Our Grass is Brown

There have been a couple of discussion threads recently on Secular Homeschool about envy and the idea that some homeschoolers really do it all.  We all know it’s not true, but it’s hard not to feel that sense that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence.  And the thing is, I know a lot of people who think I’m one of those enviable homeschoolers, because they’ve said so.  I think I do a lot of things right, but I’m sure I also do a lot of things wrong.

I’ve done a day in the life post before and a post just about our warts, but I thought maybe I’d do another one.  So, here, some of our warts from the last few weeks:

  • I have yelled at Mushroom at least half a dozen times in the last week or so.  Enough that he couldn’t sleep one night and came in to tell me he kept imagining me yelling and it was scary.  Good grief.  Talk about a guilt trip.  I don’t even know what I’ve yelled about.  Annoying things.  Things where the boys tried my patience for too long.  Would you just go get on your shoes finally kinds of things.
  • Mushroom has lovely handwriting but he averages about a word a minute.  I timed it.  BalletBoy has reasonably well formed letters, but they’re embarrassingly disproportionate.  His lower case “l” is often shorter than his lower case “o.”
  • I can name a dozen times off the top of my head when both BalletBoy and Mushroom interrupted conversations, co-ops, and other things quite rudely.
  • Mushroom slowly climbed off the bed during read aloud time the other night.  It began by leaning his head off the bed and when I finished reading, he was stuck with his hands on the floor and his feet on the tall bed.
  • We only managed to get school done twice properly last week.  One day we just skivved off.  Another day they weren’t there, having slept over at a friend’s.  Another morning we were hosting co-op and I hadn’t properly prepared so I made them clean the basement instead.  Another morning, I wanted to sleep in because I was up too late at night.  Then we had somewhere to be.
  • As I write this, there’s bits from that co-op I still haven’t tidied up, including some of the popcorn on the floor, which can’t possibly be good considering fall is coming and therefore so are our yearly mousy visitors.
  • BalletBoy gave up on yet another book midway through meaning he has only finished two books in the last month.
  • At one point last week, Mushroom just began making up the text halfway through the sentence he was reading.  I swear I didn’t yell, but I did take the book away and probably was much too short when I told him, “No.  Try that again.”
  • Mushroom actually spelled the word church h-c-r-c-h the other day.  No, really, he did.  At least he looked at it and saw that it clearly didn’t seem right.

13 thoughts on “Our Grass is Brown

  1. Ok, no school because you wanted to sleep in is… kind of a lame reason. 🙂

    About the spelling — is it possible your expectations are too high for a kid his age? At least he knew it was wrong.

  2. This is my first time on your blog, but coming from the perspective of just having graduated a homeschooler after 10 years, this sounds like a great homeschool. Most of these sound like good things, not bad. You don’t force your children to finish books that they don’t like. You recognize that sitting still isn’t always possible for boys (or girls, for that matter), and that moving around doesn’t mean they aren’t listening during read aloud time. You recognize that learning activities don’t just occur in the classroom, and are willing to be flexible about your schedule. The yelling? Well, that just proves you’re human. None of us is perfect. Regarding the spelling: the transposition of the “c” and the “h” makes me wonder if dyslexia is a possibility? Since I don’t know you or your son, and I’m no expert anyway, I may be barking up the wrong tree.

  3. Our grass is similarly brown:

    Alex has spelled “trucks” truks” every day for a week. Each time we review the rule about using ck after a short vowel. Each time she is surprised.

    The only thing in the house that is worthwhile for Colin to play with is what Alex is doing school with at that exact minute. The second the spelling timer goes off, Colin is no longer interested in writing on the whiteboard. The moment the science demonstration about tides is over, Colin has lost interest in the globe beach ball. All. Day. Long.

    When they are with me, both kids speak frequently and longingly about how much they love Michael.

    I have corrected Alex’s pronunciation of “yacht” six times in the past two days, and she’s still rhyming it with “hatchet.” (No, we don’t have a fabulous jet-setting lifestyle, she’s just reading some A to Z Mysteries.)

  4. Rivka, Erika’s eyes glaze over if I even mention a spelling or phonics “rule,” so I just figure she’ll internalize whatever she needs to know. She seems to operate best simply by learning how individual words are spelled. If that doesn’t seem to be working out for her after a while, then I’ll try something else, but at least she’s likely to be more mature when that time comes.

    I don’t have any conscious knowledge of why trucks is spelled with a ck, but I’m an excellent speller.

  5. Yelled here too…during maths, which partly explains it…dd didn’t speak to me for the rest of the day…you and Mushroom have made me feel much better 🙂

  6. I forgot to say that her maths book got so soggy she couldn’t write on it because the tears were dripping down on to her page. Silent tears, of course 😦

    1. Oh my, that’s as bad as Mushroom’s lack of sleep because of my imaginary yelling. 😦 I always have to remind myself it’s the totality of parenting that matters though. I mean, I really don’t yell that much. I just have such a sensitive little guy.

      1. Totality of parenting matters not a whit to a teen. They wait for you to fail and when you do, they hold a grudge…dd is still affronted today. I do give myself a pat on the back for not following up the yelling with a speech about how grateful she should be that I hardly ever yell, and what does she think is going to happen at school, and if my mum had confined her frustrations to yelling at me and then apologising, I would have thought I was in respect heaven. So there is that.

        I bet you were very nice to Mushroom when he came in to tell you he was traumatised by the yelling. So there’s that too 🙂

  7. Rivka, at least she didn’t spell cat “ckat” as BalletBoy did the other day! I guess he really got that rule… and then extended it way too far. Sigh.

    Sonja, I don’t really expect them to be able to spell very well – the lack of vowel with the r didn’t surprise me a bit – he was just supposed to draw something and title it, I think, so he picked the word. The ch reversal threw me for a loop though. I mean, huh? At least he turned it into a palindrome though.

  8. Great post Farrar! It’s wonderful to finally read about the negative bits of a homeschooling day…. Something I don’t see very often on blogs and it makes me feel better about our own little ‘issues’. Thanks 🙂

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