I Got An F In Homeschooling

Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 10.30.18 AMSomeone please explain to me how several weeks ago it was “breaking news” that a 22-year-old woman is pregnant, especially a young woman with no job, no formal education, who lives in the Ozarks and is married to a teenage boy. Wouldn’t it be breaking news if she weren’t pregnant?

Okay, I’ll admit that Jessa Dugger (the expectant mother), whose sole claim to fame is that her mom, Michelle, has a very sturdy uterus and has birthed more than a dozen and half children, is a little bit of reality “star” from the TLC network show “19 Kids and Counting”. But come on, “breaking news” that she’s expecting a baby?

I get why people watch the Duggar’s TV show. I gave it a lookie loo primarily to witness a mother who has that many kids and chooses to homeschool them. I can’t imagine not wanting the euphoric relief of putting at least half of them on the school bus five days a week. If I were that mom the sweetest sound in the world would be the squeal of the school bus brakes as it stopped in front of my house.

Not that homeschooling doesn’t have its appeal. In the TV world homeschooling mamas attract viewers. You’ve got the Duggar Mom on TLC and that Pioneer lady on the Food Network.

In fact, it was fellow homeschooling mothers that helped propel the Pioneer Woman onto the radar of the Food Network. When I discovered that maybe one of the reasons she got a cooking show I felt better about the tastebuds of the world-at-large.

I have nothing against the Pioneer Woman. She seems delightful, but when your cooking show is so void of actual cooking (my theory is because everything she make seems to be based on an eight ounce jar of Ragu or a sleeve of Oreos) that the most consistent and oft-repeated camera shot is a close up of you washing your hands, well, you know you’re not really killing it in the kitchen.

I even feel a little bit guilty right now not having these two legendary homeschooling mothers’ backs. For you see, I was a homeschool mom. I’ll wait a second for you to stop laughing.

Here’s the quick back-story. My husband and I knew, sort of, that we would be moving soon and decided to not subject our then 12-year-old son to a junior high that had more lock downs than school assemblies. I was fully ready to assume the mantel of educator until my son empathetically told me, “I don’t want to get dumb so you better let me handle this.”

Homeschooling is not for the faint of heart. Forget about the pressure of making sure your kid isn’t an idiot the real drama is some of those homeschool moms. Talk about cliquey – yikes!

There’s the super holy “Jesus is the reason” group, and then there’s the “toxins in the classroom are killing our kids” group which overlaps the anti-vaxxers which has nothing on the “my kids are too smart to go to school because they were reading chapter books and I mean real ones not that Magic Tree House claptrap 11 weeks post womb.”

Once moms found out I was homeschooling it was like I was being rushed for a sorority. You know, until they found out I was the “our local junior high kind of stinks so we’re giving this a try until we move in a couple of months” mother.

The one thing all the moms did share were very intense emotions regarding homeschooling. A lot of them felt like it was their calling (and I love this and it means these women are far superior to me) which explains why they’ve rallied around and I’m guessing had a hand, due to sheer numbers, of propelling the “19 Kids and Counting” Mom and the “Pioneer Woman” to fame. This all leaves me a little disappointed in myself.

What if I had embraced homeschooling and instead of Snarky in the Suburbs was Harried & Homeschooling. Maybe I would have legions of followers or dare I dream my own cooking show. (I can see the camera close-ups of my hands already)

Maybe it’s not too late for me. I still have one kid in school, my 14-year-old daughter. What if I yanked her out of 9th grade and began a most wondrous mother and child journey of educational awakening and enrichment? I’m getting serious butterflies of excitement just thinking about it.

Wait, no scratch that, butterflies are gone, way gone.

Trapped 24/7 with a hormonal teenager whose mood swings are so turbulent some days I feel like I’m on riding shotgun on a tsunami. Yeah, that’s a great big no can do.

Not any amount of fame would be worth it for either of us. The only reality show that would come out of that would be When Mothers Go Cray – The True Life Tale of a “Yeah, I Thought Homeschooling Would Be Parenting Bliss” Mom.

Not that it wouldn’t be ratings gold.

*Attencover_1.3-2tion Snarky Friends, I have a brand new book out. It’s the second in the Snarky in the Suburbs series – Snarky in the Suburbs Trouble In Texas. You can buy it for your Kindle or in paperback on Amazon.  It’s also available for the Nook or you can get it for your Kobo reader. Click on a link and give it a test read.  I hope you like it! 🙂

13 thoughts on “I Got An F In Homeschooling

  1. Sydney M. says:

    Really, that’s what this blog post is going to turn into a way for homeschool moms to crow about how great they are? I think most mothers are doing the best they can. You aren’t better because you don’t send your kids to school.

  2. AthenaC says:

    I have to tell you – for about two weeks a year my husband and I seriously consider homeschooling. Why? Because if we homeschool we wouldn’t have to deal with those #$^*&%$ school supply lists.

    Invariably, we are asked for impossible sizes and packaging combinations of dry-erase markers, erasers, pencils, pens, and glue sticks – oh my word, the glue sticks! So then I have to decide if I want to spend extra and buy more at whatever store I’m at just to be DONE or if I want to try just one more store and hope they have what I need.

