The ultimate DIY project? That may be overstating things a bit. But in the spirit of all things being relative, I am here to say that homeschooling is my ultimate DIY project.
Let me start by saying that I asked for it. In one year, Rue will be in full-day school. I wanted this opportunity to experience the things that interest her. And yet, I couldn’t help but organize and schedule it. In my own naive way, I wrote down this schedule and filed it with my subject organizer:
Isn’t that tidy? I figured that by ten in the morning, I would have covered the bases and then some. I’d be sending a kid to kindergarten who would knock the teacher’s socks off with her impressive handle on the subjects.
Mother/Teacher of the Year, here I come.
Here’s how it really works:
6:35 — Rue wakes me up. She is hungry.
6:52 — Rue wants her vitamins. Her two vitamins. If three accidentally drop out of the container in my pre-caffeinated state, she puts the extra one back in the childproof bottle. That she knows how to open. But doesn’t.
6:58 — Calendar. This is actually for my own benefit. Without it, I live in my own time zone.
7:02 — Math
7:17 — Read stories. Holler at other family members to get moving.
7:45 — Rue makes bed, gets dressed, and brushes teeth.
7:49 — Make Lupe’s breakfast.
8:00 — Curious George takes over. Thank you very much, PBS Kids.
8:02 — Remind Lupe not to use all the hot water when she showers while I use my own shower.
8:27 — Remind Rue to turn off the television while I simultaneously blow dry my hair and Lupe’s.
8:32 — Rue asks for a piece of gum. I remind her that she gets one piece per day and is she sure she wants to chew it this early? (That’s a math lesson and a self-management moment in disguise.)
8:35 — Ask Lupe if she’s ready. She says she is.
8:40 — Tell the girls it’s time to load up.
8:41 — Lupe thinks of three other things she needs to do.
8:48 — Late getting out the door to pick up kids for carpool.
8:49 — Rue spits out gum and asks for a snack.
9:02 — Back at home and it’s time for Writing.
9:15 — Rue needs a snack before she can possibly contemplate doing more school work. (Are you keeping track? That’s three feedings in two-and-a-half hours.) Take advantage of her captivity by food to read science books to her.
9:30 — Science experiment. Probably one of Rue’s favorite times of the day.
10:00 — Clean-up time.
10:04 — Rue asks for a piece of gum.
10:05 — Board game or card game. Usually “War” with our set of Star Wars cards.
10:27 — Break. I make appointments, pay bills, wash laundry, and perform other domestic goddess tasks.
12:00 — Lunch
12:45 — Mama…er…Teacher needs a nap.
12:46 — Curl up in Rue’s bed and read stories. Try not to drop eyelids and slur speech.
1:15 — Tell Rue that we’re having “quiet time.” Speech is irrevocably sleep-slurred. “Quiet time” comes out sounding like “kite tie…”
1:17 — Lying in my bed when I remember the load of soggy laundry in the washing machine.
1:20 — Move wet laundry into dryer. Sneak downstairs and see what’s in the pantry. Root around for a piece of last year’s Halloween candy, a half dozen somewhat fresh chocolate chips, a marshmallow, anything.
1:42 — Guilt-ridden over Stressed Mommy pantry raid. Do some leg lifts and squats at the kitchen counter. Use canned tomatoes as resistance for arm curls.
1:45 — Rue proclaims that quiet time is over. Asks why I smell like chocolate and marshmallows.
1:46 — Rue asks to do a craft.
2:11 — Clean up.
2:12 — Rue asks for a snack.
2:49 — Rue asks for a piece of gum.
3:13 — Lupe is out of school.
3:18 — First argument between the girls.
4:00 — Table work for both girls. Rue demonstrates that she could care less why some letters have to be uppercase.
4:30 — Martha Speaks. Again, thank you PBS Kids.
5:45 — Dinner
5:51 — Clear picked-over dinner dishes away. Girls ask to play outside.
6:45 — Bath. Urgent bath if mud pies got made while I wasn’t looking.
7:15 — Reading in Rue’s bed. We’re currently devouring The BFG, by Roald Dahl, one of Lupe’s favorites when she was Rue’s age. Tongue is once again so sleep-slurred that the BFG’s language actually sounds natural and sensical as it comes out of my mouth.
7:45 — Rue is asleep.
7:46 — Lupe wants to play a game.
8:55 — Lupe in bed.
8:56 — Mommy/Teacher crawls into bed.
It’s all going exactly as I planned.