So I have been thinking a lot about my (brave) friends that Homeschool. I have decided that I just couldn't do it, for a variety of reasons (one being that we haven't been able to locate a working calculator in our house since 1992). Our typical “History” lesson would go something like this: “Tall, do you know where I left my sunglasses yesterday?” That is probably not the type of history they are specifically trying to teach for the SAT’s.
Actually, once the Homeschool Police (uh, do they usually work from home?) paid me a little visit, I think they’d mostly be appalled. Our “Math” lesson might be: “Short, do you think we have enough laundry detergent left to do the remaining 9 loads of laundry? could we make it stretch out if we just use half the amount recommended?” At least I’ll be wearing clean clothes for the Homeschool Police (hereafter to be referred to as HP).
Another fun “Math” question I'd pose for my sons: does Mommy have enough money in her bank account to buy that cute skirt from the latest Anthropologie catalog (we were perusing that earlier to study, uh, “Marketing” and “Advertising”)? Then, I could hand over the checkbook to Tall to balance for me (he is almost 7, I’m sure he could figure it out; anyway, it should be easy because it's just subtraction-subtraction-subtraction).
Outside on our back patio, Mommy would be demonstrating an impromptu “Music” lesson: trying furiously to cram just five more cans into the recycle bin and having them (repeatedly) fall out and clank (loudly) against the ground. This type of music never fails to elicit immediate notice and obvious appreciation and admiration from the next-door neighbors. Tell me: who needs a violin?
“Science” class might play out like this: “Tall! Why didn’t you tell me the timer was going off while I was in the shower? I think the muffins will be burnt now! Oh, wait, what I meant to say is that my hypothesis is that the muffins will be inedible; get your notepad out and you can make your prediction, too.”
We’d have a lot of fun in “art” class, which would consist of “I think even though this marker doesn’t have a top, it’s not too dried out. Give it a try.” Or if I was feeling adventurous, “I know! Let’s do Play-Doh! Oh, wait, your brother left all the lids off those, too.”
Luckily, we don’t have to bother with “English”, because I'm proud to say: I'm totally fluent in English (having studied one semester in college in London myself) and we actually speak it at home. Every. Single. Day. If I felt we needed to focus on, say, “Spelling”, then I might ask the kids to find certain products for me at our local grocery store: “Short, you spell it C-H-O-C-O-L-A-T-E. It is the next aisle over from W-I-N-E.”
“French” lessons? That’s easy: we can just take a few minutes to thumb through Mommy’s latest edition of Elle magazine (“Elle” is French, right? Doesn’t it mean “fashion for very rich people who wear $4000 sweaters to go put gas in the car”?).
"Computer" seminar? Got that covered: "let's watch Mommy write her blog now."
I would looooooooooooooove to teach “Social Studies”! We would just go to Starbucks, spend $12 on a latte (there is that “Marketing” again) and sit and watch people and how they interact socially: “Short, see that teenager over there? He totally cut in front of that lady in the wheelchair.” Or “Geesh, that bald guy in the green shirt is here every day at 2 PM! He really needs to get a job. Come to think of it, we’ve seen him in here daily at 9 AM, 10:30, 1:15 PM, 3:30 and 4:40 as well. What a loser.”
And "Health" class? How about, "Tall, which do you think is a healthier choice-- carrots or M&M's? Carrots? That's right! Carrots are a good choice. What kind of choice do you think Mommy is making right this second by eating orange-colored m&ms?"
When Oprah comes on, we can have deep, philosophical discussions about The Importance of Media and Social Impact Thereof. Sounds like college-level coursework to me.
We don’t even have to worry about “P.E.” in my house. We just run up and down those basement stairs 226 times per day changing out loads of laundry. It’s simple to get your heart rate up that way.
Actually, I won’t dread a visit from the HP after all; I’ll simply loan them a (dried out) marker to take their notes, then I'll smile and invite them in for a (burnt) muffin.
(“Mom Omits Violin”)