The Plagues of Homeschool

plagues of homeschool

You’ve heard of the ten plagues of Egypt?  Well in our house we had at least four plagues of homeschool. The kids and I were reminiscing the other day and these are the ones we could remember:

  1. The first plague was Fifth Disease.  Boo developed it in the first grade, our first year of homeschool.  She was so itchy and uncomfortable that she basically lived on the couch for two weeks, but she never missed a day of school. (My philosophy is “there is no excuse for not doing school when you homeschool.”)
  2. Tadpoles are supposed to turn into frogs, aren’t they?  Well, ours just laid around in their little mossy blobs for a week or two, then slowly deteriorated.  It’s a good thing neither of my kids wanted to be zoologists.
  3. I think it’s fair to say at this point that practical science was never my strong suit.  For our chemistry unit we needed a Bunsen burner but didn’t have one.  So I figured using the gas stove would work just as well.  Let’s just say holding a piece of steel wool over a flame – never a good idea.  KIDS – DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME!!!
  4. The biggest disaster was the ant farm.  The little plastic farm arrived first, with a card to mail in for the ants, which arrived about a week later, on ice (the cold temperature is supposed to keep the ants docile).  We opened up the package and then stared at the tiny hole at the top of the ant farm into which we were supposed to pour the ants.  But there was no tiny funnel provided. So I rolled a piece of paper into a tiny cone and attempted to pour the ants into the hole.  I say “attempted” because most of the ants fell on the floor.  As we were scrambling to scoop them up I happened to read the rest of the directions card which notified me to BEWARE because these were stinging red ants!!  Of course I immediately screamed and the kids and I all jumped on the counters.  Finally we solved the problem by stomping the rest of the ants on the floor with a shoe, sweeping them up and throwing them away.
plagues of homeschool
Bud and friends at a bug class in 2000.

Through all of our disasters and near disasters the boys still managed to learn a fair amount of science.  When we didn’t know, we asked those who did.  We supplemented with videos and photos of experiments done correctly.  We went to exhibitions, museums and science fairs. Boo, who has a near photographic memory, learned the names of all types of rocks, plants and animals, including their Latin nomenclature.  Bud has become a whiz at hydroponics and horticulture. We bonded as a family over those ‘disaster” moments.

Do you homeschool?  What are some of the “plagues” you experienced?  If you don’t homeschool, what are those “disaster” stories you all love to retell?




Where is Your Confidence?

Monday morning I woke up not feeling that great – achy and tired.  It had been a long night with not a lot of sleep, but I was in a pretty good mood. I stretched out, did my devotions, said my prayers and went into the kitchen to make breakfast.  As I was stirring my eggs I got an email  notifying me I was no longer in consideration for a job to which I had recently applied (the “Skype” job, for those who are wondering).  Immediately, my whole mood changed.  I continued cooking breakfast, tears streaming down my face.  The day felt infinitely darker.

A few hours later I had to wonder.  What had changed?  Yesterday I didn’t have the job and I was in a good mood. Today I didn’t have the job and everything was crap.  Why was I basing my self-confidence on what someone else thought about me?  And how many times have I done so in the past?

Here’s a few highlights:

    • Being rejected by my first and second crushes and dumped by my first high school boyfriend.  I became fearful of dating because if someone got to know me they probably wouldn’t like me anymore.  Art and I met in high school and when he started pursuing me I thought there was something wrong with him because he was interested in me.  I’d like to think that I am more mature than that now, but if Monday is any evidence, I have a way to go.
    • Having my ideology called into question.  I have some strong religious convictions as well as some strong political ones and I always find it interesting that disagreeing with me makes some people feel they have the right to attack me personally.  In the past I would use those attacks as an excuse to question everything I ever believed in.  Now I will not allow myself to get sucked into an argument.  I am willing to discuss opposing beliefs in a constructive environment, but it is my opinion that we should all just agree to disagree and try to get along.
    • Losing (a promotion or job opportunity, contest, board game or whatever).  I seriously used to believe that if I didn’t win that meant I wasn’t good enough.  What I soon realized was that there is always someone better or another newer game to beat.  Personal goals are more important than the arbitrary standards that other people or society set for us.
Where is your confidence
Photo courtesy of Omar Reyes on Flickr Creative Commons

“So do not throw away your confidence, it will be richly rewarded.  You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised.” – Hebrews 10: 35-36

What situations or people cause you to lose your confidence and how do you deal with that?