What it's Like: A Day in the Life of Our Homeschool ... In Poetry

A Day in the Life of our Homeschool

In honor of the last week of our homeschool co-op, I'm going to give you an inside peek at what we do all day. Like the reason I don't answer the phone, respond to emails, keep my house clean (enough), and say "No" to (almost) every invitation. Because when I answer the phone, respond to emails, clean the house, or volunteer for whatever-the-h@ll-someone-thinks-I-ought-to-have-time-to-do-since-I'm-just-a-stay-at-home-mom, school doesn't get done. And unlike traditional schools, the administrators of my school a. don't get paid and b. don't hire substitutes when I'm out of the classroom for the day.

And because I am a writer, I wrote our day up as...

A Poem

by Rebecca Grabill

Rise at 7, the nanny has roused
All the children, lined them up
By the door. I kiss them before
Shooing them out to the bus, then

My alarm goes off, 6:15, I roll
Over and hit snooze, but after five
Of my seven minutes, give up.
The shower turns on, my husband

Has awakened the teen and poured
My tea. We discuss the state of affairs
With the laundry, the dinner plan,
And just as we are discussing our hopes…

7:20, past time to take the teen to school,
Kisses goodbye, have a good day
And I switch to coffee and balancing
A nursing baby while the four year old

Screams for Mama from her bed
I wake the ten and twelve, forbid
Showers until I've had mine
Dammit! And ask more kindly

For help with the babies for just
Ten minutes. In nine I'm clean and dressed
In thirty the rest of us are, so we sip
Smoothies and read until I threaten

To play the YouTube video of the girl
With a guitar singing the books of the Bible
If they don't settle down. Magic
We're through our early morning tasks until

The four year old steals the iPad
So we break for the baby's first nap
Then continue downstairs where we color
Pictures of ancient Egyptians

In drag and correct sentences filled
With errors and try valiantly
To remember 7 x 6, though even mom

Needs to check the answers
And suddenly it's time
To get the baby who wasn't napping
And make some lunch for all these

Hungry kids gathered at the table
Where after an hour or two and baby
Goes down for nap for real, I sit
With my laptop and the imaginary

Nanny takes over. Do your math
Practice guitar, read to your sister
Get out of the refrigerator, check on
The chickens until we're all

Sick of one another's company
And we retreat to computers
Favorite shows for the short hour
Before dad and teen brother come home.

Dinner, evening jobs like laundry
And dishes, husband and I try
To discuss the day while baby
Pulls cereal boxes from the cupboard

Then bed for babes, half hour alone
Yoga, together again to watch
X Files or Star Trek and drink wine
While the kids eat gummies.

Bed, sweet bed for all of us. I'm
Unconscious before I can hear
The twelve year old turn on the TV
And I dream of boarding school
For me.

The dream vs reality of Motherhood

The above is slightly inaccurate because the baby is now a toddler. And he no longer takes a morning nap. So replace some of those lines of baby and napping with: Mama taking baby in and out of playpen, scraping food off the walls, and asking "Who's flushing the toilet?"

Add, too, what I do when my imaginary nanny is directing the children's activities: I write. Which is why, even in the afternoon when we're "done" with school (done! HAHAHA! That's like being Caught Up on laundry...), I still don't email, call, clean, bake, or anything else beyond sit at my computer and see how much I can get written in the mad sprint between Kilian going down for nap and him getting up.