A few days ago I posted about my 17 hour school day. It’s such a long day (but really more like 7 hours) because of the non-stop rabbit trails we take.
A few people responded to my post with compliments saying they thought my homeschool sounded like fun. And while that’s very gratifying I have to say that I run into people like me all the time, so I’m not really all that special.
See, when I finally stop watching youtube videos with the boys and hand them a worksheet to fill in, I need to stay in the room with them or they get wild. Sort of like in my 6th grade social studies class with Miss Davenport. She left us alone in the classroom while she went to make copies on the ditto machine. While she was gone all of us, the entire 6th grade class, turned into feral beasts. When she came back she could hear our snarls and calls at the other end of the hallway. She stood in shocked horror at the window to the classroom unable to believe her eyes: we were out of our seats, we were throwing paper, we were dropping books on the floor. She stormed in and made us write, “We will not be wild animals when our teacher is away,” 200 times for homework.
What was my point? Oh yeah. You can’t really leave kids alone when they’re supposed to be doing schoolwork. So I sit there, babysitting, while they work. And I get Bored. Capital B Bored.
So I do what all the other bored homeschooling parents do while their kids are working on independent work. I head to an online homeschooling forum and read what the other homeschoolers are up to.
And there I find people who are much more advanced in this whole “use whatever you can find to stuff knowledge into their heads” game we play. For example, the other day a woman wrote about her children’s love affair with all things bathroom. Here’s what she wrote:
“Ok. I give up. I am surrounded by boys and girls who just adore poop and farts! I am so sick of it I am pulling out the big guns….. Ready to kill their love of the subject by requiring it as a unit study.
So, are there any unit studies on poop and farts? Any ideas you wish to share?
My first assignment was a cluster diagram on poop. 3 different kinds…. 3 details. Tomorrow they write the paragraphs! You should see their faces! Wait until they get their spelling list!”
I read it and figured that no one would really respond with anything helpful, but to my surprise post after post after post came in with all sorts of suggestions. There were links to poop cartoons, to an education video about the “poop cycle” (oh my), and countless book recommendations. When all was said and done there were 52 responses. She updated the post a few days later to write:
“UPDATE: It worked!! My youngest has not written poop on one of his books in 4 days!!”
I mean, how can I stay away from this, people? This is homeschool gold! No matter what your problem is, these people can solve it for you. If you want to read the whole post and all 52 responses, here’s the link. The website is free.
But beyond solving any and all possible educational challenges, it’s also entertaining. A woman posted the other day about her son who has social issues. This was posted in the “Learning Challenges” board, so that means he probably as Aspergers, so the issues are real and the woman is honestly seeking help. She wanted advice on how to teach her son not to make himself a target for teasing. Turns out that he likes to chew on things, so he took horse chew to his high school baseball practice the other day to chew on. No, I don’t know what horse chew is either, but she wrote that the boy’s grandparents have horses and the boy figured he could just snack on the chew. I’m guessing it’s like a chew toy for horses? Or some sort of treat for a horse that is chewy? Don’t know.
And here’s where I’m torn. On the one hand, you feel sorry for the kid who doesn’t understand social situations. But on the other hand, oh my goodness, imagine the looks on the other kids’ faces when they see their teammate chomping on horse chew? That’s a little funny…
Sorta like the story my mother told me the other day about my aunt. I have a branch of the family that I’ve only met once when I was a child. Apparently my Aunt Barbara is in her 50s and has been into drugs on and off all her life–marijuana all the way to heroin–and her brain is a bit like “swiss cheese” as my mother says. The other day, she decided to go on a little road trip with just herself and her chihuahua. She started from her home in Colorado and drove to Moab, Utah. Somewhere along the way, she turned on to a lonely dirt road in the middle of a lonely town in the middle of a lonely state. She stopped the car, and attempted to leave it. But somehow or other, she fell half in/half out of the car. A rancher found her two days later (alive), but stuck face down in the dirt. When they lifted her up, they found her little Chihuahua, squashed under her (dead).
Part of me is completely horrified and part of me finds that hilarious. Maybe if it had been anything other than a chihuahua. And it didn’t help that my mother was laughing so hard when she told me the story that she could barely get it out.
Back to the bored homeschooling parents: A post I just read today was about a woman who went to the doctor with a painful zit. By the time all was said and done, she was hospitalized for her zit and contracted MRSA. Again, I’m torn. Poor woman with MRSA. She said she’s feeling miserable. And yet…a zit? Hospitalized for a zit? Kinda makes me giggle.
Anyway just had to share. I’m not all that different from lots of other homeschooling families out there. I surely didn’t know you could find so much educational material about poop, but if there’s a topic to be studied, you know that some family is out there studying it and making models of scat out of playdoh No, really. Here’s the link to the Playdoh Scat Animal Poop Lab. The woman’s high school aged kids did an entire study on it. Maybe they’ll be hunters when they grow up. Oh, look! She even gives advice on field work and how you ought to use the macro setting on your camera to get better pictures of the scat you find.
Homeschoolers are weird. 🙂