Homeschool Fail

A few days ago I told you all about the magical day we had with poetry, literary tools, and the beautiful variety of the English Language.

On Monday I followed my instinct, the Spirit, and my children’s cues… and it was a rounding success.

Yesterday I did not.

Yesterday I grabbed directly on to the conveyor belt and held on for dear life.

“Spencer needs to make more progress on his reading lessons,” I thought.  So Spencer and I sat on the couch together and we spent the next hour sounding out 49 three letter words.

An hour.

60 minutes.

60 excruciating minutes sounding out words like mop, jam, and mat.

Spencer tried to be a good sport.  He read every word and didn’t cry once.  It’s just that he didn’t WANT to read them.  Instead he observed the way the papers were laying on top of each other and the gaps the creases allowed for and said things like, “I know I haven’t studied the law of gravity… but it seems like this isn’t it”.

And instead of snatching the paper away and suggesting that we study said law of gravity, I pointed to the page and said things like, “FOCUS!”.

What is WRONG with me?  I killed the wonderful spirit we had had the day before by stressing about what others would think of me if my six year old couldn’t read as well as other six year olds.  I know full well that little boys shouldn’t be expected to sit at a desk for hours and many aren’t ready to learn how to read until they are closer to seven or eight.  Yet I made my own little boy sit doing the very same things that are contrary to his nature.

And don’t think for a second that our fluffy couch was any less confining than the metal and plastic chairs they are sporting in public schools these days.  I can dress it up all I want but what I did yesterday was no better than what he would have gotten had I sent him off to a stranger for the day.

I know very well that a little boy of six should not be required to sit at a lesson for more than ten minutes!  I know they need room to jump and play and explode with energy.  I’ve given such advice to many a young and new homeschooling mom.

I know better.

  • Inspire, not require.
  • Quality, not conformity.
  • Secure, not stressed.

I KNOW better!

And tomorrow I will do better.

For his sake.



8 Comments Add yours

  1. Heather B. says:

    Great reminder :)


  2. Sanz says:

    Been there. Done that. Thanks for the reminder!


  3. Anne says:

    But what if he learned a great lesson in focusing on what is in front of him? What if every moment in his life isn’t about what’s appealing right here and now? What if he learned a life skill–tuning out distractions (even when they’re great distractions)–in order to work on a project that will help open doors for him to learn even more in the future? What if you make a note and do a lesson on gravity this coming week?


  4. sylvia says:

    At least he didn’t have to sit at a desk in his classroom for 6 hours while ALL HIS FRIENDS each got a turn to sound out a few three letter words. He sounded out 49! And he only had to sit for 60 minutes!

    Sure it sucked for both of you but it could have been a lot worse for him – HOURS worse.

    You both learned something so nothing is wasted. Don’t be so hard on yourself, you’re doing the right thing and learning as you go – we all make mistakes – it’s admitting to and correcting them that’s important, and that’s what you’re doing!


  5. Emily says:

    I love the honesty in the post about a great day and a not so great day. I just pulled my 7 yr old home for school. We have been at it all of 2 weeks. It is great and not so great on a min by min basis. But it is about the big picture and in that she has made such great progress already. It is looking at the big pictures that we see the important changes in our lives, and our children. (and what anne and sylvia have said is true too) We just take it one day at a time and on a bad day we take it in smaller increments. Thanks for your posts and honesty in them.


  6. Evamarie says:

    I think that we all need those moments sometimes the times where we see the difference when we listen and don’t listen to the spirit.


  7. Nicole says:

    Oh boy did I need this! Great reminder. I’m going to write that quote on our board to remind myself! Inspiring seems so hard sometimes, but it’s worth it.


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