7 Things: Homeschool Fail

This post was partially inspired by the 7 Quick Takes by the priest’s wife a few weeks ago. Her #5 so hit the nail on the head for us.  But these are 7 things in which I fail at being the ideal homeschooling parent that you read about in homeschooling books and on homeschooling blogs.  Some of them I hope to be able to change someday, particularly #1 and #5, but until then here our 7 ways in which I fail at homeschooling:

1.  Too much screen time:  Yes, we have a television and it is on all day long.  And when one kid isn’t watching something on the television, another is doing something on the computer, and a third is watching a DVD on the other computer.  My kids spend a lot of time in front of a screen.  Yes, I know too much will rot their brains and undo all my grand homeschooling work.  Do I get any points for not having cable, though?

2.  No Arts or Crafts Here: I can’t sew or knit or crochet, so my kids aren’t learning any of that from me.  I am HORRIBLE at craft projects and I don’t have the patience to supervise or clean them up anyway.  Markers and Play-Doh are verboten.  They are allowed all of the white paper, crayons, and color pencils they want.  On a good day they are allowed tape, glue sticks, and scissors.  So, we won’t be sewing our own togas to reenact the last days of the Roman senate or constructing our own Jesse tree from piles of felt.  Maybe at Granny’s house….

3.  Workbooks:  Probably the most derided thing in all of homeschooling is workbooks.  They are just so….school-like.  What’s the point of homeschooling if you aren’t going to be creative with your teaching methods?  Well, I don’t have the time, energy, or patience to be creative…and my oldest daughter would rather just crack into her workbook, get her formal studies done, and move on with her life.  It works for both of us.

4.  Twaddle:  To start off with, my oldest daughter (and my only reader at this time) does not like fiction.  Do you have any idea how hard it is to find non-fiction for a second-grader with a fourth-grade reading level?  Or even a second-grader with a second-grade reading level?  So, I don’t care if a book is not on the list of “Greatest works of literature ever written that will make your child the wisest, nicest, and most witty person ever”; as long as it is not inappropriate and she will read it, I’m not going to stop her.

5.  No Reading Aloud Allowed:  Ah, can you picture the serene homeschooling mother in her rocking chair nursing a baby while her other children ranging in age from 2 to 12 gather around her on the floor to listen as she reads a chapter from the classics of childhood?  Yeah, well, that’s not me.  Picture a mother on the couch and nursing the baby trying to read a chapter of a beloved classic while her eight and five year old roll their eyes and sigh and ask every five minutes if she’s done so they can do something less boring while the two-year-old draws on the wall with red crayon.  That’s me.

6.  Family Lunch or Tea:  While I try to have us all sit down for dinner like a civilized family, it just never seems to work out for lunch.  For one thing, I hate cooking.  And having lunch as a family would require me to make an actual lunch menu.  Plus, my kids each wake up at different times and each approach the day differently with their hunger needs.  At this point I basically require that they eat two healthy “meals” from a selection of easy to make breakfast and lunch foods before they are allowed to have any junk food.  We also eschew an afternoon tea time where we eat home-made cookies and discuss the “issues of the day”.

7.  Leaving the House:  I do try to keep the two older girls in one activity outside the house each.  Otherwise we don’t leave the house much.  We aren’t a part of a big homeschooling group or co-op.  We aren’t hitting the museums and zoos on a regular basis.

The main reason is because we only have one vehicle which my husband needs to go to work.  But I also find traveling around with four kids very stressful at times.  I’m kind of conflicted about it.  On one hand my kids aren’t getting those grand homeschooling experiences and opportunities, but in reality most adults don’t spend every waking moment of their lives having grand experiences and opportunities.  Maybe I’m just protecting them from supreme disappointment when they grow up and most of their life is made up of uneventful days at home.

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Explore posts in the same categories: 7 Things, Homeschooling/Education

3 Comments on “7 Things: Homeschool Fail”

  1. Kelly Says:

    Love it!

  2. sarah ziegler Says:

    Wow, awesome.


  3. yes- you do “get points” for not having cable! 🙂


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