Category Archives: This Is Your Life Lillian Connelly

Homeschooling Is A Roller Coaster Ride

Homeschooling is a roller coaster ride. We got on the ride in November and we’ve been going full speed ahead, up and down, up and down, sideways, upside down and stop, stop, go ever since.  As a parent it is the best and the worst of times. It’s both energizing and exhausting. My only advice, If you are thinking about homeschooling, is make sure you put on your seat belt first.

Homeschooling Is A Roller Coaster Ride

There, now that I’ve gotten that out of my system I’m going to dive in with why we love it. First, field trips are fun and we can do as many as we want. We can go any where, at any time. We can turn almost anything into a learning experience!

We take as long as we need to learn something.  When my daughter is struggling with the concept of doubles plus one, we can just hang out and practice it until she’s got it down. She doesn’t get lost in the shuffle of a classroom filled with other kids ready to move on. If we don’t like the book or curriculum we are using we can change it.

We spend lots of time together (this can also be stressful at times especially when you are a die hard introvert like I am). We get to witness our daughter learning. When she grasps a concept that she has been struggling with I turn into a real-life cheerleader, pom-poms and all. It’s one of the most exciting experiences I’ve ever had. My daughter loves all of the undivided attention. I get to learn about how her mind works and what interests her.

A short lesson on dinosaurs can evolve into discussions about big things like space, the big bang theory, God, various religious beliefs, scientific theories, the life cycle of turtles, and evolution. We have all of the time in the world to talk, dissect, and explore.

The downside of homeschooling is pretty thrilling too. Like a psychological thriller. There are endless periods of anxiety where we question if we are teaching enough or if she is learning enough. We worry about whether we are teaching her the right things. Is she behind her peers? Is she ahead? Will she be able to make it in the adult world if I close up the books and use baking to teach her fractions instead? I can lie awake for hours pondering these questions while simultaneously googling for statistics, curriculum, and homeschool support networks.

There are also days where nobody wants to do anything at all. The baby is cranky, the six year old is determined to watch Netflix until her eyes fall out of her head and her brain turns into zombie mush. There are days so packed with social activities that we forget to do spelling, or math, or to read. It’s feast or famine around here with almost everything.

Some weeks my daughter will be obsessed with math. It’s math from morning to night.  Meanwhile I will fret over her undone phonics workbook pages and reading practice. The very next week she will hate math telling me it’s boring or too hard and she will want to read everything she can get her hands on including the small print on the dog food bag. I then, of course, fret over her unfinished math worksheets and fall into despair over whether or not this first grade math failure will prevent her from acceptance into MIT.

There are entire days devoted to art, music, and cinema. These days I will congratulate myself for exposing her to culture, imagination, and creativity. Then I will berate myself for neglecting the three r’s.

Other days will be about science and history and the all mighty playground. On these days I will fret about how messy my house is becoming and about how I have no time to myself anymore. I’ll worry that the baby is being shuffled around from place to place and doesn’t have the nap schedule she deserves or needs. I will look around and realize that the homeschool stuff is taking over every room of the house and wonder if we really need all of these items to produce a well-rounded education. In the next moment I’ll worry we don’t have enough stuff or that maybe I have invested in all of the wrong items. There is always the sense that we could do more or could do better.

Homeschooling is a roller coaster ride. I’m hoping over time the anxiety will settle and our schedule will become more consistent. I’m also hoping to learn to accept the ebb and flow and develop a stronger faith in the idea that things will turn out all right in the end. So far, none of us have wanted to get off the roller coaster, no matter how scary it gets, so I guess that speaks volumes about the experiment we are conducting. Tiny-Small said it best the other day when she was  clad in her pajamas at 1pm and eating chocolate while building a house out of gumdrops and toothpicks, “I’d never be able to do this if I was in school right now!” I picked up a chunk of her Rice Krispies earth model we had cut in half the night before, bit into it and said, “You got that right, Kid!”

How To Shower In A Public Bathroom While Camping If You Are Six Years Old

How to shower in a public bathroom while camping if you are six years old: An Instructional Manual.

How To Take a Shower In A Public Bathroom While Camping If You Are Six Years Old

Step 1: Run to the bathroom as fast as you can, confident your mother has brought everything you need.

Step 2: Attempt to input door code slowly, twice.

Step 3: Cry that you input door code too slowly and it won’t open.

Step 4: Tell mom to open the door.

Step 5: Run as fast as you can into bathroom.

Step 6: Say hello to all the people as if they have been waiting for you to arrive.

Step 7: Listen to mom tell you to go into shower stall, but ignore her until she says it at least three times.

Step 8: Hit the button on the air dryer for fun.

Step 9:  Enter shower stall.

Step 10: Loudly exclaim that “…it smells like poop in here.”

Step 11: Remove clothing as slowly as possible.

Step 12: Get in shower.

Step 13: Complain it is too hot.

Step 14: Get out of shower.

Step 15: Get back in shower.

Step 16: Complain it is too cold.

Step 17: Get out of shower.

Step 18: Get back in shower and pretend to wash body with soap until mom looks furious.

Step 19: Use the soap to draw on shower wall.

Step 20: Yell at mom that you are washing your body.

Step 21: Declare body clean and demand mom wash hair.

Step 22: As soon as shampoo hits hair scream that you have to pee and run out of shower,  through bathroom, past grandma’s who gasp at your nakedness, and enter toilet stall.

Step 23: return to shower.

Step 24: Say loudly, “I decided to pee in the shower instead.” Then ask, “Don’t you do that at home too, Mom?” as loudly as possible.

Step 25: Rinse soap and shampoo off.

Step 26: Get out of shower and realize mom forgot your towel.

Step 27: Dry wet body on mom’s T-shirt.

Step 28: Put clothes on.

Step 29: Scream while mom attempts to brush hair.

Step 30: Pretend you are dying from hair brushing.

Step 31: Unlatch shower stall and run for camp with tangled, wet hair flowing down back.

Step 32: Yell, “You’re mean!” to mom while running away.

Step 33: Completely ignore mom as she says she may never take you on vacation again.

Step 34: Roll around on dirty floor or ground as soon as possible.

Step 35: Avoid taking another bath for almost a week.

 

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How To Shower In A Public Bathroom While Camping

How to shower in a public bathroom while camping: An instructional manual.

How to shower in a public bathroom while camping

Step 1: Walk to the bathroom with all of your essentials.

Step 2: Hang items on hooks or set on wet benches.

Step 3: Turn on water.

Step 4: Get in.

Step 5: Fumble around, half out of the shower, for soap, shampoo, and toothbrush.

Step 6: Put toothpaste on toothbrush.

Step 7: Drop toothbrush onto shower floor.

Step 8: Think about all of the feet, urine, dirt, and soap that has met floor. Decide never to brush teeth again.

Step 9: Wash body with soap.

Step 10: Drop soap. Watch it bounce out of shower stall and travel across bathroom floor never to be seen again.

Step 11: Wash hair.

Step 12: Rinse.

Step 13: Turn off water.

Step 14: Realize you forgot towel.

Step 15: Attempt to dry off with random clothes items.

Step 16: Accidentally make eye contact, through crack, with adjacent stall occupant.

Step 17: Hurry to pull dry clothes on over wet body.

Step 18: Run for camp.

Step 19: Remember why you hate camping.

 

 

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