Guest Post – Cindy

Join me and welcome a witty homeschooler, Cindy at Get Along Home, as our 5th Friday Guest Post!

When I was asked if I’d like to contribute a guest post to The Homeschool Village about what our homeschool looks like, I did my usual fool thing and rushed in where angels fear to tread. I said “Sure! Why wouldn’t I want to tell the whole world how we do things?” Besides the fact that I don’t know beans about homeschooling yet, I mean. My oldest child is only in first grade. What on Earth can I possibly have to say for myself at this point? To tell the truth, not much!

I wrote a couple of nice posts about why and how we homeschool, and I’m sure I’ll use them someday on my own blog. But with only a couple of years of homeschooling experience, it occurred to me that it may be a little bit silly for me to try to lay out for you my untested theories and half-baked plans. You really don’t need yet another introduction to homeschooling, anyway, do you?

Instead, I decided to take the question at hand quite literally. I put on a pair of Objectivity Spectacles this morning, and tried to see with the eyes of an outsider just what my homeschool truly looks like. I may not have much to teach the rest of the homeschooling community, but I can surely make you feel better about your own mess school!

So what does our hillbilly homeschool look like? There’s a toddler girl hanging around under the dining room table waiting for a chance to steal magic markers and playdough to decorate the walls and carpet. The very-pregnant teacher has a giant lump on her back in the shape of a three-year old boy. This school looks very much like the janitor and the cafeteria lady are on strike until the benefits package improves. When the principal comes home, he usually picks up a toddler with one hand and a basket full of toys and books with the other. Sometimes he finds pieces of his wife among the ruins. This school is a mess! What genius decided it would be a good idea to put me in charge, anyway?

But how it looks is nothing compared to how it sounds. I’ve met so many wonderful, quiet, self-controlled homeschooled children! I love those kids. They’re quiet and attentive and sweet. These, unfortunately, are not my children. This family is LOUD! It’s not just the little ones, either. Their mother is loud, too.

After we clean rooms and put away dishes, we start our school day with reading the Bible, which quickly devolves into the two younger ones laughing or screaming at each other. After I straighten them out (loudly), we start over and finish our passage. Sometimes we start over more than once. I’m always genuinely shocked to learn that my 6 year-old is able to narrate back to me what was read. How can he possibly listen with all that noise going on? But listen he does, so I call it good, and move on to a chapter of whatever read-aloud we’re doing. And I read it loudly.

When the Big Kid and I move to the dining room for his other lessons, the other two follow. They sit at the table while their brother learns his lessons and I fit their preschool and baby-stuff in wherever I can. It is usually loud. It is always messy. Throughout the day, we take breaks of 5 or ten minutes at a time for the kids to play together–loudly.

I’m sure you’ve got the point by now. It’s hectic around here. I don’t have any lovely pastoral scenes to paint, despite our residing in the most beautiful mountains in the universe. When we take our work outside on the pretty days, we take our mess with us! We learn quickly on some days, not so quickly on others. Our lessons are too hard sometimes, and we have to back up a few steps. We have noise, but it is mostly a joyful noise. We have messes, but they’re made of books and blocks, not broken hearts.

I honestly don’t know how we manage it some days, but we’re making it. By the time quiet-time rolls around, when I can finally get some peace, someone has usually learned something. Sometimes I’m the only one who learned anything, but one thing I’ve found out about home education is that the teacher is often the one with the most to learn!

Your turn, homeschoolers: Is your house as chaotic as mine, or can I just blame this on my ADHD?

Thank you Cindy – I so enjoy your sense of humor!!

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