We are ready to DROP IN OUR TRACKS.
This year's course of study is requiring about six hours of work, and it is heck-a-slammin' all the way from nine o'clock until three o'clock with just a short break for lunch to help us slow down and now spin completely off the planet.
That might not sound like much, if you're unfamiliar with homeschooling. After all, public school kids do this Monday through Friday without surprise. In fact, they go longer: In our city, the public school high schoolers attend classes from eight-thirty until three o'clock.
But they also have passing periods that eat up some of that time. Morning announcements. Downtime while the teacher takes attendance, collects homework and says "Turn to page 322. What do you mean, you don't have your book? This is English class. What did you think we were going to do, build a birdhouse?"
And then there's the nearly constant tending to one discipline problem or another: "Brandon, please get your head off your desk...Alyssa, this is not a beauty salon. Put away the lip gloss and follow along....Michael, I saw that, do you want to come to school on Saturday? No? Then cut it out...."
And then there's a knock on the door, a runner from the main office bringing some memo that the principal wants delivered right now.
It's surprising how much time is wasted, and most of the teachers I know deplore this. But what else can you do? There's no avoiding the constant interruptions.
In homeschooling, the interruptions come from things like the telephone, which I rarely answer during school hours unless it's my husband or my mother or my brother or one of my friends whom I know hates talking on the telephone as much as I do, so if she's calling during school hours there must be some pressing reason for her to do so.
The dogs don't interrupt us unless the mail carrier comes. Then they carry on like the Hound of the Baskervilles for a couple moments while we all scream, "Shut up! Stop that noise! Hush, right now!"
Otherwise, things move along at a brisk and efficient pace and I think that the flow of our days would make any public or private school teacher feel wistful for what we're able to accomplish. Homeschooling is nothing if not intense and productive.
But oh my gosh....it just flat wears you out. Just to demonstrate how weary I am at the end of this four-day week, I'll tell you that I typed this entire post with my forehead.
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