Thursday, December 5, 2013

Is That The Final Bell?

While we were thinking about home school and discussing it with our friends, a question I asked everyone was, "How long is your school day?" By and large we were told that home school days are much shorter than those of traditional school.  This appealed to us greatly. There are many reasons a day wouldn't take as long - no waiting on other children to find their books, no waiting in line for the bathroom, lunch, to change classes. No bus time, no hard time for breaks. Plus the fact that if a child were done with an activity they could just move on to the next one - without waiting for the class to catch up. We figured out that Sarah and John should be done in about two hours, Violet would be longer, of course.

We were planning on starting school at 9:30. That meant Sarah and John would be done around 11:30. Violet about 1:00.


Why doesn't everyone home school if these are the hours?

Do you have any idea what we could do with that extra time every day? The house could be picked up! Dinner really could be made! Getting to dance/scouts wouldn't be a crazy rush! Time for crafts! For baking! FOR ME TO READ A BOOK OR KNIT when I'm not dog tired. 

(Are you laughing yet? Just writing it down like that is cracking me up.)

Then we started school. We eased into it, so at first we were done early. Then we built up to a 'full' day. 11:30 came and went. So did 1:00.

Seriously? Where was my head? Why didn't somebody slap me?

We do start about 9:30 - although I'm trying to move this to 9:00. With three kids at three different levels, well, guess what? We have some waiting time. (Insert sarcastic snort here.) I'm OK with the waiting time because I do have some school games and science/math books. But since I have to shift and sort through the three of them, school takes longer than I anticipated. I'm also having a hard time realizing when John is legitimately done with his work it is perfectly fine for him to go play. Not with math games. Not with a science book. His Legos are perfectly fine. Same with Sarah. Once her work is done, dolls and dress up are perfect - this is why we chose to home school.

Now we come to Violet. We stopped for the lunch and the two littles left to play. So Violet is in the school room. Alone. She's working, but starting to get twitchy. I look at the clock and it's 2:30. And I panic.

It's supposed to be a shorter day. Public school ends at 3:00. OMG FINISH! FINISH!

I have this intense need, want, fear, to be done all school and chores when the school kids get off the bus. Partly because I want my kids to play with them. Partly because I need to be done. And partly because I told all these people how awesome it was that we'd be done so.much.earlier.than.them.

Add to this the fact that baking? Isn't happening on a regular school day. Crafting? Not so much. Dinner? Ummm, sometimes. The house? You don't even want to know.

I think I'm a failure if we go beyond traditional school hours. Why is that? Is this something that will fade as we get 'unschooled'? Letting go of traditional school expectations is much harder than I anticipated. I'm trying to remember that it's only December and as we get more familiar with what works for us I'll be able to let go of the other stuff.