Friday, October 24, 2008

The One Where You Find Out Just How Lazy I Really Am

When I mention to people that we homeschool Josie, I am usually met with wide eyes and a startled "OH!". This is usually followed by, "You are so brave! I could never do that! She's in HIGH SCHOOL!" I can only assume that these people have never heard of all of the curriculum choices out there for high-schoolers, or they would never be so amazed. This is me, after all. Homeschooling a high-schooler must be fairly simple, or I would be WAY more whiney.

By the time they are this far along, they are pretty much self-teaching. This is a typical day with Josie:

She rolls out of bed whenever she wakes up. (This part annoys her father to no end. We are working on it.) She wanders downstairs in search of breakfast, and I ask her, "Have you started your school work?"

She shakes her head no.

"Well...go do that." I tell her, and she wanders back upstairs with a bowl of cereal in her hand and a rather glazed look on her face.

Several hours go by.

She emerges from her room again and announces, "I read a chapter in my Literature and Economics books, and I got an eighty-seven in math and a ninety-five in Spanish." (She does part of her school work on the computer. The program even grades it for me. It's like I'm obsolete!)

Then she wanders off muttering something about designing a web page and writing some fan fiction.

"Okay!" I tell her. "Good job!"

And that's pretty much it. Occasionally, we have what I like to refer to as a "Math Emergency", in which case I send her to her father and they argue about it until they reach some conclusion that means her math gets done, and that's really all that matters to me. As long as she learns how to do it and I don't have to re-learn how to do it, I'm happy. So far, I have managed to keep my promise to myself to never do algebra or geometry again. It is a trauma that I do not care to re-live.

Contrast that day with a typical day with my two middle children, who are attending public school for the first time this year.

I get up at 6:30 and fix their lunches. They get up and eat breakfast, and then they brush their teeth and get dressed. This is followed by the morning panic of "Did you sign my agenda? What about my homework...did you see if I put it in my backpack? Help! I can't find my shoes! Oh, I need money for my field trip and then more money for lunch and candy for the fall festival that is next Friday and my library book and I think I have lost my jacket." Finally, I shove them out the door, only for them to return seven hours later with the afternoon panic of "I've got to write my spelling words three times each and read my book to you and do a math page and then tomorrow I have to remember to bring my song flute and our cookie dough fundraiser is almost over and we haven't sold nearly enough and then I have a book report due tomorrow that you have to help me with because I need to collect things related to the book to show the class when I make my presentation, and have I mentioned that they are selling yearbooks? I need money." Then we spend the rest of the evening drilling spelling words and trying to make a musical instrument out of common household items.

By the time we go to bed, I am exhausted.

When we homeschooled everyone, we got it done during the day and then the evenings were free. I am all about the free time. Now? I relax on weekends like regular people. Where is the fun in that?

I should make a t-shirt that reads: "Homeschooling: The Lazy Person's Alternative." I think it would bring scores of children home from public schools!

Probably not the image that we should project, but hey! It works for me.

Edited to add~ I feel compelled to say this...homeschooling is not completely a piece of cake. It's just that you can usually finish it and have actual time for your family at the end, whereas when the kiddos are in school there just never seems to be a moment left over, kwim? I don't even want to do extra-curriculars any more, because I can't figure out how to do that and still breath and go to the bathroom. Life was just...smoother when we homeschooled all of them. And there you have it. As with anything else, your mileage may vary.







28 comments:

Manda said...

I'm trying to decide which one college is more like....public school or homeschool.

Maybe it's a mix of both....we do have quite a few panic sessions throughout the semester. And we do get to pretty much decide when we do everything.

So yeah....I think it's like both.

And there's my rambling comment for the day. :)

Debra said...

Gwendolyn,

You crack me up! My son is 16 too but he finished up his Math requirements last year. He was never so glad to get Alg II behind him!

I loved Math (please don't reconsider our bloggy friendship)and he was gifted at it but that didn't mean he liked it...I, too, am glad it's behind him! tee hee

Happy Friday to you, my friend.

Aleta said...

I have two cousins who home schooled their children. Let me tell you, those children are respectful of people; they have a good head on their shoulders; they have ambition; they aren't cruel or hateful; they are going to attend college (one already graduated from college with honors). I'm incredibly proud of them and of their parents.

I think home schooling is an excellent idea of both parents are in agreement and the time is available.

Jerralea said...

Wow, I never considered homeschooling because I figured it was too much work ... for me, that is.

Thanks for coming by Jerri's Journey. I'm proud to see that you believe in naps as much as I do ...

Amy said...

It works for me too. LOL!:)

Both of my boys use the DVD program ABeka Academy, and we love it! From kindergarten until sixth grade, I taught them myself, but from then on...we have used the DVD program. It has saved my sanity.;) That and chocolate.;)

God Bless,
Amy:)

Smilingsal said...

My daughter homeschools her four children--two are now in college--and she would not like your shirt. I guess it all about how you want to do it. Thanks for sharing.

I have another book giveaway. (See my sidebar.)

Kelley said...

The Lazy Persons Alternative? Really? I need to follow your homechool plan!

Thanks for the laugh.

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

Yes, I kw[y]m. I fear that my children would not have been very self-motivated and I would have been nagging them all of the time. I still do admire you, though.

Merrie said...

Oh, man, do I agree! I loved homeschooling! Wish I had started when they were little, but instead waited until my oldest was in the 9th grade and my youngest in the 3rd... and 2 more in between..
the beginning is more difficult because it means organization and setting up the stuff... after you get the routine going - it is so much more peaceful and enjoyable...

my kids preferred public school because it was easier for THEM... and they had more friends. I, frankly, enjoyed the lack of "some" friends!

McAngie said...

