previous entry :: next entry


Our homeschooling routine right now is nothing more than a proof of concept. I'm trying to prove to myself that it's possible to execute quiet attention times in house with a toddler. On average we do a half hour of bible in the morning and a half hour of reading while Zion naps. Sometimes it's way more and sometimes it's way less. Sometimes Zion doesn't nap. Either way, we do just enough structured learning to make me feel like the future isn't terrifying.

We have been re-reading the Little House series in the afternoon, which Harvey affectionately calls "Laura and Mary." "Mama!" Harvey squeals this morning at 6:20am, "We didn't read Laura and Mary yet! And we didn't read the bible and have our coffee!"

I guess you could say he's zealous about learning.

A few weeks ago we read the scene from Little House when Ma gets a sprained ankle. Harvey asked where the ankle bone is, and I acted all learner-lead-lesson-maker about it, showing him some pictures on the ipad and pointing out where he could feel the bones on his own body. Well, he just ate that up, and asked me about other bones he could feel. I went to get my bone book from college, but when that proved to be in the attic I gave up for the day and I took a bone book out of the library instead (way easier than getting a ladder). The first layout in the library book was bones of the ribcage, and Harvey suddenly became fascinated with the rib cage, asking to see pictures of crocodiles ribcages and monkey ribcages. Why do we have a rib cage? he asked. To keep our lungs safe, obviously, and then I took out a library book on respiration (though in the end, all Harvey really got was that we breath in and our lungs get bigger). Still, I was feeling pretty chuffed with myself, like this homeschool stuff just writes itself.

Then we had a week of terrible days. I was feeling sick; the kids just wanted to bug each other. Zion started saying NO! and hitting his brother. It was raining. If the kids were teaching themselves anything it was how to piss off mom.

Harvey had a string hanging off of his sock and he wanted me to cut it off for him, but when I brought a scissors he insisted that HE wanted to do it, and so I gave him the scissors and he cut a hole in his sock, and then he cried that there was a hole in his sock. I said he could get another pair from upstairs and he screamed, "No! YOU get it!" I said if he wanted to be a big boy and solve his own problems he could walk upstairs and get a new sock, but if he wanted to be a baby then babies don't play with scissors and I'm putting the scissors away until he's 5. He screamed that he wanted me to get a new sock AND he wants to play with scissors and I reiterated his options, a little peevishly because even though I said I wasn't mad that he accidentally cut his sock I was a little mad because it was a brand new sock. He lay in the floor in an angry crying mess and Zion crawled onto my lap and I forget exactly why but he started hitting me.

I shut my eyes and drew in a deep breath. "I'm going to be quiet now," I said, "and breath in and out slowly until I get not angry." I inhaled to a count of five. I exhaled to a count of ten. For several seconds it was miraculously quiet in the house.

Then Harvey piped up. "Mama!" he exclaimed, "When you do that your ribcage gets bigger!"


You are my favorite teacher, Leah! :-)

comments closed for this entry

previous entry :: next entry