Why? Because when school started THREE, yes THREE of my children left the house and didn't come back for multiple hours.
Let's just take a look back on what my life has looked like in the past twoish years:
March 2011: Max and Sam are both in school full time, Gabe is in preschool three days a week, giving me 9 hours a week of just me and Gray time. Life is good.
Then the 3/11/11 earthquake happens.
Gabe's preschool is cancelled permanently due to most of the staff fleeing the country.
Max and Sam fall behind because the school stops teaching and focuses solely on treating post traumatic stress in all of the kids. The school year ends, and we move from Japan to California.
Max and Sam go back to school full time, but we've just moved and we're broke so I keep Gabe at home with Gray rather than pay for preschool. Two boys at home, two boys in school.
By October I've pulled Max out of 4th grade to homeschool him and hopefully get him caught up.
So, for those not keeping up, I have three boys home with me all day, and one at school.
June 2012, school is out, and Sam is home with me full time. With Max, Gabe and Gray.
Four boys, home with me, all day every day.
We survive the summer, but just barely. (JUST BARELY!!!)
August 2012, I put Max, Sam and Gabe in a local Charter school*. They go Monday-Thursday from 8:30-2:30. Leaving me home alone, with just Gray, for the first time in a year and a half.
And BAM! Life is good again!
Now, don't get me wrong...I love my kids. I love them a whole heck of a lot. But if you've met them, you know they're a little high maintenance. They're super cute.
They're also super hyper, loud, and messy.
And when I say hyper, loud, and messy, what I really mean is SUPER DUPER INCREDIBLY HYPER, LOUD, MESSY, AND VIOLENT!!!
Sorry to yell, but I'm trying to make a point here. Did I mention they like to wrestle? Well they do. They like to jump on the couches, throw pillows and body slam each other repeatedly. And that's WHILE watching T.V.
(Ya know that thing that usually keeps normal kids quiet and entertained for at least 20 minutes? Yeah, not so at our house.)
They also like to tease each other. You know that thing kids do when one kid is just sitting and reading quietly and then another kid has to just come and grab his book, lose the place, and start a really loud screaming fist fight? Yeah, they do that a lot.
And that is why I've been breathing a big sigh of relief four days a week at 8a.m. when Aunt Laura comes to pick them up and drive them to school.
One day, I took a NAP when Gray took a nap! (Just because I was tired! For no other reason!) And one day, I went to TARGET with only ONE KID and ran OTHER errands! And then another day, I played with Gray UNINTERRUPTED and only made TWO SANDWICHES for lunch! While listening to NO fighting!!
So yeah. Loaded picture, isn't it?!
Life is good!
*Via Wikipedia: Charter schools are primary or secondary schools that receive public money (and like other schools, may also receive private donations) but are not subject to some of the rules, regulations, and statutes that apply to other public schools in exchange for some type of accountability for producing certain results, which are set forth in each school's charter. Charter schools are attended by choice. While charter schools provide an alternative to other public schools, they are part of the public education system and are not allowed to charge tuition. Where enrollment in a charter school is oversubscribed, admission is frequently allocated by lottery-based admissions systems. However, the lottery is open to all students. In a 2008 survey of United States charter schools, 59% of the schools reported that they had a waiting list, averaging 198 students. Some charter schools provide a curriculum that specializes in a certain field—e.g., arts, mathematics, or vocational training. Others attempt to provide a better and more cost efficient general education than nearby non-charter public schools. Charter school students take state-mandated exams.