Here on the Oregon Coast, rain is just a part of life. It rains 9 months out of the year here, or so they say. I think it’s more, and they just tell us Oregonians that to keep us here.. bribing us with the 3 months of beautiful, glorious sunshine that we get! We recently moved from right on the coast, less then half a mile from the ocean to about 18 miles inland. While it was glorious on those sunny days to live so close to the beach, the wind drove me crazy! It was always windy! So it was never warm! But then we moved inland, and now I almost like the rain… really. I love the way it smells. I love that it makes everything clean and fresh, and I love that here, there is hardly wind. Though I know it does get windy here. We have been told to keep flashlights handy all winter, as the electricity comes and goes quickly in the wind storms. But wind now and then is so much better then constant!
I have school set up to where the kids do school on rainy days. I know we get enough of them in a year to more then cover school days. This way when the sun is shining they are outside, getting their exercise and Vitamin D. Which is just as important as Math and History. Hey that almost rhymes! :o)
On school days, I make breakfast, start a load of laundry then I do school with my youngest two. Meanwhile the oldest three take turns keeping Putt Putt occupied and out of trouble and do their chores. Then after lunch Putters goes down for her nap, switch laundry loads, then I do school with the oldest three while the youngest two color, play quietly, play a video game (Oh My!) or watch an educational movie. This seems to be the best way to accomplish a school day for me. Then we have a snack. I switch laundry, wash any dishes, fold some clothes, start, or finish, dinner, with the help of one or two of the kids and then we get everything straightened and cleaned up. Then we still have several hours left in our day to play with neighbor friends or read a book, or just snuggle up and drink hot cocoa.
I came up with this schedule one day when I was trying to do math with all five of them, at once! Yea, should of been my first clue something was going to go wrong! None of them were cooperating, Putt Putt was screaming, two glasses of milk were spilled, the dishwasher was blowing bubbles, and the sink had overfilled, and I had had enough! So I sent them all to their rooms! (Yes, we have days like this! Really, I am not making it up!) I was about to cry and suddenly, my hubby called. Practically sobbing into the phone, which makes him feel miserable cause he is at work and can’t do anything, I was almost yelling at him about how “HIS” kids were behaving. He just said, tell them to go to their rooms and take a day off. I couldn’t do that, we were only one week into the school year, and no way was I going to let the kids think that behaving like this was going to get them a day off! Every day would be like this! So, I hung up, went to my office and cried and prayed. And this plan just came out of no where! It had to be God. Every school day since then has been so much calmer, and smoother. The kids are not sitting at the table on a beautiful sunny day wishing they were outside, and they are occupied on dreary, rainy days.
It took me three years of homeschooling to realize, I took my kids out of school to avoid this kind of rigid, this is how things MUST be done thinking. I want my kids to learn that there are different ways of doing things, but as long as they are getting done neatly and correctly, any way is the correct way. I used to drive my teachers crazy because I would do math differently then any other kid in school. But it always got done, and done right. They finally gave up trying to teach me the “correct” way of doing math. There is no “correct” way to home school your children. There is only “your” way. Every family is different, with different needs, and different schedules. If things are not going well, and you are frustrated, and tired, and starting to burn out, maybe it’s time to sit back, and reevaluate your days. Re think what happens, and decide what “needs” to happen, then build your schedule around those things. It may be completely unorthodox, no one else may be doing it. But if it works for you and your family, then who cares! For us, you can look for us outside on those warm sunny days enjoying the air, and the bugs, and the vitamins. And you can find us at home snuggled on the couch under blankets working out math problems, and discovering how far Pluto is from the sun on rainy days. Speaking of Pluto, who else feels sorry for it? To be labeled a big glorious planet for so many years, then suddenly reduced to a ball of rock! How sad…