Yeah, it's a long title, but one I totally deserve.
I had Isaiah in tears tonight. I know, it's not the first time, but I think it was the first time I finally got through that thick noggin of his.
We've been struggling with the whole homeschool thing, and I know a lot of the responsibility - ok, so like all of it - falls on my shoulders. I always envisioned homeschooling my kids as a "fun" task... in that you would choose what you wanted to study and you were more flexible in how you were gonna study it, etc. And that is all true. But my kids don't seem to want to choose to study anything. And if they are interested, it is only in a small sliver of a whole pie that needs to be ingested somehow.
I waffle a lot. I go back and forth between thinking that this laid back approach to schooling is a good thing. That they will learn the important stuff eventually and a window will open when they are interested in learning a particular skill or piece of knowledge. Then I think that I'm teaching my kids all the wrong kinds of habits and that as they age they will slip further and further behind because they have no work ethic. Then I swing back the other way and think, "Who determines what the norm is? and why should I be worried about it anyway?" You know, small issues like that.
I've determined lately though that I'm cultivating all the wrong attitudes and habits in Isaiah for sure. The only thing that he seems to be learning really well is how to roll his eyes at his mother. The boy is spoiled and doesn't know how good he's got it. I'll request that he read or practice math facts or whatever the task may be, and I get a bad attitude or a fight every. single. time. Then I get mad and yell and threaten and he feels convicted for about 2 seconds and we're right back at the beginning of the same vicious cycle. And I'm weary. He's weary. And our relationship is strained.
So tonight I sat him down. I told him that life is full of choices and we not only make those choices with our words but we make them with our actions too. So starting tomorrow we are going to schedule our school day (I know, I know... no, we've never had a schedule - the first step is admitting you have a problem, right?)... anyway, we're going to schedule our school day to be from 9am until noon. If work does not get accomplished or if objectives/deadlines are not met by noon then the school day will spill over into the afternoon or fun things will at least be taken away until school is caught up. But here is the kicker of the plan. We will do all of this 100 times. If within that "100 days of school" I still get the bad attitude, the whining, the refusals... well, then he is choosing to pursue another schooling route. Cuz I can't take it anymore. We even signed a contract. And he went nuts.
This is as much a challenge for me as it is for him. I need to put my actions where my words are and I need to become more motivated and structured and organized myself, if I'm going to help him to be a successful student. I realize that - I need to see if I can meet that goal or I feel I am doing him more of a disservice as his teacher than I am helping him.
The next few months are going to be quite interesting for sure. I've thrown the choice in his lap, but it's just as much a test for me as it is for him... maybe more so. I'm kinda scared of what the outcome might be - either way.