I wish I'd said it first:

"The world is a stage but the play is badly cast"
Oscar Wilde

"In the end, it's not going to matter how many breaths you took, but how many moments took your breath away."
shing xiong

"Life is hard; it's harder if you're stupid."
John Wayne

"Life is a great, big canvas and you should throw all the paint you can on it."
Danny Kaye

Friday, January 7, 2011

An Autopsy of One Hour of Home Schooling

For anyone that has never had the pleasure of homeschooling their kids, I am going to give you an honest description of what a normal day is like.

9:00 A.M.

Me: “Have you brushed your teeth?” no answer.

Me: “I said, have you brushed your teeth?” a faint moan and then;

Ian: “I’m not going anywhere, why do I have to brush my teeth?”

Me: “Brush your teeth anyway.”

Ian: “Why brush my teeth? I’m not going anywhere.”

Me: “So, you think that if you don’t leave the house, your teeth don’t need to be brushed?”

Ian: “Yah, pretty much.”

Me: “That’s the stupidest thing I’ve heard today.”

Ian: “It’s just 2 minutes after 9 in the morning, I bet, I’ll say, way more stupid stuff today.”

Me: “I can hardly wait.”

Then the other kid joins in;

Jacqui: “Yep, he’s going to say LOTS of stupider stuff. In fact, he is a total retard.”

Ian: “Mom, Jacqui called me a retard.”

Me: “Both of you stop talking.”

Both (in an eerie unison): “We should stop talking FOREVER?”

Me: “Yes. Forever.”

Ian: “That means we don’t have to do science today.”

Me: “You don’t have to talk to do science.”

Ian: “I do if you want me to take an active part in my education.”

Me: “Who said I want you to take an active part?”

Jacqui: “Ya Ian. (pause) “OUCH!” --- “Mom, Ian hit me.”

Ian: “Liar! I only tapped her, I BARELY EVEN TOUCHED HER!”

Jacqui:You’re the liar, you hit me really, REALLY hard and right where I get my insulin shots!!!” (Playing the diabetic card.)

Me: “Ian, just go brush your teeth and stay away from your sister.”

Ian: “I thought we settled that. I’m not going anyplace...REMEMBER???

Me: (Audible exhale.) “If you don’t brush your teeth, I’m taking your computer away.”

Ian: “NOOOOOOoooooo!”

Me: “I’m not kidding, I’ll take your computer, your phone and your iPod away, for two days.”

Ian: “Because I haven’t brushed my teeth, you’re going to take away ALL MY STUFF?”

Me: “I see you’re paying attention for once.”

Jacqui: (Eyeing her brother) “Your breath smells like cat crap.”

Me: (choking back laughter.) “Jacqui, don’t insult the cats.”

Ian: I think it’s child abuse what’s going on here. Child abuse. I didn’t even hit her, I TAPPED her. You can go to prison for child abuse ya know”

9:25 A.M.

Me: “Open your science books”

Them: “Where too?”

Me: “Where we left off last time.”

Jacqui: “But we finished that part.”

Me: “Find the part of your book where the periodic table is.”

Jacqui: “What does it look like?”

Ian: “Oh. My. God.” (Loud exhale.)

Me: “Ian, you are in the 6th grade, we studied the periodic table last year, instead of being mean to Jacqui, show her what the periodic table looks like.”

Ian: (In a sickening, sweet voice) “Well Jacqui, it doesn’t look like the table in the kitchen. It doesn’t look like the table in the den or the living room...”

Jacqui: “No duh Ian.”

Me: “Okay Ian, Hand me your iPod.”

Ian: “Okay, I’ll show her the periodic table, it’s right by Uranus.” (Laughter ensues.)

Jacqui: “That’s REAL mature.”

Me: “Ian, I do not want to hear, any mention, any reference at all, about the seventh planet from the sun, ever again. I MEAN IT.” (thumbing through the fucking science book) “Here is the periodic table Jacqui.”

Jacqui: “Holy crap! Do I have to know all of it???”

Me: “You have to understand the basic principal of it. You have to know about it. You need to know what people are talking about when they mention it”

Jacqui: Looking shocked. “People actually talk about it?”

Ian: “People are talking about it all the time. In fact, we all talk about it behind your back and then we talk about it when you are listening but since you don’t know what it is, you don’t even notice. In fact, one of the elements is named after that big, blue, gas-giant planet that is the seventh planet from the sun that I am not ever allowed to mention, ever, in my life.”

Me: “Okay... JACQUI...”(A bit angry and pontificating) “Everything in the universe is made up of atomic particles, ALL of which are included in the periodic table. Your eye lashes, skin, bones, teeth and the stuff on your teeth. EVERY GODDAMNED THING. BUT, get this, There are still things we have not yet discovered, that will be added to the periodic table once we find them. “You should know what the world around you is made of. What YOU are made of.”

Ian: “So, YOU mean, WE are going to find undiscovered atomic particles? YOU, ME and Jacqui?”

Jacqui: “Ian is made out of poop. Is poop included in the periodic table?”

Me: “Okay, shut up and don’t say anything until you’re 30.”

Jacqui: “Ya, Ian. Don’t talk until all your teeth rot out of your head, that should be about the time you turn 30. People that don’t brush their teeth lose them when they are in their 30’s, you have about 10 years left until you lose them all”

Ian: “I’m 11, in 10 years I will be 22. That means my teeth wont rot out for another 10 years. Can't you even add? Mom, Jacqui can't add”

Jacqui: I hate you. I’m never going to talk to you again as long as I live.”

Ian: “What if I die today?” short pause “I could die from a heart attack or I could choke on a piece of meat. If I die today, the last thing you said to me was that you hate me.”

Jacqui: “You are not going to die today. You are too stupid to die today. You will live just to make me miserable.”

Ian: “I love you Jacqui.”

10:00 A.M.

---- Get the picture?
One hour has passed. I’ve established that 11 year old boys like to say “Uranus,” They say it often and whenever they get the chance. I am ready to shoot myself. I look at the clock and wonder if we will learn a damned thing. I think about the fact that besides not covering any science, we have not discussed history, spelling, writing or math.

Once I get them corralled I come to my senses and make one kid go to the other end of the house while I try to get my bearings and actually impart some knowledge. I give them a writing assignment which is always a form of torture. Not for them, mind you. But torture for me.

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