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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Homeschool Hazards

As a homeschooling mom, I often sing the praises of how wonderful it is to be home and enjoy the blessings of homeschooling. There are so many of them!
{clip to me: birds chirping, I'm smiling and singing at the window, gazing out at my white picked fence.}

But today I thought I would share some of the things I think are hard. It's not always roses and sunshine in the classroom at the dining room table.
{clip to the real me: I'm still in my pajamas, my t-shirt has a bleach stain and a hole in it, my 5 yr. old is still wearing his underwear, and we're already behind!}

So enjoy my honest list of homeschool hazards. God help me, if you can't relate!

#1 Getting dressed:
I try to be serious about a schedule and the kids still have to get up and dressed, eat breakfast, brush teeth, and so forth. But the fact of the matter is, we're not going anywhere! It seems like the morning routine is even harder than it would be if I was trying to make the car line by 7:45a.m. My five year old thinks his underwear are an appropriate outfit for every occasion.

#2 Lack of Space:
School is taking over my house! You all know how I love my shoebox, but it's getting pretty ridiculous here. I am running out of space fast. In fact, I'm pretty sure I already have.

#3 Being a mom and a teacher:
The parent/teacher hat switching can be difficult. I try to make it a goal to treat my kids like I would want a teacher to treat them. For example, I wouldn't want their teacher yelling and screaming at them. Teachers aren't allowed to be momzillas. There's been more than a few days I'm sure I would have been fired!
I'm just saying...

# 4 It's all on me!:
If Mama ain't in the mood for school, ain't nobody in the mood for school! I can't have a day where I am just not in the mood, and still expect them to get school work done. They need me for direction, motivation, and encouragement. Bad days are usually a result of my attitude, not theirs. There's not substitute teacher here.

#5 Other activities: Having the boys plugged in with social groups and extra curricular activities is crucial. They need that interaction. However, getting to said activities can be hard to manage throughout the week. For one example, we go to P.E. at our local YMCA on Tuesdays and Thursdays. We have to be done with school by noon on those days in order to eat lunch and make it there on time. Every Tuesday and Thursday at 11:45 a.m. you'll find me at the table over my oldest like momzilla saying, "Stay focused. We have to leave soon!" or "Don't be mad at me when you have homework." Yup, you can still have homework if you're homeschooled. This leads me to my next hazard.

# 6 Homework: We need to complete our work! This can be hard with a son who has ADHD tendencies. I also will not do lessons all day and night. Kids, your teacher turns into a mom after 2pm. After that, you're on your own. I make sure I have all instructed lessons completed first, and leave ample time for independent work. They need to make sure they stay on task for their independent work. I'm not going to be sitting next to them for the rest of their lives. Independent work that doesn't get done=homework. Homework can be defined as work that you need to finish before you do anything you really want to do instead.

#7 Dad's more fun:
The kids are with me all day. I teach them, mother them, feed them, bathe them, drive them, and discipline them. I'm sure I'm leaving something out. Then Dad comes home. Sigh...Sometimes I feel like the bad guy all the time.

#8 Non-homeschooling family members or friends:
Let's face it. Not everybody gets it. Getting past not caring what other people think about your decision to homeschool can be hard. It's been tough for me at times. We even have several family members who teach in the public school system. Opinions can come from all directions. I'm learning to not care. I've come a long way!

#9 Distractions:
Being at home lends to it's own list of distractions for me and the kids. I get distracted by all of the things I'm responsible for outside of homeschool such as laundry, cooking, cleaning, etc. The boys get distracted by their stuff (videos games or other activities they'd rather be doing), and each other. They easily distract one another just by being here.

#10 The Age Gap:
I have one in kindergarten and one in sixth grade. This can be very tough to juggle. My kindergartner requires me for just about all of his school day. Which I enjoy every minute of! However, it's hard to keep my oldest on track (he's the one with ADHD tendencies) while my youngest has my attention. It's hard to get my youngest to understand it's not his turn when my oldest has me for his one-on-one time. It can also be hard for my oldest when the little guy is done with school and he still has lots to do. There's no way around it. My little one can complete a school day in a couple of hours. My oldest is a middle schooler, and has much more work and responsibilities. We do it. I think we do pretty good job, but it's taken a while to find our rhythm. I still have to adjust it all the time.

And lastly, this is not really on my list, but it's a daily irritation for me as a homeschooler. What's the proper spelling for homeschool anyway?? Is it home {space} school OR homeschool (one word)? One word or two, already!
Let's vote, and keep it one or the other!

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At November 23, 2010 at 9:44 AM , Blogger Shell said...

#3 is probably the biggest reason why I don't homeschool. Home school? I think homeschool.

At November 23, 2010 at 9:59 AM , Blogger Sara said...

#8 is the one I worry about the most. My SIL is paving the way for me on my husbands side, but when my parents find out (which btw, I have to get pregnant and actually have a child first, lol) they are NOT going to be OK. Maybe I'll tell them when he/she starts 1st grade...

I always see it as one word- homeschool.

At November 23, 2010 at 3:33 PM , Blogger Jessica said...

I agree with all of those but #3 and #4 stood out the most for me.

I see the word spelled both ways also and I always wonder which is correct. If we have to vote I'm going to go with "home school" because we say public school, not publicschool.

Thanks for saying all the things I think every week at home as mom and teacher!

At November 23, 2010 at 5:00 PM , Blogger Impulsive Addict said...

OH bless your heart. I was a classroom teacher and now I stay at home. I can totally see the struggles with homeschooling.

I like you. You're funny! You stopped by my blog a couple of days ago and I'm returning the favor...a little late. Don't you judge me. It's been CrAzY over here!

At November 23, 2010 at 6:34 PM , Blogger Tarja said...

Damn! That sounds like a lot of work. I literally don't know how you do it. Especially with the age difference! My hat is off to you. Despite the difficulties, it sounds like it's the best decision for your kids. I vote 'homeschool.'

At November 23, 2010 at 8:16 PM , Blogger thecurryseven said...

I agree very much with your list, but most especially point number 4! Oh, and at one time I read that William Safire pronounced it to be 'homeschool'. That was good enough for me, though Microsoft spellcheck would beg to differ.

Found you through the Hip Homeschool Hop.

At November 23, 2010 at 9:48 PM , Blogger Diane said...

I always thought it was homeschool but I've been wrong before. ;)
I'm impressed with anyone who homeschools. I don't think I could do it with my 2!

At November 23, 2010 at 9:55 PM , Blogger Sherry @ Lamp Unto My Feet said...

I totally agree with these! I was one of thse that said that I would NEVER homeschool, but God had other plans.

At November 23, 2010 at 10:48 PM , Blogger Our Homeschool Fun said...

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this post and can relate to every single thing you listed here!!

Your commentary is awesome! Love your blog.

You are right, two of our kids are exactly the same age. I am so excited to follow your blog and see all that you do, and read your super honest posts too.

At November 23, 2010 at 10:53 PM , Blogger Dana said...

I'm so jealous. Your five year old wears underwear to the table? My three year old thinks that is optional much of the time. :)

At February 29, 2012 at 8:31 AM , Blogger Amy said...

OH MY WORD. This is me EXACTLY. I'm glad you said it, thanks for doing that, "they" need to know we're not all perfect denim jumper/kids all in a row/quoting shakespeare at 3 homeschoolers! Or home schoolers, I'm unsure of the spelling too. We do something we don't even know how to spell, how crazy is that? Thanks for visiting me!


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