Homeschooling is not for me

“If there were no schools to take the children away from home part of the time, the insane asylums would be filled with mothers.” ~Edgar W. Howe

I don’t know how other moms do homeschooling.  I don’t.  I would murder my children.  I was thinking last night that centuries ago mothers did teach everything to their children at home, and then it dawned on me.  That was the reason so few of the children reached to adulthood.  It wasn’t the plague; it was moms being frustrated by ungrateful, whinny, temper-tantrum-throwing, not-listening, willful, disobedient children.  Or maybe it’s just my child.  Or maybe it’s me.  I’m fine with it being me.

Reasons I can’t homeschool my children:

  1. I don’t have the patience to deal with a child who doesn’t want to learn.
  2. If I can’t teach them one way, I can’t figure out any other way.
  3. I find myself using stupid threats, like feeding him to the wolves.
  4. I can’t make my child understand that the sooner he does it, the sooner he gets to play.
  5. Did I mention I don’t have the patience?
  6. I want to throw temper tantrums with him.
  7. It turns out I have a violent side that only rises after fifteen minutes of trying to get a child to hold a crayon the correct way.  (Don’t worry; I only wish to hurl the crayon across the house.)
  8. I would have to get on some serious medication.  Or start drinking.  And I’m pregnant.
  9. I have mood swings.
  10. I don’t have the patience!

I guess this is the part where I admit I had to force Tornado E to do a school project that he decided not to do at school.  (Point for it being my son’s issue.)  As the teacher knew I’m a concerned parent, due to the weekly meetings I have with her and the time I asked for all his work when he was out for a week, she gave me the project.  It was cut out a man shape to glue into a folded paper to be a jack-in-the-box.  Simple enough, right?  Insert hysteric laughter.

A half an hour of Tornado E saying he can’t, Tornado E going to a whining room, Tornado E going to a crying room, my dad walking out of the house, my mom trying her hand at it, my mom telling me to send him to time out, my threats that he’ll be there until he is done or until he dies whichever comes first, Tornado E FINALLY cut out the damn man figure.  Then it was twenty minutes over how he couldn’t make a face, he couldn’t make a smile, he couldn’t make eyes, the markers weren’t working, it’s just not right, I don’t want to do it.  I finally was able to let him glue it in the “box.”  Then I forced him to finish his “J” paper.  The horrors of being a four-year-old preschooler.  After an hour, he was free to run around, and I had the desperate desire for a shot of vodka.

I will happily PAY someone to teach my child.

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You will learn, damnit.

Me: Ok, Evan, you’re going to learn to make a two.

Evan: I don’t want to.

Me: We can write a two for Sean’s birthday.

Evan: I don’t want to.  I want to write a one.

Me: You make very good ones.  But you should learn to make other numbers like three because you’re three or four because you’re turning four soon.

Evan: Hmm.  I think I’ll turn eleven instead because ones are easy to write.

Me: It doesn’t work that way.


See that!  In just a few sentences, Evan has me ready to growl.  Oh, I can be super patient teaching a craft, pooping, or playing a  new game, but this whole homeschooling thing unhinges me.  I don’t know how other moms do it.  I don’t know why other moms do it.  My working theory is they are (a) crazy, (b) saints, or (c) a little of both.  (Send your hate mail now.)

 We’ve been doing workbook pages for a couple of months.  At first, Evan loved doing them.  He would tell me stories of the objects he was tracing or matching.  He would ask to do another page and another.  All was right, and I actually thought Evan would be writing his name before summer. 

Then Evan realized it was work and that he had no choice but to do the worksheets.  Then he decided to make it tough.  Screw you, Mommy.  Make me.  He would play with the crayon, forget how to hold the crayon, switch crayons, sit there, tell me random stories, talk to Sean, play with the crayons, run off if I turn my back.  Are you kidding me?  Even when he knew the answer, he would protest the thought of circle the right object.  I swear I just might strangle the kid.

He’s been learning to trace numbers, in the attempt to learn to write them.  Tomorrow we start on letters.  But the minute he saw that it wasn’t a picture, he threw up a wall in protest.  Lately we’ve been playing a game of follow the leader, drawing style.  I draw a line down; he draws a line down.  I draw a line across; he draws a line across.  That worked for a day, but he’s figured out that this might be more than fun and games, throwing that damn wall up.

So am I super excited to turn Evan over to a professional?  You better believe I am.  The very thought that I would somehow figure out the code to unlock his learning ability has eased the fears of putting him into school, realizing my baby is growing up. 

We’ve settled on a half day program, three days a week where a friend of my mom’s teaches.  I liked the curriculum, the close proximity, and the teacher.  Evan loved the playground.  The husband loved the price tag.  As this is only a school for preschool and kindergarten, we’ll have to do this all over again in a year and a half for an elementary school.  Fun.

But for now, I’m just glad this part is over.  Now back to forcing the kid to learn to write his name.  It’s four letters.  How hard can it be?

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