Kids these days use the term “epic fail” to describe things that are really stupid or really bad.  (What am I, 90?  Kids these days!)  I actually don’t like that term as it is not grammatically correct.  I have pointed out to my kids that, as a noun, it would be an epic failure, but they don’t care.  They insist that it is a “fail.”  Today, however, I find that I must use the term “epic fail” to describe how my homeschooling career has apparently gone.  I knew I was falling behind, but my discovery this morning was nothing less than horrific.  I was astounded at what I found out, and I think I might be traumatized.  I can’t believe I’m even sharing it here, but that’s how I roll.  If I can’t embarrass myself in public, then, hey, who can?

This morning, the Goose and I were going over her Language Arts lesson.  As part of the lesson, I read the song, “My Country ‘Tis of Thee,” to her, and we talked about the verbiage used and what the words meant.  One of the questions in the book was, “Why was America a sweet land of liberty?  What did the country provide liberty from?”  I asked her, expecting her to roll her eyes and say this work was too easy.  Instead, she gave me a “deer in the headlights” look.  So, I rephrased the question.  She must not have understood what it meant.  I asked her, “Who came over to start America, and what were they trying to be free from?”  There, my expert educational skills fixed it.  Now, surely she would understand.  Again, the deer looked back at me.  I said, “Child.  Why do we celebrate Thanksgiving?  Who was involved in that?”  She didn’t know.  How is that possible?

I began thinking about how my 11 year old child had possibly lived in America for this many years without knowing how our great country got started.  In my defense, I am positive I have taught this to her before.  However, come to think of it, it has been many years since we discussed it.  Apparently, it didn’t sink in back then.

I attempted to explain the story of the pilgrims coming over by boat.  I really didn’t want it to turn into a history lesson, so I wanted to just run through it.  I decided that I’d better check and see if my 15 year old knew how America started.  (At this point, I shouldn’t assume anything, right?)  I called him out from his room where he was hiding to avoid school.  I asked him if he could tell the story of how America was started.  (I was really praying he could.  If he couldn’t, I had decided it was definitely time for me to hang up my lesson plan book…yeah right, like I use one of those.)

So I said, “Beetle, can you please tell your sister who came over by boat to start America?”  His answer was, “Zombies.”  Thank you.  That’s helpful.  “No, really.  Can you give her the brief story?”  (I’m holding my breath at this point.)  “Nope.”  I said, “Really?  You can’t?  Or you’re just being difficult?”  “I dunno.”  I said, “Beetle, I’ll give you a hint.  The pilgrims came across the ocean.  Can you tell us why?”  “Because there was an assassination.”  I said, “No, I’m pretty sure that’s not true.”  “Yeah.  It is, and there was a tea party involved.”

Now, the Goose was interested.  She loves tea parties.  I said I was pretty sure he was mistaken, though there was a tea party of sorts later.  (Hey!  I had her interest.  I didn’t want to lose it.)  I asked the Beetle if he could please explain how America was started before my head started spinning around.  Luckily, he could somewhat explain it, though he still insisted there was an assassination.  Whatever makes it more interesting for you, dude.

The whole morning caused me to question my abilities as a teacher.  Honestly.  How did I manage to get my kid to 6th grade without teaching her the basics of American history?  I know we made Pilgrim and Indian costumes when they were little.  I know we discussed it.  Didn’t we?

I’m wondering at this point what else I have missed with her.  Perhaps she knows how to divide, but she doesn’t know what the numbers stand for!  Maybe she can write but doesn’t know what that little dot is for at the end of sentences.  (Don’t ask Beetle.  He will not answer you correctly on that.)

I realize my kids know how to push my buttons.  In fact, they are champion button pushers.  The Beetle, Mr. American History Assassination, wrote the book on button pushing, and his little sister took lessons from the master.  However, the scary truth is that I’m pretty sure the Goose wasn’t pushing my buttons.  I think she really didn’t know about the Pilgrims.  It might be time to reevaluate my curriculum.  -Al



01/11/2013 1:42pm

That's ok. Last night my 18 year old daughter was at her boyfriends helping him with his College math home work. She calls me to ask if we still had the flash masters that we bought when she went to private school in kindergarten. He has been out of school 2 years and could not do multiplication. He was never taught in school to memorize the multiplication tables or the little tricks to help remember them.(The flash master is kind of like a hand held game that helps you memorize addition,subtraction,multiplication and division.The kids have fun trying to see who can get the highest score and the principal would play it each night and announce her high score every morning. The kids would try to beat her score to win a prize.)

05/28/2017 9:02am

Teaching is not easy profession but it is respectful profession in all over the world. A mother want to make his intelligent kid but it is not easy. If the a mother teach them with technically then a mother can get t bets result.


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