School is in session…


I know you’ve seen it… The pictures flooding the internet of parents joyfully kicking their feet in the air and praising God that their children are going back to school. It’s okay if you are one of them. I promise I’m not the kind of person who is going to call you out for being excited because your life just got a little easier. Promise.

But for me, back to school looks a lot different. Pictures are rarely ever taken and if I remember to school supply shop, it’s been a good summer. But no, I didn’t remember I needed “stuff” until the sales had already come and gone. *SMH*

Tuesday morning, August 20, 2014 was the Jacobs’ first day of school. This year I have a tenth grader, an eighth grader, and a sixth grader (*Curriculum choices below). Having two kids in middle school and one in high school sounded like a dream last year. Finally out of the elementary grades! Finally ready to be motivated on their own! Finally ready to get work done with little fuss! Finally, finally, finally!

facepalmAs the day wore on, I though of all the back to school pics people would be taking. And of course those elated photographs of the parents putting kids on the bus after summer. I thought surely I was going to snap a pic of our perfectly in order day and my lovely children in their pajamas. And maybe me sitting on the porch swing with a cup of coffee in my hand, enjoying the quiet, serene landscape. Then I remembered one key element in my flawed thinking. Okay, maybe I didn’t remember, but the screams from inside the house jolted me to my senses.

CRAP–I’m the teacher.

*face palm*
Regardless of how old my children get. Regardless of how motivated they are. Regardless of how quickly and efficiently they work… I am still their primary instructor. So when new concepts come barreling through their heads, I’m up to the plate.

Only a few tears…

Here on day three, I’m happy to report that only two of the three children have resorted to tears. One over cursive (yes, I’m that mean mom making them learn this archaic stuff!) and the other over geometry (inferred ideals). It’s only 10:00am and I have a sneaky suspicion kid three will be next.  The tears usually trickle down to once a month or less, but at the beginning of the year, there are always tears. Sometimes it’s them and sometimes it is ME! No kidding.

School is a lot of work and this year each of them has a pretty intense learning schedule. Homeschooling a kid in high school is tough on the parent and the student. It’s a consistent battle of learning vs social activities. And then consequences come into play. That’s hard, especially when I’m the teacher. Because when you’re child is at a “brick and mortar” and has a note from the teacher saying the student isn’t completing the work on time, the parent has the “right” to put consequences into action. But when you’re at home, I find it’s much harder to deal out the consequences when I see them working so hard and desiring to hang out with their friends.

In the past I’ve always allowed the kids to work at their own pace, with the understanding that we school a traditional year. And while we still do math and reading in the summer, our school curriculum will be completed at the end of the calendar school year. This has always worked in the past. But that was before I had a high schooler with a much tougher load.

In a Pickle…

Unfortunately, this lack of assignment due dates has gotten us into a bit of a pickle here at the beginning of the school year. So, to avoid any sour bits to our school time, we’ve devised a new plan with the consequences already known and in place. I’ve given due dates to all her lessons and even addressed the consequences for missing those deadlines. At first the kid was pretty upset that the consequences were so “harsh” (cut in social time, phone, tv, internet, et el), but then she realized that she was in control of these consequences. If she just did her work and turned it in on the right due date, then she could keep all her privileges. Light returned to her eyes and she looks determined to make sure this happened.


I know it’s only day three, but I’m hopeful that we can successfully make it through this school year with little hiccups or pickle juice sloshed on our learning table.

Now if you will excuse me, I must go color a map of the Middle East while I listen to Jim Weiss read the Story of the World, Early Modern Times. Because, who doesn’t like to color?

Curriculum Choices

*Inevitably I get the question about my curriculum choices so I thought I’d jump the gun and post them before I’m asked:

10th Grader:

8th Grader:

6th Grader:

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