Monday, October 25, 2010

Home Schooling 101

The Matron doesn't quite know if she's officially homeschooling or not. She does SOOO appreciate her debt to blog readers and dear in-the-flesh friends (thank you!). But she and her wiser, better half (this would be you, John, if you are still reading the blog) decided to pull the plug on school for Scarlett, at least for a couple of months. The Matron is still waiting to hear what the school says about returning in January.

So . . . .yours truly thought all was well. Groovy. Problem solved. Anything but algebra is up her alley and then she has HWCBN to help. Sure, she has to create curriculum and dye hair (Scarlett must be a Chilean dark for a current show) but the Matron felt everything - well, perhaps under control.

Until the reality of today.

Stryker goes to school. Merrick goes to school. Matron starts working.

In thirty seconds a slim ghost appears at her shoulder.

Scarlett: "Mom? Can we go to the thrift store and get Halloween costumes?"

Matron: "I have to work. You have five jobs today: homework, laundry, breaking up dog treats, sweeping and making your bed. You have 50 algebra problems to complete before 3 pm."

Scarlett: "You are SO MEAN!!"

Thus the day began. While the Matron attempted to attend to her full-time job, Scarlett flitted at her shoulder.

"Mom? Can you make J-ello?"

"Can you find my blue sweatshirt?"

"If I write my history essay first, can you read it and make comments?"

"I wonder if Grandma would like me to call her today?"

"What happened to the brownies? Did someone eat them already?"

This, within 15 minutes. Add another six hours and you get the drift. Home schooling was seriously back on the cutting board.

People! Why didn't anyone tell her this is work --and OMIGOD--mandatory interaction with one of your children? Who has really no direction other than that you give her and no friends or siblings to distract?

At least the Matron got a taste of Purgatory before she goes there.

Thankfully, starting tomorrow there are five solid weeks of performances so the child will be gone. Because the Matron more fully understood today that what she needs? A little bit of solitude, in between driving (and work, errands, cleaning and the sixty-pound blood hound puppy).

Fraying at the edges. . . .


Anonymous said...

Sorry I didn't mention that part... I think it's because my kid whom I homeschooled the longest preferred to be left alone so he could go off-track and daydream.
You do give up a life of your own to some extent, but eventually she will get the idea that you need an hour of uninterrupted work. Esp. if you threaten to turn into that girl from The Exorcist.

MJ said...

Never homeschooled but my 5 year old is like Scarlett. There's a reason why she's in daycare & I'm at work; we would drive each other crazy.

trash said...

Do you think it might be a little like childbirth? No one can really tell you how you will cope with/survive/endure it, you just have to do it.

Hoping things settle.

Jen on the Edge said...

Friends of mine homeschool and I know that they have set hours during which school work is done and nothing (and I mean NOTHING) else happens. It's a known thing -- the kids know what's expected of them, the parents know that they can't schedule anything else, and other people know not to call (the phone won't get answered). It's not a great deal of time -- they put in 2-4 hours of solid work and then they're done for the day.

JFS in IL said...

I second Jen - and, at least for now, Scarlett will need your 1:1 attention for at least a couple hours a day while she gets through the bulk of her work.

And if she goes off-track with requests for Jello, whatever, or interrupts YOUR work (after those two hours are up) for that sort of thing - you keep track. Every interruption is five minutes off tv or computer time or...EXTRA math ;-) Something.

Math - I HATE it and am not good at it - I used a computer program (Chalkdust for one kid, VideoText for another)and it was GREAT!!!

You do NOT have to exactly replicate whatever they are doing in the local school!

Mama Ava said...

Homeschooling is a shock to the system, for both parents and kids! It takes time to find the routine that works for both of you, and for the child to adapt to a different way of structuring time and expectations. It took us a couple months before my 4th grade son (and I) figured out what worked best. One thing that did work was to sit down every morning with a morning meeting and talk about what needed to get done. We also found it very helpful to plan out a weekly schedule with what we needed to get done. There was a plan for each day, but we didn't keep that very strict--we just kept an eye on what needed to get done by the end of the week. Might be helpful when you're juggling the theatre schedule and your own work.

At the beginning especially, but throughout be prepared for it to take more time than you expected. I felt good after a couple months!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Oy. Did NOT see that coming...

~annie said...

I thought actresses slept in until noon? Scarlett is a driven and disciplined professional. If she managed to keep up a straight-A average for the school she barely attended, she'll be able to handle the homeschooling once she knows exactly what's expected.

bethany said...

i so hear you, that's what hit me the hardest too when i pulled my oldest out half way thru 2nd grade. my time, what happened to even 5 minutes by myself?? it's hard. learning to find things that he can do solo, and set lots of timers. i love the interruption=penalty idea from JFS, might adopt that one myself! hope it smooths out for you, we still have good/bad days.

Daisy said...

I'm still campaigning for virtual school. We have them in Wisconsin, you must have one available somewhere in MN. The biggest advantage: it's a public school, and the curriculum is there, ready to be taught. You don't have to create it.

Minnesota Matron said...

We're doing a sort of halfway thing. We're following the school curriculum and, if she doesn't get into another show for which she's auditioning (really a long shot), she'll go back in January. The school is willing to work with us and let her do the curriculum --with teacher advice -- in case she goes back. That helps but doesn't change the lack of solitude for yours truly : -)