Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Five Things Homeschooling Has Not Been

I had ideas fourteen years ago. Even five years ago. Now I know better. Many of my romantic homeschooling ideas have been complete bombs, but rather than beat myself up, I congratulate myself on the nifty slacker replacements that have filled our home. Some plans that did not pan out:

#1. Field trips once a week. Too many kids; too much trouble. What do I do with the baby and the toddler while the big and middle kids are trying to watch a show or listen to other adults explain how the post office runs (Ha) or where the light emanates from in a painting? I've been reduced to offering cookies as a bribery thank you to friends for taking a kid or two of mine to various places. And I learned to love coffee table books with great photographs.

#2. Kids begging to learn on rabbit trails. Whenever I've said something like, "Oh, you're into that book about Lewis and Clark? Let me get more and you can do some projects/write some paragraphs..." they turned into an elementary version of the obstinate, spaghetti-legged toddler. So it's math, grammar, and reading, then they bolt for the door or the lego bucket. Or the den, to watch Baby Einstein with the baby, because most of them hold the position that any television is better than no television.
What a super old ad.

#3. Me learning advanced mathematics. I thought that if I began again with a five year old and homeschooled all the way through high school that I would effortlessly move right along with the kid into a grownup understanding of the logic and beauty of math. Hit a wall halfway through geometry. Twice. Brain freeze conceeded.
 #4. Science experiments with reports of hypotheses, observations, calculations, and conclusions. They never work like the books say they will and we all get grumpy. Also, my high schoolers (so far, two) are too busy to do them and prefer to read what someone else did. Our experiments happen by accident. Sort of. There was a terrible smell in my eleven year old daughter's closet that I yelled at her about because I thought it was from hidden dirty underthings. Turned out to be a baggie of flour and water she'd set aside to see how long it would take to mold that had gone rancid. It never molded but the smell? Interesting, huh?

This could be a science experiment...


#5. Love of classical music. I try. I put in a CD of our composer of the month every morning, which is great. But as soon as I try to tune in to the classical radio station in the van, there are many whines for dancing music ( I don't fight the country too hard, though).

 For a more uplifting entry of great things I've discovered, here's last year's end of the year post, when my firstborn graduated.

We Howells have spring fever bad ~

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