I am still alive! I am just in the process of adjusting to this new current I am swimming in. It moves pretty fast!
I found out three years ago that having kids in both homeschool and regular school breeds a special kind of insanity. I'm back in that world again and it's crazy and fun at the same time. Having kids in every stage from high school down to nurselings is also a unique blend of wonderful and total bananas.
The day starts bright and early with making sure Bean gets to and from early morning seminary.
No, wait--actually the day starts when Their Imperial Majesties Leaf and Twig decree it shall start. Sometimes that is at 4 or 4:30 am. Usually I make it until my 5:45 alarm and I think "oh good, I am going to drive Bean over there and then catch another 45 minutes of sleep in the back of the van." But almost without fail, no matter how careful I am getting out of bed, one of the twins wakes up. She wakes her sister and by the time I head out the door I have two chattering, giggling little fuzzballs careening madly around my house. By the time I return from the dropoff, most everyone has been roused.
The next big event is getting the boys off to their school, which I shall call Plumfield, after the school in Little Men. Since they are older, they are responsible enough to pack their own lunches and get themselves ready. We have a neighbor we carpool with, so some mornings I drive and others I don't. On the mornings I drive we must load all the little ones in the car.
Plumfield is some distance from us, across town. That puts us right on the thick of rush hour traffic, which is always exciting.
Back home again, I dive into my roll as homeschool teacher. This is the easiest year I have ever had in regards to the actual homeschool. Roo and the Rabbit do much of their work independently, and having to frequently remind the Rabbit to stay on task is nothing like the epic battles Bean and I used to get into. I am much enjoying the time I have left over to work with Peanut and sometimes Frog. Two mornings a week Frog goes to the preschool co-op and then I really have a chance to focus on Peanut.
Of course the easiness of homeschool is tempered by the difficulty of taking care of busy, high-need twins, as well as the monumental amount of housework that presents itself in a household such as mine.
I do try to get a nap right after lunch. It doesn't always work but we always make the attempt.
Mid-afternoon it's time either for the boys to appear at home or for me to venture out to pick them up. And then comes the part of the day that I dread: asking them how much homework they have and what they need my help with.
I guess there are two factors at work here. The first is that I am so used to being their teacher and having to coach them through every bit of school work they do that I have been feeling the burden of their homework more than I probably should. But the second factor is knowing that they are a bit behind the curve when it comes to knowing how to do basic things that school kids do: taking notes, studying for tests, writing papers, etc. I know that they are going to need extra help from me at home to get them up to speed in their new school environment. After a long homeschool day, though, when there's dinner to make and messes to tidy and fussy twins to soothe, I am just not very excited about helping Bean put his writing in MLA format or helping Fish understand metric conversion. So I always hope they will say "not much homework tonight, Mom, and I can do it on my own."
Which they usually do. They are getting up to speed very quickly and doing better at school than I anticipated. It definitely has been a learning curve though. I am grateful for both the small class sizes at Plumfield and for their teachers' patience and understanding, having worked with plenty of other transitioning homeschoolers.
Our evenings usually include football, and I have to say that it is quite a sacrifice to have Bean in football. It takes so much time! I feel strongly though, that this is something Bean needs to do. He is having a good season and learning so much. It is wonderful to see him growing. It makes it all worth it.
While he is footballing, I try to go work out. I am redoubling my efforts in this regard. I slacked off for awhile with everything going on, but it's something I really need to prioritize because when I improve my health the whole family benefits.
Back home in the evening it is time to put the littles to bed, finish being the homework coach, and maybe do some dishes. If the Badger isn't too tired, he will do the dishes and work with the kids to straighten up the house. I am sure grateful for that.
Finally, the name of the game is getting to bed as early as possible because it all starts obscenely early again the next morning. I have not totally figured out how to replace that late-evening time I used to spend on the computer paying bills, shopping for family needs, and doing social media. Of course the social media isn't essential. I have cut my Facebook time down to almost nothing and that is probably a good thing. But I do wish I could blog more. Hopefully I will!