Every homeschool parent has had that moment. You know the one where you roll your eyes and say, "Where did I go wrong?". Here is my moment . . .
We have had the blessing of being enrolled in a Classical Christian Homeschool Cooperative (seriously, that is a mouthful) this academic year. I have enjoyed seeing my kids grow academically and have been blessed by the reassurance;however unnecessary, that my children are performing alongside their peers with excellence. That being said, let's skip to the embarrassing, yet totally hilarious homeschooling blooper.
The excitement of the first month of classes was met, by my kids at least, with grace and taken in stride. . . with one exception, THE SCOUT. He is 11 years old and as set in his ways as a 90 year old man in his rocking chair on the front porch with a shot-gun (I'm thinking Clint Eastwood here). Those of you who know him personally are shaking your head and lifting your hands with an "Amen" in agreement. He is not your tradition sit-still, total focus, no wishy-washy kind of student. He just doesn't do "fitting in the box". Stage set for blooper.
He loves history and was overjoyed with his new teacher, Mrs. B (the most rockin', awesome History/Latin teacher the world has ever known!). He was also enjoying the new curriculum, Mystery of History, Volume 2, which covers world history from the Day of Pentecost through the Middle Ages. What he was not adapting well to was the evening and weekend homework. Is that a boy for you or what? Thus ensues and parent/student discussion that would be worthy of a Laurel & Hardy film. (Note to younger mothers: Laurel & Hardy were a famous comedy duo team from the 1930's - 1950's.)
Mom: "Scout, you need to complete your timeline card tonight."
Scout: "No mom, Mrs. B said it was do on Thursday."
Mom: "Yes Scout, it is Wednesday night, so you need to get it done."
Scout: "Mom, I know she said do on Thursday."
(Mom shows super amounts of exasperation, and pulls the mommy trump card.)
Mom: "Scout, just sit down now and complete it because mommy wants you to finish it now."
(Scout sits down, defeated, yet obedient.)
Scout: "Yes ma'am . . . (half under breathe) it's just do on Thursday."
After two more weeks of this type dialog at the dinner table, I decided it took some further investigating. After a desperate conversation with the teacher she revealed that the Scout was not coming to class completely prepared with his homework. We both agreed that the past 4 years of a strictly homeschooling schedule was certainly the culprit for such behavior. We partnered up and she took the reigns on communicating her expectations in completing homework. But, later that evening . . .
Scout: "Mom? Why do you keep making me do my homework the day before it is do?"
Mom: "Scout, you need to come to co-op totally prepared and with your work ready to turn in."
Scout: "Mom, Mrs. B says it is do and that is when I do it."
(Light bulb moment for mommy!)
Mom: "Scout, when Mrs. B says that your homework is due, she means D-U-E, not D-O!"
Scout: "Huh?" (Child gives mom the "are you from mars" look.)
Mom: "Sweetie, when you take a library book back it is D-U-E. When you D-O your homework it is during the evening, not D-O when you get to school. Mrs. B means your homework is D-U-E, that day, just like a library book."
(Light bulb moment for child!)
Scout: "I got it mom. I'm going to go D-O my timeline card because it is D-U-E tomorrow. Thanks."
Lesson learned. In my attempt to help my child rise to a new level of excellence in his education, I failed to communicate on a level of his understanding. Four years of homeschooling had produced absolutely no frame of reference for having a deadline. That problem is now remedied and we are DOING much better!