by Sofie Couch
People often ask about the writer’s life. Some will tell you it’s glamour, glamour, glamour. Hey, who am I to argue? (Excuse me while I mop up the coffee that just got spewed on my computer monitor.)
The other delusion I have to squash is this “homeschool” thing that we do here on the Dead Chicken Ranch while I’m living this glamorous writer life. I begin to see the image others have by the questions they ask. “Do you have a classroom in your home dedicated to homeschooling? How are your children socialized? How do you test them and meet typical standards?” I think they credit me with more than I’m capable of delivering. I would love to paint you a picture of our homeschooling endeavors that resemble a Little House on the Prairie standard, but alas…
It makes perfect sense that folks would expect it to look at least something like typical school. I can assure you, homeschool looks as different in each home as there are homeschoolers. I don’t deserve the accolades that so many have offered. “I don’t know how you do it? I know I could never….” Yeah. I couldn’t do it either.
We don’t call it the Dead Chicken Ranch for nothing. (I guess you could call that a biology project gone full-circle. I’d like to say “no animals were harmed,” but… sigh.
Then there was the ecology project that was launched when my son decided that his 10cent feeder fish needed a larger habitat. Three hundred dollars and a twelve foot, hand-dug pond later, we would call that a success if not for the heron that showed up at the end of the summer and cleaned us out.
Most recently, we’ve been taking a more traditional route. The graphic design certificate program was MY idea. I wanted to take the classes, but DS decided that now, after years of spurning anything that resembled traditional school, he’s crashing my party. So for the past two semesters, my son, my baby, my 6ft. 6in. 16 year old, is taking classes with his mommy at the local community college.
It’s a hoot. We hit the vending machine before class. We share the same text book. And my son can help his old mother with her homework. And THAT is what homeschool looks like here on the Dead Chicken Ranch… and that’s what a writer’s life looks like too. I write. I drink my coffee. Some days, we stay in our jammies and binge on movies, (based on Jane Austen novels, of course). We just finished cleaning the fish pond. (We have three new fishies – Blossom, Buttercup and Bubbles.) Now, I make time for graphic design classes in and around writing… and THAT is a writer’s life. I love to hear about yours!