Yesterday, I heard moms talking about Pre-K registration, and I realized just how far away from “normal” I am.
As a second-generation homeschooler, I’ve never been a part of the ordinary school system. I’ve never been registered for public school. I’ve never gotten on a school bus. I’ve never played in one of those fenced yards with all the kids clustered in groups during recess.
It’s strange to me.
Isn’t that funny?
What is completely and utterly normal to the vast majority of Americans is completely abnormal to me.
For us, normal means eating breakfast and chilling for a little while so that I can write, do some chores, etc. The big kids play on the iPad, and eventually all the kids go upstairs to play with toys while I finish up with whatever I need to do.
Then I prep their school. I make a stack of worksheets and notebooks for Becky and select what few things Ray will do.
This is normal.
I put Becky in the office and let her work while I go back to the kitchen and help Ray with his lessons. I check on Becky a few times, but she comes to me if she has any questions. She’s a good reader, and fully capable of reading the instructions on her worksheets (yay!). School, if we focus and don’t dillydally or run into any big problems, doesn’t take much longer than and hour and a half.
This is normal.
I read a classic to the kids at some point during the day. Ideally, it would be just after lunch, but it doesn’t always work out that way. Sometimes, I’m so worn with juggling the kids and Patrick’s incessant demands that I take a little break. The big kids watch a little Netflix while I exercise and Patrick goes down for his afternoon nap.
If the day is nice, Becky is eager to play outside, and I let her. I encourage Ray to go, to, and sometimes he does. If Patrick is actually napping, I leave him alone. If he’s standing up in his crib tossing out all his blankets, toys, and clothing, I fetch him and take him outside. The kids spend the afternoon playing while I garden.
Again, completely ordinary.
The school bus comes down our road, and the neighbors get off. Our dog and all the kids are very excited. Patrick says, “Bus! Bus!” over and over and over until it leaves. Usually, Hubster comes home around this time of day. I help him get all of his stuff inside, and then I get started on dinner.
This is our life. This is normal for us.
It will change as the kids get older, sure. We’ll spend much more time doing school, and the kids will have lessons out of the house on certain days. But, all in all, our life seems completely ordinary to me, while I’m sure it seems abnormal to those watching.
You know what? That’s okay.