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Friday, November 20, 2009

You think pimpin' ain't easy? Try homeschooling

I don't really enjoy being a "Learning Coach". That's my title as a homeschooling instructor, at least here in Ohio under K12's system. They provide a teacher and Intervention Specialist (more on that in another blog); I'm more of a facilitator for their education. I can't legally be called a "teacher". Don't get me wrong: K12 is a great program, my kids are wonderful, and I understand how important and cool it is to teach my children things they never knew before and will carry with them throughout their lives.

But I'm burnt out. The first year we homeschooled, I was all gung ho. It was hard, because we started mid-year (in January), due to having just moved and waiting for the public school to release my son's records (we had to call a lawyer and threaten to sue; way to stay classy, public school system). But, I got an entire year's worth of education in by June that time.
The next year, everything went well. We had a full year to work with, I had the program and schedule all figured out, the kids were starting to realize how much better homeschooling was than the gulag... sorry, I mean public school, it was great. All the required meetings and extra classes -weekly "Class Connects", monthly teacher conferences, Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Spanish classes, Title I, etc.- took up a lot of the time I could actually spend teaching. But, all in all it was a good year.

Now, this year. The kids don't want to be in school and would rather spend their time playing video games or with their new friends. Hell, I feel the same way, except my new friends are Facebook and Twitter. The constant auxiliary stuff is making it hard to teach. Mrs. Write's new job lets her work at home; but, as she spends a lot of it on the phone (actually via the internet, which is kinda cool), we have to be extra quiet. Money is tight, so my lovely wife and I must both work, on top of housework, chores, and, of course, teaching. My oldest has hit puberty and my youngest is showing the signs (hairy legs at age 9! Gah!), meaning moodiness and rebellion.
Teaching has become more of a responsibility than a pleasure.

That feeling of a job well done, of making an impact on their lives, has faded. Now it's: Wake up, make breakfast, do dishes, start lessons, pry the young one -nearly in tears- to class, trudge through lessons, make lunch (in total silence, as Mrs. Write's office is next ot the kitchen), convince kids that lunch is OVER and to go back to classes, go to work, come home late, Mrs. Write is still working so keep perfectly quiet, at 11pm do laundry and run dishwasher, relax in front of TV or computer for an hour, check over lesson materials for tomorrow, wake up, make breakfast, lather, rinse, repeat.

Like I said: burnt out. And every article or blog I read about staying motivated is full of the same empty advice or platitudes. "Remember how much this means to them", "Think of yourself as a superhero", blah, blah, blah. You know what would make me feel motivated again? Winning the lottery so I can stop worrying about money and bills while I try to teach a reluctant, moody and distracted nine-year-old History that even I don't care about.
On top of all that, I have only been posting one article to my Examiner account a week, instead of the required four. Meaning, after seven weeks of employment, I have seven articles instead of twenty-eight. And this is the job I wanted.

Well, that's enough of my ranting. I promise the next post will actually be funny, if the nice attendants in the loony bin let me use the internet. Hey, maybe the anti-psychotic drugs will make me see things in a totally different light and I'll be even even funnier. I am kind of curious what purple tastes like...

1 comment:

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