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homeschool... GO!

Harvey's homeschool career officially kicked off yesterday. He crawled into bed with me at 6:30am with the two workbooks I'd given him the night before. Mazes and connect-the-dots, not hard-hitting stuff. But Harvey is EXCITED about homeschooling, so he slept with the workbooks next to his bed. I feigned enthusiasm looking at the dots he connected up to ten, but it just so happened I'd been up all night again holding a sick baby, and my heart was not in on pushing Harvey towards recognizing double-digit numbers. Instead I suggested we all take a shower. Me and the baby needed to to clear the mucus out of our throats.

Homeschool lesson #1: a hot shower is good for waking up, for cheering up a sick baby, and for doing something nice together that doesn't involve talking. That's learning you can take to the bank.

Soon Zion woke up and went through his (new!) morning ritual of sitting on the potty with the iPad until I start to nag him that his's probably done peeing. Harvey sits next to him and takes advantage of the "non-show-shows" on the Reading Rainbow App. When I finished nursing the baby and joined them in the hallway Harvey said, "We heard a book about the Titanic."

I wanted to ask whether they called it "the ship of dreams." Instead I said, "Was it a big boat that sank?"

Harvey nodded. "They said they made it not to sink, but it sank. Probably they did it wrong."

"There you go," I thought to myself as I walked to the kitchen to get breakfast on. "In the first half hour of his home education we've covered not only science and history, but the futility of all human effort."

Vanity, vanity, what kind of jam do you want in your yogurt? ("STRAWBERRY RUBARB!!!" they both scream.)

Later in the day Harvey embroidered the first two letters of his name on burlap (on the way towards making a quilt) and Dan helped him take apart a broken window fan. We read some books to Zion on the potty to mitigate the addictive pull of LeVar Burton. Zion chose a book about Thanksgiving despite it being approximately 95 degrees inside our house.

"Are those pirates?" Zion asked.

"No those are Pilgrims. They look like pirates because they lived in a similar era and sailed a similar boat, but they weren't pirates. They were the first people to come to live in America."

"The first WHITE people," Harvey corrected me.

Well then.

In the absence of a state-wide educational mandate this would just be a cute story, but now I feel a burden to pick apart its meaning. "What does Harvey know?" I find myself thinking. "What SHOULD he know? How does his brain work?"

It's not the kind of thing you answer in a day.

I wish I had some lovely picture to share at the conclusion of this blogpost, but it was 95 degrees in my house today and the living room where Harvey sat with Dan to learn about "-ing" words is covered with baby toys and dirt and dog hair and I believe somewhere in this mess there's a potty filled with pee that needs to be cleaned out. We are, after all, not only teaching a kindergartener to read, but teaching a 3-year-old to potty and a 6-month-old to hold things.

I'm amazed we still shower.

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