We didn’t school today. We don’t school every day. Some days we do school for a few hours and sometimes she’s ready to learn from sunup until sundown (ironic, given that her bedtime is before the sun is down). Other days, like today, it doesn’t work in our life.

Today, Bruce was in his classroom setting up for the year and I was in meetings. L went with daddy to “help” (there’s a euphemism!). We all got home around 3, we chilled out for awhile, ate dinner, and now Bruce has taken her to piano lesson. That’s a half-hour of school.

Yes, we count piano lesson as school (music ed) and dance, gymnastics, and swim, too (physical ed). We count zoo trips, as we’re constantly thinking about what animals live where and why (science), what the exhibits say (reading), making graphic organizers or charts in notebooks (writing, math), and practicing phrasing and asking questions, then listening to the zookeepers’ answers (listening and speaking). We count museum trips. We count when we snuggle and read together. We count when we write cards or letters to friends and family.

When I say “count,” I want to be very clear. L is not of compulsory schooling age yet. We don’t have to send her to school for another two years, nor do we have to declare ourselves as homeschoolers through our local district until then. So we haven’t. So, what is this counting?

It’s for me, of course! Assuming we don’t find a traditional school that fits for her, I want to be prepared to account for our schooling in the manner the state regulations desire. That means that if we’re homeschooling in two years, we have to be able to document 900 hours a year of instruction in “language, reading, spelling, writing, geography, history of the United States and Ohio, government, math, science, health, physical education, fine arts (including music), first aid, safety, and fire prevention.” So, since I like to dot i’s and cross t’s, I’m practicing now.

900 hours a year sounds like a lot, doesn’t it!?! I like numbers and general frameworks, so I played with them a bit.

Were we to school for 6 hours a day 5 days a week (which sounds pretty dreadful, but just for argument’s sake — remember, this is including piano, dance class, all the reading we already do, visiting the zoo and museum, etc…), we would be doing 30 hours a week. So that would be 30 weeks of 30 hour weeks. That means that we could essentially take one week completely “off” for each two weeks completely “on”. Or four days a week on and three days a week off year round…

Considering the fact that even today, which was a “no school” day, still includes an hour of reading and a half hour of piano (so 1.5 hours of school), all of the sudden this seems quite do-able. And that makes mommy feel relaxed. And when mommy feels relaxed, everyone in the house is better off (just ask daddy).