Trained to be a Homeschool Mama
- Friday, January 28, 2011
Considering homeschooling? Get ready for a wild ride!
I remember attending public school as a kid. Honestly, I was bored silly. We all had to do the same things. We all ate lunch at the same time, hungry or not. We all flopped down on our mats, closed our eyes tightly, and tried to nap, sleepy or not. We all dabbed white glue on our popcorn and stuck it to our "sheep art thing" we all did. We all learned from the same lesson plans. We were all presented with the same material, and subsequently, we all asked the same basic questions. Then, year after year, we all moved on to the next "level."
When I would arrive home at night, I pretty much kept to myself. I was loaded up with enough homework to keep me occupied for hours, and my parents and siblings were not high on my "to do" list. They were not my top priority; school had to be. Plenty of times I was so exhausted at the end of the day--yet not finished with all of my assignments--I would let myself just doze until 4 or 5 A.M., and then drag myself out of bed to finish everything before trotting off to school to repeat the cycle. I felt like a sheep. Baaa-aaaah; better hurry, the bell's about to ring . . . again.
That is not the school life I want to give my own children. I don't want to have them gone all day only for them to come home and keep their distance from us. Why have kids? So we decided to homeschool. Then they turned five. Now what? I was not trained to be a homeschool mama. Who is? But hey, it's fun. I like having my kids with me, and they are learning! However, I must say, it's all the questions that drive me batty.
A question here, a comment there--this is fine; don't get me wrong. But imagine the never-ending question. The answer that just won't satisfy. The conversation that has no finale. One of my sons in particular has questions for me that he fires from a vocal cannon, which once loaded, can discharge for hours. When they begin to flow, my eyeballs start twitching. My hands sweat and my hair rises. Hide me. This boy (we have three) has asked us the oddest things (and I paraphrase, below) since the day he could talk. He somehow learned to chatter early, and quite well—definitely before I was ready.
Once, he spotted a spider in the upper left corner of our hallway and set out to explain to any soul who would listen, in his 2-year-old voice (and logic), that the spider was crying. How he came to that conclusion, I'll never know. The spider wasn't making a sound! Every time he saw any little eight-legger from that point on, he jumped up and down and exclaimed, "Pider cwying. Pider cwyyyying!" Our homeschooling adventure with him had begun!
I should have known that the wacky questions from my little fireball of energy would follow. Many of you, with your own kiddos, can relate, I'm sure. My son has an imagination that will not stop:
"Mommy, do chickens eat cookies?"
"Ummm . . . no. I don't believe they do."
"Well, they were not made to eat cookies. The opportunity doesn't often present itself, I guess."
"Yes, but do chickens have lips?"
"Oh, for heaven's sake. No, they have a beak. Hey, look, we're almost at the park. Do you have your water bottle?"
"I want to be a race car when I grow up. Can I?"
"You can drive a race car, perhaps, but no, really you can't become one. You are a human being."
"But I want to be a race car."
"Son, you're 2 years old. Give your career goals some TIME. Oh, look! There's the park."
Conversations with a 9-year-old can be just as offbeat. Like the time this same funny boy came to me extremely concerned that our dog, Liesel, possibly thought that he was just a fellow canine:
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