From the Trench

Turkish trenches on the shores of the Dead Sea.

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I’ve heard lifetime friendships form in the trenches of war. A bonding takes place, when soldiers face extreme challenges. Maneuvering through our first week of home school together was like dodging bombs, and strategizing our attack. The boys and I are officially in the trench.

There are 10 teachers, who teach on Tuesday and Thursday, and I doll out the classwork, teach the lessons, they need me to teach, and administer the tests. At the end of each day, I grade all the classwork and tests. Each teacher has their own system, so I’m learning what they need from me, as I go along.

So, how did my first week go? Wednesday, I started homeschooling at 8. The boys had guitar and piano lesson at 1pm, after which, we continued with home school until 5pm.

Follow me into battle. At 5pm, I rushed downstairs, started dinner, threw their uniforms into the wash, we ate dinner, cleaned the dishes, folded the laundry, threw in the football uniform, ran up to the classroom to pack up the bags, cleaned up the classroom, and graded all the papers, fed the animals, took the dog out, rushed through a bath, and fell into bed around 10pm, out like a light. Welcome to the trench…

I am not complaining. I am pleased to say today, (Friday) we finished at 2:30 for Nicklaus and 3:30 for Christian, and I had everything graded by 4pm. VICTORY! So, maybe our timing is better.

Although our week has not been without a few arguments, and a few mistakes, (ungraded papers, wrong text books ordered, wrong assignments, showing up for football practice with an empty gym bag…classic) Yes, I’m a tired woman. My imagination tells me the teachers are running to the administration to report on the “BCM” (basket case mom).

They gather around the boardroom table. “How is BCM today?” He asks them. One says, well, she ordered the wrong textbook. Another…her son did the wrong assignment…the coach, her fourth grader showed up naked for football practice!

He shakes his head. “Oh, this BCM’s a special case. Coach, let’s send her to boot camp, and put detail on her. We need to know what BCM’s doing minute to minute. She may need post trauma medication after this.”

I’m giddy with wit.

In all honesty, the teachers keep encouraging me along, like a toddler learning how to walk. I am resisting the temptation to suck my thumb and sulk. It’s that humbling. I trust I’ll get the hang of it with time.

Even more humbling is answering the boys questions about subjects I haven’t used in years, or never learned. Latin for one, is my least favorite, no offense to all of you Latin fans. Science beyond the fascinating world of examining bug intestines, the stars, and the weather, I’m bored.  Give me Arts, Political Science, Bible, and History! I shout to the hills with passion. It is unfortunate, the subjects you have under your belt, are not the one’s requiring your vast knowledge.

When questions fire off at me like poisonous darts, to prevent my children concluding their teacher is of the ignorant variety, I turn to the man who knows all things, Mr. Goggle.  “Well, let’s see what Mr. Goggle has to say about that.” I come off like a champ.

The positive outcome of all this stress, my boys and I are rekindling our like of each other. I heard a homeschooling Mom once say, “To home school your children, you have to truly like them as people.” She is right. A mother loves and protects her children, but a mother must like her children to homeschool them.  We are facing our battles and developing a life long friendship down in the trenches of our humble classroom.

After a full day, with kisses doled out, and preteen faces cleaned of war paint, peeking out from under the covers, when I start to close the door… “Just one more hug Mom?”  They know who’s their comrade.

Until next time…

September 2010

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