“I Just Want to Die!”

These and some other off color remarks can be heard, not often, but sometimes in a homeschool day. Before you start to panic, or call the authorities, or start a fund for my children’s counseling or psychotherapy, you must understand one thing. Homeschooling is a total different experience from traditional school (ex: public, private, school away from home).

In a homeschool setting, children are in a familiar environment, which is more comfortable and safe, and where they feel freer to “be themselves,” despite how attractive (or unattractive) and sometimes obedient (or disobedient) that may be. So as their mother and teacher I get it all. I get how they would respond to their teacher, which is what I want during school hours. On the other hand, I also get how they would respond to me as their mother, which you know can be quite interesting at any moment of the day (because they know we care), and I could do without while trying to go espouse wisdom to have a productive school day.

Lily usually works pretty well without much fuss. Canyon is always ready to do something for school. River, my son – a recreation of me in boy form – always has a little something to say that makes some school days just a little bit funnier, but sometimes also harder…

“I can’t do this.”

“This is going to take forever.”

“Can you just take some of my toys away instead of my having to do this work?”

“I thought this was supposed to be fun.”

“I will do time out instead.”

“This is too hard!”

“Why does she get to do easy work and mine is sooooooooooooo hard?”

“Why does Canyon get to play?

“I’m going to be here until I’m old and gray.”

Before River and Lily’s school day begins, they complete a critical thinking exercise. When I prepared their exercise for them, I saw fun, excitement, and I smiled when I thought about their little brain cells getting a jump start on the day. It also had a St. Patrick’s Day theme going on.

Their activity today was a Sudoku puzzle that I create using Edhelper. In the puzzle, they were given a number of shapes to fill in a grid, in a row and column manner, with no duplications in either. Sound hard? Not really, but it does make you think.

I gave them age and grade appropriate puzzles and Lily just happened to finish hers before River. Let the drama begin…After spending a few more minutes on his puzzle, River was ready to be finished, except he wasn’t actually finished. There were empty squares on his grid that still needed to be filled.

The minutes became quite a few and in between complaining, running out of pencil led, hurting his leg (while sitting at the table – hmm), and trying to get involved in everything other than his school work, River exclaimed, “I just want to die because this is taking so long.”

Well, it was taking very long and I was getting really tired and a little bit aggravated too. I considered letting him off and not making him do the work, but I knew as his teacher and also as his mother that he needed to continue, not give up, and finish.

He complained a little more; got to love his creativity – he gets it from me. Finally he decided to put his energy where it truly belonged and that was in completing his puzzle.

Along with this smile, after finishing his work, came an apology for his attitude as well as a great big hug.

It’s funny. One remark I haven’t heard in a while is, “I want to go to public school!”*

Have you ever experienced similar school days? Describe the moment(s) and I would also love to read some of the remarks you’ve heard so I will be prepared later.

*For the school away from home mommies (public, private school etc.), enjoy a good laugh at my expense. Regardless of the educational path you have chosen for your child, the most important thing you can do for them is just love on them really, really well!

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