Homeschool, Spanish Inquisition Style

Boy10 went to Karate Day Camp this week.

Whose idea was it to give the kids karate lessons anyway?  That was probably the dumbest parenting decision we’ve ever made.   The benefit of children being smaller than you is that you can fling them around and pin them down and tickle them.

But now, because of dumb old karate, they can defend themselves.  Now when I try to tickle them all I get for my trouble is a poke in the kneecap.

Pennsylvania homeschool laws state that we have to teach our kids physiology, which is:



  1. The branch of biology that deals with the normal functions of living organisms and their parts.
  2. The way in which a living organism or bodily part functions.

As part of my end of year portfolio I’m going to include a video of the kids demonstrating their knowledge of physiology.  They could show exactly how body parts function when you bend back a person’s finger or poke your fingertips between their ribs.  Karate teaches physiology, Spanish Inquisition style.  Did you know it takes the same amount of pressure to snap a person’s finger as it takes to snap a carrot in half?  I’m sure that knowing how much pressure it takes to snap a person’s finger is not what they meant when they wrote “must learn physiology” into homeschool law.

Or maybe it was.  I’ve told you before that they close the schools on the first day of hunting season and I personally know children who have driven tractors to school on Drive Your Tractor to School Day.

Back to karate camp.

Boy8 didn’t want to go to karate camp so I took him to visit with a new friend while Boy10 was at camp.

And oh, the stress.

Friend8’s mom invited me to stay while the boys played since we don’t know each other.  The problem? Friend8’s mom is sweet.  Truly sweet.  Not fake out your coworkers sweet to aggravate Mike, but a genuinely gentle soul.  And, oh, the pressure!  Boy8 really likes her son and I didn’t want her pegging me as a Bad Influence, so we had to be on our best behavior.  It was rough, people.  I was afraid that at any moment I’d temporarily lose control and bark out a disgusting snot joke and that would be the end of the friendship.  I was exhausted by the time I got home and had to lie down and play Candy Crush on the ipad.

And what made it worse was that Friend8’s mom is clean.  Noooo!  Not both sweet and clean.  Her sweetness compounded with her cleanliness was Stressing Me Out.  I’m going to show you why but if you are easily frightened you should stop reading now and most certainly do not scroll down to the picture.

You’ve seen blog posts in the past making fun of my dust, but you’ve never, and I mean you’ve never, seen dust like this.  This is dust to make one’s mother proud. This is the sort of dust that is so thick you can pick it up with chopsticks and put into glass cases to show as a Wonder of the World in the local traveling circus.

The other day I moved a long row of books that have been on top of a bookcase for a number of years, well above my eye level.  I don’t dust anything above my eye level so the dust has been accumulating, as dust does.

But this dust was different.  This went well beyond your normal dust accumulation into something spectacular.  There comes a tipping point when the sheer volume of dust brings a tear to your eye, and not just because of all the pollen.

Here it is:


On that first The Magic of Oz book, you can see that there’s something stamped on the pages but it fades away into the murky depths of the dust and you can’t make out all the words.

Here’s another part of the stack at different angle with different lighting.  It’s slightly blurry.  It’s hard to focus on dust.


So, there I was in my new friend’s house and it’s spotless.  Just neat as a pin.  And she apologized for the mess.  Why do neat as a pin people always apologize for the mess when there is none?  Neat people have super laser vision, because I never see all the dirt they see.  All I could think about was my lovely dust and how proud I am of it and how sorry I was for her that she didn’t have a dust collection like I do.

And no, I didn’t keep the dust.  I took the books outside and used the leaf blower to clean them off.


6 thoughts on “Homeschool, Spanish Inquisition Style

  1. You can use a medium stiff paint brush..
    That’s what I would use, if I had dusty books.
    If you move dusty books you can see where dust wasn’t .
    Then you have to dust the shelf and on and on.
    It’s best to let sleeping dust lie.

    • I tried to dust some more bookshelves today. The rag came away with big wads of dust on it, so I had to shake it outside. The wind was blowing your way. I think the dust might have gotten stuck on the wet stain on your fence. So sorry about that.

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