Posted by: randommisfires | September 11, 2008

Out on a Limb

Out on a Limb

Out on a Limb

I am going to take a brief moment and post about home school.  Well, not all of home school, but a few choice pieces.  Here’s the thing.  Every time I say anything to anyone about a difficulty or a struggle I am facing in the journey, I am invariably met with a myriad of expressions such as, “Well, you could just send them to school.”  Or, “You’re crazy to home school.  Just get rid of them every day.”  And many many others similar in nature.

So, let me just clear that up now.  Yes, I know I choose to home school.  Kind of.  My kids make choosing public school difficult for a variety of reasons, but ultimately I do realize that I am going down this path of my own free will.  I also know I am crazy.  On average, I get told how nuts I am at least 5 times a week.  There is no shortage of the insanity here.  I just wanted to put that out there so that none of you will feel you are required to waste your breath or your energy telling my how ridiculous it is to home school 4-ish kids and work full time.  Fully fully aware with only the typical garden variety delusions here in the carnival fun house.

Now, onto the goods.

With beach day every Wednesday and with my mom here, and with the year ending and companies wanting to spend their money for advertising, it’s been a little . . .OK, we already covered crazy.  We haven’t exactly focused on learning things.  Yes, at midnight on Tuesday, N and I were adding and subtracting negative numbers with the help of a number line.  And we have all been talking string theory and black hole physics for a few days, but not much else has been happening.  That’s OK, because we have a lot of time to fill, and each subject when followed by one or two kids takes nowhere as long as it takes a teacher to cover in a diverse classroom.  So, even following the traditional school formula, which we largely ignore, not a big deal to wait to dive in.

At least, not until you start insisting that work actually get done.

We still utilize a charter in our area to offset costs and provide curriculum and classes.  This is good for us because they give us money each quarter to spend on books and art supplies and stuff.  They also provide a detailed syllabus to go with the curriculum and it is very easy to tell the kids to get out their syllabuses and get to work.

It’s bad because they hold a public charter and therefore, to some extent, must show compliance with public school mandates.  Including traditional curriculum.  Which we largely ignore.  Do you see my dilemma?  In order to meet the minimum requirement,  each child has to turn in sample work from each subject every month.  Including a writing sample.

And honestly, six samples shouldn’t be such a big deal.  But they are.  Every month for two years, they have been a problem.  Today, E was furious that no one else wanted to go surfing, so he didn’t even want to start school work.  At which point, I had to remove his surfing privilege entirely, until he brought me some samples.  T did fine with social studies because he is studying Western Civ (just like R is in college) and loves everything ancient.  But, once he had his sample safely stowed, I had to hustle him on to math and there was total meltdown over subtracting negative numbers.  I’m ashamed to say that i nearly had to put the DVD in because I couldn’t remember how to do them either.

L and N both did OK until we got to Language arts.  And who can blame them?  N’s working on 3rd or 4th grade spelling, which is difficult for his fat little fingers to print neatly in the tiny spaces they give them, and L was labeling parts of speech.  BORING!  And that was still better than spending hours writing a personal narrative.  Which N did.  Not the writing part so much, but the spending hours.

SO, I’m pretty much positive I’m going to bail on the charter.  Except that means I have to be a little bit organized and have some idea of what each kid is learning.  Because when they get all crusty and nasty with each other- not that we’re really home long enough to get on each other’s nerves right now- I need to be able to point them specific directions and give them some ideas of what it is they need to do until they can be nice again.

After today, I’m thinking that is a pretty long list.  Very very very long.

And I’m lazy.

Or busy.

Or crazy.

All of the above.

None of the above.




  1. Apparently I can’t comment on my own blog. Thanks for the love though. It means a lot. I have criminal trial right now which is what is really difficult right now. That is where I have to go right now so this will be brief.

  2. You’re functioning crazy – the good kind of crazy.

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