Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Final Countdown

We are in the final countdown until the end of the school year.  Each day drags us kicking and screaming (quite literally) a little closer to the end of formal schooling and to the beginning of homeschooling.  I am starting to empathize with Sisyphus a bit more.

Each morning my husband and I cajole, beg, plead and physically drag our daughter out of bed.  "I don't want to go to school!!!!  Can't we start homeschooling now?  Why can't we just quit school?"  Our loving and sympathetic response, you ask?  "Get out of bed!  You are GOING!  Get dressed!"  Normally the final push to the end of the school year is not a pretty process for anyone, but it is especially ugly for us this year.

After school, homework which is always a pleasant process (NOT!)  has gotten especially disagreeable.  Our son, who never cheerfully does his homework is especially vocal about "Stupid Homework!"  "Stupid school!"  "Why do we have to do stupid homework for stupid school?"  Obviously "stupid" (which is a "no-no" word that he is not allowed to say) is the most reprehensible word he can come up with in his seven year old vocabulary.

If I had a nickel for each "AHHHH" or "GRRRR" being uttered by these two children during these last few weeks, their college funds would be completely funded for Harvard (forget about actually getting in, but at least we could pay for it).

I on the other hand am panicking about just how few days are left.  I need them to stay in school for several more weeks.  I need more time!!!  I have curricula to select.  I have resources to find.  How am I going to create worksheets for the kids?  (Phew, found a few free worksheet makers online last night.)  How am I going to teach literature?  What about poetry for the kids? I have to teach them to enjoy all types of literature?  Where am I going to find great poetry that is not mind-numbingly boring and drool inducing (like I had to read in school) when I am not an English teacher? We can't just read Shel Silverstein forever.  (Phew, found several cool poetry authors for children online this morning after a couple of hours).

I NEED MORE TIME!!!  I AM NOT READY FOR THEM TO BE OUT OF SCHOOL.  I am panicking at the thought of opening the doors of our homeschool at noon on June 3rd when the kids are officially out of school. For every resource I find, I think of two more that would be great to have.  For every book or subject I think I have covered, a new fear crops up.  How will I teach my son who loathes the very thought of picking up a pencil to be a good writer?  Well-meaning moms at the kids' school are asking if I am ready.  They tell me I am so brave, they could never homeschool.  I must be so patient.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME???  PATIENT???  Patience is a virtue I simply don't have.

However, deep down there is a little voice that is growing louder.  I am ready. I can do this.  I have found great resources.  I will be able to tackle challenges as they arise.  The skeletal outline of what I would need that I made early in our decision process has been filled in and fleshed out.   I know where to look for new ideas and resources.

I have one of the most important things I will need:  I only want what is best for these children and am willing to do whatever it takes to make sure they succeed.  I love these children like no one else.  I am way too stubborn to not find a way for this to work.

I guess unlike Sisyphus, even though I am rolling the boulder up the hill, once summer arrives, the boulder will roll down the far side of the hill.  We will hold on tight.  It is going to be a bumpy ride! Hopefully it will be like a roller coaster.  I have always loved roller coasters.  This ride will make us scream for sure, but with any luck, we will never want to get off.


  1. One thing we did with our resistant-to-writing boy to try and encourage creativity was have him create comic books. Knowing your son, this might be the route to go. Actually, if he doesn't want to draw the comic, Disney XD has an online comic creator where you can build one based on their characters. Here is a link to the Avengers one:
    Might be a good start.

  2. That is a fabulous idea! Comics are amazing for boys. I had already found a comic book to teach history ( Definitely a much more fun way to learn about the Civil War or American History, etc. If we can take away the actual writing component, then our little guy is very creative. I see a lot of dictation in my future as we ease back into actual writing. Hopefully if we make physical writing a more gradual thing, he will loose some of his hostility towards writing. I am also going to try pen rather than pencil to eliminate some of the pressure and hand fatigue... We will see. Thanks for the suggestion.

  3. take a deep breath, you'll do fine! Welcome to homeschooling!