Even though I taught middle school for ten years, I did not go into homeschooling with confidence. I know what kind of teacher I am, and it's not exactly pretty.
I am scattered.
I don't mean messy, even though the picture does not lie. I mean, a little frantic, mostly last minute, great in the act and okay in the assessment not so good in the follow up and wretched in the record keeping. I've always said, if I didn't have to write lesson plans or record grades, I'd be a good teacher. Well, there is also the issue of that little mean streak, but that's why I taught middle school.
So, six weeks ago I hunker down to get ready and still there are papers everywhere and I am still not sure when Caleb is taking drum lessons or how to teach Chaz geography or if I put Chloe in the right art class, or what we are doing tomorrow, but it's a lot, and every day, at least three times a day, I say to myself, "This is not what I want to be doing. This is not what I want to be doing. This is not what I want to be doing."
But more often than that, I am overruled by moments like these:
While working on an analogy that included the word avid, Chloe says, "I know that word
because Lupe Fiasco uses it in "Superstar":
"Everyone gets a nice autograph picture,
one for you and one for your sister,
who couldn't come tonight,
but is an avid listener."
Lupe is my favorite rapper.
Or a few minutes later while annotating a poem she begins describing a person who looks like an "old photograph, white washed or like she's sepia toned. "Then she remembers the photograph line is a reference to a description of Margo in Bradbury's All Summer in a Day.
Or Caleb writes a strongly worded poem about the burning of the Q'ran:
"I guess he would have the whole world blind and unable to chew," referring to Exodus 21:24.
Or, Chaz, continuing to write his life story, completely rejecting any writing assignments I give him, uses words or phrases he has picked up from Bible reading in the morning. "I tell you the truth. This guy was huge."
Or Chris walks in with coffee back-up and and a Fuji apple singing Van Halen's "Hot for Teacher."
There aren't any principals asking for plans or classes filled with mischievous, apathetic students, but still my own kids can be a hard crowd.
But the good list gets longer and longer, and I get less reluctant.