Second in a series of prose snapshots of a day in my homeschooling life. This is a reflection of an ideal Tuesday. An actual Tuesday might look a little (or a lot) different. Not pictured: the chaos of Legos, train tracks, books, plastic zebras, wooden alphabets, and construction hats that’s strewn across my floor by the end of the day. And now that my daughter has started softball, we’ll go straight to practice from flute lesson and then have a super-late, super-scroungy dinner after practice ends at 6:00. It’s only been one week, and I’m already ready to be done with the softball season.
Tuesday begins much like Monday does except that we’re on our own without our stand-in grandma to entertain my son.
Tuesdays we do math, Latin, grammar, writing, spelling, and chemistry. We don’t practice flute most Tuesdays because we have flute lesson, but we need to work diligently because we need to eat lunch by noon so we can get ready and leave for flute lesson by 1:00 p.m.
On the drive to flute lesson, we enjoy a variety of audio books: Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series; E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web; myths, legends, and classic tales told by Jim Weiss; Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie books; Mary Pope Osborne’s Magic Treehouse series; Beverly Cleary’s Beezus and Ramona; Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland; A.A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh. We are big lovers of audio books in our house. Sometimes the kids even let me listen to a podcast of To the Best of Our Knowledge, one of my favorite NPR shows.
With a 45-minute one-way commute, a 45-minute flute lesson, and transition times, we don’t arrive home until nearly 4:00 p.m, but we’ve consumed a lot of audio programming. The audiobooks help distract me from the thought of all of the fossil fuels we’ve burned.
Back home, I get the kids inside and start dinner, my trusty three-year-old sous chef by my side. His latest thing is to tell me what he’s going to do when he’s a man. “Mommy, when I grow up to be a man, I’ll use a big, sharp knife like that one,” he’ll often say while we’re making dinner. Other things he’ll do when he’s a man include wear glasses, drive a car, read books like Sister does, “go to a work,” and pee standing up. Manhood is going to be just one party after another for my son.
My spouse arrives home around 5:30 p.m. and we eat together. Then we tag-team the bedtime routine for both children, unless one of us has an extra-domiciliary activity (like a church meeting or a Girl Scout Leader meeting), in which case one parent ushers the kids to bed and the other makes his/her escape.
Once the children are in bed, the evening proceeds much like any other evening, meaning I go to bed way too late. Every day I promise myself I’ll go to bed at a reasonable hour, and every night I stay up until it’s technically the next day, playing around online, eating hummus, and (sometimes) reading. Much like Alice, I always give myself such very good advice, but I very seldom follow it.