Thursday, January 15, 2015

Why This Isn't A Homeschooling Blog

So those of you who visit here may not have picked up on the fact that I homeschool the kids.  The homeschooling isn't mentioned a lot in this blog, mostly because I haven't a clue what I am doing and also because a lot of what you might have read about homeschooling on the Internet - you know, the fun projects and the children reciting Latin at breakfast? That isn't really happening around here.

For example, last year some other homeschooling moms and I expended a lot of time and effort putting together a high school co-op to teach the kids Biology and Physics and Spanish.  Lab sciences and foreign languages tend to be the toughest items to cover when you have high schoolers, so we were pretty ding-danged (thanks for the word, June) pleased with ourselves for overcoming numerous hurdles and getting everything ready to go by September of 2014.  Pleased as punch, I would say. Oh, the self-congratulatory emails flew!

Of course, in late July, our location fell through. We spent August scrambling to find a place to hold classes and dealing with all the fallout engendered by the change of location.  Fun.

So, it's planning time again.  The location is solid, but there are different classes to be set up - Chemistry, Maths, etc.  That means, new teachers to be found, schedules to be decided.  At our first planning meeting this week, we ironed out details, set our priorities, and congratulated ourselves on the fact that we had already lined up a Chemistry teacher - we interviewed her last year, as a matter of fact, and told her we'd be interested for September 2015.

Today? We learned that that teacher will NOT be available.

This, in case you were wondering, is how homeschooling parents actually spend their days.  Forget all that propaganda you might read in homeschooling blogs about creating lovely unit studies for eager-to-learn kiddies, doing lapbooks, or even introducing the children to the wonders of our natural world by taking them on outdoor hikes. In truth, we ignore our kids in order to spend hours on email setting up learning co-ops for them, even as we know that unforeseen circumstances will eventually lay waste to all our efforts.

I've managed to do this ONCE, in 17 years of homeschooling...

Essentially, we homeschooling folk are a lot like all of you, only with more of a penchant for self-punishment and less of a grasp on reality (because, yeah, I still think I am going to get around to that lapbook thing). Just think of us as the Don Quixotes of the parenting world, okay?

[Lapbook image: Cathy Duffy Reviews]


  1. I've dabbled in homeschooling--did it full time for two years when my two youngest kids were in elementary school, and also "homeschooled" two of my kids when they were in high school, but mostly outsourced their education to the local community college. Attempting to teach higher math and science to high school age kids is really difficult. The Well-Trained Mind ladies make it sound so easy, but it's not.

  2. I hate lapbooks. I know I am supposed to love them. I know my kids are supposed to love them. But, we all hate them. Luckily, I practiced on my oldest ones, so my younger ones now don't have to be tortured by them!

  3. Lap books are works of the devil as far as I am concerned!

  4. Heck, I don't homeschool and Pinterest makes me furious and feel incompetent on just the normal stuff. I cannot imagine adding homeschooling to the things I could feel guilty about...
    Total bummer about the chemistry teacher.

  5. In my 3+ years of homeschooling, I never made a lapbook -- in fact, I'd never even heard of them before this post!
    The last two years of homeschooling (EB, for 3rd and 4th grade) were spent making sure the kid did all his work, every day, all day. This was a huge step forward from his first few years of public schooling.

  6. I had to click the link to find out what you meant by lapbook. I'm here to say that I homeschooled for 20+ years. I'm glad this idea wasn't around then! It reminds me of something an educator would develop for children they've never actually taught!