On Tuesday mornings, my mom comes over to help with the kids’ studies. Often she comes bearing a tin of donuts or a box of prunes. “For fortification,” she explains. I make her a cup of coffee or some tea. She sets up shop on the living room sofa, or at the art table, and I send kids to her for different tasks.
This is the only morning of the week—aside from Friday—when all four kids are home, and it feels good to get in several solid hours of higher-quality-than-normal studies. Whereas I normally whip through the studies as fast as possible, my mother draws them out, enhancing the reading lesson with stories of her own, delving into the nitty-gritty of a math concept, or hashing out the theological issues of our national economics. Ever cheerful and upbeat, she’s much better at coaxing and cajoling than I am. (Which is funny because “cheerful” and “upbeat” are not adjectives I would’ve used to describe her when I was a homeschooling child under her ruling thumb.)
For me, it’s a wonderful reprieve to have someone else hold the flash cards and listen to the reading lessons. And it’s a nice break for the kids, too, to have someone else explain the same concepts from a fresh perspective, or at least in a different, less-weary voice.
Most days, Mom stays for lunch. Sometimes she’ll linger into rest time and I’ll make coffee and we’ll visit. Or sometimes, like this week, she’ll take a kid or two home with her for the afternoon.
It’s such a gift, having the parenting support be so concrete. It means the world.