This morning was exactly what I imagined homeschooling would be like. When I brought my oldest daughter home I had a four year old, a 18 month old, and a 5 week old. I was terrified. I was lucky if dinner was ready. I had no idea how I would teach my daughter how to write a paragraph. Totally convinced that God was asking me to bring McKenzie home, I withdrew her from school. I braced myself for a "wasted" year.
At 10:30 this morning I was still cleaning up the breakfast mess. In my mind I was going over all of the academic things that undoubtedly would not be accomplished today. Then, my three year old broke a Christmas decoration. Okay, deep breath. Not a crisis. Not even close. However, it had to be cleaned up. (dirty dishes in the sink - -ok; broken glass in the carpet --not ok) By the time that I was ready to start school I already needed a mental break. I sent the kids to play in their room while I went to basement. While I stood in our unfinished basement I decided that the best way to start our school day was with something fun. Yes, we were "behind". Yes, I was anxious about fitting in two handwriting lessons. I also knew that I did not have the patience needed to guide the girls through their more challenging lessons.
Today, at the shameful time of 11am, we started our school day by reading "The Winter's Tale" from The Children's Shakespeare by E. Nesbit. The girls loved it. In fact, they were jumping up and down begging for "one more Shakespeare." My six year old said, "Shakespeare is better than dessert!"
We didn't have time for handwriting lessons today. I didn't hold up any math flash cards today. We didn't draw maps of Magellan's historic trip to the Spice Islands. Today we read Shakespeare. Today I offered up a prayer. God, despite my weaknesses, please let my children learn.
Ten years from now my girls might be sitting in a high school classroom. I hope that if their teacher hands them a copy of a Shakespeare play they will clap their hands in joy.