Most people know about “a bad case of the Mondays.” Much less well-known, except in homeschooling circles, is a bad case of the Februarys. Even seasoned moms who firmly believe homeschooling is the best choice for their families want to hole up with Puxatawny Phil for February. My husband’s talk of wanting to one day work exclusively from home disappears from our conversations around this time too. The Februarys affected me less when my children were younger, and there were fewer of them, but now cooped up with five loud kids in less than 2000 sqft is maddening and exhausting at the same time. I think a history discussion I had yesterday with the kids pretty much sums up how homeschooling goes in February.
Me: Okay, so lets put these things up on the Greek timeline. First, what was the earliest Greek civilization? You read about them a couple of weeks back.
Addie: The Philistines?
Me: No. The chapter in The Story of the World mentioned bull jumping as a recreational sport.
Byron: Why did they jump bulls?
Me: They just did! Now who are they? Edie you just listened to this chapter today! They settled on the island of…..
Me: Yes, who were they?
Me: THE MINOANS! THE MINOANS SETTLED ON CRETE!!!! (sound of picture being slammed onto wall)
Me: *SIGH* Now, eventually the Minoans left Crete. Who remembers why?
Me: NO! Think, natural disaster.
Addie: Oh, oh! A volcanic eruption!
Me: Yes! Good. Do you remember the name of the island that erupted?
Byron: All I can think of is the name of the volcano from the ‘Journey to the Center of the Earth’ book. What was it? Sarrrr…somthing.
Me: BYRON! We’re not talking about ‘Journey to the Center of the Earth’! That’s a fictional story! This is real life. THERA, the island of THERA erupted. (tapes up the next picture) See, how it’s collapsed in the middle. The whole center of the island sank into the sea.
Byron: Like Atlantis!
Me: Moving on! So, who settled on Crete once it the Minoans left?
Addie: The Philistines?
Me: Seriously Addie, the Philistines have nothing to do with this.
Addie: Sorry, it’s just I’ve been reading so much about the Philistines…. [like seriously, for fun she's reading this?!?]
Me: Okay well, it was the Myceneans. You read about them too. At least I thought you did.
Addie and Bryon: We did!
Me: Obviously. Okay so, what happened to the Myceneans? And Addie if you say Philistines I’m going to smack you. [she shoots me her, "Your empty threats don't scare me." look]
Addie and Byron: Barbarians!
Me: Yes, good! Do you remember who they were?
Addie: The Vandals?
Me: WRONG BARBARIC INVASION! That was part of the fall of Rome and what led into a later dark ages.
Byron: Wait, there was another dark ages?
And so it goes. If you want real tips on how to beat the Februarys, I suggest this post by Rebecca. I’ve got nothing.