There are some days that it is all we can do to keep on keeping on. We’ve had a lot of those kinds of days lately. In a passing moment of strength, I tried to encourage Dear Husband.
“We’re knocking these problems out one by one.”
“Well, they are coming in the door two by two. It’s like Noah’s ark around here.” he replied.
A sense of humor is more valuable than gold. As I sit here and think back on the decades of homeschooling, we had all kinds of days. Some days we were victorious and knocked out one problem right after another. Fractions? Got it! Classification of life forms? No problem. Order of Operations? I finally got it.
Other days, however, are best left alone and unremembered. Days when the problems rolled in on a conveyor belt and piled up like Lucille Ball’s day at the chocolate factory. Tempers are short. Words are fired at will and explode on impact, hitting everyone with shrapnel. Or those subjects that we all dreaded. Writing Without Tears? Puh-leez. Spelling Power? Sure. Whatever you say. Singapore Math? Okay, now I’m cracking myself up.
These are not the kind of days that you share with friend or foe when talking about your homeschooling experiences. Too bad, because we all have had them. Some days seemed to have lasted the entire year. For example, I’m ridiculously happy that I will never have to repeat second grade with Dear Daughter. Other days have dropped into a black hole, like when we had serious life speed bumps to get through.
But the good days? Oh I still see a gleam of them across the oceans of days that have passed. Learning how to tie a shoe. (Actually tie a shoe, not just velcro it shut.) Reading Winnie the Pooh, that “silly ole bear”, with then three year-old Dear Son. (I think that was the only book he would sit still for!) Reading The Great Turkey Walk using all kinds of voices. Growing plants for science. Laying out archaeological dig sites in the backyard. Collecting pond water to look for microorganisms. Listening to audio books like The Chronicles of Narnia. Watching a movie and having it count as school. (Oh yeah, I know you do that!)
I shouldn’t be so surprised to find that most of those bright days revolved around the books we were reading. So here is my advice when you are experiencing your own personal Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day : When the problems of frustration, anger, dissension, fatigue or boredom are walking in the door two by two, knock them out, one by one. Grab a good book and pull your family back together through the mysterious power of the written word. Then when you get up the next day, keep on keeping on.