A Bad Day at Homeschool

On Friday, we were having what I would call a “bad” homeschool day. She was distracted. I was distracted. She was complaining. I was complaining. It was Friday. Neither of us wanted to do any work. So, I called it quits. Like, in the middle of a worksheet. I threw my hands up and said, “We’re done. Go play!” Except, I may have said it with a tone that implied “get out of my sight right this instant.” Like I said, a bad day.

For the record, a bad day in homeschool is NOTHING compared to a bad day at public school. Getting notes home from the teacher made me depressed and furious. Not at the teacher. At the situation. I usually felt helpless to do anything about the problem and that somehow made me feel like a failure as a parent. How am I supposed to fix something when I’m not even there to witness, redirect, or correct? So, every time, I would rack my brain trying to figure out a way to control something that was impossible to have control over. This usually resulted in me being angry and grumpy and many times being brought to tears out of anguish over the situation. Don’t even get me started on the times where I felt what was being asked of my child was unreasonable to start with. Lord help me.

So far, the bad days of homeschool have been few. However, I’m able to easily identify when a day is getting off on the wrong track. So, we take a break. I love the flexibility of homeschool in that way. We break, have a snack, and regroup. It’s a beautiful thing. That alone has probably saved us from many bad days.

Our bad day on Friday turned out to be a good day in the end. In fact, I’d say, it was a really good day.

After me calling it quits, tLG went and got the sewing things and worked on that for a nice long while. She kept herself busy cutting out material and doing some hand stitching. Tell me that’s not school. Creativity, patterns, measuring, cutting, fine motor skills. Um, totally! Not to mention the fact that she was quiet and I got a much needed break. That’s a win for the home team, folks!

Then, she asked to “play” on the computer so I agreed. By now, I was back in a “yes” mood. She pulled up BrainPop Jr. and started constructing roller coasters. You put pieces of track together and then test it to see if it works. Once you have a working track you can tweak and change things to make your track faster and more thrilling! Tell me that’s not school. Computer skills, science, physics, creativity. Um, totally!

I was delighted to see that even when left to her own devices, she still wanted to learn and she found ways to educate herself with no input from me. I’m really starting to reconsider the “unschooling” method. It’s a bit out there for this type A mom but I’m starting to think that strict academics are overrated anyway. Not that I want to abandon it altogether but it makes me think of this Ted talk. It seems that kids will explore and learn no matter what. They might as well be doing it on subjects that interest them. That’s learning that sticks or, as this kid calls it, hackschooling.

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