Homeschooling is tough. It’s not for wimps, that’s for sure. You have to be really, really sure it’s what you want to do before you jump into it. I’ll be honest – there are days that I totally understand how much my mom enjoyed sending us out the door to school each morning! I can picture her shutting the door behind us, taking a big breath in, big sigh out, and probably doing a little happy dance. I’m the kind of person who really needs alone time – something you don’t get much of if you homeschool. One thing that’s helped is that for all but last year we have been under the umbrella of our homeschool co-op, so 2 days a week Kiki is in a classroom with other kids and another teacher, so I’ve had those days to get my head back on straight.
I’ve homeschooled Kiki since 1st grade, and honestly, I’ve enjoyed it. Really! The first two years were awesome… the material was fun and easy, it took us about 2 hours to get thru our work, and then we got to spend the rest of the day playing. How can you find anything bad about that?
3rd grade was tough. I don’t know if the material was harder for Kiki or if she was just going through a moment of growth and independence, but we had lots of days of “flying books” as she screamed about not doing school. This is the year three things happened: 1) We did school in the ‘bonus room’ upstairs, and I seriously considered tossing her out the window 2) I remembered that in her pre-K and Kindergarten classes, her teachers had prize boxes the kids could choose out of when they got certain things done, or behaved certain ways…. and I realized that if ‘real’ school teachers could use bribery, so could I! 3) I found out that Kiki responds way better to rewards than to punishments. School went better after that…. until this year.
Kiki is in 7th grade this year. She is really bright, so for the most part the curriculum isn’t a big problem. She ‘gets’ how to do most of it without a whole lot of help from me. Except math. Math sucks. I couldn’t figure that crap out when I was in school myself, and for the most part it isn’t making a whole lot more sense to me now. Thanks to the internet I have learned a few mathematical facts that I think I probably should already have known… and finally now I know. But, still, there is a lot I just don’t get – and don’t care to get. It makes it hard to explain to Kiki why she has to know it, when I don’t. Still, it’s not too bad. We are still doing alright at this homeschooling deal.
Except….. we live with my mom and dad now. My husband doesn’t have a job. So we have an audience every day. This is soooo not working for me!! Some days things don’t go smoothly. Some days we yell at one another. (Kiki and I, that is) Some days I send her to her room. Some days I send myself away! We have always worked things out, eventually, and gotten through the day. Gotten school done. Ended up still loving (and liking) one another! But now, everything is scrutinized. Critiqued. I get told what I should do, or what I should have done differently. I find myself not always acting in the way I should – or would have – if Kiki and I were alone. I think this is a bad deal. It’s certainly making me insane, as if I wasn’t nearly there already…
Tonight, I am taking Kiki to the coffeehouse, just the two of us. We are going to have a little time to talk, about stuff. Sure, part of the talk is going to be about …. boys. Yeah. She’s 13. Boy-crazy. Some info needs to be shared. Beyond that though, I think we will talk a little about how we are going to navigate the rest of the school year with her behaving well enough that I don’t have to kill anyone. It could be her… could be my dad… could be my husband…. but, if something doesn’t change, it will definately be somebody!!