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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

.Homeschool Fail.

We just entered our eighth week of homeschooling. We started early this summer, in anticipation for our upcoming move to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The kids and I did not want to jump into a new country, a new culture, and a new school year all at the same time. So we decided to school throughout the summer, and take our summer break when we move to Addis. The first five weeks went swimmingly. There were a few bumps to smooth out, we hired a nanny for Jamesy, and there were attitude adjustments to be made (the kids and mine), but overall we fell into a rhythm and it was working.

And then Habi had surgery - a complete ACL repair and in the midst of surgery the surgeon also found a meniscus tear and repaired that. We took two weeks off. It was a nice break for all of us. In the middle of the two weeks some friends offered us their home to rent, so that we could have some privacy and re-group as a family, so we moved {again}. We had our second week off here at the new place, and then we jumped back into school. This time we have no nanny for Jamesy. We also do not have access to a printer - for my lesson plans I use a free block lesson plan printable, and then print a daily checklist for each child. The printer is my life line. Without it things began to spiral down hill.

Rapidly.

I am notoriously unorganized when it comes to physical things (like my closet or the pots and pans cupboards - pretty much if it goes behind closed doors it's almost guaranteed craziness, and I am okay with it if I do not have to see it), but I am obsessively organized on paper - with my calendar, schedules, lesson plans, day planner, etc. I am pretty careful with the homeschool books being organized as well - everything runs better this way. I am detail oriented and a planner when it comes to school. All of this may sound contradictory, and that is me in a nutshell - a juxtaposition.

Aaaah. Neat and tidy, and we all know what we are doing!


The kids just check off as they go, that way they know for sure, and I know for sure that everything that needed to get done was done. It's beautiful.


But we moved here with no printer, and I decided I was going to be care-free and go-with-the-flow - tra-la-la - everything was going to work itself out just great and homeschooling and all the things would be amazing! Becuase I am such an easy-breezy, fly-by-the seat-of-my-pants kind of mama. EXCEPT THE OPPOSITE. But for two weeks I gripped my mug of coffee and put on a happy face, I tried to be carefree and work through school with no. lesson. plans. and no. checklists. (I am jittery just typing that.) I went into these past three Mondays with a vague idea of what I needed to accomplish that given week and some random lists written on papers, but let me tell you I am freaking out without my PLANS!!

You would think that I would have put an end to this craziness the very first week of this nonsense, but no - I don't like to fail - like not at all. I am a weirdo perfectionist, that will dig my feet in and become psychotically stubborn about making something work if there is even the slightest inclination that it's not working. Make sense? No?! Welcome to my world. And we are now headed into week three with no lesson plans, no checklists (I do have notes scribbled on a paper, but it's not cutting it), and today, I will admit that I went all nutbar on my four darlings. Let me paint a picture of what we are dealing with after yet another school day where I was floundering completely lost without my plans ....better yet let me show you.


For some this chaos just leads to beautiful creativity. For me it leads to one crazy mommy. This was the result of homeschooling today with no lesson plans and no check lists. After about the gazillionth time that I had three different children asking me what was next, and Jamesy escaped out the house sans diaper, I totally and completely lost it. I may have yelled something really immature and ineffective, like I can't do this, and I don't know what is next! And why do you all keep talking to me anyway?! I may have ran out of the room, leaving four stunned children. I may have ran into my room, where I could privately sob into my cell phone to my unsuspecting husband about the tragedy of trying to do school with no plans and no printer.

Yeah, something kind of like that might have happened.

I came back, apologized, gave out hugs and kisses, wiped tears (mine) and plugged on, but alas, I can't go on (yes, my children come by their drama honestly). So, I am putting this out on the world wide web, for all of you that have this figured out way better and way faster than I do. I know in Africa I will most likely not have access to a  printer every week. And yes, I do know that right now while here in the states, I could just go to a Staples and print out oodles of blank lesson plans and check lists; I have thought of that. But that requires time, a vehicle, a Staples, money, more organization on my part, and all the things that I just cannot do right now. So I am looking for a CHEAP, lesson plan book that I can buy - either one that I can purchase multiples of, so that I can have one for each child, or one that has enough blank plans for all of my kids. I like my kids to be able to see the work they have for the week, and to be able to work autonomously whenever possible. I do not like being asked what's next fifty trillion times a day. I just don't. It makes me die a little bit every time, and I become a really crappy mother. There are things we do together, absolutely, but there are things that they do on their own, and it works for us. When it works, that is. So, please, please please, for the love, send me your links of your best, cheapest lesson plan (block, please) books, and help a girl out.

Because I am not sure if my kids can handle mama going all nutbar on them again tomorrow. In the mean time I will be in the fetal position, rocking......errrr cleaning the above mess.

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