Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Spirit of the lesson

when I started schooling at home, I was a frazzled mess that I was doing it wrong. that my kids would be permanently scarred for life that either they would not learn anything or worse that they not learn the right way.

a veteran of 20 years and 8 kids told me this at her last child's 12th grade graduation. "I QUIT EVERY SINGLE DAY I TAUGHT.  I wanted to turn it over to someone who had more patience. someone that was more qualified. someone that was trained. anyone but me. I knew I was not cut out for it. I knew that I was not effective at it. I just knew that I was messing it up. The next morning, I would wake up, and it was a fresh start, a do over, and I would try again."

Personally, I thought about that throughout that evening and many times since. I just knew that eventually we would run out of review material and I would have to teach. eventually the kids would figure out that I had no idea what I was doing. eventually the school / state would figure out that we were not doing it by the book, and I would have some explaining to do. My only saving grace is that I find that teaching / finding resources that teach to the spirit of the lesson rather than the letter of the law is how we do this.  if the objective is Texas independence, I can find something on the history channel in youtube that teaches it. if they watch it and can orally answer the questions in the assessment, we are good. we move on. everything in the curriculum is a suggestion, not the 10 commandments. If you can find another way, to cover the topic, GO FOR IT.

So each day we get up, we drink our coffee, we look at our kids, we tell them, failure is not an option. We cherry pick what we can from where we can, when we can.  The finally result is not how we get from A to B, but that we finished what we started. That we kept our children safe. Now do not assume that means that we have to be drone like teachers. I scream at my kids. sometimes I scream that they are brilliant and pissing it all away. sometimes  I scream that they are morons and that they need to freaking quit screwing around. and sometimes I scream because the science experiment has gone terribly wrong and I am afraid, truly afraid that we may not survive. sadly, in each situation, they do not take me seriously, they know that I we are not going to quit, we are not going to fail, and that it is going to eventually all be okay. Family is where you can say anything and it does not matter because they do not listen to you anyways.