Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Do I Dare Disturb the Universe?*

I have decided to start this blog for a number of reasons, one being that having homeschooled my four children for ten years, new homeschooling parents often amusingly ask me for advice.

When I stop laughing I tell them that I am an expert only in the sense that, having done this for so long I have had the opportunity to make such a staggeringly vast number of mistakes that I can confidently tell people what not to do.

I am like Anne of Green Gables who said “There must be a limit to the number of mistakes one person can make, and when I get to the end of them, then I’ll be through with them. That’s a very comforting thought”. But Anne grew up to be wise and gracious, while I stupidly continue to make the very same mistakes. Take today, when there was a teeny, tiny tantrum from the Domestic Goddess, because I sent her off with the maths text book and some instructions about which bits to read and which questions to answer. Fifteen minutes later she was back fuming about the stupid text book which contradicted itself and didn’t make sense, and she hates maths, and won’t do any more ever again….etc etc and I realized I had sent a 12 year old perfectionist off to tackle a completely new topic all on her own without even a brief explanation and introduction on my part. Duh. Where is my brain? So this afternoon I will be boning up on obtuse angles and reflexive angles instead of mindlessly re-reading Agatha Christie novels (yup, I am so far gone with the mummy-brain thing, that I mostly can’t remember whodunnit). Tomorrow she and I will work together until our brains are bristling with knowledge and she ‘gets’ it, and then I will send her away with questions to answer. So you can see I am a little slow on the uptake. But I will graciously let you learn from my mistakes.

Oh, and neither do I have any real administrative or organizational talents. Don’t come here looking for remarkable new ways to organize family or house or schooling routines. This morning at 8 o’clock the girls were schlepping around in their pyjamas watching mindless children’s television and eating cornflakes, I was reading the paper, also in my pyjamas, drinking tea and eating chocolate for breakfast because I couldn’t think of anything else I fancied, and The Boy was stomping around and kicking things because he couldn’t find his ipod ear phones. I mentioned that it is, actually, humanly possible to endure a twenty minute bus ride without the company of an ipod, and could he please hurry up and not miss the bus, because I didn’t particularly want to drive him to school in my pyjamas. Yes, my life is that exciting, and organized, and I have obviously perfected an effective morning routine. So don’t say I didn’t warn you. But feel free to come by and point and laugh. I will be performing a community service in that I will be establishing a minimum benchmark and everyone else will feel that, in comparison, they are doing a great job.

I will be writing about what works for us, about our favourite things, especially books. Also about the hard things and the problems I haven’t solved yet. It may be a help to someone, it may not. It will at least be a trail of breadcrumbs leading back into the forest, leaving a faint trace which says, ‘Yes, someone passed this way.’

Oh, and the other reason I am blogging? My mother wants to see some photos of her grandchildren, and sooner rather than later, please. Now, if I can only work out how to do that…

*Yes, I stole the title from TS Eliot's LoveSong of J Alfred Prufrock. I don't generally dare to disturb the universe, and I'm not expecting to do so here. Maybe a dog will bark. But sending words out into the void. Scary.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi jo, fun to see you blogging. Kate

Anonymous said...

Hi Jo

Thanks for the laughs and for reminding me to not take this homeschooling thing too seriously.

Love
Jen in NSW, formerly Lonnie

Lynda D said...

Ah Huh, so this is where it all began. Ive sent this link to Jessie at rabidlittlehippy as she has young children and intends to embark on the homeschooling thing. Dont bother responding to comments as im not likely to go back this far again to see the response. Cheers.

Meredith said...

I also followed the breadcrumbs back to where it all started... and I would read your book if there was one, that's how much I connect with your writing! Meredith (again)

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