Saturday, February 18, 2012

Gotta be flexible

By now, some of you are thinking that either homeschooling is all peachy or I am not being honest. Well, Friday was hard. It could have been a bad day. I felt tired and short-tempered. I had a lot of shabbos cooking left to do. My cleaning lady quit, but she only let me know this week, after not coming in last week either. My husband cleaned up the bathrooms on Thursday night, but the rest of the house still needed to be cleaned.

Nobody wanted to help me put the ingredients into the bread machine for challah, but 7 yo and 2 yo wanted to shape theirs. 7 yo asked me to teach him how to make 3-braid. The toddler just mushed hers around. 5 yo messed with his zhu zhu pets.

We went downstairs to do Rosetta Stone. The boys wanted to do it one at a time. I got myself into organizing board games, they do get put away, but the pieces are in whichever box is handy at the time. I told 7 yo that if he organizes Monopoly, I will play it with him on Shabbos (I hate Monopoly). He got ziploc bags for every money value and did sort it out.

By then it was 11am, and we still had a bunch of schoolwork to do. We did parsha; 5 yo wandered around the room. When it was just him, he usually sat next to me. I wonder whether he misses sitting on my lap or chair when it was one-on-one, without his brotehr stealing the spotlight. When I asked him to pay attention, he said that he was listening, which I believe to be true. 7 yo participated. When I read the pasuk about not cooking a kid in its mother's milk, I asked him what idea does it remind him of. He said, the story of Chana and her sons. I was stumped, I was aiming for kashrut-related answer. He explained about not killing a child in front of its mother. Touche!

Then I got them parsha sheets, while making lunch and trying to cook. The boys were not so into them and I kept on pushing. Now, in hindsight, I should have stopped. There is no narrative, so it is much harder to put pictures in order.

The boys wanted to do Great Backyard Bird Count, but I wanted to get other things out of the way first. They went along, but they were definitely sabotaging me. When we finally got outside, there were few birds to be seen. I also got worried about identifying them. We did see some robins, a cardinal, thrashers and sparrows. I suggested that having bird feeder might attract some birds. The boys wanted one, immediately. I told them that we might go and get birdseed after 2 yo woke up from her nap. They would have to make their own bird feeder. We entered data online and saw the tally for the rest of the state, which was quite neat.

By now it was close to 4. I still had to bathe 3 kids, put up cholent, sweep and mop living and dining room and clean the kitchen. By now you know that when I say those rooms needed to be cleaned, they objectively needed it. I was rushing. I spilled a bucket in the living room and had even more mess to clean up. The boys showered and were running around screaming. The toddler kept trying to climb into the tub. See, I am human, I have bad days too.

I was annoyed because I wanted to get 7 yo to do some Hebrew reading' whether from Vayeira or from the parsha and it did not happen. I also told him that we will make rock candy and he can have some every time we learn Torah, but it didn't happen either. His brother remembered about it on Shabbos, when it was too late.

At least we made up for yesterday today. 7 yo asked me to teach him more parsha on the way to shul. Later, he asked which state is the poorest. Then he wanted to know why. Then he wanted to know how to change that. Around shalishudes time, he remembered about Monopoly. We all played, with 5 yo being on my husband's team. I got 7 yo to do some math for banking. 5 yo was reading chance and community chest cards and counting up the dots on the dice. They boys taught me a faster way to play with the speed die and I found that I do not mind Monopoly as much as I remembered. In fact, it was fun!

Being flexible is the only way to be.


  1. fridays and schoolwork are tough!

  2. I am learning the hard way... I feel that my attitude to homeschooling is now more similar to what yours was six years ago. I wonder if I will end up an unschooler in another couple years. Is this the natural path?