As I write this, I am at my desk in our schoolroom monitoring my 5th grader who is enraptured by her math test. She must be because it’s now going on hour three. Sad thing is that she knows the material, but keeps daydreaming her time away. I sat her down to the test and cleaned the kitchen, put on laundry, got the floors ready to mop, stripped the beds…and checked on her to discover she had only answered four questions in the first hour. There are 28. *sigh*
Theoretically, I should be able to sit here and fiendishly write on Fridays. One of my sons is off at gifted class which lasts all day. The other is a self-starter who has already knocked his agenda out and curled up to read. Since I can’t move ahead without having his twin fall too far behind to manage his Sunday make-up, he’s effectively done. My daughter? Well, she’s just decided that if she throws a big enough tantrum over the math, I won’t make her do it. Since that tactic hasn’t worked since the day she was born, I can’t imagine why she thinks it might now.
So, instead of getting a jump start to cleaning so I can enjoy the long weekend and maybe squeeze in an unscheduled block of writing time, I’m sitting here watching her wallow in misery. It’s not fun.
And just like that, life has gotten in the way of my work yet again. Someone asked me the other day when I managed to sleep. I could only laugh. Angelic Avenger, my first book, was written between the bright hours of midnight and four a.m. Blood and Destiny was written between four and six a. m. Stealing Grace has been pounded out between the hours of 8:30 and midnight. Tiger by the Tail doesn’t count because that was written during the day in about a week. It was short enough that I could ignore some of the daily routines to get it done. The same goes for Love at First Shot.
Where does a body draw the line? How important is sleep, anyway?
Our homeschooling day starts at 6:30. The self-starters come down and get a jump on their agendas while I fix breakfast. Math is scheduled for 7:30 to 8:30 on every day but Friday when it has to wait until we get back from carpool. If the kids are on the ball, we can get the core schoolwork done by lunch and knock out the electives right afterwards, just in time for Daddy to get home.
At that point, it’s odds and ends until four thirty or five when it’s time to start dinner for 6:00. After dinner, it’s clean-up, bathes, and last-minute wrap-ups for the day before bedtime, which coincidentally is 8:30.
That doesn’t include Monday when we have to break in the middle of the day for speech therapy, or Wednesday when we leave at eight and don’t see the house until three due to therapy sessions and music lessons.
I want to write more, faster, better every day, but man, where am I going to find the time? I know, I could put my children in school; however, my duty as a parent comes first. Where we are now, homeschooling is the best thing for them. One of my twins is ADHD/Asberger and he just doesn’t function well in a classroom. One day a week, he can manage, but not all day, every day. The others benefit from the one-on-one instruction, too…even if the daughter is taking three hours to finish her math today.
Today is one of those days when I envy people who have their children in school, or have a day job. I know it’s the frustration talking, the doubt that I’m doing the right thing, and sheer exhaustion. With a little luck, this will be the last year I have this schedule. We’re planning a move to Cherry Point, North Carolina, over the summer. Any one who has some details about the schools there? I’d love to hear them!