Friday, September 06, 2013

Homeschooling: 2 weeks in and I already feel like a failure

Like I have mentioned before The Phi has started a new charter school with a homeschooling type program for the elementary grades. Which means that the teacher sends home a weeks worth of assignments. We got through the first week and when Joey went back with Phi for week 2 the kids work was posted onto the wall. One of the assignments was the write a First, Then, Next, Last story about a time they got hurt and to use a band-aid to illustrate the story. So Phi wrote a great story, in cursive writing even. So my assumption was that this was a writing assignment, meant to teach story structure, so my focus was  the writing and the structure and the grammar. Joey sent me a text with Phi's assignment on the wall and another classmates assignment on the wall. The teacher had mentioned to Joey in a subtle way that Phi's was not quite up to par. I had sent her to school pretty confidant she had done all the assignments above par.

This is how I interpreted Joey's text...

To say I was upset was an understatement. I immediately text Joey back and had him ask the teacher when she had time to meet with me. So a meeting for later that afternoon was set. I sat at my office waiting for the meeting time and of course there were lots of stress and chaos at the office (long story short our office was destroyed and I have been dealing with a restoration company and insurance companies). I went into that meeting on edge. I was stressed out, frustrated, and overwhelmed. I immediately went after the teacher for this assignment. I was angry because Phi was going to get docked points for not coloring. I wanted to say "I am not sending her to art school!" but I held that one back. Phi hates coloring, it's not fun for her. Her teacher explained to me that each assignment was going to incorporate all subjects into one assignment, so for this particular assignment the illustration was part of visual arts. Okay okay I understand that NOW that it was explained to me. She also explained that coloring was part of fine motor skills. UMMMM maybe for a kindergartner, not for a 3rd grader. The teacher also explained that if Sophia was comfortable with her drawings looking like they do, hanging next to her classmates colorful works then that's on her. I literally laughed at that one. What a way to make sure your kids and more importantly the parents know that school is a competition on who can be the most colorful and the biggest. Let's not care about what they are actually learning. The meeting was a lot of back and forth and eventually I calmed down a bit.

I still have some pretty strong feelings about this whole homeschooling situation. It is so much harder than I imagined it would be. I still think there is way too much emphasis on art work.  A lot of the frustration comes from the fact that we have never homeschooled before, and the teacher has never taught homeschooling before. We are both really trying to figure things out. Which is fine. I just don't want my kids grades to suffer because of it. You can bet there will be more meetings as the school year goes on. Joey, Phi and I will figure it out.


  1. Sounds like this is gonna me a great school year for you I hope it gets better!

  2. Anonymous7:34 PM

    ...ugh, Elissa.

    Sherry P.

  3. I think you need to relax a teensy weensy bit. Read: unclench buttcheeks. Going from a Catholic school to a charter/homeschool environment is a HUGE change. I repeat, they are NOT the same. Give yourself some grace to decompress. I think the teacher was trying to incorporate different learning styles in the assignment. Remember, homeschooling isn't a mad dash to graduation, to see whose kid is the smartest. It's a way for you to enjoy the process of your child's learning. I don't think she can "fall behind" per se...just keep doing what you're doing, emphasis the reading and writing, do math everyday and then learn about things she loves. You and Joey will be great at it because you love your daughters. The Phi is a smart girl, too, she will flourish! <3

    1. D- your comment gave me my Oprah "ahh-haa" moment on homeschooling. Thank you so much.

  4. They have these neat things that your property taxes pay for called "Public Schools".


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