To keep you from smacking your tailbone on the floor as you teeter there on the edge of your seat - I'm NOT a patient person, and I think this has a great deal to do with a general lack of self control. Which feeds that perceived need I have for instant gratification.
Today I did the shopping and buying of our curriculum for the 09-10 school year. Some homeschooling moms may take days to do this, weeks even. I'm not one of those moms.
Some moms do lots of research and cost comparisons finding the absolute, rock bottom, best deal. Nor am I one of those moms.
Some moms consult their husbands and carefully flesh out the budget and decide where, exactly, the monies will come from and how many weeks of rice and bean and store brand macaroni & cheese they're facing. Sadly, I'm not one of those moms either.
Some people wait up to a week to have the winning, under-budget bid on E-bay. Nope, not her either.
Some moms scour the library card catalog and shelves to create their own un-schooled curriculum. Some moms hoard books by the hundreds that their kids just devour, or sew period costumes and build teepees for history class or bake Johnny cakes, tap trees for syrup and build smokehouses for unit studies. I'm not her, her, her or her either. (That 3rd 'her' needs a blog of her own, don't you think? I think week after next when she pops out number 5 she should get right on that...)
So, who am I, (or "who am you") you ask? Truth be told, I'm the mom that sticks with homeschooling because it's still best for her kids, but mostly because she gets to sleep in every day and hang out with her most favorite people. Besides - if I send them off to "real" school, who will clean the house? That's why I had these kids in the first place - cuz I was tired of doing all the house cleaning and decided the best way around that was to spawn me some merry maids. (I'm totally kidding about that last part... I wasn't really tired of doing all the house cleaning.)
But I finally feel like we might be catching on to this whole homeschooling thing. We're finding our feet as we come the the start line of our sixth year. This is really saying something if you never really feel like you reach the finish line each year, but just re-stretch, splash some cold water on your face and start over again, only in the next book up.
I was never one of those moms that always dreamed of homeschooling her kids. It was my parent's dream for their grandchildren, but not mine. I never thought I had it in me. Turns out I was right. I maybe wasn't cut out for this, but there I was, near the middle of the first semester of a school year four years ago, thrown head first into the deep end and I came up only doing the dog paddle. I've felt like I was doing the dog paddle ever since. (To assist you with the math - we did homeschool our first through kindergarten - but it wasn't really "official" in my eyes at the time - just those big fat workbooks you can buy at Costco or Sam's Club. Now I wear that year like a badge of honor!)
But now I feel like the train is pulling into the station - my ship is coming in - my eagle is landing... I think what has done this for me is the "silver lining" effect.
Let me explain:
It's been a really rough year where my babies' daddy works. There have been hundreds of folks laid off as they've scaled back production at his company. We're just so glad to hear that "change is happening" and this nasty recession is over (cough, sputter, gag). But the silver lining on this dark cloud of an economy, at least for us, is that since those nice people are no longer coming to work, they no longer need their computers. And if the computers are just getting older and more and more obsolete, why not sell them or practically give them away? Here I was begging for a "newer" computer just a few months ago, to replace my 10-year-old dinosaur with beads sliding on dowels where the calculator button should be, and the Lord sees fit to bless us with not one, but FOUR "newer" computers. Every one of them faster and more better than my dino. And three of them with flat screen monitors! And ALL of them for less than half the price of one new PC.
I was gobsmacked and still haven't recovered. Then the dream of actually having my students/children use a computer based curriculum that grades itself and keeps its own academic records was actually a possibility! Sweet mercy! My children could sit with eyes glued to the glowing screen with headsets muffing their little pointed ears while I sat at my own screen catching up on the blogs of my friends and the latest Drudge Report! Or perhaps talking on the phone for un-interrupted hours while flipping through a favorite scrapbook magazine (that hasn't been canceled in this recovered economy) all the while nibbling bon-bons and sipping diet Sprite from a champagne flute.)
But it's a dream come true. Maybe I've found the homeschooling mom that I AM. I'm apparently Michelle Duggar - her kids use the same curriculum we're going to use and I got a 12% "Duggar Discount" on the parts of it I didn't buy on E-bay. Personally, I think it should have been 18%, but I'm not complaining. So we're exactly the same, Michelle and me - except that she has six times the kids that I do... but other than that, just the same. Right?
Well - not totally the same. We'll be holding on to our Saxon Math, and Michaela is still just a little young for a fully computer based curriculum. The beauty of that is that she'll have more focused one-on-one time with mom - something that's been lacking for her with mom being more focused on the older brothers. So don't worry - I won't be completely self absorbed, but I may get a little bit more time to actually blog or at least earn some Kinzcash to decorate my Webkinz estate...
I wish you the same wonderful, well thought out, caught up school year that we're going to have (starting in two more weeks...)