So, there are certain necessary (or at least helpful) survival skills for a homeschooling mother of four (with number five on the way!) I lack one of them. (I'm sure I lack many more than one, but there's one specific thing I'm thinking of right now.) I'll give you three guesses what it might be.
Guess number one: I can't survive on no sleep. Um....nope. I've had a nursing baby for at least four of the past seven years---I think I've got the 'little to no sleep' thing down just fine.
Guess number two: I can't teach a child how to read. Nope, wrong again. I've got two great readers, and another well on his way. Guess again.
Guess number three: I can't cook. Oh, come on, folks! Have you ever even tasted my roasted chicken and homemade rolls? All three guesses were wrong. I suppose I'll have to tell you.
Wait. You have to promise not to laugh, okay? Here goes.
I can't......sharpen pencils. *sigh* I knew you were going to laugh, I can hear you through the computer!!
Sad thing is, I'm totally not lying. And it's a really sad thing because, well, sharp pencils are a really helpful tool to have in a homeschooling environment!
We've tried all kinds of pencil sharpeners---hand-held manual, screw on a shelf manual, battery operated----I either snap the points off of the pencils, or I break the pencil sharpener.
You think I'm kidding, don't you?
Well, about a month and a half ago, I was sick of trying to sharpen pencils for the kids with our little hand-held thing. Half of the time I'd end up with totally weak pencil points that would break after writing one word, and the other half, the stupid points would get stuck in the stupid sharpener and I'd have to get a stupid little paper clip to try to pry out the stupid little points. (The more frustrated I get, the more things suddenly become 'stupid' )
So, I decided to 'splurge' and buy a nice, electrical pencil sharpener. I spent a quarter of a hundred dollars (that sounds like a whole lot more than twenty five dollars, doesn't it?? ;) on this really nice pencil sharpener. It worked like a dream----beautiful, nice sharp pencil points---for exactly a week and a half. Until I broke it. Please don't ask how. All I know is, it just stopped working one day, and when Joel took it apart, the little wheel thingy in the middle was all chewed up. And, I was the only one allowed to use the pencil sharpener, so I'm quite sure that it was me who broke it.
So, back to square one. The little manual pencil sharpener things. One day last week, I brought my cupful of dull pencils to the kitchen trash can and started sharpening away on that little thing. It sharpened exactly zero pencils before the top snapped right off of it. *sigh again*
So, we've been surviving on exactly two half-sharp pencils with half-dead erasers for several days now. Then, Joel got the bright idea for me to gather up all the pencils in the house today, take them to his office, and HE would sharpen them for me.
I gathered up every single pencil I could find in the house (about 35 altogether), and carted them over to my husband's office. He has one of those pencil sharpeners there that sits on the shelf and you turn the crank like an ice-cream maker.
After watching him sharpen five or six pencils successfully, I was beginning to think maybe this wasn't such a hard deal after all.
"Let me try love, I think I can do it" He looked doubtfully at me, but agreed it was worth a shot.
I stuck the first pencil in. Broke the point right off. He tried to figure out what I was doing wrong and offered a few suggestions.
I stuck the second one in. I almost had it sharpened before the point broke off of it as well.
On pencil number three or four, the sharpener started to make a weird noise, and it felt a little funny too.
"Um Jaime, let me see the pencil."
After just a minute or two, Joel made the official diagnosis. I had broken this pencil sharpener too.
Hey, don't laugh! I can hear you laughing again!!!
So, what are my options?? Well, as I see them, I have about three.
1. Send all my pencils to work with Joel to sharpen once a week or so---AFTER they replace the pencil sharpener I broke :/
2. Try to use those pencils with little push-out points (yeah, like that would really work with my two wild boys!!)
3. Um.....okay, my options are really only two.
Anybody else have any great ideas for this poor, sharp-pencil deprived mother?