The Misadventures of Cheri

Mortifying my kids one swimsuit at a time

As promised, the lowlights

on September 8, 2010

As promised in my giveaway blog (enter until 9/10/10, 2pm Pacific), I give you a list of various lowlights from our homeschool journey.  Far be it from me to lead you to believe that everything is just hunky dory every single day.  So I’ll look through some old photos and see what I can remember . . . .


When Austin was in the 4th grade, I had the worst year ever with him.  Why?  Let’s review for a moment: he has a will of steel, he thinks things need to be done his way at all times, he hates school, his sister irritated him, life irritated him, being irritated irritated him.  So I marched myself down to our neighborhood school and asked for a boundary exemption for the next school year because our neighborhood elementary school stinks.  That summer we did a thing we called “Remedial Attitude Training” and he was wonderful by the next school year.  And the school I was trying to get him into called two days before public school started and told me they didn’t have any room for him.  Two. days.


After Austin finished the second grade I was at my wit’s end, or so I thought.  So I actually got a bunch of information and the enrollment packet for a small Christian school.  Then I bawled and realized that he really needed to be home.  Then I bawled and realized he would be home.


Nothing makes a homeschool mom feel as terrific as when you get your kids’ yearly tests back and, after looking at the scores, wonder if one of your students was even awake during the testing.  Then you remember giving the tests and the child saying things like, “Ah, who cares?  I’ll just pick one to mark.”  Then laughing wildly.  You also remember this child doing this over and over again.  At that point, you cry and tell God that this is His homeschool (read: why did you do this to me?) and He’s going to have to take over (read: this is your mess, not mine!).  You then ask God to strengthen you for the next year (read: I’m pretty sure one of us will be dead by next Christmas).


If I had a dime for every time the stupid dogs interrupted school, I’d be rich. For some reason, the two we have now think anytime all three of us are in the homeschool room (aka: the dining room, aka: the room that homeschool ate) they lose their ever lovin’ minds and hold daily, no hourly, death cage wrestling matches.  I have scared the kids by abruptly yelling out, “SHUT UP AND GET OUT OF HERE . . . .SOME DAYS I HATE YOU BOTH SO. MUCH!”  I also silently pray all our windows are closed because what would the neighbors think if they heard that?  They all know I homeschool.


I haven’t had an easy homeschool journey.  No one who homeschools has an easy journey.  The early years were particularly rough and the dread I would feel about a week before school stared was almost unbearable.  I dreaded the daily challenges to my authority.  I dreaded the inevitable crying child I’ll have to deal with on a daily basis.  Explaining for the 5,000th time that anything multiplied by zero equals zero.


At one point in time, one child’s 2nd grade attitude was so bad that I video taped that child so Dad could see just what went on.  It took this child exactly 7 seconds from the start of the day to burst into tears and scream.  And cry.  And scream.  And wail.  And cry.  And yell at me.  When I showed it to Dad that night, with said child sitting down with us, there was a “come to Jesus” moment for said child.  Attitudes did improve and the wailing/screaming sessions were over.


Austin was highly easily distracted in the early days.  I finally had to get three pennies out, put them on a piece of paper with a black line drawn down the middle.  Every time I said, “Do your work!”  one penny got moved over the black line.  If all three pennies ended up on the wrong side of the line, he had to go sit on his bed for 15 minutes and do nothing.  Since he was very hyper and extremely social, this discipline was almost unbearable for him.  I only had to do it with him 2 or 3 times (complete with 15 minute wailing sessions when he was on his bed) and he got the point.

Yes, it’s been an interesting journey, but a worthwhile one.  Now that the kids are older, I don’t have anywhere close to the issues/challenges I used to.  The last two years have been so wonderful that I have to pinch myself.


2 responses to “As promised, the lowlights

  1. becc says:

    love hearing about your homeschool journey – esp. the challenges. if/when we do this I KNOW I will face some big ones. I always look at homeschool kids and they seem so well-behaved (at church) and of course, mine is not…um, at all. *YET – I have to believe it will get better!!!!*

  2. Debbie says:

    Although I’m not homeschooling (yet) – this is such an AWESOME post – made me laugh my head off – I could totally see this at my house – and love your reality about homeschooling!!! I hear so much of the good stuff about homeschooling and not a whole lot about the tough stuff except “it’s hard work, but it’s worth it” – kinda like labor, I guess…

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