“School stinks – It’s 6 hours of wasted time!!”
My son said that to me a few years ago–actually, he pretty much yelled it at me. He was the ripe old age of 7 and was 3 months into his 2nd grade school year. I couldn’t help but smirk at first and shrug it off. After all, he was 7. What did he really know about wasting time?
It became a pattern soon enough. He didn’t want to go to school. He would fake an illness, come up with an excuse, cry, and beg me to let him stay home with me. “Not possible” I would tell him. “You need to go to school to learn, and I need to work.”
I’m the mom. I’m supposed to know what is best, (that’s one of my jobs right?) and kids have to go to school no matter if they want to or not. So off he went. Each and every day. We both woke up in the morning dreading the walk to school. He would beg, plead, bargain… There was nothing in the world I could say to make him want to go.
“School stinks – It’s 6 hours of wasted time!!” he would scream.
It was now close to Christmas time and things were no better. He was always getting in trouble for moving in his seat, or talking out of turn, or making noises. All normal 7 year old boy things, but they still were not acceptable in a classroom with 20 other children. So we started having in depth discussions about why he “hated” school and why he didn’t ever seem to follow the rules. “It’s boring” he would yell at me. “We never get to learn anything fun, and every time we start learning about something cool we never get to finish!” Ah, the frustrations of a child.
My son is bright. He’s far above average when it comes to academics. We had know that but we didn’t quite know what to do. School was too easy, the work was boring to him, and he had energy bottled up inside that by 11am he was ready to explode in the classroom. He just couldn’t help it. He tried so hard, and would fail time after time. He was coming home from school sad and very upset with himself for not being able to listen to the teacher and follow the rules. He was a problem student that was excelling academically. What a conundrum.
By the time winter break rolled around I knew we had to find a solution for him. His teacher was ready to tie him to a tree and let the animals eat him. Part of me couldn’t blame her – he was a handful. But he was doing so well outside of school. He would come home craving more information. It was like living with the Short Circuit Robot – “Input – more input!” He didn’t want to do more addition, he wanted to do multiplication, division, angles, fractions… Anything I would throw at him he would pick up and run with it.
I knew that if he wanted to learn this badly,
I needed to find a way to make it happen.
So I began researching and started setting up my life so we could be a homeschooling family. Since that time it has been (all at once) the most terrifying and most satisfying, successful endeavor of our lives. We are currently finishing up with our second full year right now and I look back on it all and wouldn’t change a thing.
So to all parents out there looking for answers – I hope this blog can help arm you with some great resources for your quest. No matter what the reason, homeschooling is possible and can be the most rewarding thing you’ll ever do.*
*It’s far from perfect, but organized chaos is just as good in this house!