Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Bus Schedule

Homeschooling can be a two-edged sword--in, at least, one respect: there is no school bus in the morning. I took the bus to school every day for the first eighteen years of my life. Do not question me, here. I realize I did not start school until I was five, but the grief I suffered on that bouncy, smelly vehicle make up for the missed time. I had to wake up when it was still dark and cold (we had a wood stove, so the house was cold until Mom could get a fire going--even then, it was only warm immediately around the stove for a significant amount of time). Our house, with it's one bathroom and ninety-two people, was a den of chaos, in those early morning hours. Not only did we have our family, but many of the neighborhood children came to wait at the Mattoon house, so they didn't have to stand in the cold. We could see the bus approach about half a mile away and a sentinel was always set to watch for the warning. As soon as the alarm was sounded, we rushed into our coats, Mom signed the last note, the toothpaste was spit into the sink, and we rounded the driveway as fast as possible--the whole herd of us. A reprimand by the driver could be relied upon if we were late. Sometimes, the look-out would somehow miss the bus as it entered it's warning stretch and then the sound of the air brake would cause bedlam. I am not kidding when I tell you that my heart still leaps when I hear that familiar sound.

Oh, I have some school bus stories I could tell! Oh, boy, oh, boy. But, I won't. . . today.

Today, I'm talking about the two-edged sword of the lack of the need for a school bus due to homeschooling. On one side, we do not generally have pandemonium at our house in the morning. People wake up when they are rested. Mornings are certainly a busy time, no question, but are rarely the hectic or frantic mornings of my public-school childhood. (Disclaimer: Those mornings were not the fault of my mother. She did her best to wake us up on time, have clothes washed and ready, and, goodness knows she reminded us and questioned us repeatedly about homework and permission slips. It was her fault that the whole neighborhood was there, but I think that was a good thing.)
The other side of the sword, is that my children have never learned how to go to bed at a descent hour. It is 10 pm and only the baby is asleep. It kind of makes me crazy, but not crazy enough to change it. Many people point to this as a consequence of my poor parenting. Maybe, but one thing it does produce is children falling asleep in the strangest places and the oddest times.

I can't help it--I love it.


  1. you mean the toothpaste was spit into the "kitchen" sink... very important detail here especially with the one bathroom 90 somthing line... (:

  2. Our bedtime here is 10:30-ish. We read and pray at 9:30 then maybe have a quiet short movie...then it's potty and teethbrushing time...and song singing...which usually ends us up in bed around 10:30. So we are late night people as well. But since are booting Teagan out of the house this fall to Kindergarten...we might have to change things a bit. -sigh-

  3. wow- that is my sister commenting...Joette. I love Joette.

    Ok so I too have school bus fears...we had to walk forever and a day to get to our bus stop and so it was like anxiety attack every morning as we wondered if we were going to make the bus or not- unless we left 20 minutes early-

    um...I would go nuts if my kids were awake at 10...probably because I wake up at 4:30 every morning- but Chay and I just love that time together from 7:30 to 10 at night...and I live for naptime too and so I wonder if I could homeschool or not- because sometimes I need a break or I break. How do you do it Emily?

    Glenn Beck is very pro homeschool- He even recommended some History books fo homeschooling.

    Why do you homeschool? When someone asks you that question- what is the first thing that comes to your mind?- and the second and third thing that comes to your mind after that?

    Glenn Beck feels that schools are indoctrinating our children- and I agree- probably not so much in Idaho and Utah- but he feels that the only way your child can be truly educated about the government and history and economics and so forth but...isn't there supposed to be some children in the classrooms who raise their hand and disagree??? Do we want all the children out of the classroom who are actually educated and taught correct principles from their parents???

    What's your take Emily?

  4. Our crazy school bus in South Carolina comes at 7:00 a.m. It's still dark & we're almost still asleep. I drive the kids the three miles each way in the morning. The kids that come from the projects have to get on the bus at 6:30 a.m.

    Bedtime at our house is somewhere near 9:00. Earlier would be ideal but with kids from 6-15 & an open floor plan, it's kinda rough settling the youngest in before then.

    I love your writing. You have a gift. I am always delighted when I see another Message.

  5. I never rode a bus to school because the farthest I lived was 2 block so I was always jealous of the kids who got to ride a bus. To this day it still seems "fun" to ride in a bus and I know that is a little crazy.

    My kids go to bed at 7:30 and wake up at 7-7:30-I love the quiet time after they go to bed. I don't know how you do it, but if it works for you-great!