So the countdown is on. Every night before I turn in I erase the number in the top, right hand corner of the chalkboard and replace it with a new number. This morning it says 5. That is, five more days of official summer vacation before another school year begins. Part of me is looking forward to it, part of me isn't.
The part I'm looking forward to is another year of seeing the kids learn new ideas, new concepts, and just be mentally and intellectually stretched beyond where they are now. Learning and growing is a really great thing - and as a side bonus - I get to learn along with them. There is never a school year that goes by that I didn't learn something too.
The part I'm not looking forward to is the fact that for the next 9 months, my house will look like a cyclone ripped through here. I honestly don't know how other homeschooling moms do it, unless they get up at 4am every day to do housework. I'm not about to get up at 4am, so for 9 months my laundry will pile up, they messy-factor will be in full play, and Saturday mornings will be set aside for "okay kids, it's time to whip this place back into shape".
This is the one monumental practical difference that stands out to me, between public schooling and homeschooling. I remember when the older girls went to public school, I looked forward to them going back every fall for the simple reason that my schedule went back into play and by 9 am every day the housework was done, and the entire house was neat and tidy. I like neat and tidy, okay? I cannot focus in a mess, it's too distracting. Yes, I am in fact Felix Unger, stuck in a world of Oscar Madisons.
Homeschooling, is exactly the opposite in that when they go back to school I never have enough time or energy in the day to get the house neat and tidy, because I'm teaching. I do get a bit of a break though. Kev's schedule being the nutty, rotating shift that it is, means every 4 weeks he goes on afternoons for 2 weeks, and when he's on afternoons HE is the teacher and I'm the mom again. For those 2 weeks when I'm the mom and not the teacher, I get to tackle those things that go untouched while I'm teacher.
I think for this school year I'm going to print off a calendar that marks my 2 week breaks and plan my projects around that. Maybe this way it will feel like I'm at least making some progress in the messy factor, and maybe even get it under control! Yes, I think it might be possible to tame the domestic mess-beast.
Five more days... whine. I'll miss summer.