Confessions of a Homeschooling Dad


Working vacation. An oxymoron that can conjure up feelings of futility and despair. Academically speaking, taking a week of vacation during the middle of the school year is not the most desirable thing to do (especially if you’ve done it once already). So we had some work to do. The main reason for our Central Coast Vacation was for the BBQthDirector’s Wife to attend an educator’s workshop. Losing my wife for a week was not an option. We would accompany her to San Luis Obispo so that she wouldn’t miss out on doting upon us (code for ironing).

My BBQ Honey would attend classes all day, and I would have the responsibility of educating the BBQ Kids. Piece of cake! Four different grades, three different curriculi … one fearless leader! The BBQthDirector has bequeathed upon you tips and tricks for BBQ and Youth Ministry. From lessons learned in the last week, allow me to share a few homeschooling tricks….

1. Start with a hearty, nutritious breakfast.

2. Provide a comfortable working area.

3. Implement a fun exercise program.

4. Reward with field trips and outings.

Item #1 is right up the BBQthDirector’s alley. Every day, I provided my beloved offspring with fresh cooked omelets, with the fillings of their chosing. They had fresh fruit, yogurt and pastries available to them, as well as pancakes, fried potatoes, bacon, and oatmeal. I even let them splurge on hot chocolate. How did I manage a daily feast? We walked downstairs to enjoy the complimentary cooked-to-order breakfast provided by our awesome hotel! Trick #1 … check!

Which brings me to item #2, giving them a nice work area. Once again, a cinch. The Embassy Suites we called home for the week was very nice. Our two room suite had a nice desk for BBQ Boy I, and a good-sized dining table in the living room for the other three to be able to spread out their work. Our sweet suite also had two large screen TVs (one was a 42 inch LCD), which was used for educational purposes, of course. We pondered an interesting theory about the aggressive behaviors of elephants on Discovery; learned waaaaay too much info about cold cuts on the History Channel (ever heard of “head cheese”?); and was inspired by the plethora of ideas given by the ultimate cable channel: FOOD NETWORK.

Our exercise program was also facilitated by the Embassy Suites. Regular school work all morning, a light lunch, then P.E. downstairs in the incredibly warm indoor swimming pool. We had it all to ourselves every day. I figured the early afternoon would afford us much needed privacy for our fitness regimen and splash wars. When the BBQ Kids conspired to gang up on the BBQ King, I went all psycho on them and splashed away with reckless abandon. Yes, they suffered the discomfort of chlorinated water in their eyes, ears and nasal passages, but they learned a valuable lesson. You must win at any cost.

All work and no play is dumb. We managed to mix in a couple field trips to the beach. The central coast is known for it’s mix of flat, white sand beaches and isolated coves that are nestled up against towering bluffs. Our Thursday field trip started with a stop at a Pismo Beach institution, Old West Cinnamon Rolls. They have a dozen or so varieties of delectable cinnamon rolls. We picked up three classic cream cheese frosted rolls, two crumb topped and one almond. They were truly amazing. Fluffy and moist, I think they’re even better than Cinnabon. I would like them a bit more gooey on the inside and the icing to be a bit less runny, but they were scrumptious, nonetheless. With a sugar rush propelling us, we made the march down a set of stairs to the beautiful cove. The waves were gentle, but active, perfect for younger children to slosh around in. The dark sand was wonderfully warm and felt so good to just lay down on. After a couple hours, we noticed the tide coming in and the cove slowly disappearing. We headed back to the hotel to wait for the matriarch of the BBQ Family to finish up her classes.

So the BBQ Kids got some school work done, the BBQthDirector’s Wife got a break from her normal, everyday duties and the BBQthDirector got to do a good amount of food research. But that’s a post for another day.

A beautiful bluff-top picnic area, the perfect spot for scarfing down cinnamon rolls.

A beautiful bluff-top picnic area, the perfect spot for scarfing down cinnamon rolls.

Awwwww, yeeeaaah!

Awwwww, yeeeaaah!

A beautiful view of the dark sand cove at Eldwayen Ocean Park.

California Poppies gracing the bluff above Eldawayen Ocean Park Cove in Shell Beach, CA.


10 comments so far

  1. Renae on

    Sounds like you had a great week. I love the pic of the poppys. I am glad you got to spend time with your children.

  2. Robby on

    hey jay!!! sounds like your having a fun time… and hopefully your kids dont get to dumb from you teaching them.. lol.. ;)… well c ya when you get back.. l8r

  3. jaynepomuceno on

    Renae, I’ve never actually had time like this with just the kids. It was really cool, after I got over the bit of a freak-out moment I had at the reality that Brenna would be gone for eight hours each day! It was a profitable week in so many ways.

    Robby, we’re hoping the damage is only temporary.

  4. S.J. on

    Aw Jay. I’m glad you’re having a good time. We miss you!

  5. Robby on

    well jay… keep hopeing… but one day… and all it took was once… my dad taught me… and well.. look at me… enough said. so keep your fingers crossed. but “hope differed maketh the heart sick”

  6. zaza on

    all work and no play is dumb! lol.

  7. Becka on

    Fun post to read! Made me seriously lol. 🙂

  8. aleassa on

    Great pictures, fun to read!

  9. jenmarie on

    I wanna go to the beach now! 🙂 Well, I just did but it’s not the same on the East Coast…it rained on us, lol.
    Nice pics!

  10. James Burrow on

    I like all the pics Jay. Makes me miss the ocean too lol. I don’t know how but these posts made me hungry for barbeque and cinnamon rolls at 6 am lol. Hope all is well with you on your homeschooling role. Teaching kids is fun because they are so random, but it’s awesome when you see them “get it”. I hope to teach again someday soon.

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