Wednesday, October 24, 2012

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When homeschoolers get real

   The other day, I wrote a post called Homeschooling with humor.   It was an attempt for me to say that sometimes my kids are a pain in the neck, and I deal with it by giving them back some of their own medicine... I.e.  gently mocking them.  Because if they can be impossible, they surely they need to see how it feels to have that 'tude projected back at them.

Last night I came across a post from March 2010 entitled Teen Slacker Mentality and Phony Homeschool Moms.  The post demonstrates how homeschool moms deal with the same period of
"crazy" that other non-homeschool parents go through, but we don't hear about it because most homeschool moms don't want others to think that homeschooling is anything but peace, perfection, and harmony.  The post is a great read, as well as the dozens of comments that followed it.

She is so right.  So many of us homeschool bloggers only blog about our best days and any negative blogging is done to demonstrate how much worse public schools are.  We'd rather point the finger outwards than to point it back at ourselves.

I remember when I made the silent decision to never complain about the bad days in homeschooling.  The reasoning was that everytime I said even the most remotely negative thing concerning my kid or their education to friends, or family, that they would take that opportunity to pounce on me and insist that I put my kids back in public school.  They would take advantage of any weak moment I was having to make their point that homeschooling was a bad idea.  So I stuffed my angst, and all negativity was buried, and only the best days and outcomes were revealed.

By silencing myself, I realize now that I have done these same people a serious disservice.  As they began to see the differences in our kids, and the successes, many of them made a decision to try homeschooling too.  Some did "summer trials", others took a year or so.  But because they only expected sunshine and roses, and no bad days (because I did not talk about them), they decided they were a failures and gave up, telling me that it took a special kind of saint to homeschool, and they were not it.

Let's face it guys, we ALL have bad days.  Homeschoolers, private school-ers, public school-ers, people with grown children, and infants. Life is not all sunshine and lollypops!  No sir-eeee.  It is not!

I clearly remember the day that I all but broke...  I dropped my daughter off to a birthday party of some church friends and tried to flee to my car to have a private melt down, but my friends saw on my face that I was at my wit's end.  My husband was working as a consultant 3 states away as he had lost his good job a year or so earlier, and was only home   Friday-Sunday.  The kids were 11 and 13.  Our finances were severely limited.  And the kids were wearing me out.  I ended up melting down in front of people I did not want to complain to because they thought I as AWESOME!  But the kids were bickering.  They were being slobs. They weren't doing their work.  Even with them taking outside classes two days a week to give me a break,  I still couldn't keep up the  house and keep them on schedule.  To top it off, because hubby was only home on weekends, he was refusing to be the disciplinary person.  That meant that when he got home, they treated me like the babysitter from across the street whose rules no longer mattered because their much beloved parent was home.

I felt better after that cry and melt-down.  I have not idea what these women thought, but no one said that it was time for the kids to go back to school.  I was probably at too low a point for them to even bring it up.  I still have a relationship with these ladies though, and I know they still respect me.  But now I'm just AWEsome.  <<< I 've lost some of my capital letters, and my exclamation point, but I'm still alive.

So what say you?  What was your worst homeschooling day?  What was the day that made you lay on the floor, soothed by nothing but the coolness of the kitchen tile on face as you cried a pool of tears and snot, finally getting up, because the puddle was getting so big that you were starting to aspirate on your own drool?

Feel free to juxtapose that with your best homeschool day if that makes you feel better.  Mine was when I saw how excited the college drama professors were about my daughter's talent the other day.  There is no way that she could have had the time to focus and practice, practice, practice, if we'd done the regular public school routine.



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