Home Schoolin’ Sucks

Published October 28, 2010 by Larry Fisher

My wife Home Schools the kids. I’m along for the ride.  She does all the dirty work.  I feed them in the morning, while she figures out what kind of Home Schoolin’ she’s gonna give them for the day.

Sometimes, she sits with them and reads them books to start, and sometimes, she is packing them up for some City Event. These kids seem to go to a Museum or someone else’s home for an event a couple of times a week.

Lots of Home Schoolin’ going on in New York City right now because as sucky as Home Schoolin’ is, most City Schools suck more.

There’s a few really good schools out there that are Lottery and hard to get into. You have to wait for kids to  move out or drop dead before you can get in, and since, praying for kids to get Cancer is not part of my good Ju-Ju, Home Schoolin’ seemed like an option.

I remember thinking that when “No Child Left Behind,” started, it was a great idea. Who knew that it would turn out to mean, “No Child Will Be Allowed To Be A Child.”

I’m trying to be snotty. “No Child Left Behind,” created a terrible situation for educators. People get into educating because they want to teach. They don’t get into Educating in order to teach kids how to take a multiple choice test and score high.

Hello, that’s the reason why people home school. They are not religious fanatics, not in New York anyway. They probably don’t care for the system, but what they want for their kids is an education that allows the time and effort for a kid to learn something that he wants to learn about, without it being over before he gets a real idea of what the topic is about in the first place.

 

Let me give you a couple of examples of my kids. Sadie is five. She likes to do art projects. She quietly will work on some painting for a couple of hours. Seriously, the kid will work sitting on Art for a couple of hours at a time. Is she going to get that time in a classroom? No.

 

Zane loves trucks. I want to kill myself, everytime he wants me to read  the two hundred page book on Caterpiller equipment. He wants me to read about the Diesel engines and God it kills me but we go over the entire history of this machinery. The boy is three years old. He loves his picture books too, but he really loves this Caterpiller book. It makes me want to puke, but I read it to him whenever he wants it.

 

Home Schoolin’ takes its toll on my wife. Sometimes, by the time I get home from work at 8PM, she is ready for the nut house. I tell her that if she gets institutionalized, that I am going to put the kids in the shitty school across the street.

 

She looks at me with the hairy eyeball, and I know to back off.

 

Fortunately, the kids are five and three and so they don’t really need to learn anything. People forget that. I didn’t go to school till I was six. That was common in the sixties. I have no idea when Nursery School became necessary to get into Grad School at an Ivy League . Perhaps, someone can explain how anything you do before your sixteen is important. Damn, even sixteen doesn’t seem important… I still haven’t done anything important, and I’m alright with that.

 

That is what I want to teach my kids with Home Schooling; I want them to learn about the things they want (even Caterpiller equipment), and I want them to love what they are learning, and not feel like they are spending the whole day learning about things they have no interest in. I want them reading and studying about things without them realizing that they just spent the whole day doing it.

 

I only get to Home School the kids one day a week. I mean, I read to them every day. They are digging Grimm’s Fairy Tales right now. I have to change some of the murderous Alfred Hitchcock aspects to those crazy Brother’s Grimm stories, but they are digging them none the less.  I took Zane to The Von King Park in Bed Stuy where we live and we met the Gardener who spent about a half hour talking to Zane about the different plants growing. Zane got to plant flowers for the Winter. My kids get to speak to a lot of  educators in Museums and at special events. Because Home Schoolin’ usually involves small groups to sites, each kid gets extra attention.

 

Then we went Grocery Shopping and I let Zane pick out the vegetables and fruit. We came home, washed the dishes:He gets to clean all the plastic dishes and then we start cooking. Zane is the Vegetable Man. He can cut the onions with a butter knife, I shit you not. The three year old will stand there and cut onions without much crying. He will peel my garlic, and dice the mushrooms. I am very proud of this kid. In the morning, I have taught him how to crack eggs for French Toast. Sure there are accidents, but this kid already has survival tactics that I have seen twentysomethings not have.

 

Oh, the same skills in the kitchen is true for Sadie as well. She’s been helping in the kitchen since she was two. At first it was just to smell everything, and then to cook. She cannot stand onions however.

 

They listen to a lot of music and guitar lessons are coming for Sadie. They both dance a lot. The boy will one day drive a Caterpiller to a Dance Troupe. We dance all the time.

 

I also bring them to the Junkshop to conduct business. They meet all kinds of people and love looking at the old things. I explain what things are and how they work. They love the way old things look and understand the difference in quality between how well things used to be made and how they are made today. They are five and three and already know quality craftmenship!

 

But forget about the kids and what they get out of home schooling, what do I get?

 

The kids don’t watch television but a half hour to an hour a day, if that. I will say that I get to watch Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd, Buster Keaton, The Marx Brothers with them. Sometimes, they don’t want to watch what I want, and they want some bullshit Disney crap, but one out three times, I get my way, and they like it.

 

I love my kids and I just want them to have skills for survival and to find out what they want to do with their lives. I want them to grow up knowing how to do things, and wanting to learn more about whatever they are interested in. My kids are always so proud whenever they are part of the cooking process. They will say,”I made the salad.”

 

My job is to introduce the kids to as many subjects and as many interests as they like and when they find something, let them explore it for as long as they want. If Zane wants to learn about Diesel trucks next (God help me) I will get him books on it.

 

Home Schoolin’ can have some real long days, and sometimes the kids  just want to rip each other apart. They can be very annoying kids, but most of the time, they are good learners for the stuff that interests them, and we try to keep them interested in everything.

 

Home Schoolin’ can suck but if you can’t get into the right public school, then Public School sucks more, and that is the point. Life is about figuring out stuff you want to do that doesn’t completely suck

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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