being beaten with a large bag of lemons!

Occasionally, it's just very h.a.r.d. Haaaaaaaaaaaaard! It's not necessarily the teaching (algebra equations, or the order of the Caesars, tricks for spelling the more challenging words, the names of all the bones of the human skeleton, or the fantastic political satire of "Alice in Wonderland"... or any of the lovely subjects we're studying right now) that is particularly difficult. Most of what we learn is interesting and fun.

It's not creating lesson plans, or grading or filing papers, or keeping the schoolroom and library organized. Most of that is just time-consuming.

The thing is that you also have to parent at the same time. Kids know how to tap into that special place in parents that really bakes their noodle. And, kids can be very, very naughty on occasion. *ahem* Yeah. Plus, you also have siblings together. Siblings who can really annoy the woowee out of each other when they want to do so. Don't believe me? Come on over and check out the blood spatter on my schoolroom ceiling! Nah, I'm just kidding. I cleaned that off days ago.

See, it's doing both that can sometimes be really exhausting. You have to really exhale on the "haust" to convey the meaning here. It's like this: ex-hhhaaauuuuus-Ting. Hard "t" for emphasis. There you go. Good job.

That's not to say that I don't really and truly love teaching my children. I do. Sincerely. It's just that sometimes I wish they would go away.

I kid.
No, five kid!

Right up front (oh, I guess I've been prattling for a while so it's more like right in the middle) I'll say that I was not born wanting to homeschool my children. Did you guess that already? It was something the Lord chose for me and pretty much hounded me into doing. However, it's also been a huge blessing and pretty quickly I grew to love the lifestyle it provides. Family days and field trips in the middle of the week when everyone else is at school or work are really great. Taking vacations off season... sweet! Don't even get me started about our kids not having a clue about a new horrid style of clothing, or an irritating toy that is all the rage and must-have, or some pre-teen pop star who'll end up being the Playmate of the Month sometime in the next couple of years. That's priceless.

But sometimes it is all-consuming and wearying. I'm just sayin'.

Oooh, here's another thing! Michael and I have a little name for just doing a big fat nothing. It's called "dinkin' around".

Some people think homeschooling is really homedinkaround. (No show of hands please. It'll just tick me off and nobody wants that.)

These adorable people call us homeschooling mamas in the middle of the day for long phone conversations! They ask, "Hey, since you're not working, can you run an errand for me, and then pick up little Anthem and Trout after ballet?" Gah! They want a personal shopper and free babysitting since we have some much extra time on our hands doing the homedinkaround! Seriously, it's a crack up!

So, now you know. Mostly, homeschooling is awesome and I wouldn't trade the last 10 years of teaching my children for a 6-bedroom villa in Tuscany (unless it had an English garden and a really nice pool). But, it's also a huge job. Huge.

Just for fun, here's a mini-lesson for you:
For easy memorization, try singing the Fruits of the Spirit to the tune of Brahms' "Lulluby". "Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness and goodness, faith, meekness, temperance are the Fruits of the Spirit."

Also, kids (or adults) can learn the names of Christ's original 12 disciples by singing them to the tune of "Happy Birthday". Here's the order we use: Peter, Andrew, James, John, Phillip, Thomas, Matthew, James, Thaddeus, Simon, Judas, and Bartholomew.

Admit it. I know you just sang them in your head, so don't try to pretend that you didn't 'cause no one will believe you! Now, you'll never forget! That's just a little taste of homeschooling for ya...

Easy peasy lemon squeezy.


Erica said...

I think you just scared me. Scared me silly. Seriously. The hubs and I feel the Lord calling (or shoving, or something like that) us to homeschool and it is SO not what *I* would choose to do. So, thanks for the reality check. I think I'm off to have a long talk with God.

The Redman's said...

Would you mind homeschooling my kiddos too? You do one AMAZING job with yours! :) I'm too scared to homeschool because I know it's not just dinkin' around!! And, as a homeschool mom, you don't have plan time, a lunch break, or after school time to prep, grade, and get organized. When do you do it all?

Love you, and love your posts!

Melinda said...

Love this Laurie! I could not agree more and often feel the same way. I never thought this would be my life, but God had a different plan than I did. :) Most days I do love being with my kids, but there are some days were I would pay for them to go to public school!!! Thanks for the laugh!

Hauswife said...

Erica, honey, I didn't mean to scare you! :{ Let me say this, if I had to choose all over again, I would choose homeschooling every day of the week and twice on Sundays. It is TOTALLY worth it! (But, it can be dang hard sometimes, too.) You can do it! None of us can accomplish ANY hard task without the Lord. And, if He's calling you to homeschooling, He'll give you every tool you need. xo

Suz, you're so sweet. Love you too! Wish we could co-op together! xo

The Roberts Family said...

You cracked me up! ... which is a good thing .. and I loved your post because we're in the midst of MAJOR changes here ... and it's a fabulous time to re-evaluate everything in my life. I was so blessed by the truths you shared deep down inside all that great humor. Love ya! ~Shelly

Julie said...

I have been hired by many parents whose children were absolutely horrid to them when they tried to tutor them themselves, so HATS OFF to you! It is very rare that parents can teach their kids anything, and rarer that the kids will be respectful enough to learn anything. (Maybe it is just Malibu- kids are spoiled in Malibu). (:

JourneytoFamily said...

HYSTERICAL!!! Seriously, I think this is my favorite of all your posts (so far). I LOVED it! And a big high five from this homeschooling Mama to you!

