Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The Hardest Job Ever

Oh. My. Goodness!

I don't often blog about home schooling for some reason. Perhaps because I don't blog much about my kids in general, but also perhaps because it's rather mundane.

We are not the type of family to be galavanting all over the country doing exciting trips to the beach or the mountains or the Smithsonian and calling it all a big long field trip. Sounds like fun, though.

We are not the types to have our kids in a thousand different sports activities or music lessons. Quite frankly, we can't really afford that stuff. So I hang my head in a bit of shame over it all, and wonder if I am doing right by my kids. I teach them to play the recorder so they can at least read music, though.

But you know what? Home schooling my children is the most difficult thing I have ever done. Or probably will ever do. It's just hard.

One of the things that's hard about it is the detractors: The public school teacher lady at Church who gets that look on her face when the kids tell her they are being home schooled, or your friends who think you are crazy for doing something so difficult day in and day out when there's a nice shiny public school down the street.

And the grading is hard. Grading the kids work is not just about their work. It's also an evaluation of how well I've been doing getting them to learn, helping them to be organized, teaching them how to study or explaining math concepts. At the high school level, Wes has to explain the math concepts. I can no longer help there.

So we just finished up our first Quarter...well, I should say we tried to finish our first quarter and discovered some weaknesses and snafoos that will have to be addressed even as we plough into the next quarter's worth of lessons. Moving in the middle of all this did not help at all.

And I discovered that one of my kids hasn't been doing half her work. Yes, it's my fault for not giving her closer supervision and guidance. But it's also her fault. But what that means is that we have more work to do now. And it means I need to track her work better.

So, my head is spinning and I barely know how to do it all. Mostly the kids do their work independently. But then I have to check it, which takes lots of time. That's where I fall down on the job the most, I fear. That, and being organized, getting their papers graded and recorded. And teaching literary stuff ("What are this character's motives and feelings?"-- just doesn't fly with autism, you know?). I stink at figuring out how to get them to understand on a deeper level. Oh, and I also hate grammar, but I've learned TONS of grammar in the past few years. But that doesn't stop me from hating it.

Meanwhile, the laundry still needs attention, the kitchen is a mess. But at least because I was multitasking, there are beans in the crock pot and bread fresh out of the oven.

It all is rather stressful and difficult. Just thought I'd share, because most Home School blogs are all sweetness and light and educational adventures.

But would I change what I'm doing? Nope! Not for a minute.

7 comments:

elizabeth said...

I would find keeping up with the paper work hard too! My day job is running a small corporate library and it is hard to keep up! Today I had reference questions that took up 2/3 of the work day and that meant the books are unshelved and invoices not even glanced at...

It is hard to be organized; I think what you are doing is worth it too! very worth it!

Mary Poppins NOT said...

Ha! I totally relate to that. I rarely blog about homeschooling either. I keep up the best I can, but I know there are holes in the educations here and there. I console myself by thinking there would be holes no matter who educates them, and this way I know they are being attended to beyond simply the academics.

Just like you, I wouldn't change it, but keep it a fairly private matter.

I have a love/hate relationship with home schooling. It is difficult to articulate beyond that, I fear.

Has said...

Alana I appreciate your honesty. I am considering homeschooling (have almost 5 children) and I want the reality, not the sweetness and light, to make an informed decision. I know I've asked you this before, but I'd love to hear more about why you find homeschooling the best option.

wendylf said...

I can relate,...we have four imperfectly homeschooled kids, still working on the last one and didn't do the greatest job homeschooling, no one is perfect!

Some of my friends say that the kids will get a better education homeschooled than public schooled or privately schooled. I still feel guilty and I know that God will help the kids to get all the education they need.

Be encouraged, homeschooling autisic spectrum kids and being on the spectrum yourself is difficult. (I have a son diagnosed as Asperger's at 20! He is mild mannered and high functioning, but stuck at about 16...we working on independent living skills. Others in the familiy are probably on the spectum, too.)

I don't want to sound trite...but our Father loves you and your family. Hang in there, remember Jeremiah29:11 and remember our Father will complete what He has begun and He loves you!

Wendy in NM

The Incredible Woody said...

I commend you on all your hard work!

Shelbi said...

Hi, Alana. I've been thinking about homeschooling my son next year. He's currently in second grade, and not doing well at all. I think he needs more one on one time than he's getting at school, so the option of homeschooling is becoming more and more attractive as the school year wears on.

I homeschooled my oldest daughter through Kindergarten and first grade, without the help of a curriculum, and decided that I just wasn't cut out for it. I wanted to use an actual homeschooling curriculum, but they were all out of our reach, financially.

I read on your blog that you use Seton curriculum, and I was wondering if I could ask you some questions about it. I'd be happy to ask in comments, but I'd hate to clog up your comments with silly questions.

If you're willing, you can e-mail me at shelblog AT sbcglobal DOT net [never can tell how many spam bots look at blog comments, and I don't need anymore spam!]

Thanks a lot!

Edana said...

I think you're really strong and persistent for homeschooling your kids. Remember that public school isn't nearly perfect and you're giving your kids something that public school can't--their mother's attention and love!