2.01.2010

Bat Poop Day

This whole homeschooling business almost kicked my tail today.

It is possible that I lost my cool over the ancient Sumerian civilization.  And it wasn't pretty.  Even in that old bat-poop-as-mascara kinda way. 

I repeated the word "ziggurat" and its definition 1,674 times.  And drew a diagram on the board.  I explained the thrilling relevant correlation of the Father of the Jews, Abraham, being from that civilization.  And I even dug deep and busted out the play dough (and I.don't.do.playdough) to allow the children the superior educational experience of creating their own languages on "clay tablets."

And they still couldn't tell me ONE thing that they had learned.  Not one thing.

Blank stares.

Fishing for random words like "band-aid" and "Popsicles" when I asked for definitions.

Nothing.

And I think I yelled.  Just a smidge.

And then I stomped around and packed up the play dough in a huff and informed the children that if they weren't going to hang with me and pay attention then I wasn't going to hang with them and do fun stuff. 

And then I made one of them cry.

And then I walked away. And breathed.  And counted to three hundred and fifty two ten. 

I sat back down at the table and calmly went through the lesson again.  I didn't ask review questions.  And I didn't do any extras.  And then I closed my book and dismissed them from the table.

And now they are eating big ole bowls of BlueBox and have moved on to other important business of the day such as what's up next on Animal Planet and who gets the last Fruit Roll Up in the box.

And I'm on the couch processing.

This homeschooling stuff is hard, y'all.  Some days it just downright sucks.

Some days I want nothing more than to load those stinkers up and drop them in the carpool lane at the nearest school.  I want to spend my days cleaning up alone and grocery shopping alone and running errands alone and napping if I want to nap without being interrupted 56 times in an hour.

And then other days I just stare in the faces of my babies and realize that I might quite possibly the most blessed person on the planet. 

But today isn't really one of those days.

Today I'd pretty much rather lick an electrical outlet than hang out with these people.

But I'm trying.

Because I know that I'm supposed to be here.  I really do. 

But today I think I'd rather be in Sumeria.  Even if it meant bat poop.

20 comments:

Nina Diane said...

more power to you Amber...I couldn't do it but I sure admire folks who can!

Jim said...

Amb,
Let me share with you what your mother said just now, after reading your blog. When I probed about her homeschooling you, her comment was that you were always eager to learn and did so. Now you have to remember that school for you - overseas - was your entertainment,other than snapping beans with Abdul, the gardner/guard, or drawing pictures on the front porch with Chana, the part-time night guard. (I'e a picture of that.)

Michele, on the other hand, was older and BORED (which nearly all teenagers are at that stage, regardless of where they are.) with homeschool and would rather hold-up in her room and read encyclopedias, particularly those about the British monarchy. (You remember her Diana phase?) I suppose one can get an education from reading encyclopedias from cover to cover. She'd sometimes have 10 or more stacked by her bed. Remember?

Back to your delimma. One suggestion is to remove all games and electronic items from your home for at least 4 years. You could allow for a small 9 inch black and white tv that only received one hour of English programming each week. Another suggestion is to hire Michele to teach them out of her experience of boredom.

Of course, the other option is just to continue to hammer Sumeria and the "bat poop" into their brains till it takes.

Either way, you will make it, I know. Mom says "be patient" - tomorrow,tomorrow is just a day a----way!!!!!!

Jim-Dad

whimzie said...

I had that exact same day last year!! Except I think we were talking about the Pilgrims. Lots of tears. Some mine, some his. Apologies on both sides.

I think I resigned as his teacher every other week.

And the thought of homeschooling him again next year thrills and terrifies me all over again.

Chin up, friend. I'm no expert, but wise people told me that some days are just like that at Home School...even in Australia, Alexander.

mimi said...

I'm sorry it was such a tough day. Been there. With homeschooling....I've learned..no 2 days are the same. Hoping your tomorrow is fabulous.

Marla Taviano said...

Part of me wants to homeschool... one of these days. (My mom homeschooled me 2nd-4th grades.)

BUT. I have a great fear that EVERY day will be like your day today.

Case in point: this morning when I was trying to get my older 2 out the door for school, I was YELLING. Things like. "FINE! You're sick of peanut butter and honey?! Then you won't GET A LUNCH!"

Uh.

And then I remember our Zoo Trips and the togetherness and how fast they grow up...

Man. I don't know.

Mich said...

I just read Jim-dad's remark and I don't know if I should laugh or sigh "out of boredom" over the memories of the homeschool years.

