Unschooling: Living Without School; Living Free Range-Freedom to Learn What One Wants When One Wants

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

5 Things Homeschooled Children Have to Put Up With

Just a little humor for the day.

As my daughter lay in bed last night with a nasty cough, I rubbed my newest most improved oil concoction on her and asked what she would like to do tomorrow, to which she replied a coughy reply, "Some *cough* thing *cough cough* in bed *cough cough cough*.". Then I realized how unfortunate home schools are because they get no sick days. I hear a lot about how lucky homeschoolers are, how many perks they have, and they really have quite a few-starting at the best time for them, wearing their pajamas to "school," ending early (sometimes), being able to go out and do things during the day when it isn't crowded...but then there are those things that poor unfortunate homeschoolers have to put up with. It is just part of the deal.

#1 No sick days. Nope. Nada. Zilch. Not in this house. "What's that? You're sick? Sure. We can chill in bed all day, but we need to read or play our newest math board game. Well, maybe dice game so you don't throw up all over it."

#2 Breaks are shorter. I have yet to meet a family that didn't say something like "Well, we aren't quite done with the school year yet. I know it is almost June. Public schools are out and we are winding down most of our school year activities, but there is still stuff left to be done. We will probably work until July and start back up in August." For our family, even though we UNradically homeschool, true breaks don't actually exist. No No. Our household is too easy going on a day to day basis. There is no "spending 5 weeks straight sleeping until 2 o'clock and watching TV until bedtime." Sure, there is lots of play time. When schools are on break and I have my little brother, I love nothing more than to see S play the entire day away, creating castles and making up rules to games together, but there I am noting, everything I see as a "learning experience." Ha Ha Ha. I have tricked her. She thinks she is on "break" because the days look different, but she isn't!

#3 All work is homework. That's right. We may not traditionally school, but the poor girl can never leave education behind at school. School starts when her eyes open and ends when her eyes close for the night. Whether it is a project we are working on, a new art technique, or even a math computer game we found. Learning. All. The. Time.

#4 Mom Freak Outs I don't care how you homeschool, whether you unschool or do school in a box. At some point, Mom always freaks out. I have never met a homeschool family who has never experienced that time of panic. Mom starts thinking of how much time has passed and wonders how much have you really learned?! Oh no! Or maybe December is approaching and you are two chapters behind. Moms usually freak out a few times a year, generally as the end of the semester approaches. And when Mom starts freaking out, the work gets piled on, and it just keeps coming, sometimes through the holidays...And nobody rests until she does.

#5 Going EVERYWHERE with Mom. I see this as a blessing and a curse. You learn a lot running errands, at least S does. She stays super involved. She likes to fill out deposit slips and slide the debit card. She has made friends with many adults in the community and enjoys talking to them. She tells them about herself and they tell her about them and teach her things about their job. She knows how to purchase meat from the local farm. Or how to barter at the Farmer's Market. BUT some days it gets old to her and repetitive. I'm not going  to lie and pretend it is always fun. Some days we are hurried and she doesn't get to slide the card. I forget. And some days even I wish I could just leave her home! (I'm sure she feels the same.) So okay. I will admit. I think the core of this is, on occasion, we would both really like a break. So on those days we usually go to a friends house and she just plays with the kids while Mommy has some adult time.

Thus is the life of a homeschooler, but it is not so bad. Even if you ask DD about all the things she has to put up with, mostly "Freak Out Mode Mom," she would say she still wouldn't have it another way. And neither would I.

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