Monday, October 14, 2013

In which I confess that I am not, after all, superwoman

{Part 1 of 2}

Would you believe that I heard this exact phrase--or nearly so-- more than 3 times last week?

"I think homeschooling moms are either Superwoman or they are crazy!"

I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume these women were not lumping me in with the Crazies. (Or maybe they were, but for now I'll pretend they were standing in awe rather in terror...) I think they were suggesting maybe I'm of the Superwoman variety. *Blush* How kind of you. And how very wrong. I am not Superwoman. Most homeschooling mamas I know are not Superwoman. The vast majority of us are just regular mamas with faults and shortcomings that homeschooling actually highlights and brings into sharp focus.

Oh, I've learned much about myself along the way, and it hasn't all been pretty. Contrary to your vision of me donning spandex and a cape each day, most mornings find me scrambling to print out that day's math assignment and figuring out just what we are going to do for writing that day. If you interrupt this process or try to talk with me before I've finished my cup of coffee, you may get your head bitten off. Fair warning. I'm organized enough to have a general idea of what we're doing for the week and a skeleton of what this year might look like, though that's subject to change--but I'm nowhere near as organized as a classroom teacher has to be. I don't have daily lesson plans. I don't have lesson plans at all. I don't do art if I can help it. Messy science experiments I prefer to save for the summer months when they can be accomplished purely outdoors.


And please, I beg of you, in the name of all that is Holy, do not unexpectedly drop by my house unannounced at 10:30 on a Tuesday morning, or you will be greeted by something resembling the following scene, which will dispel once and for all the notion that I am superwoman, (but may serve to solidify the crazy part of the equation): The 2 year old is standing at the sink washing her hands, which she has been doing for the past half hour. She is soaked, and water puddles on the chair she is standing on and on the floor beneath her. The floor also happens to be littered with nuts and raisins from her previous activity, sorting trail mix. (That's what I like to call it, anyway, as it sounds better than "picking through to find the M&Ms.") The nifty little table activity I set out to keep her busy while I did 2nd grade math has long been abandoned for the greener pastures of free-ranging in the kitchen.

The preschooler has erected a massive fort in the living room, with blankets strewn everywhere. I'm pretty sure he's inside one of those tents because I hear the sounds of Minion Rush on the iPad coming from that direction. The 4th grader keeps trying to sneak over there to watch, abandoning his work on the computer. After a couple of fits of temper, the 2nd grader and I finally make it through an entire math lesson with only a few tears being shed. (Mine or his, I'm not sure. Depends on the day.) When I finally get up to dry the toddler and the kitchen floor, everyone else seems to think this is code for "quick! hit the Legos! It's free time!" I'm pretty sure I've given each of them a checklist for the morning, and I'm pretty certain those haven't been done and even more certain they don't contain the imperative to "play with Legos." In desperation, I put on a video for the under 6 crowd--something "educational", of course-- so we can have half an hour to work on Geography.

So if this, dear friend, is your vision of what Superwoman looks like, then I'll accept your compliment with thanks. And if it's your idea of crazy, well, sometimes it feels that way to me, too. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go remove this cape. It's time to make dinner.

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