Thursday, September 8, 2011

"Homeschooling Is Not That Hard" Oh Really?

There’s nothing like spending 48 rainy day hours planning a chemistry curriculum that signals you have officially reached HOMESCHOOL INSANITY LAND. The good news is I had company. Yes, thanks to a tropical storm and extended holiday weekend, Wally visited this magical land with me, where flipping through six different science books to piece together one cohesive chemistry unit is valued above all other things, including opening college football weekend.

Wally, bless his heart, is naïve in the way of life in HOMESCHOOL INSANITY LAND. He exposed himself as a tourist when he said this….

“Ooooo! I didn’t know our printer printed two-sided!”

To which I replied, “Yes, it does. As long as you print one page, get up, flip the printed paper, slide it on top of the paper tray, go back to your computer, print the second page on the opposite side and then go back to the printer and get your two-sided paper.”

And people wonder why homeschooling takes up so much of my time.

For reasons I don’t understand, science is the subject that seems the most difficult for homeschooling. Along with grammar. And writing. And history. And vocabulary. And P.E.

Fuck, okay, it’s ALL DIFFICULT.

I remember, in my initial days of simply asking around about homeschooling, people would tell me, “oh, it’s not that hard…” Now I look back on these people as if they are foreigners not only speaking a different language but also wearing their underwear on the outside of their clothes.

What the hell, you crazy underwear people? Does your definition of “not difficult” change once you begin homeschooling? Kind of like your scale of pain tolerance changes after giving birth to a nine and a half pound baby without an epidural? Your tolerance for the difficulty of raising children expands to the Nth power once you begin homeschooling. That’s it, isn’t it?

What could be difficult about vocabulary, though? Honestly, give them some words and they learn the definition. They even make (gasp!) workbooks for that. Easy peasy!

Yes, yes it was. At first a workbook sufficed. But as we slowly disengage from the public school mindset and embrace new ways of learning, workbooks no longer suffice. And so it’s back to the drawing board for vocabulary.

Rinse and repeat for spelling.

And grammar. Oh, grammar. Something that should be easy, second only to math in sequential learning! Except, you know. Workbooks. No longer appealing! So I buy a curriculum that isn’t workbook based and I’m like, huh? What? How do I implement this free-range style grammar program?!? I wasn't raised this way! 

I'm learning all over again too.

I could tell the slightly different versions of the same story for each subject. Writing is difficult because my boys hate writing (thank you, public school system). P.E. is difficult because it’s summer in the deep South (read: death by humidity and high temperatures). History is difficult because apparently my standards for “good curriculum” are very high (interesting factual reading, hands-on and interactive learning. And something other than the European white man’s version, please!).

“Oh, it’s not that hard…”

Homeschool lesson of the day: Don't trust people who wear their underwear on the outside of their clothes. 


  1. I literally yelped when I saw that you had written a new post.

    You crack me up. Do you have room for one more in your homeschool class? I won't ask any questions. I probably won't even look up from the BlackBerry.

  2. The people who wear their underwear on the outside of the clothes probably have an easy time homeschooling because they're teaching their kids that the earth is only 6,000 years old, the fossil record was set out by god to test our faith, and that evolution and global warming are myths.

  3. Hey, I gave birth to a 9lb 5oz baby without an epidural and I'll still no way I'm brave enough to homeschool. You are one tough cookie. Can I sit in the back of the class too? It might help me help my girls with homework.

    Wait, underwear goes on the INSIDE??

  4. wow, obviously i need to come to your house to work on grammar and editing!

  5. Can my children and I come to your homeschool? Sigh. I too love your writing.