Kudos to you! Bethany has severe learning disabilities and she gets help at school for things that I cannot do for her myself. I was told if I homeschooled her then I would not have access to the occupational therapy and the speech she's getting. Otherwise, I can't afford it.

Chatty Kelly said...

So I am new here and wondering why you decided to send the kids to public school? not judging, as I don't homeschool either, but just wondering why you switched it up?

Maggie said...

I'm with you, there is way too much homework, too many projects, endless reading assignments, etc., to be able to have sufficient family time during the week. Why can't the public schools get it all in during the school day?!

aswewalk.com said...

So there must be a really good reason you put them in public school. That whole lifestyle sounds SO stressful to me. My friends cluck, "I could never homeschool." And secretly I'm thinking, "I could never do all those things you have to do to send your kids to school." Lol.

Ron said...

Many years ago when I was younger but just as crazy, I homeschooled my then 15 year old daughter for her sophomore year. Everyone matures at a different pace. She should have been at the place where she did her school work without being constantly reminded. She wasn't. We pulled her out and homeschooled her for a year. It was an adventure. I was working as an electrician at the time. I was also serving several positions at the church.
She returned to school the following year and eventually completed her GED. She will be 29 this year and is working as a teacher in a montessori school.

Then came "S" .. she is my current wife's oldest daughter. She is an alphabet soup. She is ADD, ADHD, OC, and bi-polar. The school's idea of educating her was to let her do whatever she wanted, unchallenged, and then fail her. She failed 7th grade.
I began homeschooling her the following year. We started 8th grade. The county asked why we started 8th since she failed 7th. Wife told them, she didnt fail, y'all failed her. She did great in homeschool. I was working construction still, and was able to be off to help her.

I am a great believer and supporter of homeschooling. I applaud anyone that attempts such a venture. Since then, I have taught in a high school vocational school. Take the reward of teaching a child in that setting and multiply it immeasureably because it is your own child. the work is sometimes hard. However, the reward are out of the park.

Bravo to you.

KDLOST said...

hey hey hey! thanks for giving us an insider's view of homeschooling. it's a big thing down here... that and lots of charter schools, too. i am curious about it i must admit!

hope you all have a lovely weekend!

iChuzChrist said...

Gwendolyn,

We did that the first year of homeschooling, had one at home and one at public school. It was intensely hard, and the next year we brought her home. Haven't looked back since. Now that the youngest is homeschooling, it's a bit tougher (one is 18, one is 15, and one is 7), but it's much easier than trying to get one out the door in the morning.

Denise said...

You are so funny, lol

Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

"...your mileage may vary." The best line I've read all day. :)

bensrib said...

Honestly, I could never send my kids to school. It's way too much work. I'd much rather do the work I want, when I want, with no pressure from outside. And I definitely don't want those outside influences on their character.

kim said...

I am lazy, in general, but I don't think of homeschooling as easy, even though my older children use a mostly-computer-based-program too ... keeping up with making sure they're doing it, checking the parts I need to check, juggling homeschooling the youngers, always wondering if I'm doing enough, or doing too much academic stuff, or being too "test oriented" or not test oriented enough ... I used to think I was a laid back, easy going person, but I am not so sure anymore. I'm still lazy, though. I just have to find other ways to exercise that. ;-)

Karin Katherine said...

As someone who is MILES away from homeschooling a high schooler---this post made me laugh.

There is a great book, "Understanding Mathematimatics: from counting to calculus" by Kressin that you should consider adding to your homeschool library. Your daughter may appreciate consulting it instead of her father sometimes!
; 0 )

Brownie said...

your homeschooling sounds like how I homeschool!!

It doesn't need to be as intense (for the parent) as some seem to think.

Edie said...

I'm new here too and this made me LOL. I homeschooled my daughter when she was in HS but that was when homeschooling was a newer concept. I didn't actually do the homeschooling. She had a teacher who gave her weekly assignments and held her accountable. We would meet with him each week and he was the one she answered to concerning her work. It worked very well for us as she was highly rebellious. The teacher was a teacher at a Christian school and this was his business.

Sheryl said...

I always wanted to homeschool my daughter. But, she really loved going to school and now she is in college so she can teach children...cycle of life (or something like that).

40winkzzz said...

At my house, it's the one going to school that's easier. But that's because it's the highly motivated high-schooler who's going to school and the less-motivated younger ones who are homeschooling. I am still very much involved in the homeschooling! Yet, challenging as it is to homeschool my ADHD 13-y/o, I can't quite imagine getting him up at 6:30 and helping him remember everything he has to take to school and then making sure he gets his homework done and... it makes me tired to think about it.

As hectic and stressed out as our homeschool days can be, I do like having evenings that do not revolve around homework. (Although sometimes the kids do drag their schoolwork out into the evenings. I hate that!) And I can't imagine how on earth the kids could practice piano and play sports if they went to school all day and then did homework. I know 'normal" kids do that but...

Chel's Leaving a Legacy said...

I was pretty sure I was going to forget what I was going to say by the time I scrolled through all those comments! :-)

Hey, I'm with Chatty Kelly: what made you decide to go to the crazy side? hee hee

Your comparison made me laugh. And so did your statement: "Homeschooling a high-schooler must be fairly simple, or I would be WAY more whiney."

You're so funny!

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

When you order that T-shirt, get one for me, too. V-neck, please...

loavesandfishes said...

Public 2nd grade on Halloween.

We will assume some form of schooling happened in the a.m.
P.E. before 11
Recess
Lunch
Reward Assembly - viewed "The Nightmare Before Christmas"
Change into costumes
Parade and Party

Ok. What?!!! I know for sure that I am perfectly capable of wasting an entire day myself. So, why am I sending her to public school to watch movies I don't permit and be influenced by children I'm sure of their character?

After Friday I am seriously reconsidering our schooling choices.