Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Homeschool now and then

Today, for sure, I so wish that we were homeschooling again.
To reassure these two shining stars, we aren't. Don't worry. You are safe in your little insulated and nearly-perfect world, preparing for a stellar future. Because you will have to support BigD and me in our later years. Just so you know.

We DID homeschool for a few years. It was the absolute best thing we ever did. Each year, when the minions got lazy and I got tired, I threatened to take them to the school around the corner. At that moment. It was a full-on Mom-size temper tantrum, I had one every year, then I calmed down, we got serious and we made it, for a grand total of 5 years.
Eventually, we all decided it was time to go back to school. We knew what we were giving up and were hopeful about the gains. Going back to school was also the best thing we did, when we did it.

So, here we are, school has started. The first few days have passed and we are exhausted. We have books and supplies; football has already started.
PPP is a big-girl senior with all that entails. I put my camera in my purse this morning, but the battery was dead when I took it out. I missed the tackle my Young Son thinks he might have made. We did the whole big cooking ordeal, and they have already eaten half of it, but we aren't halfway through the week. I forgot to take my healthy food to school, so I ate school food. Also, I ate chocolate, because we teachers have a stash of chocolate for those moments. There were about 18 of those moments today.

Sincerely, right now at this very minute, I wish we still homeschooled - a lot.
1. I don't want to get up early in the morning. Especially in the winter, when it's dark. I hate to wake up my bone-tired babies, and it's harder when I know they haven't had enough sleep for their growing adolescent bodies. They MAY have stayed up too late watching television instead of doing homework. But the Olympics don't count . . . at least until the morning.

2. I hate grades and I don't want any parent teacher conferences. I don't want to troop around the schools on Back-to-School day or Back-to-School NIGHT, when I am missing the season premiere of The Office. I don't like it when another adult thinks he or she know more about my child than I do. Even when they might be right. I don't like to be the teacher in that situation either, trying to tell parents something that they wish they already knew about their child.

3. I don't like homework at all. I don't like how much time we spend at school doing stupid stuff, or waiting for someone else to finish. As a teacher, I try to minimize both homework and stupid stuff, because both re-inforce terrible habits -procrastinating, rushing to have somthing to turn in, last minute cramming, busy work, doing the bare minimum. The homework factor means that when I want to watch Project Runway, I either have no one to watch it with, or else I have to feel guilty that PPP is going to stay up an extra hour on the homework. I feel pretty bad about that a lot. Or lonely watching TV.

4. I want my children at their great moments, along with the not-so-great. I don't want to spend a few hours with exhausted children who have been assaulted by peers and teachers because they aren't as smart, as fast, as popular, as articulate, or whatever the judging criteria may be on that day. I want the best of their day, not just the worst. Sometimes, there is no best, but that's OK. Also, I like for them to watch our favorite TV shows with me. School cuts into that.

5. I hate the juggling that comes from living with school calendars. We juggle many schools - one for PPP, one for our Young Son, and one for me. Also, the Sophisticate is student teaching, so there's that plus the University, and BigB is working with a side order of school. That's a lot of different days of vital importance. I hate it when I find out - after I have already gone to bed - that we need - at 6 am tomorrow - a plain gray tee-shirt, an obscure novel and a dried pinto beans. It makes me crazy.

In fact, those are the top 5 reasons we chose to homeschool. In fact, it looks kind of like we homeschooled because school had gotten stupid, I never buy dried pinto bean, I didn't want to get up in the morning, and I like it when my children join me in watching TV. Yes, I believe that sums it up.

Whatever, they were reason enough to push me over into what I felt like was an abyss. I had no real notion of what to do, but I knew it was time to do it.

Our time in homeschool wasn't perfect, but it was good for us. If nothing else, it was Shakespeare and Critical Thinking Skills. And maybe the Human Body project that took 3 months. I even overheard a conversation about the "old days when we slept late and were through with our work in 3 or 4 hours." Now we are into school - and all that school entails.

I would ALMOST homeschool them now, just for the TV thing. But for now, we are in school.


Kathryn said...

Homeschooling for the tv. HAHA! I love it! ;)

kikibibi said...

Oh friend, you sound sad. I hope it is only that you are trying to be ironic, and not truly sad. You will get back into your routine soon enough and then all will be well.

p.s. We need an update on the washer/dryer situation. Cooking, sports, Premier Week, and homework do not mix well with The Laundromat.

Liz said...

Just look at it this way; they're getting the best of both worlds! Good education and safety when they were young... social fun stuff now when they're older. :)

Anonymous said...

Oh I agree with you on every one of your points...especially since it is only day 2 of school and I am so tired...oh, that and I was slapped by a student today..not good.

Angeline said...

Homeschooling does take alot of energy and patience of mommy dearest and for us over here, you really need to keep up with the ever changing syllabus in school or else if ever the homeschool thing is dropped off the plan, then the child will have BIG catching up to do...*sigh*

Rhea said...

I'm impressed you homeschooled for five years. Did they transition back to school ok?

It must be hard juggling three different schedules. Yours and the kids.

Early mornings are hard...and so are busy schedules! Do you have a DVR or TIVO? That's the only way I'm able to watch any TV at all.

Mike and Katie said...

We have twenty-five pounds of dried pinto beans at our house!

I just started teaching a writing class for four home schooled boys ages 10 and 12. So, I can really relate with the time wasted waiting for some students to catch up.

I'm glad you're still praying for Stellan's Dad. It sounds like he really needs it.