(Note: I took a break today from reviewing the life skills described in Ellen Galinsky’s new book, Mind in the Making. I will finish up with the final skill tomorrow.)
Today was Day 31 of this one-year experiment. And when you say it that way, it sounds like we’re only one month in on a twelve-month journey. But, legally, I only have to homeschool for 180 days. So I am actually 1/6 of the way there.
“I can do this five more times. Of course I can. I can do this five more times.”
That’s what I said to myself multiple times today. It’s a version of what I have always done to get through difficult stretches. When Zach was a colicky baby, I would tell myself at 7:30 am that I only needed to fill eight more fifteen minute blocks until I could put him down for a nap. When I flew on an airplane (and before I discovered a pharmaceutical solution), I would tell myself when I got on the plane that it would only be x number of Seinfeld episodes until we got back on land. Not that there was the option of watching TV in those days. But it helped me to know that what felt unbearably long was just a series of manageable chunks.
The truth is that I am enjoying this homeschool gig more and more all the time. But when I think about doing it longterm it still scares the crap out of me. So I was grateful to realize that I am well on my way to actually completing a year.I’m sure this can’t be the best way to go through life, but it’s kept me from throwing my baby out the window or running off a plane in tears on many an occasion, and that has to be a good thing, right?
This morning, the boys and I sat on the back porch in the warm fall sun and worked on their scrapbooks of our trip to China. They were happy, peaceful, and working hard. I was drinking coffee in my bathrobe and thinking about what a great mother I am. Zach confirmed my self-adulation when he asserted, “I think I want to homeschool for more than a year. Like until 5th grade.”
And I thought, “Yes. I don’t need to mark off chunks of the year like it’s a prison sentence. What could be better than this moment?”
But half an hour later, there was crying, punching, and the throwing of place value cubes across the room. I wanted to join them – in all three. Instead, I repeated to myself, “One chunk down. Five to go. I can do this five more times.”
If you see me around town today muttering to myself, well, you’ll know what it’s about.