We are preparing for “back to school” here at the Resister House, but in our case, it’s “back to homeschool”.
Last winter, I pulled the children from public school mid-year in response to the immense distress they were suffering due to the insane and developmentally inappropriate Common Core the school implemented in place of what used to be excellent education in one of the best school districts in our area, and also due to the school’s repeated failure to deal with really messed up kids who tormented my daughter by doing such things as cornering her and killing small living creatures in front of her because they knew it disturbed her to see such things.
My son was in Kindergarten; the school had just gone to full-day kindergarten after decades of it always being half-day. This was done so they’d have more time each day to inflict Common Core’s nonsensical instruction and hours of testing on the little 5 & 6 year old kids. The papers my son brought home looked nothing like the happy kid-friendly work my daughter brought home from kindergarten just three years prior. The language on the thick homework packets for my son made little sense to me, my head would hurt looking at them, and forcing my son to do the work was torture for both of us. My happy-go-lucky little boy HATED kindergarten. I’m sorry, but kindergarten is supposed to be a HAPPY time, a gentle introduction to formal education, and if little kids hate it then the educators are doing it wrong, IMHO.
My daughter had previously LOVED school and she had perfect grades her entire school career until the school replaced their previously excellent curriculum with the anti-child Common Core. Math homework made no sense, because they often required the student to provide the WRONG answer (ask other parents in CC schools what they think of the new way they do estimates if you don’t believe me) or, if a correct answer was required and given the question would marked incorrect if the child failed to provide a dissertation with the answer explaining why they feel they have the right answer. It is not enough to say 2+2=4 if you don’t also say that you feel it is so because 1+1=2 and 1+3=4 and 7-2=5 and 3+2=5 and 5-1=4, but a child can get a correct mark for 2+2=5 if they explain why they feel that this is so. (Hello, Orwell’s 1984 called, it wants its mindmashing tactics back.)
The kids were crying inconsolably every single school day. I didn’t think so much daily distress was healthy for my children’s developing minds. So I pulled the kids out and scrambled to put together homeschool lessons for the remainder of the school year. It was hard, for all of us, but the crying stopped and smiles returned to my kids’ sweet little faces.
Some relatives did not approve, and they disowned me, but my children matter to me far more than anyone’s opinion matters to me and I won’t leave my kids in a miserable situation just to please someone who would disassociate with us so blithely anyway.
I know some families homeschool year-round, but I thought my kids deserved a summer vacation after all they’d been through and that the break would help me to prepare better for the new school year.
So, now we are getting ready to begin our first real year of homeschool in just a few weeks and I’m excited as well as a little bit anxious. I am excited about the wonderful history and science curriculums that I have been able to obtain for them at low cost and no cost, but limitations from not having a functioning portable computer causes me anxiety since all the affordable books I want to use are in PDF format and it is a huge undertaking to connect our big heavy printer to a computer that cannot be moved. There is a print shop in my town, I think I’ll ask what they’d charge to print our school books, it might be more cost effective and less stressful to do so.
It has been nearly a year since my wonderful laptop’s screen cracked and had to be converted to a desktop with an external monitor and keyboard; I miss having a functioning laptop every single day of my life, and even more so now that I am staring down the barrel of needing to plan an entire school year for a fourth grader and a first grader. It is not comfortable for me to use the improvised computer that I have on a little old sewing table for a desk with my pain issues, but it suits the children well so I let them use it for educational activities, watching kid friendly shows, movies, and documentaries, and of course, because they are kids, wholesome games.
I have had to get creative to meet my tech needs, rushing to get what I need to get done with a real computer done before it becomes too painful to remain at the desk, putting everything on USB flash drives, and then figuring out how to get stuff from the flash to my bargain basement android, or email things to myself so I can view them later on my phone. It gets confusing trying to work across all different platforms and of course there is also the fact that it makes blogging very difficult as well. If I ever manage to get a good laptop again, I swear, I’d find something to blog about as often as possible – I’d be on it every day getting the children’s lessons coordinated anyway so it would just be a matter of a few clicks to get back to blogging regularly again if I had the means to do it in the way that works best for me. Tapping out one letter at a time on my phone is not ideal, and the app for my budget android tablet leaves a lot to be desired as well – I blog better when I can right-click and put links, pictures, and quotes in my blog posts but mobile devices make those simple tasks a hassle, and trying to edit using a touch screen when nerve damage makes your hands stupid is a nightmare – it’s taken me three days just to write what you see here! If I were able to write regularly again I might also be able to generate a little bit of income from ads so it would be less of a burden to cover my medical expenses and keep connected to the world than the way I presently struggle.
I just went through another round of long drives to far away doctors & getting medicines, and I got my car inspected and managed to keep the internet/phone/tv connected for another month, so after all of that and the other expenses of being mom (groceries are outrageously expensive here and it seems like the prices for food rise every single day lately), I’m pretty much tapped out so even putting a little bit of money aside to save for a computer or to try to get mine fixed (which would cost about the same as getting a new laptop during a good sale) is not something I can do right now.
If you’d like to see this blog have new posts daily, and for new stuff from me to show up on my other blogs (LymeZilla.com, BatshitCrazyNews.com, and, Femininican), and you want to help me to be able to do that as well as make it easier for me to organize my children’s homeschool, please know that no amount is too small to throw in the Tip Jar and any little bit would put me and the Lil’ Resisters closer to the goal of no longer needing the time consuming and frustrating work-arounds that are required currently here for what would ordinarily be simple computer tasks. Of course I will find ways to make do until the glorious day when I can open a laptop and use the computer normally again (and blog much more), but stores are offering big discounts on computers right now for back-to-school and I’d really love to be able to take advantage of those sales in time to get the Lil’ Resisters ready for back to (home)school.
In case you were wondering, yes, I am still very sick but I don’t want to talk about it right now because it is depressing, however, I can tell you that (knock wood) in the past couple of days I have finally begun to feel a little bit of improvement. Prayers would still be greatly appreciated.
I am still looking for decent English Language Arts materials for my kids; if you know of any good ones that are free or cheap, please let me know about them in comments.
If you are in a family that is homeschooling or has homeschooled, I’d love to hear from you! Please feel free to talk about your experience and/or share ideas in the comments section or email me at the address below.
I am nervous and excited about starting our first full year of homeschooling; please wish us luck!
Email Me: Zilla@MareZilla.com