By Erika Rizkallah
I don’t enjoy Mondays. Not for obvious reasons – repetitious drudgery or weekend exhaustion – but because I know five days of life sucking fights are ahead of me.
The old joke about mothers being “blessed” (cursed) by having children just like them was made for me. I hated school too. Each morning I’d think of new ways to avoid going.
My favorite was putting my clothes in the dryer and faking sick. Mom would scowl, tell me I wasn’t really sick and prove it by getting the thermometer. In those days we used the glass thermometers that you’d shake down to zero and wait forever for the silvery mercury to rise.
She was always rushing to get to work so she’d say, “I’ll be back in a few minutes to check it, now get ready for school!”
I’d get my clothes from the dryer and use the heat from my jeans to raise the temperature on the thermometer. Then I’d shake it down to 100 or 101 degrees.
Sneaky? Yes. Successful? Always.
Of course now I stand watch over a digital one but it doesn’t keep them from whining about invisible ailments. Headaches, stomaches and nausea are easily faked but I know the truth. My teens simply hate school. They’d rather focus on other interests.
But work must be done so I cajole or encourage and on bad days, threaten.
Most days we’re not one of those smily families working at desks or the kitchen table. They sprawl on the sofa, sit in bed or hang outside on the deck. I suppose that’s what I get for causing my mother so much grief.
I’ve given up fighting about when or where it gets done but I insist that it will. get. done.
Homeschooling kids who hate school is harder than anything I’ve ever done. But the struggle isn’t without costs and benefits. The cost? My energy and patience takes a hit. The benefit? We’ve learned how to fight fair, negotiate and compromise which is useful in the real world.
All days aren’t like this but Mondays …
How about you? What do Mondays in your homeschool look like?