Some people might wonder how homeschooling actually works in a family's life, so I thought I would tell you our morning agenda.
- My alarm clock goes off at 8:00 am, and I lay there wondering why morning has to start so doggone early. If I ran the world, morning wouldn't begin until 11:00 am, maybe even noon.
- I stumble out of the bedroom and head for the kitchen. If I am lucky, one of the kids has already made coffee. This is not because of their unflagging love for me, but because it scares them to watch me try to operate small, kitchen appliances with my eyes closed.
- Because they know that I can barely remember to breathe at this early hour, my children know not to wait on a hot, cooked breakfast. They've already eaten their Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs and are now plotting how they can escape for the next few hours, hoping to avoid school altogether.
- One of the kids offers to take our black lab and go down to the road to pick up the daily newspaper, while I ingest a couple of cups of liquid CPR.
- Newspaper between her jaws, the dog returns to the house. The child does not.
- Fortunately, the paper is encased in a slobber-proof plastic wrapper, which, unfortunately, keeps Hillary's/Obama's/John's front page photo from being comically distorted by dog drool.
- I leaf through the paper, just to make sure there's not a world-wide recall of coffee beans.
- I start to feel my heart beating, which means it's time to start school.
- I send out calls, text messages, and carrier pigeons in an attempt to find my students.
- Thirty minutes later, I begin to read aloud from our history text.
- I am in the middle of the stirring words, "Listen, my children, and you shall hear, of the midnight ride of Paul Revere," when I hear slight noises from my children. Without looking up, I think, " Good, they're being moved by the drama of this poem. Gosh, isn't homeschooling wonderful?"
- The slight noises turn into bigger noises that sound suspiciously like muffled laughter.
- I look up and see that three of my students have turned their attention completely to Student #4.
- I turn my fiercest gaze upon the interrupter.
- It seems that Mr. Disruption has created, with the help of the plastic newspaper wrapper, a small visual aid for our history lesson: a model of the ghost of Paul Revere.
And here, my friends, is where homeschooling makes a dramatic departure from the public school model.
In a public school, the student would be disciplined for his mischief, perhaps by writing an essay on The Impact of Homosexual Patriots in 1776 American Society.
In a homeschool, the teacher takes a photo to commemorate the moment and posts it on her blog.