    Of course, the bane of my existence every year is those multi-colored folders. One kid needs one red, two green, three yellow, one blue, one purple. Another kid needs one red, one green, three blue, two orange, one purple, one black. Really?!!! And you can NEVER find them all in one place. And my husband of course will not allow us to send either child to school with mismatching styles of folders.

    Anyway – the annual frustration is enough to make me seriously consider homeschooling. And then time marches on and school starts just like it always does, and the temporary madness passes.

  3. amy says:

    Homeschool Mom to 4: I don’t see what there is to be offended about. Homeschooling isn’t for everyone, but for others, it’s the best option. One person describing her experience, and making a comparison to some media representations vs SOME real life homeschooling moms, etc., is not a prescription for, or judgment of, the lives of every member of a group. The fact that she mentioned that homeschoolers are not immune the cliqueish behavior seen in other parenting groups is nothing to get sensitive about. Sometimes we encounter the few members of a group upon which an unfortunate stereotype is based (YOU, for example). A superior attitude is really just a projection of insecurity. Making a blanket statement that any mother who homeschools is superior to any other sort of mother is just ignorant. In case you were unaware, one of the reasons homeschooling is under tough regulation and scrutiny in certain states is because of cases where it has been a cover for neglect and abuse in which the isolation imposed by “home schooling” makes it harder for a major group of mandated reporters (school teachers) to help kids. Those cases may not be the majority, but even a few severe ones can be enough to inspire harsh legislation. Sure, there are home schooled kids who are grade levels ahead of their same-age peers if they are lucky enough to have devoted parents with the time and financial resources to plan a well rounded curriculum. However, there are those who have fallen through the cracks more easily than they might have had they been under the scrutiny of the public school system where guidance counselors and specialized professionals can recognize and accommodate needs. Some homeschooling mothers are rather prideful to the extent that they fail to recognize and seek adequate help when their kids have issues. Would you be one of those mothers, or are you instinctively omniscient in all things educational and developmental? Nobody does everything, all the time, without help. You’re like the boob nazis, but instead of breastfeeding, your flavor of mommy-war is homeschooling. You must be a real treasure. Or a troll. If you’re just trolling here, than my apologies for falling for that and missing your sense of humor. LOL… I guess.

  4. Miss B says:

    I am with you Snarky, props to those mothers with the patience of Mother Theresa who chose to homeschool their children. I do not agree with the idea that ANY mother is “Superior” to any other mother, as Homeschool Mom of 4 suggests, we are all doing the best we can with what we have. The fact is, we as mothers should all be SUPPORTIVE of one another, this is not a contest! We, as as mothers have the most important job on the planet to nurture and raise our children, and when we judge others we are only doing so out of our own insecurity of our choices. I am currently pursuing my bachelors degree, with a 3.94 GPA thank you very much, but that does not make me inferior or superior to any of the other mothers I know, or read about, it makes me PART OF this amazing group of women! I choose to be a supportive fellow mother club member, because I think that is what it should be about. My son sees his mother going to school to better herself and kicking but while she does, maybe that is what HE needs to see. The universe (or God, or whomever or whatever one believes in) sees fit to send children to the exact place they need to be, and whether a mom is married, single, divorced, homeschooling, public schooling, private schooling, working, staying at home, going to school herself, skinny, curvy, organic, vegan, vegetarian, carnivore, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, literate, illiterate, lives in the city, lives in the country…well you get the point, it doesn’t matter…we should support each other as women and mothers and not tear each other down.
    LOVE your stuff Snarky, keep up the good work, and thanks for being honest in your journey.

  5. Emelle64 says:

    Amy: You.Are.EPIC. And Snarky, the mere thought of a Snarky-less world makes me want to dive head first into the deep end of the pool (sans water)! You definitely need your own show, and it wouldn’t be on the Food Network…HBO maybe? Stay Snarky Sister!

  6. Pam says:

    Home schooling mom of a preteen and teenager here….and LOL, your post describes the homeschool culture all too well.

    I homeschool because I am a lazy parent….I HATE:
    1)supervising spelling words practice, math facts practice and book reports at the end of the day when all I want to do is take a nap.
    2) the dreaded school supply shopping list
    3) the DRAMA….of everything…..
    and probably, most stressful and most likely to cause me to loose my tenuous hold on my sanity…
    4) pick-up and drop-off lines.

    This homeschooling mom salutes those of you who brave the perils of school parking lots everywhere.

    😉

  7. MsCrookedHalo says:

    I would so fail at homeschooling. In fact, other than whipping out the wallet to pay for supplies, I am banned by my kids from even helping with their projects. In fact, my having to tutor them has been an effective threat for them to keep their grades up. Not that I could. No math. ~shudder~

  8. phyllisbrowne45 says:

    Homeschooling is not for everyone. You hit the nail on the head when you described how cliquey it can be-both the various groups of Moms but also the kids. My daughter began homeschooling when she was 6-it seemed ok when she was younger but when she was a teen she was left out because she was “fat”, (she wasn’t) she developed a severe eating disorder and was miserable. She compared it to being in a very tiny school on an island. She took her GED as soon as she could just to escape that group. It was only later when she was in her 20’s that she told me how much she had hated homeschooling. I felt so guilty for not having recognized how miserable she was, I had chalked it off to her being a moody teen.

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