HOMESCHOOL REPORT: And on the seventh day, They still liked each other. Mostly.

Proposed crest for the Paradise Home School, Plymouth MA
Parents are posting about homeschooling and structure. Bless their hearts, and the highly trained educators here at Casa Del Soul don't disagree:  Scheduling is critical. Here is a sample of the typical day at the Paradise Home School in America's Hometown, run by Headmasters Drs. Adam and Eve Lindsay:

Waketime: Whenever the hell we want. (That is an actual time on an actual clock.)

Waketime to Waketime+45: Eve sits alone with her youngest at the kitchen table over a bowl of Lucky Charms (not organic) and wonders if today we'll actually spend some half hour at some point today reading a book together, and whether we can convince anyone to write a letter to our aunt and uncle isolated in assisted living facilities as writing practice. Eve loves to be alone in her thoughts. That's why, exactly forty five minutes later, after her beautiful little son's voice has kept on going and going and going and going and going without stop ...  the bell rings, and she walks him to his next class. That one is held in the Living Room Laboratory.

Film Criticism. This comprehensive course explores a broad range of contemporary television series. Students will make an in-depth study of several popular Netflix and Amazon Prime series, including Pok√©mon, Bakugan, You-Kai Watch, Leo&Tig, and WildKratts (the latter only when Eve wins the argument). Learning Outcomes: By the end of this course, students will be able:  1) ask parents to buy more Pokemon action figures at least 12 times in a single hour, 2) fake fight without hitting anyone, most of the time, 3) give parents at least 90 minutes of respite from the incessant chatter that just keeps going and going and going and going...

Locker Break: Eve breaks up a hallway fight, then yells at everyone to get off their arses and do something.

Debate Club. Arguing is an important form of communication that we can learn from. Yesterday, for example, one thirteen-year-old student slept 'til noon then woke up, stared at their cell phone for two hours, and then huffed and puffed at the absurd suggestion that they either help out with a chore in the house or take the dog for a walk. The takeaway from the ensuing fifteen-minute argument is that housework is "stupid." Which is helpful, because up until now, Eve just thought it was a pain in the ass. Eve feels blessed with this newfound knowledge.

Locker Break: Eve breaks up another hallway fight, then yells at everyone to get off their arses and do something before lunch.

Lunch: Whenever Adam or Eve feel hungry and motivated to make something. (This is an actual time on an actual clock.) Whoever gets intrinsically motivated first does this job for everyone else, except no one except Adam and Eve get motivated and are willing to eat the same thing. So, Adam yells at Awan (that's Eve's daughter; yes, I Googled that) and Awan makes her own cheese sandwich, and Cain/Abel gets a plate of strawberries (not organic; Eve needs them to last; sorry) with Babybels and a glass of apple juice because that's pretty much the only thing he eats.

Locker Break: Eve yells at everyone that left their dishes in the Living Room Lab, announces that lunch was over an hour ago, and that everyone should get off their arses and do something.

Philosophy. Eve wonders how many days of quarantine it will take before the children will agree to try beans.

Music. Musical Challenge for the Week: How many lyrics can you come up with that rhyme with "farty pants"? I don't know, but we think of more every time we party dance.

Locker Break: Eve yells at everyone to get off their arses and do something before dinner. Eve may or may not have been involved in a hallway brawl at some point today.

Intramurals: Awan sets up tee-ball outside and teaches Cain/Able to swing using a filthy wiffleball bat that was found in the yard somewhere. Eve watches from a window as gentle tears fall down her cheeks.

Math.  Solve this equation:  Two shots of vodka + 1/2 Vermouth + 1 dollop of olive juice = ?

Dinner: Whenever the hell we get around to cooking dinner. (This is an actual time on an actual clock.)

Marine Biology and Oceanography. Our online celebrity lecturers this week include Johnny Depp, Richard Dreyfus/Peter Benchley, and Leonardo DiCaprio. In Titanic, which Eve only watched for the very first time, Eve confirmed that, yes, she hates love stories. In the entire series of Pirates, each of which we watched two to three times to ensure that no critical lessons were missed, we learned that our daughter is not gay. (She announced to her five year old brother that she is going to marry Johnny Depp. Step aside, girl. This is a job for Mama.)

In this important study, we also learned to apply our knowledge to other subjects. For example, we learned about linguistics: We learned in The Finest Hours that no one but Boston people should attempt Boston accents. This fact was cross-checked in Jaws, which features fabulous authentic New England accents. Enduring Lesson: We're going to need a bigger boat.

9:00 pm. Physical Education.  Entire family goes outside in the dark to play on the rope swing with the dog. Dog thinks it's great fun to chase Cain/Abel, until dog gets blindsided by the swing. Entire family finds this wildly hilarious. Dog shakes his head, barks, wags his tail, and starts chasing the swing again. (The dog is fine. Stop worrying.)

12:00 am. Woodshop.  Vocational education and practical skills are necessary to the 21st century learner. In this class, students will learn to bang a hammer very loudly in the kitchen after midnight to assemble a small kitchen table that's been in the basement for 15 years. In these challenging times, smaller items make old rooms feel bigger. Someone screams "SHUT THE HELL UP!!!!" extremely loudly every time the hammer bangs, from an upstairs classroom. It may have been Eve.

Complete Exit Ticket:  Please answer the following prompts at the conclusion of your first week at the Paradise Home School (Fisher & Frey, 2004):

Name: Eve Lindsay

— I would like to learn more about… how many times a day you can check your Boston Globe app to confirm numbers on the rise of COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts. 

— Please explain more about…  how we survived before Facebook.

— The thing that surprised me the most today was… my kids might actually like each other.

— I wish… for everyone to maintain peace, health, and maybe a shred of humor in these unprecedented times. 

From our paradise to yours: Peace and love. We mean it.


Remdawg said…
Too funny! I see a sitcom coming.
Soul Mama said…
Good. I'd like a house by the ocean with my first million. ;)
Unknown said…
I just LOVE it!!!!!! xxoo Nana
Unknown said…
Wonderful!! So funny! Thanks for brightening my day.
Soul Mama said…
Thank you, friends. Three weeks in , and you know what? It's not getting easier! Keep breathing... and don't worry. I think that's the answer.