I tried homeschooling my son. It lasted one day. Scratch that, it lasted about 10 minutes.
I didn’t actually sign up for a homeschooling program or do anything formal. But I thought I would take some time out of every day to teach my 3 ½ year old the basics, abcs, 123s, things like that.
See, I was pregnant with triplets at the time and ordered to spend a few months on modified bed-rest. So I quit my part time job and pulled my son out of preschool. (We banked that preschool money for a down payment on a much needed minivan). While I was sitting on the couch growing babies, I thought I’d keep my son up to date on his preschool skills.
He didn’t necessarily need to be in preschool. I’d eventually put him back in for a year before kindergarten, but I thought it would add structure to our day and it couldn’t hurt, right?
As a former English major with some serious math anxiety, I decided the letters would be a good place to start. I grabbed a sheet of paper and drew a W. I made another W out of dots for my son to trace. Then I drew a picture of a watermelon. I sat sonny boy down and told him we were going to play preschool at home.
And so went our conversation:
Me: This is a W. It makes the sound “wuh.” See the picture of the watermelon? Watermelon begins with W. Can you think of any other words that begin with W?
My son: blank stare
Me: Your name starts with a W! See, W for Will.
My son: That’s an M.
Me: No honey, that’s a W. W for Will. W for Watermelon.
My son: It’s an M.
Me: No, baby, it’s a W. If you turn it upside down it looks like an M. Maybe that’s what you’re thinking. This is a W. W for Will. W for Watermelon. Want to trace this W?
My son: It’s an M.
No, it’s really not. It’s a W. W for Will.
My son: No! M!
Me: Are you freaking kidding me boy? I’m a grown ass woman with a college degree. I can assure you that this is in fact, a W!
Only I didn’t say that. But I wanted to.
What I really said was, “Ok fine, it’s an M. Wanna watch TV?”
But don’t worry, I made him watch PBS so you know it was educational.
And that my friends is why I do not homeschool! Because my son was and continues to be smarter than I am. He knows more than I do and is always right (even when he’s wrong!) Only now that he’s in middle school, I think he really might actually be smarter than me!
I’m glad for this experience because it assured me I was not called to teach my own children. I mean of course I teach my kids: I teach them how to empty the dishwasher and clean their rooms, how to tie their shoes, and I have them memorize our address and phone number, stuff like that. Mostly I spend lots of time teaching them how not to be a jerk. But, I am not meant to teach them their academics. I will leave that to the experts.
So hats off to you homeschooling mamas and thank you to my children’s teachers! I applaud you both for your patience! For my part, I’ll do my best on the home front here to make sure they do their homework and sometimes I’ll even force them to use their screen time to watch Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy.