It's strange, but even though lesson plans are something I do for the family, they make me feel incredibly guilty. I can't explain why. I suppose it's the whole sitting thing. I am not running around flitting and flatting to and from mess to mess. Maybe some of the guilt comes from the fact that I actually, somewhere deep inside, don't mind lesson plans. And yet, I hate the jobs that are so important, but at the end of the day, there's no actual physical evidence that I worked my butt off. The house is still a mess, the laundry is still staring at me through its hampers.
And every time I sit down to work on lesson plans, children crowd around.
"What are you doing?"
"Can I play on the computer?"
"Can you give me a bath?"
"Can I watch Netflix?"
Sometimes it can be lovely. Like when a child can just sit with me and do a puzzle or look at a book.
On this particular day, a few weeks ago, I was working on The Littles' science plans. Science has always been a struggle in this house. I can't get on board with most of the popular homeschool science curriculums because I'm a fan of evolution. I'm all about doing some religious studies, but including Adam and Eve in science studies has always baffled me. So anyway, I've found a pretty simple science text I am going to Pinterest the hell out of and make my own plans. This is hella hard since there's the writing of it, and the gathering of materials, and the actual execution of the whole thing, and then the actual maintaining. We will see. I sure do love ordering crap online and having it come to me all wrapped up in a neat box.
So, I gather my materials and put on my glasses. Glasses = I mean business. I open my planner and begin typing away. We will start with the five senses. Max sits down beside me with a frog book.
"Why'd we get the tadpoles, mom?"
Sigh. "So you could watch them, Max." On I go, typing away all about the five senses.
"Where'd you get them, mom?"
"From the neighbor's pool, Max." I can sense now we are in a question-answer session, which is 75% of my time with Max. I take a lot of deep breaths. On I go. Five senses. Five senses.
"When do the tadpoles get their legs, mom?"
"I think about six weeks, Max." Why can't I ever get time to myself?!
"How do they turn into frogs, mom?"
"I think there's a diagram in the book, Max." If I could just find some activities to go with the five senses...
"Where does their tail go, mom?"
"It disappears, Max." How the hell am I going to get this done?!
"Can you help me draw a tadpole, mom?"
FIVE SENSES. FIVE SENS... Oh... Suddenly I realized what had been going on right in front of me without my realizing it. Science was happening right there with no pomp and circumstance. And that's the best learning. We read the book, observed, and drew some tadpoles. I quietly shut the lap top. I can't say that every day is like this. But when it happens, it's sweet.