Friday, October 9, 2009


Lately, we...meaning Summer and I, and been having a few issues with "school". It seems that I am not an interesting enough teacher to keep my child intrigued enough to pay attention. It also does not help that she is not mature or motivated enough to do it without my guidance.

Schooling at home is one of the issues that has been weighing heavy on my mind for the past year. I can't even tell you how many times that I have (a.) wished I had put her in formal school from day 1 and let her be someone else's problem or (b.) have thought many times about putting her in formal school therefore freeing myself and her from the torture of homeschooling (c.) wondered what in the hell ever possessed me to ever entertain the thought of homeschooling. After all, there is a very nice red elementary school just a couple of blocks up the road...

Yes, quite honestly homeschooling as of late has been a sore spot for us. I know it should not be. All the books say it's a wonderful experience for all family members involved and we will reap the benefits of a "home school" environment. If I look at the big picture we have so far...

Maybe I am too wrapped up in schooling my daughter in the traditional way....a school desk and a teacher chock full of curriculum ultimatums and expectations. My little checklist of things that need to complete before the day is over.

I don't know why I just can't let go. I have always found that she seems to excel in her learning when we are on breaks or vacations....when she is not being "taught".

I have thrown my hands up. It's not learning when both of us are miserable. I'm stressed and she isn't learning a thing because she is mad at me for "teaching" her.

I press on because of fear....fear that if I don't keep on top of "teaching" her she will end up like the the thousands of homeless folk at the Arch Center downtown or not be able to conduct herself as a contribution to society. Or maybe, that she will end up having to live with me the rest of her life because she didn't acquire enough education to get out and make a living for herself. Or even worst of all, that I will look like a bad mom because my kid can't even pass a college entrance exam.....after all, I won't be able to blame the public school system for my child's lack of education.

These are some of the issues that have been heavy on my mind lately. Then something happened. On one of my homeschool forums I saw a documentary on public schooled kids in America called Stupid In America. You can watch it here.

Now I know how the media can hype up issues. But having a grown son that was a victim of the public school Alabama I might add, I know from experience that the things that were being documented were in fact true.

I can't tell you how many times my son would come home telling me about movies he had watched during Science or Math class. Or how the football coach was teaching them English because there wasn't a proper English teacher for their class. I might add that my son went to one of the best public schools in our city.

Anyway, after I watched the documentary I didn't feel so much like a homeschool failure. Matter of fact I felt proud and honored to be a part of my child's education. After all, she can read above her grade level and she has a very creative mind.

I guess we are always most critical of the ones we love and expect more than the norm. Maybe in a way, they are a reflection of who we think we are. Maybe our expectation is more for ourselves than for them.

Just maybe, I should just sit back and enjoy watching her learn at her own pace and in her own way....hopefully it will not backfire on me. :-)


  1. It is always hard to be sure you are doing the "right" thing with your kids. Home schooling has become more prevalent in the past few years, but I am sure you still encounter those critical of your decision. Glad you happened upon that documentary to give you the confirmation you needed!

  2. Well...this week we are being life learners, no forced academics at all and I must say that we ALL are so much happier. When I relax and forget the only brick and mortar upbringing that I know we are so much more free to explore and do what comes natural through the course of the day.

    I find that my unofficial "unschooling" approach is turning out just fine and the kids are bad I can't ditch the math. If in the end we didn't cover all the basics I suppose there will be a book, computer program or person that can "teach" it if need be. In the meantime I'll continue to try to fit in with "tradional homeschoolers" and answer the dreaded question "What cirriculum do you use"...almost weekly and fill out those stupid "grade/attendance" forms just for the sake of friggen doing it! UGH!