Things are getting tough here at Blueberry House. School work has been laborious and painful. Peter is slogging down in the sticky academic mud of the ditch he himself has created.
Ten year old boys and school books have never been all that compatible, but Peter is making his fourth grade year a tough one for both himself and me! There are tears almost daily. I would take those tears into account a bit if a large part of them weren't due to a ten year old's natural bend towards laziness!
I take a little different approach to homeschooling than many people. I read of homeschoolers letting their kids learn through online games or board games or just from osmosis. I'm not that kind of homeschooler. I'm not saying my way is more right than theirs. I'm just saying I disagree with their method especially when it comes to schooling boys!
Boys are going to have to be the heads of their own homes some day. They are going to have to be bread winners. They will have to know how to get up on time every day and get themselves to work. They will have to learn to do unpleasant jobs whether they feel like it or not.
What am I teaching my son if I let him do his studies through games because he doesn't like to read or write? What am I teaching him when he cries because he doesn't want to do the work in his workbook and I let him quit because workbooks aren't his learning style?
I firmly believe in spicing up the schoolwork with supplementary games and such, but to make his entire school day out of such things is just not going to happen around here.
Peter must learn to write in full sentences whether or not he begs to to abbreviate everything. He must learn to put thoughts on paper and be able to write a cohesive story. He must learn to get at his school work without being told. He has to learn to finish everything in the lesson before marking it off of his goal chart. He must learn to try even the hard problems and not just put a huge x across every part he doesn't know how to do or every part he is too lazy to do.
My son has to learn that he cannot turn on the TV or play his PlayStation games until all school work and household chores are done. He must learn that he cannot play with the neighbor boy until all his music is practiced for the day.
Peter has to learn that before going to bed at night he must have everything ready for his charter school classes the next day; musical instruments at the door, music in his bag, gym shoes in his bag, water bottles packed, and all workbooks in their proper file in his big notebook.
He must learn to get up at 7:30 every morning and put on clean clothes, not the shirt or the socks he wore the day before. He must learn to eat his breakfast in a timely manner so he has time left over to pack the car with all the musical instruments: electric guitar, viola and two violins. He must also make sure that the cooler with our lunch gets to the car and that the big tub on wheels that totes all of our stuff into the building, is in the car every morning. It's his job to empty the lunch pail when we get home and to put the icepack back into the fridge for to freeze for tomorrows lunch.
It's Peter's job to empty the dishwasher daily and to feed the bird and to take out the recycle and garbage and to set the table. It's up to Peter to bring in the wood during the week day and to help Dad restock the wood bin on weekends.
Yes, Peter has a lot to do, but I am raising a boy, not a sissy. I am raising a future husband for some girl some day. I may be raising a future President or a future soldier who will be put on the front lines facing gunfire, extreme temperatures, hunger and pain. I may be raising some boys future daddy or some future evangelist or preacher.
I may be raising a future Fortune 500 corporate manager. My son may some day be a missionary on a foreign field and face danger at every turn. My son may have to stand up for truth and right at the risk of losing his own life.
In the light of all that, why would I ever give into his tears now and let him take the easy way out. Why would I let him do his school work and chores half heartedly? Why would I let him get by with skipping problems in his book because he is too lazy to look for the answers?
Ladies, you are homeschooling future men. Don't cripple your sons ability to be a responsible man tomorrow, by babying the boy of today.