Those who know me have heard me speak of “yellow bus days.” Those are the days I dream of a big yellow bus to take my kids far, far away. I admit to daydreams of a life where the kids are gone for seven plus hours a day. Think of all I could accomplish! I could clean and there would be no one to reverse my work. I could have a cup of coffee without having to microwave it three times before finding the bottom. I could shower on a regular basis and not have to answer math questions from behind the curtain. Oh, to dream!
Homeschooling is hard. The educational component of it alone is enough to send prayers for the yellow bus. When your child’s academic progress and future depends mostly on you, the guilt flows freely. When you have to listen to struggling readers stumble over the same words again and again, the stress builds quickly. When you realize that no matter how many times you explain squares and cubes, the child will always say that 42=8, the feelings of defeat mount fiercely.
Beyond the academics, homeschooling is still hard. The kids are home all day. They mess up far more quickly than you can clean up. While you read with the first grader, the toddler is pulling DVDs off the shelf. When you are doing grammar with the sixth grader, the third grader has slipped out to the trampoline, multiplication tables long abandoned. When you are snuggling and reading stories to the four year old, the fifth grader can’t find any of his work and therefore asks if he can go out to play instead.
Yes, it’s hard. It’s really hard. And I have many yellow bus days. But then I have a day like today.
A day when we laugh through group work because words like Hawaii and Oxygen can be said in all sorts of silly ways.
A day when wet rags are thrown and giggles abound during chores.
A day when KLove blasts in the kitchen and the kids discuss their favorite artists.
A day when the kids decide school is much more fun in the camper and they set up a home and pretend its an RV while they do their math.
A day when the big kids play with the little kids and the love just oozes from everywhere.
A day when the little ones splash and giggle in the bath and beg me to take pictures of their funny faces.
A day when we have a scavenger hunt in the afternoon and the bigs are paired with the littles and the tender moments threaten to make my mama heart burst.
A day when we can enjoy silly food during an indoor campout and the kids munch on “acorns” and “bear poop” and wash it down with “river water” and “bug juice.”
A day when I am cleaning in the kitchen and I hear wails of laughter as the kids have their first encounter with The Little Rascals.
A day when they don’t want the fun and togetherness to end and they drag their stuffed animals and sleeping bags to the camper and end their day chatting past their bedtime with their favorite people.