I have decided. Homeschooling STINKS. You moms who use the “perfect” curriculum and have their work all done and perfectly planned days? You are not human. Seriously. How are you pinterest perfect women doing this? Women who have large families and rock class time with ALL their kids? When I can not even manage 4 lessons in a day? I am guessing you have amazing children who will actually listen (without eye rolling and attitude and insisting that they are smarter than their parent and the textbook we spent hundreds on) and get work done, right? Or perhaps it is all 100% me failing as a teacher. I think I mentally took him back to school about 227 times today.
How in the hell could I have possibly thought that teaching this pigheaded, obnoxious, rotten little turkey myself was a good idea? Every single lesson has been so much of a fight. Every single one. I am 3 weeks into my school year and I am ready to burst with loathing and frustration. Last year we went with “unschooling”. I basically taught him…nothing. And he passed his test with flying colors. This year I read an article about the amazing schools in Finland and decided I need to ship him off to live there until he graduates after 3 hours on the first day of school. Because every day is a battle. I now understand the 300 notes that were sent home from school on a regular basis about his behavior and his challenges. (OMG I gave her a crappy teacher gift of a mug and a starbucks card. I owe that woman a damn medal and a million dollars)
Today was the hardest day ever. We are heavily focusing on writing and language arts this year. He is learning how to write research papers and how to create storylines and idea webs. Vocabulary and spelling are an adventure not a myth. And he hates writing. He hates it with a passion. He wants to scream every time he has to write more than his name or a few numbers on a piece of paper. He cries about hand cramps and handwriting is even worse. Today stunk. Literally. As we sat there on hour TWO of a 20 minutes or less assignment, with the whining and frustration reaching the ultimate mega explosion level, it happened. He farted. The loudest most disgusting fart I have heard or smelled in probably my entire life. And I have been in the car with my uncles following a Burger King run. Trust me. It was nuclear. With tears stinging my eyes, and choking on every breath I said “WILL YOU PLEASE JUST PICK A DAMN SUBJECT FOR YOUR FACTWEB?”
“Fine Mom.” he replied, an evil glint in his eye. “I want to write my paper about farts.”
I took a deep breath. I looked him in the eyes. And I made a split decision. I said yes. His shock and sudden silence was overwhelming. And I realized, this is where I am going wrong with Homeschooling. I chose this journey because I didn’t want to stuff him in a box. I wanted him to be excited about learning. I wanted it to be an adventure. I wanted to see the spark. Instead I was making him do “busy work” instead of getting his hands dirty. I was asking him to be something he was not. I was trying to make him NOT be himself.
So now we are resetting. Today he wrote a very fantastic “Fact Web” on the science and history of Farts. (Moulin Rouge has a lot to do with this, and when his paper is done I will share it with you all.) We watched some pretty raunchy videos on YouTube about fart science. This afternoon we will check on his crystal growing experiment, do about a zillion multiplication facts, lose ourselves in the classic tale of Treasure Island, watch Bill and Teds excellent adventure for a little silly not at all accurate historical info and a lead in to a few of the people we are “meeting” this year. It sure does stink. But its the smell of victory.