Monday, April 11, 2011

Why "Bat Country"?

After several inquisitive and not so indirect comments about the title of my blog, I feel obliged to let ya'll in on a little secret. What is Bat Country and why would I name a blog about Home Schooling it?

We can't stop here...
Hunter S. Thompson. Granted not the role model most mothers have and I'm certainly not having Lorelei learn grammar from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, but there is a point to the quote I've chosen for this crazy mixed-up lifestyle. "We can't stop here, this is bat country". As Dr. Gonzo and Raul Duke are careening towards Las Vegas in Thompson's story-turned-Johnny Depp-movie, they are loaded up on so many mind-altering substances and drugs most of us have never before heard of, Duke starts to hallucinate. Hundreds of flying bats fill the sky while his "lawyer" tans himself in the passenger seat of their convertible. It's madness. It's hilarious, truer than most of us like to admit madness.

...this is bat country!
We all have our stories. Let's face it, we're all the star of our own movies. So I'm not going to claim that I've had a better or worse life than anyone else. I can say, though, that for me, it's been quite a ride and I'm just beginning. At this pace, God help me at 50. Life, parenthood, career, school, family, friends, love - very little of it is simple, none of it is easy and the best plan is to keep going. Keep moving, keep growing and improving and learning and failing and succeeding and traveling. I don't want to stop! Not here. Not when there is so much to do and see.
This isn't just a blog about Home Schooling. It's about living a life like no other. If that means freeing ourselves from regimented curriculum and arbitrary school calendars, then rock on. Lorelei is already getting a education beyond what VPK can give her. Let's learn by doing! Let's learn by trying and exploring.
Lorelei and I. This is our life. A life like no other; one that is constantly in motion and filled with love and adventure.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Juggling Life and Learning

I keep hearing and seeing these commercials about supermoms. There's the one where the mom sings about all the different practices and pets and demands on her time. There's the one with the air freshener that freshens while you take care of kids and meet with your friends and watch movies. There's even one where the mom freezes time to enjoy her cup of coffee while her children dump juice on her pristine carpet and her husband thoughtlessly wrecks the living room with his neanderthal friends.
I can relate to none of these!

Life for me is much more like that Family Guy commercial with Stewie pestering Lois. After a long day of being pecked to death by chickens (or what you call "work") I go home to the woodepecker extraordinaire. And I must admit there are evenings when I'd rather turn on Cat and the Hat and escape to my nice, quiet room than drill Lorelei on how to say "Hello" in four langauges. (Believe it or not she can actually differentiate 'Bonjour' as 'French' and "Hola' as 'Spanish')

For all of you moms out there wringing your hands and straining your sanity, it's okay. Being Super Woman sometimes means getting the kids fed and not drop-kicking them out of the window. Then again, there are days when they surprise you.

Last night, my little learner structured her very own home school experience...for both of us. As I was dragging my tired, pecked-out rear home, she chirpily demanded to go to the YMCA. "But, honey, wouldn't you rather go home and order a pizza and watch Tinker Bell?" "Maybe later, Mommy" Who is this child and where did she come from? So, fine, we'll go but I'm not going to like it.

Once there, she promptly took over the game of toss in the Kid Zone and I felt obligated to memorize some of my favorite poems in French while treadmilling (it's a word now!). I felt better and learned the first stanza to Kipling's If in French. Score one for the little monster.

Finally home, I go to plop my sweatiness on the couch and little Miss L directs me to her desk where she insists on doing 10 workbook pages of Color by Number, Letters, Basic Addition and all other sorts of goodies. Seriously, what four year old chooses schoolwork over TV? Mine! And of course, I feel like a heel loafing in front of House Crashers so I guess I could get caught up on my own homework...

Of course we finally get to the point where it bed time and can you believe that little monster wants to cuddle? I mean, what's with cuteness? Here I am, totally set on having a meaningless waste of a night and she goes and ruins it with exercise and learning and family time. Moral of the story (oh yes, there is one): Being a family sometimes means dragging each other kicking and screaming in the right direction. Did I teach her that or did she teach me?

Now if only I could remind her of that when I prying her out of bed in the morning...

Toodles from Bat Country