Having never actually read the entire LOTR trilogy I feel like the most inadequate homeschooled child on the planet. My parents made the mistake of not beginning to homeschool until I was six years in, and well-adjusted to conventional education. So, sorry overachievers, while you were reading LOTR at six years old, I was chatting with my second-best friend on the monkey-bars about who would one day date whom when we reached the ripe old age of ten.
This summer, I've decided to remedy that feeling of inadequacy beginning with The Fellowship of the Ring and seeing where we get from there. I haven't gotten very far. I'm still in the Shire. However, I am in love with the ornate detail of Tolkien's world, so it's been far from torturous. I fell in love with Tolkien for real last semester when I was finishing up my children's literature course. I had to read The Hobbit, which I had already read at age 14, but there was so much I missed! All these years of pretending to know what the H these homeschoolers were talking about in order to fit in (because there's still peer pressure in the world of homeschoolers) and I'm finally there at 27. I probably won't start dressing as a Hobbit or learn Elvish though.
I shouldn't make fun of homeschoolers.
I have a hard time picturing myself a homeschool mom, and have been fairly vocal about why I don't want to homeschool my kids - but because I did actually have a great experience being homeschooled, and know its amazing benefits for family life, I do consider it something I'd do should the need arise.
My biggest reason for not wanting to dive in to homeschooling is that I'm... (trying to get my resistant fingers to type this)... lazy. There you go.
I have tremendous respect for homeschooling parents. It is a full time job. I just can't at this moment picture it being my full-time job. Maybe I still have
Wow. A real job? What is that? Where did that thought even come from?
Now here's some insight into my personal troubles and the darkness of my motherhood experience since I finished my degree:
While I've been all "Oh yay! I finally get to be the stay-at-home mom I want to be and finally do all those Pinterest things I didn't have time to do while I was studying my butt off," the true dark days of motherhood have hit me in the face. Some of my dear ones have written this "mood" off as pregnancy hormones and morning sickness, but I'm beginning to wonder if there such a thing as pre-partum depression.
Somehow I just can't see watching my toddler try to lick whipped cream and pancake syrup off of his toes at breakfast as anything other than frivolous entertainment. Discipline? The daily headache in trying to make my kids be less "instinct-and-emotion" and more "thought-and-regard-for-others". Facilitating toddler activities? Coming up with simple things to keep them occupied for 10 minutes without killing each other so that I can switch one of my mountains of dirty laundry for a clean one. Making dinner? A mostly-futile attempt at finding the perfect balance of healthy and palatable for both adults and picky little mouths. Truly, I don't care if they don't eat it - but it's the verbal protest and whining of hunger that I just can't stand.
All the while, I keep telling myself that right now, I only have two kids. Soon, I'll have three. Someday that number could be five or six! My life is comparatively more tame than for others, but hey, I'm honest - it's hard. My therapy for all these mean, weary days, has been reading blogs like this from Momastery; and about real moms like Christy, doing real things with more kids; and admittedly, watching old movies during the kids naps (complete with popcorn). I suppose I should get out of the house more (or, while I can still hold hands with all my mobile children at once to cross the street), but I'll tackle that one when it stops raining.
For now, there is a tent to build in the living room so that we can have a picnic without getting wet, then some curling up with Tolkien while the babes snooze.