The fall session of swim classes for homeschoolers at SwimMac has begun. This time Margaret (4-1/2) is old enough to join the classes and she is ready and rearin' to go. Her cheerful excitement is so much better this time around than when I enrolled her in swim classes (elsewhere) a year ago and she was terrified.
|Mary (6), Margaret (4), John (8)|
This is our second session at SwimMac and we are such big fans: For the homeschoolers, there are various session times available during the week. Within each half-hour time slot, one can enroll all three levels of children simultaneously, which is the key to how any homeschooling family can do an activity. Each level has its own teacher and, as last time, the class sizes are really small: On the first day, Margaret had her own teacher, Mary had her own teacher, and John shared his teacher with only two other students.
I'd like to add a "How Does She Do It?" glimpse behind the scenes. Sometimes on these blogs, we mamas wonder how on earth another mama does such-and-such. I always wonder how homeschooling mothers are involved in so many activities outside of the home, since I find keeping the home a full-time job and educating the children a full-time job, so I'm already working two jobs. I am using a babysitter.
Right now, I have a babysitter coming two afternoons per week and I chose the afternoons based on when we have activities (plus I schedule any appointments, such as doctors, for those two afternoons). I wouldn't sign up for this swim class unless I had a babysitter who is going go take the kids while I stay home with the two younger ones and that's the honest truth: I make very simple dinners anyway but I find I don't even have the energy to do that if I teach school and keep house all morning, then go on an afternoon excursion with the kids. The other day the sitter comes is when we go to music lessons, as I was discovering last spring that it was incredibly difficult to take the younger children with us, and it also greatly reduces the efficacy of instrument practice during the week if I wasn't able to sit in on the lessons.
I'm already of the bent not to commit to many activities outside of the home. We do swim and music currently because I have a sitter to help and we do soccer currently (although I've found it to be overly disruptive) because Daddy takes responsibility for that. If I didn't have help, during this stage of five children eight and under, we'd be home.