- 4-year-old Pre-K (but structured with daily activities), with 2-year-old and newborn in tow
- K, with 3-year-old and 1-year-old in tow
- 1st and 4-year-old Pre-K, with 2-year-old and newborn in tow
- 2nd, K, with 4-year-old and 2-year-old in tow
Though still a relative "newbie," I am coming to the conclusion that it is the tiny tots younger than Kindergarten that make Homeschooling the Early Years so difficult (in its own way) and so very loud.
I'm the woman who used to run my own editing business from home and made a game of how many days I could go without speaking to anyone, including on the phone, just working from home, not leaving the house for any reason. I really appreciate silence.
So, you can imagine how overstimulated I feel, how my brain goes berserk, on an unfortunately typical morning like Tuesday when
- the 2-year-old was screaming hysterically and throwing a tantrum on the floor because I took away his loud, outdoor lawnmower toy after he kept bringing it into the school room, despite my warnings; and
- the 4-year-old was weeping and wailing because she kept fighting with siblings and spitting at them, then refused to go to her room until I disciplined her for that fresh disobedience; and
- the 6-year-old was shrieking at me defiance about what violin pieces she would or would not play for her upcoming recital;
- and the 8-year-old was the only quiet one, but not because he was diligently doing his schoolwork.
Mama's increasing volume of voice, ending in sinful shouting, added to the bedlam.
Bedlam. Noun. A scene of uproar and confusion. The perfect definition.
Yes, we work on daily order and routine; yes, we work on discipline. There is only so much one can do because, even though the 6- and 8-year olds are most days quiet and orderly, nothing can make up for tots five and younger: they're unsupervised. I can only be in so many places at once: what classroom teacher could simultaneously teach second grade AND Kindergarten AND run a daycare center? That meditation puts it into perspective.
And, even if the tots five and under were supervised, they'd still be loud because KIDS THAT AGE ARE LOUD.
The only bright side I can find is that my children can really focus even amidst bedlam. It is quite hilarious to watch my 6- and 8-year-olds practice piano or violin and concentrate just perfectly with little tykes running around their legs, shooting fake finger guns, laughing, shouting, or throwing tantrums.
Surely this will help them some day on the SATs, right?