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.