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Are You Smarter Than an 8th Grader? The Homeschool Edition!

Are You Smarter Than an 8th Grader? The Homeschool Edition!

When my husband and I decided to have children, we discussed many things we knew we would face.  We came to a few agreements and knew that by making some concessions here and there and meeting each other at least half-way, we knew we would be healthy, happy parents.

For example, we agreed that for us we should probably wait at least five years until we tried to have our first child.

Brandon was born three years after we were married.

We agreed that we should probably have an even number of children since we both grew up in families with three kids and we knew someone would be set apart. (Clint for being 15  years younger than his next older brother and me because I was the unexpected baby.)  I felt strongly about this.  I thought even numbers would even things out.

We have three kids.

We talked about working outside the home or being a stay at home mom and decided I should be a stay at home mom while the kids were young and as soon as they were all in school, I would go to work full time.

I haven’t worked outside the home in 17 years.  I do, however, work full time as a volunteer as the PTA president.

And for the love of all things educational, I promised I would never homeschool our kids. (Seeing as we wanted to give them the best chance at being well educated and I knew I would fall short if I were to homeschool them.  I know myself.  I have nothing against it but it was something I was dead set against doing myself.)

Z is now being homeschooled.

Yes, you read that correctly.  I am the PTA president at one kid’s school while I homeschool another. I am a contradiction of myself.

It started a month or so into school.  Z was just not feeling well.  To me he looked pale and he was complaining of dizziness often.  He started missing more and more school.  For weeks I would take him to school and within 45 minutes, the nurse would call me telling me he needed to come home.  One time it was dizziness another his oxygen levels was too low etc etc.  It got to the point where I would drop him off, go get a coffee and then return to the school in time to pick him up (knowing the nurse would call).

Of course even with the nurse sending him home I still had the dean calling, sending letters and threatening truancy court. (I will go with Stupid School Contradictions for $500, Alex.)

Finally, late in October I got a call from an administrator at Z’s school.  She told me that he was stable, but they had to call 911 for him.

This is where I pause while you imagine getting that call from your kid’s school.

I got to his school in record time.  Driving up and seeing an ambulance and firetruck at the school entrance and knowing it was for my child was terrifying.  When I got to him, he was surrounded by paramedics, had an IV and looked paler than I have ever seen him.  Riding in the ambulance to the hospital was a ride I will not soon forget.

It was in that week that I realized how many specialists I was going to have to see to figure out what was going on as well as how ridiculous it was to continually get phone calls from the school about him not being there yet knowing it was not safe to send him until we figured things out.

I pulled him out of school the next week.  It was then that we entered the empowering yet intimidating world of homeschooling.  Empowering because we- as his parents- get to decide what is best for him as far as his health is concerned and not fear the sword of truancy falling on our heads.  Intimidating because HELLO, I am so not smarter than an 8th grader.  How in the world could I ever teach him all he needed to know?  How could I ever give him the tools he needs to be successful?  What have I done?

And yet, we persist.  We push forward.  We make it work for us.  Right now Z is currently take his CBE’s to see where we really need to be focusing on.  (CBE stands for credit by examination.)  Oh, look!  I got to use homeschool speak on my blog. Totally a foreign language.  They should offer it as an elective in schools. (See what I did there? *snort*)

So basically, to sum it up:  We broke most of the parenting agreements we set forth before having kids within 3 years. (I guess it is a good thing we didn’t have ‘promise to obey‘ in our wedding vows or all hell would break loose.)

And?  I am doing two things I promised myself I would never do: homeschool one of my children and become a PTA mom– especially not the president.  (Folks, Stepford shudders at that last statement. Trust me!)

And there is my life. Just one huge contradiction after another.   I also agreed that I would become a good homemaker and cook.  Yeah.  It’s a good thing the mind goes after nearly 20 years of marriage or Clint might actually catch on to the fact that I really didn’t know what I was talking about when I was a young, new bride and agreed to all of this.  What did I know? (Very little!)

Like my Mom always told me: Never say never. (Which never made sense until I became old enough for my nevers to come back and bite me in the arse!)