The Plagues of Homeschool

the author's son, with other children, looking at a display of insects with title The 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.
The author's son with other children, looking at a display of insects.
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?

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4 thoughts on “The Plagues of Homeschool

  1. I didn’t homeschool, but this blog sure did make me laugh! You had the plagues of disease, amphibians, fire, and insects. Thank God your first born lived! 🙂

  2. Oh Teressa, You are so funny! I thoroughly enjoy reading your writings!!!! I home schooled my kids forever and a day. I choose to just call it life… LOLOLOL I LOVE the story of how many times Edison tried and always approached our HS that way… Victory is around the corner…. Looking at the failings as a stepping stone to victory as a learning step.. LOL idealistic, HUH???? !!!!

    OK…. I remember Writing and creating a WONDERFUL Unit study on bugs… OH sister.. It was really GOOD… I sat down one morning and presented this wonderful and interesting information to my darling and awesome children…. NADA… no interest…. NOTHING… SO I quickly sought the Lord and HE led me to quickly change my plan to HIS!!!!! LOLOLOL and not surprisingly it worked… victory and their interest was awesome!!!! Fast Forward two weeks….. We were at a friends ….. a Lunar Moth showed up…. SUDDENLY, Interest mounted… I ran to the library… and thru together an amazing study of moths butterflies and who knows what else…. LOLOLOL My friend who was not at a place to value kids interests , suddenly saw how interest and flexibility could workLOLO.,….. SO my dear sister , It taught me to look at things not as a negative but as a learning experience,…. just as Edison tried how many times before he had the lightbulb all worked out… I don’t know if this is what you meant…. BUT I am cheering you on and if there is any way I can encourage… Here I am…. (((hug))))

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