I’ve been busy at work — teaching classes and grading lots of papers. My wife has been overwhelmed by Birthday Season. Our girls’ birthdays are within two weeks of one another, so we’re very busy this time of year. And then there’s the general chores that we try (but often fail) to stay up to date on. Throw in a pile of bills to pay, and you can perhaps see how its easy to toss homeschool curriculum into the waste basket and embrace unschooling.
“Mom and Dad are busy kids. You go learn something — anything!”
This week I’ve had the Time Management Blues. It’s not that I haven’t spent time mentoring the children. I’ve gotten some great quality time in… However, its been eratic. Yesterday, my older daughter and I spent an hour together going over the perils of long division. But today — with her soccer and my post-work, burnt-out frame of mind — we didn’t do anything “academic.” No math, science, history, reading, or writing.
This, of course, isn’t a big deal. Except that tomorrow — if I continue my usual pattern — I’m going to over-compensate and try to make up for lost time. So many things to learn, so many hours in a day. That sort of mentality will grad hold of me, and then my kids might get burnt-out from my over-zealousness.
Fortunately, I have a cure for my time mismanagement blues. After I’m done typing this blog entry, I’m going to select a book from the shelf. (I think I’ll choose Poetry Speaks to Children, a wonderful collection of classic and contemporary poems). Then, after the girls get tucked into bed, I’ll read to them for at least thirty minutes and talk to them about each poem. And I’m sure they will have plenty of questions of their own.
I find that a solid half-hour of bedtime reading and talking can produce wonderful teaching moments. It’s a terrific cure for those ol’ blues!