Tuesday, July 25, 2017

How to be a total disaster and maybe just a little proud of that fact.

So guys. I don’t know if you realized, but seriously? It’s almost time for Homeschool.

It’s been a summer. It’s been a summer filled with work and family and friends and more work and sickness and eating way more McDonald’s than I had ever imagined possible. It’s been a summer of perseverance and stolen moments of relaxation. It has been a FULL summer. And that is not a bad thing.

But now, Dudes, the summer is like, GONZO.

Truth, this is a very emotional time of year for me. I am anxious to start the next year. I’m not sure I’m going to be good at it. I am anxious about my changed work schedule. I am nervous once again that it will all be too much and I will be too overwhelmed and then I will... I don't know. Start on fire and die, probably. It is stupid. It is also Me in July. 

I’ve sat down, run the dates, and calculated out what I’m hoping for our school year to look like, and based on that, I have us a start date. August 15. 3 weeks from today. Holy buckets, Batman. This is actually happening.

This past weekend, I started pushing myself toward starting to think about schooling again. Yes, I agree. That is a lot of steps, just to get to the thinking part. Thanks for noticing. But this is not because I am lazy and unmotivated, it is because I am very busy and important and have been using my time to work constantly. Also it is because I am lazy and unmotivated. 

I've learned that it is hard sometimes to find my own excitement and motivation. This weekend, I think I found out why:

It’s because I lost them both in this giant pile of postponed responsibility.
That’s right. Somehow, the school cart got itself turned into the dumping ground for all things vaguely academic, plus some other things the kids didn’t want to put away or I didn’t want to deal with. It became the saddest place in the whole world. The homeschool that time forgot. The homeschool that nobody loved. The homeschool that lost its home.

Part of me is embarrassed even to show this. Because it is gross and embarassing, I think. And a part of my husband gently suggested that maybe I could reorganize this pile of crazy a bit before his friend dropped in for a short visit this morning. Which was fair, because that stuff is BANANAS.

But there was this other part of me that kind of… doesn’t hate it. Okay, that’s a total lie. The horrible pile of psychosis-on-a-cart sits right next to our kitchen table, and it’s the first thing you see when walking in through the door. But even while I hated it every day, multiple times a day, it also represented something that was a little bit awesome. I walked by and it said, “Hey Sweet Mama* ,  I am absolutely not your problem right now. You are on vacation. You can walk right past me from early May until late July and just like, chiiiiiiiiill. So dump those books right here. Scatter those dry erase markers wherever you see fit. Let me get all dusty, and ignore those pencil shavings. You just kick those feet up, you beautiful piece of not-a-teacher-today. Yes, they're still your monkeys, but this is so not your circus."

Of course, there are some homeschool parents out there who don't let their furniture talk to them like that, even if the furniture was first intended to serve booze. Along the same lines, there are homeschool families that start later than we do. Or earlier. Or basically “do school every day”. Or basically “don’t do school any day because it’s called real life, and wake up Sheeple.”

SIDE NOTE: Obviously, I really still don’t understand the whole “unschooling” movement. Right this very moment, one of my daughters is watching videos of other people playing Minecraft, another is wearing a necklace for a belt and swinging the end around like an old timey cop’s billy club. My older son is hitting everything he can see with a pretend invisible light saber, and our youngest is walking around with a yo-yo dragging from his butt. He says he’s a puppy. So…. is this it? Is this unschooling? I mean, it’s not school, so… yes then? Because I honestly fear for their future.

Anyway, as I was saying, the homeschooling families of the world all have their own ways of, ehem, "doing school". For me, I've learned that I really need a couple those sweet summer months where the school switch is firmly in the off position. Where no curriculum is discussed, no schedules are organized, and the homeschool wine cart becomes a terrifying tower of Tomorrow's Problem. But that's me.  Unfortunately, due to some combination of Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Generalized Being a Woman Slash Mother in 2017 Disorder, I tend to believe everyone else's choices prove they're better than me. Like they've figured out something I'm still too dense for. But that is the fabulous and weird grace of this grand edumacation experiment: We're all trying. We all make good choices. Plus some bad ones. But because we are there, because we're invested, and because we love them, our kids all end up learning something important in the end. 

Even, if that thing is how to drag a yo-yo from your butt cheeks.


OH YEAH. Also? I did organize today. Pretty much, I'm a superhero. 
Watch out, August 15. I'm comin' for you. 

*It’s not my fault. That’s what our homeschool calls me. It likes to get fresh sometimes. Maybe it’s because it was technically created to be a wine cart. I dunno.


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