Adventures in Home Schooling

I claim, with great fervor, that Wife is a successful home schooling mother. After all, the two virtues that most help in her occupation are consistency and fortitude; of which she holds both in abundance. For children are naturally inclined to learn. Give them a bit of information and they soak it up like a sponge. The difficulty comes with getting them to retain what they were just taught. While the children love to learn, they hate to work at it. That is where Wife’s consistency and fortitude come into play.

Homeschooling all together.

Home schooling all together.

Workbooks are the special demons created specifically to torment our children. Those little books of words and figures designed to tattoo little brains with its knowledge have the uncanny ability of sending our children into certain boredom. Thus, Wife continually has to refocus the children back onto their own workbooks, and off of whatever the sibling next to them was doing.Homestudy

It is not uncommon for Wife to return from instructing #2 only to find #1’s school abandoned. And where was #1? She had moved over to help #3 with her math, an easier task than her own. When #1 was summoned back to her own math, it was with many sighs and drooping shoulders.

Wife has often found when she was teaching science to a child, they all slowly crowd in. When she was teaching #4 her kindergarten world science, she would ask the child a line of questions like, “What is round?”

To which #4 tentatively responded, “A ball?”

“Yes,” Wife reassured. “Now, what’s hard?”

“Ah… a rock,” said #4 with more confidence.

“Good, and what’s soft?”

#4 nearly shouted, “My stuffed-animals!”

“Very good. Now what’s furry?”

And out of nowhere, #2 announced her presence by interjecting, “Daddy!”

Suddenly the inmates were running the madhouse, as all the girls began a chorus of giggles and laughter that Wife was unable to resist.

Furry Daddy

Furry Daddy

North Pole vs. South Pole

Walking in the front door I came upon all four girls with their heads together bent over the globe on the dining room table. They were deep in discussion about which of the very colorful continents was the North Pole. The guesses ranged from Florida, to Egypt, to somewhere in western Russia.
When the children realized I was behind them, little squealing girls insisted on my help. Like any good home-schooling father, I attempted to ignore them and walk away, but they saw through my deception and I was roped in.
We started with an educated guess from #1. “Is this the North Pole?” she asked as she pointed to some point in the Mid West.

The North Pole?

“Ummm, not quite. It’s more like up here.” I then pointed to the proper place on the globe.
“Ohh, this is the North Pole,” said #1 as she tapped the plastic degree plate at the top of the world.
“No, that’s… something else. It’s under that, I mean…” As I looked upon the row of confused faces I was suddenly aware of just how a rat felt in a maze. I hastened to explain myself as I pointed to the empty ocean at the top of the world “It’s right here, but there’s no land. It’s all ice, but they don’t show ice on a globe. Ah…”
With my lightning quick mind I found myself changing the subject. “The South Pole has land, you see. The North Pole doesn’t, but the South Pole does.” We turned the globe upside down and a couple heads bonked as they leaned in.
I got a lot of “ooh’s” before someone asked, “What’s that?” pointing to Brazil.
So we did the Point-at-a-country and dad-will-read-what-it-is game all the way to dinner and into the meal.
About half way into the meal, and a full five minute after we put the globe away, #2 announced, “I don’t want go to the North Pole, I want to go to the South Pole.”
Well, I thought, I guess she really was listening to.
Not bad for a home-schooling dad.