I did LAUGH OUT LOUD over the "get Michele to teach" them comment, now that was funny! Thanks Dad!

Hang in there sis. You are a great teacher and you have three young, energetic, but very smart little boys. There will be those days when one or two of them, may make the school day rough, so when all three are in the mood, then I think a little yelling from the teacher would be normal. Give yourself a break...

"Tomorrow is a new day, with no mistakes." Know who said that?

I love you bunches and I'm always here for you if you need to yell a little more.

Jo said...

I know absolutely zilch about homeschooling. I cannot even fathom how hard it must be for a mom to be her own kids' teacher in her own home. I am so proud of you and in awe of you.
Tomorrow is another day! (GWTW)
Hang in there...they'll "get" it!

Luvya!
Aunt Jo

Mandy said...

I know who said it, Mich!
Miss Stacey!


Amber, the reason it is so hard (well, one reason) is that you are invested emotionally. You want them to learn soo much!
A public school teacher wouldn't have the time to re-teach the lesson, and some of them wouldn't have even cared wether the kids got it the first time or not.
You love your kiddos more than anything and that's why it means so much to you that they learn. Plus, I'm sure it just down-right hurts your feelings to think they didn't listen, although, I really bet they absorbed more the first go round than they realize.

Hang in there!

Sami said...

It takes a lot to be able to homeschool. I am often in awe of my BFF who does it. I don't think I would have the patience to last very long. I know that may change once we have kids...but as kid-less girl I think you're a pretty cool chick to be able to do it!

Carpool Queen said...

It sounds like a good day to visit Honduras. I hear they have no bats there.

New Every Morning said...

Everyone is allowed a bad day now and then. Even if you had THE most perfect job in the world, there would still be a bad day here and there. Don't get your panties in a wad over one day. :) You are still amazing. The Sumerians will be there tomorrow. Oh, and when they have a battle the boys will be much more intrigued.
Hugs!!!

Kendra said...

I'm with you on escaping to Sumeria or anywhere today. It's that kind of day here, too.

theelizabethhighsmith said...

if you gotta lick something electrical. please let it be an electric beater coated in chocolate pudding....cause I'd hate to lose you and your refreshing honesty in my daily reads. if licking the beater doesn't work, might i suggest throwing it??? thanks for keeping it real, sweet girl.

Kelli Mc. said...

You know, I'm quite certain that one day you'll be driving down the road and one of your children will mention an interesting fact from today's lesson. Then another day, you'll be at the park and another child will throw out something that he remembers learning. You can bet your bottom dollar that beyond the robotic stares and willingness to move on without acknowledging your efforts, there are little brains just filled with interesting facts about Sumeria, Abraham, and bat poop! You may even see little hands assembling Legos in zuggurat formations!

Tiffani said...

Oh my darlin', oh my darlin', oh my darlin' Amby-dear...

Yes, there are days when homeschooling stinks like bat poop. But, I have to agree with my KK that they will say something and surprise you. And, to me, outside of what they are learning from a textbook. They are safe at home, you can go over it again...there's no rushing on to the next subject...there's TIME, TIME to press forward when y'all are ready, TIME to do-over, TIME to change it up and time to just love those sweet rascals...

I love you and I love that we get to share in the arduous and yet fulfilling journey together.

It's a wonderful life said...

Keep your chin up, you are doing a wonderful thing for your boys, and I admire you for it!! Lord knows I wouldn't have the patience!!

Gretchen said...

Play doh stinks. And it crumbles. Bless you for bringing it out in your brand newly remodeled home.

Lurve you. Fortunately, Australia is very far away, or I'd be right with you at times, Alexander. I'm not officially homeschooling, but he's mine all but 5 hours a week. Still...I wouldn't trade it, bc it's the right thing for him. Which makes it the right thing for me.

Andrea said...

Oh, the blank stare. I get it all.the.time from my 16 2nd graders!

Last week we were working on fractions, which I kinda love. Strange. Anyway I was drawing pictures to solve a problem and going real slow. Then I asked a question to which I had given the answer to in the sentence before the question. They came up with the craziest numbers. I had to give myself a teacher time out! Without a word, I just walked out of the classroom and to the class next door. My class was silent when I came back. I think they were skerred!

Becca~TimeWellSpent said...

Man I have days like that! Day's where I just want some peace and quiet but then I always reflect, just as you did, about how precious it is to have them with me!

lisa@littlesliceoflife said...

Licking electrical outlets and bat poop.

That's just another reason I love you!