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But, First

Our morning routine has slowly unraveled into a morning meandering.  Alex wanders in and out of my room as he checks tasks from his list: Word Problems over oatmeal – done.  Reading Comprehension – done. Chapter of reading book of his choice – done.  Language arts or computer learning game time?

Oh, and can he have a yogurt?

Meanwhile, the rest of the house sleeps or stumbles from their bedrooms, more than an hour after the neighborhood has been evacuated of all of the public school children, taken away on the yellow bus. Lila and Asher both come dragging their blankets, rubbing their eyes.  I let them eat, color pictures, put on a dress up outfit and act out the remnants of their dreams before I set tasks before them.

Really, it’s because I want to finish my coffee.

The whole pot.

When we first started homeschooling, I imagined that we would have family days where we would go and do field trips. Mid-week trips with dad too, to museums, to historical sites, to science centers.

I imagined setting the kids free to fully attack whatever sparks their interest. Outer space? Engineering? Animals? Nature? Go! Let me encourage you to learn about what *you* want to learn about!

Trouble is, uh, my kids aren’t passionate about anything.

Well, no. Let me rephrase that. My kids are passionate about a LOT of things. Who got the largest scoop of ice cream. The swing that isn’t broken. If oatmeal should be eaten WITH milk or withOUT milk. Who was the first one to brush their teeth. Digging holes. Dharma’s breath. Making acorn soup for the squirrels. Star Wars. Donuts. Who was the first one buckled in the car. Disney movies. Who was the first one to wash their hands. Chuck E Cheese. Not being the rotten egg.

If you want a passionate argument for or against the Gogurt wrapper left on my living room floor – my children are your people.

But, no. They aren’t passionate about any particular subject in school. They don’t care one way or another what types of trees are in our yard. They don’t care why or how the human body works. They don’t want to study rocket ships or learn about the deep seas. They have no niche that they wish to explore.

Yet.

I’m guessing that we’ll get there, eventually. I understand that my eldest is only nine and, just because I knew, at nine and in third grade, that I wanted to be a writer, doesn’t mean that my children need to know what excites them most in all the world.

They are just dirty-kneed, run in circles just-because, tag-you’re-it, no-shoes-please, kids, and happy to be so.

Childhood is short, the world is big.

They’ll get there.

But, first, there’s this morning.

Lila and Evaline are in princess dresses. Alex has zipped through his first three assignments and made oatmeal for the other kids. Asher is practicing Zentangles.

I’ve put work in front of them and stepped back.

I’ve poured another cup of coffee.

Their conversations wander around from G.I. Joe to what method of tickle-torture works best on Evaline.

Just when I suspect that I’ll need to step in and redirect the focus to the math and reading pages, Lila comes to my room, school work under her arm, announcing that she ‘s ready to work, but that she wants to do her work in here, with me.

And I remember the other, less about academics and perhaps more selfish, reason, I wanted to homeschool.

Because I like to do my work here, with them, too.

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