A big part of my income comes from public speaking, and it’s speaking season. So I took my six-year-old on the road. With his cello and his skateboard. Last week we were in Illinois, Florida, and California. People often say they can’t homeschool because they have to work. Here’s a snapshot of what it looks like as a homeschooling family if you take one kid to work. On a plane. And leave the other at home with an adult who has a full-time job but works from home.

I woke up, went to the hotel gym while my son slept. Then I gave a speech at the Natural Products Expo while my son ate from an absurdly lavish breakfast buffet and watched Disney channel videos from iTunes. Afterward I took him to the floor of the trade show so he could see what it’s like. He ate tons of free samples. 

Then we came back to the room and he practiced cello. Then I gave him the choice of Disneyland or skateboarding. He picked skateboarding. He did that for seven hours at the Vans skatepark. I forced him to stop for lunch (Johnny Rockets). We came home and he watched an hour of Disney Channel, had dinner (room service) and practiced cello.

I drank expensive wine from room service and told myself I can’t do this next year. I have to change how I make a living.

My other son is home with my husband on our farm. My son wakes up and does chores. He feeds cats (we have ten). He feeds his goats (he has his own herd) and then he plays his DSi until breakfast.

My husband makes breakfast for them. They practice violin. My son does an hour of reading. He reads graphic novels almost exclusively. I can’t decide if this is okay. For now, since I’m out of town, I decide it’s okay.

The rest of the day he chooses what he does.

Today he chose LEGO. He’s building the Robie House right now.

My husband and son eat lunch together.

Then my husband works on the farm while my son makes videos for his YouTube channel. (He plays the Wii through the computer and narrates and uploads it to YouTube.)

Late in the afternoon my son went to an Alpaca farm with my husband. My son wants to use money he earned from showing pigs to buy an Alpaca. They go home and do the math to figure out if my son can afford the purchase.

They eat dinner, practice violin, read and go to bed.

I want to say this is not a typical day for us. But I can’t actually figure out what a typical day for us is. I imagined homeschooling would be me and my kids curled up on the sofa reading.

It reminds me of how I thought having kids would be sitting in a rocking chair holding a warm cuddly baby.