Right now, it's about nine am on a glorious, early summer morning. I'm sipping a small chai tea, (cold, because that's the way I like them) with a 50 lb chocolate lab under my desk sniffing my bare toes. The chai could be larger ... my daughter, Maya also loves the stuff, and rarely leaves me as much as I'd like. The dog? Well, it would be better if she were smaller, especially since she's always under my desk ... but both she and her sister are only eight months old, so I think they still have some growing to do.
|Phoebe and Ursula|
Today is perhaps not the best example of a normal day ... we are just beginning our summer break from school, and my daughter is with my husband, standing in line at the DMV where she is waiting to take a written test for her drivers permit. My son, Scott, is downstairs, most likely trying to sleep through the cavorting and playing over-sized puppies making a huge ruckus above his head, and I am thinking about what we can do as a family once everyone is back home again because my hubby has the week off work.
A normal day in my life? Well ... that goes something more like this ...
I am a homeschooling mom. I have been for thirteen years. I remember our first day well. It was on May 4th, just one day after Maya celebrated her fourth birthday. We were living in Castle Rock, Colorado, just about an hour north of where we're at now. We sat in our red kitchen at the little round dining table and Maya learned how to read and write and tell time. Scott was six months old when we began our homeschooling journey.
Now it's a bit different. Maya turned seventeen a month ago, and Scott is halfway to his fourteenth year. I get up at around 6:30 every morning and release the hounds. (Do you have any idea just how much energy two chocolate lab puppies contain in their strong, sleek, clumsy bodies?) They have a tendency to jump the fence down in the far corner. I guess the grass is greener in our sweet, very patient neighbor's yard, so I sit on the top step of our deck and watch them like a blurry-eyed hawk while they cavort and pee and run and pee and chase one another and pee. Then it's breakfast time for the pooches, and, if I'm lucky, I get a couple of hours to sit and write.
|This is Mouse. He lives here, too, but he doesn't cavort. He's a pretty good cuddler, though.|
From about sevenish until about nine thirty, I try to be as creative as I can be. Of course this time period includes about a hundred trips back outside where I sit on that top step and holler at the dogs, (mostly Phoebe, who is the smaller of the two, and definitely the most cunning) and drink chai, (if Maya has left me any) or hot coffee sweetened with cinnamon vanilla creamer. When I'm lucky, these two hours produce big word counts ... sometimes, not so much. A lot depends upon how many times I have to defend my toes from hot, soft puppy tongues. It also depends on how distracted I am by Facebook and/or Pinterest. (I'm addicted to Pinterest, y'all. Addicted and not looking for ways of recovery.)
At ten, our school day begins. The kids, especially now that they're older, do a lot of their classes online. Maya has taken and received credit for several college level courses in psychology, biology and English. Scott, who should be ready to start the eight grade because of his age, is about to become a freshman in high school. That kid is much smarter than I'll ever be, so I make sure he gets his core curriculum in, and in his spare time, he writes code, watches documentaries and taps away at the keyboard doing God knows what. I know that he's writing a story, perhaps the beginnings of a book, but he won't let me read it. Since it isn't for school, I don't press the matter. He'll probably be a best selling author one day ... show me up big time.
We usually study until about noon, and that's when we have our lunch break. After lunch, it's back to class until around three. I usually just make sure both kids are following and checking assignments off of their curriculum, (if it isn't a course online, it's one I've gone through and organized for them). They've gotten older now, and are responsible kiddos. (They test like public school kids do at the end of the year with a national standardized test ... not graded by me.) Maya's studying both French and German. The French I'm helpful with ... the German ... eh, not so much. I've re-read many books with her in the last couple of years ... To Kill a Mockingbird, The Crucible, The Scarlet Letter, Huckleberry Finn ... not to mention some of the great poets such as Whitman, Dickinson and Poe (just to name a few). In January, she'll be taking a few classes at Pike's Peak Community College, and will have a good amount of college credit under her belt before she graduates high school in a year. We run around a bit during the day sometimes. We have a great library which houses a homeschooling resource center. That's where we find our science labs and other essentials for class. We don't have a set schedule ... not like we did when they were younger. Now they have a curriculum and they know when everything needs to be done. Sometimes they work on one subject for a long period of time, sometimes they work on six classes in a school day. It all depends on the day.
School ends at about the same time my husband, Steven, gets home from work. (He leaves the house at 4:30 am!) That's chill out time for a bit until it's time to start dinner. Scotty usually prepares meals with me. (I'm still a bit like Nemo ... one fin is weaker than the other.) Dinner is spread out. We are in the process of remodeling our family room downstairs, and the kids and I work at the dining room table. Sometimes we eat while watching a movie, sometimes I go downstairs and hang out with Steven. Someday soon we'll have meal time back at the table where it belongs. We just kind of go with the flow.
Because Steven gets up before the sun, he goes to bed super early. That's when I go back to work. It's in these couple of hours that I do a lot of my editing and more writing ... and, if I can, I do some reading here, as well. Then it's off to bed for me between ten and eleven ... I'm tired from all the cavorting and peeing and toe licking by then, and it's time to put the puppies to bed. We all need rest so we can start it over again the next day.
Is it glamorous? Not so much. Is it exciting? Well ... sometimes it can be, but I suppose that depends upon individual perspective. It is mine, though, and I love it. I wouldn't have it any other way.
Oh, and I just got word that Maya now has her permit. That means we'll be doing a lot of instructional driving this summer before our normal day to day kicks in again in August. :)