Sunny said...

Hi. I soooo appreciated your post on homeschooling. My husband and I have been thinking about it (our son is still an infant - leaving on Jan24th to get him so we have a long way to go). But, I would love for you to e-mail me if your okay with that. I would love to know how you discerned the call to homeschool. That's something I've been wondering - if it's a calling and something we're being nudged by Him to do. Thanks.

Mandy said...

That's so funny! I didn't realize you homeschool. So many times, I have said I would never do something and those are the things God totally changes my heart on. I absolutely love homeschooling. The frustrating moments are sooo far outweighed by the rewarding and sweet moments of getting to be a part of my children's educations.

Great post!

HeidiD in CT said...

I can't even IMAGINE that anyone would think it was easy! I have never known any homeschoolers until we joined the adoptive community. I am far too selfish and impatient to be able to do it myself, but I have to say, I was overwhelmed with the amazingly well-adjusted, polite, smart, fun and charistmatic home-schooled kids that I met at BU'09 (I think you may know a few? ;)) Honestly, that was one of my best memories from the get-together. I wish I could do it myself, but I know it wouldn't be the best thing for my kids. Although, I have been a major endorser since then with other families that would consider it. Personally, I think you (and Emily and Pam, in particular) are SUPERWOMEN!!! I cannot comprehend how you get it all done, but I have witnessed that you do!

Brad and Christy Sherrell said...

Laurie - You hit the nail on the head. I'm not the homeschooling type and thankfully God has not pushed me in that direction. I think that HE knows Child Protective Services would be regular visitors in our household if I did. :) I'm just the regular old "stay at home Mom type." You know, the one eating bon bons and watching Oprah (well I do record her and watch her later). I'm not doing anything around here with 3 kids...just sitting around looking pretty! Thanks for your humor and thank you for being a role model for so many women. You are just giving, giving and giving...way to be working on your resolutions!

Hauswife said...

LOL, Christy! Yeah, you're such a SLACKER! :P The least you could do is share the bon bons!

By the way, if CPS ever does show up at your door, call Art Vandelay at 714.555.2112 and tell him you're a friend of mine. He's a sweetie. ;)

coffeemom said...

OH boy. Spot on!!! It can be SO hard! And wearying....and especially right now, these two months, the dregs of winter, it can get ugly. Me too. I think it's a per kid per year, or month (erk) decision. And it's a huge huge job. rewarding yes? Trying? yes. Misunderstood? usually. Hang in there mom, you are clearly doing a bang up job!!!! I"m impressed! M

Teabo Chica said...


Stacy Ann said...

Stalking from Emily's blog...keep it up!! I was homeschooled all the way through and I know it was NOT easy for my mom but she stuck it out. And I am so very, very grateful! Keep it up, I'm sure you're doing a FABULOUS job!!!

Lori said...

You're my hero - There is NO way on earth I could do what you women do. I contemplated doing it for a little bit and realized my enormous limitations. We'll/I'll be doing some since I'm pulling Nick out of pre-school soon but not actual real teaching. It's pre-k stuff!

Homeschooling is the hard knox way of parenting in my book and public/private school is the easy route. The route I was destined for! I applaud you and the other moms who are willing and able to go the hard way for your kids.

One, I'm not nearly smart enough to teach anyone anything and two, my patience or lack thereof would have me jumping off my roof!

HeidiD in CT said...

PS - I hope you know I meant the THREE of you in particular, not just them :)

Hauswife said...

Heidi, you're so sweet. No morries. I didn't feel dissed. :)

Liesl said...

Oh my goodness, I did just totally sing the 12 Disciples song in my head...and it worked! When we are starting to teach our kiddos (ok, so we don't have any yet, but I fully intend to homeschool...I was for my junior-high years), I am definitely calling you for some ideas and pointers. And, as a homeschooled child, I can personally attest to the huge difference you are making in your kids' lives...and though I can't even yet grasp the fullness the sacrifice (tons of perks like you mentioned, but also tons of sacrifice that people don't always acknowledge), I can tell you that even 15 years later (wow), I so appreciate the gift my parents gave me in the opportunity to be homeschooled. So remember that each time you have a harder day...even years later, your kids will be grateful for what you are offering them. Hopefully that will make those tough days just a bit easier :)

FHL said...

I wouldn't trade homeschooling for anything....but Oh, I confess, there ARE days when that big yellow bus drives by and I'm tempted to make a donation *wink*

Tish said...

you crack me up! i have secretly been hoping that God does not ask me to homeschool M because, well, he is already smarter than i! or is that "than me?" see what i mean?

you should video tape the kids singing those last lessons so we can hear what it is supposed to sound like. i butchered it!

p.s...what a blessing...we have been gifted a trip to north san diego!!! now i don;t have to envy all of your field trip photos!

Kristin said...

I did sing them in my head and boy they sounded really bad.
I admire all of you homeschoolin' mommas. I think its awesome and it makes my blood boil when people be-little homeschooling. That being said, I have never felt called to do it, maybe that is because my kids would be dumb as rocks? Hmmm.

be_a_Mary said...

A well, you know I think you ROCK and I think Hschling is a HARD HARD job and a unique calling. Thanks for being vulnerable. You are a great teacher & mother!! your family is lovely and your kids are polite and kind and well-spoken and critical thinkers (for so young an age). Simply by looking at your children we know what a GREAT mother and teacher you are!!