This week is ‘back to school’ after two weeks of holidays.
That’s two weeks of ‘not much of a routine,’ and ‘feel free to forget which direction to write a lowercase d.’
Two weeks of ‘wandering aimlessly around the house’ because you have too much free time now that Mom isn’t grabbing you every 20 minutes to discuss geothermal energy, and Iceland’s indoor tomato greenhouses that are warmed by the insides of the earth.
It’s the week I statistically don’t enjoy, so I try to prepare for it. It’s when I warn the boys that we’re starting school again in 2 days… ok now it’s 12 hours… and ok, now we’re starting right after breakfast.
Nobody can find a pencil, and everybody’s hoping for the phone to ring and for distraction to ensue. And testosterone is at an all time high. They’re also suffering from withdrawal from all of the holiday treats we’ve been consuming at an illogically rapid rate.
So we curl up on the couch and I just started reading to them.
We read from our story Bible, and we read from our science books. We discuss camouflage, predators and prey, and we cheer when we realize son one is wearing an actual camouflage t-shirt, even though it’s still from yesterday.
We’re that clean for the first day of school after holidays. #goodenough
We read Shakespeare for Kids, and a story about Curious George building a solar oven to cook his lasagna during the city wide blackout. Then we watch a young explorer’s video about uncovering ancient civilizations far under the earth in Egypt.
And we practice letters and words with the toddlers because if you feed into them a little, they’ll often run off and play so you can work with the big brothers again.
Two snack breaks and a lunch time later we finally head outside. And we’re all exhausted.
It’s just a hard day for everybody.
We often sing a song of “Mommy’s not mad, she’s just adjusting…” And that song can be sung about every family member throughout the day.
I ask my husband to simply tell me, “Hey, it’s the first week back after a long break, you probably did better than you think, and tomorrow will be easier.”
Husbands are so wise and often have a much larger perspective. It’s the best.
Homeschooling can feel so intense sometimes, and by sometimes I mean most of the time, especially with toddlers in the mix. I’ve found my best strategy though, is to just roll with all of the things and to remember that my kids are probably feeling the same way I’m feeling.
“Give us a few more minutes, we’re just trying to write his paragraph on drone part replacement.”
“Hold on a second, this guy has a code brown diaper situation that needs to be dealt with asap. Finish your typing, I’ll be right back.”
“If you make that 9 a 10 by giving him one block from the other pile, it’ll be easier to add up. 10’s are your friends…”
“Why are you standing on the counter eating granola out of the container like a wild man?”
It’s scattered. But we have all day and night. We finished our art project before the sun rose this morning.
And we’ll read about the glass frog (who is completely transparent on his underside) later tonight when the little brothers are in bed. And it works, because it must.
Roll with it. Do one thing well, then move on and simply do the next thing.
At the end of the day you’ll have done a lot of things, and if it seems scattered and a little all over the map, I think that means you’re doing it right.