Homeschooling, 101

Ahhhh. A snow day.  Nothing like hearing the phone ring at 5:14 am with our chipper Superintendant announcing that he wished he had better news, but alas, he does not.  A snow day for the kiddies to cap off a holiday weekend.  A snow day so frigid that no children dared play outside in the “feels like negative 6 degree weather”.   As sledding down our neighbor’s hill and creating snow men were off the table, I had to get real creative, Clark.  I was going to treat today like I would … IF I HOMESCHOOLED MY CHILDREN.

If we were living in a Star Wars movie, our intro would read:

IN A HOME WEDGED IN A FARAWAY FROZEN SUBURB LIVED A WOMAN OF SLIGHTLY QUESTIONABLE SANITY WHO DARED TAKE ON HER 3 HIGH MAINTENANCE CHILDREN DURING A BLIZZARD OF EPIC PORPORTIONS THAT THREATENED THE SURVIVABILITY OF ALL.   THEIR ALLEGED FATHER, THE DARK LORD OF THE POINTE, ONCE AGAIN ESCAPED IN A POD WITH SWIRLING LASERS AND CAPTAIN MORGAN ON TAP TO A WARMER CLIMATE AT THE EVE OF DAWN. ALL FEARED FOR THE CHILDREN.  THEY WERE DOOMED…

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Our day didn’t start off too auspiciously, but at least I got to check off mock Guidance Counselor/School Psychologist session.  The Oldest cries real tears when school is cancelled.  Hopefully this is more to the testament to his school/classroom and not to the thought of spending the entire day with his mother and sibs.

 I am sure I have mentioned multiple, multiple times, but I really don’t have those natural talents for entertaining and educating children.  Yes, I babysat for years, so my care for them in terms of feeding, bathing, etc. is up to par, but beyond that…it’s a stretch.  Craft hour at our house requires intervention.  You will often find glitter and googly eyes stuck to little chubby feet because I don’t think of putting down a drop cloth and allow the children to create art projects…wait for it…unsupervised.  I know how to catch snakes, but I don’t know what Common Core is.  I don’t have a grasp on basic elementary level concepts like compound sentences.  No one ever told me that if you are going to allow 2 boys to make homemade volcanoes, you shouldn’t allow it under the tutelage of an 8 year old.  As I am on a roll, I might as well confess: I don’t know how to iron pants.  I am 36 years old and been on my own for almost 2 decades and I can’t iron a pair of basic pants.  My mother-in-law, with appropriate eyerolls, tries to teach me ever so often.  At their elementary school, I wonder what they say about my children who go to school wearing uniform quality slacks (un-ironed, of course) paired with my old Florida State t-shirts that I “outgrew”?   I rely on Google multiple times a day for parenting advice.  Most recently, “how to make a chore chart”.  I can only imagine what my future daughters/son-in-law will say about me.   Oh, my poor, poor daughter.  Shed tears for her.  The boys are going to survive me, but will she?  Anyway, I was going to try.  I was going to be an organized Homeschooler Mom.  I mean, how hard can it be??

  • PHYSICAL EDUCATION– This was going to be cake.  I would merely take the children to my gym and require them to play in the jump zone the entire time, while I (choose 1:  I cycle’d/yoga’d/body pump’d).  No dicey.  By the time we attempted to conquer the roads, they were too treacherous.  We only made it the Acme down the street.  Which was good, because we were completely out of toilet paper.  When we returned home, I made them do 10 toe touches, 10 jumping jacks and 10 sit-ups, and, whew! called it a day.
  • HOME ECONOMICS/MATH / READING FUSION–  Sha-zam!  This was muy muy brilliant on my part.  I was going to kill 3 birds with one stone.   A little fraction action while measuring ingredients for Tasty Ranch Oyster Crackers (Nicki, if you are reading this, I Googled the recipe), coupled with actively prepping a meal and reading a recipe to boot.  I envisioned The Middle deciphering the sight words in the ingredients and The Oldest adding fractional measurement.  Boom!  Yet, somewhere in the prep of the lesson I lost 1 boy to the bathroom and the other to logging in Read-A-Thon minutes.  The only participant was the 2 1/2-year-old non-literate kid who just made a big mess.
  • SOCIAL STUDIES–   Bingo. We finally scored.  Success!  I am particular about which Disney Princess movies my impressionable 2 1/2 -year-old watches.  We like Mulan and Merida, but the jury is out on Aurora and Snow White.  I felt we had a winner with Disney’s Pocahontas storyline and female character portrayal.  It worked!  The Middle is now practically fluent in Algonquin.  “Can we have maize with dinner, Mama?”,  he asked this evening.  The Oldest was able to retain some solid facts about Jamestown and The Tsenacommacah tribes.  If you so inquire, my easy peasy lemon squeezie lesson plan:

1.  Pick Disney movie that will captivate all 3 children of different sexes and ages

2.  Make sure it includes slightly correct historical fact

3.  Serve with some impulsively purchased popcorn you picked up at Acme during the gym failure/toilet      paper run

  • SPELLING– I set myself up for disaster here.  A Scrabble game with a bossy 8 year old who makes up his own rules, teaming myself up with his 6 year old little brother who has no tolerance for aforementioned brother’s Rules and Regs and general know-it-all behavior.  The game did not end, as I imagined it would have, with violence.  Rather, when the letters S E X were put out. “Mom, is that a word? Is that like sexy lady in Gangnam Style?” Did anyone say SNACK TIME?!?!?

If today were a prototype of what Homeschooling would be akin to at our home, I am not sure anyone here is making it to an institution of higher learning.  Get excited friends, we will be once again enrolling in public school for the 2014-2015 school year.

At the time of publish, the author was informed via email that…you guessed… another SNOW DAY tomorrow!

5 thoughts on “Homeschooling, 101

  1. Maggie says:

    Brilliant!!!

    • Name says:

      So funny!! Love the spelling portion of your post! Sammy heard “virgin” on the today show this morning & asked what that word means? Changed that subject real quick!

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