I wonder if among homeschooling parents there is a thriving black market for off-label pharmaceuticals.

Xanax is so nice, but it takes away my drive to get my making-money work done during the day. But if my sole work during the day was to make sure my kids were doing self-directed learning, well, I think I could do that on Xanax. And Xanax might make that a little more interesting.

Also, on Xanax I would not feel the draw of the Internet all day long. What do homeschooling parents do who are addicted to their blog stats? It would be so difficult to focus on long-division when I know someone big just linked to me. I like to watch the page views minute by minute. How do homeschooling parents nurse their own obsessions during the day? I think a Xanax would do the trick for me. For a bit.

I think Adderall might be good on days when we have to do stuff like soccer and violin and swimming. Because I don’t like those days, but maybe with Adderall I would. Would Percocet make swimming as relaxing for me as it is for the kids?

Please, do not tell me I’m selfish and unable to focus on my kids long enough to homeschool them. I am trying. I’m just wondering: How do other people handle these issues?

6 replies
  1. Sarah
    Sarah says:

    It’s called unschooling…. No, I’m kidding. I don’t know how I balance it. Like right now I really need to leave for soccer but I can’t seem to stop looking at my Google Reader.

  2. Tanya
    Tanya says:

    Well, I’m not good at it. But I keep telling myself to take your advice – get some self-discipline and set up a routine where I’m only on-line certain time/s of the day. Once I get that started, I’ll let you know how it’s going…

  3. Cathy
    Cathy says:

    My mom always said “everything in moderation,” and “balance is important.” Even moderation in moderation – which allows for some crazy, out-of-balance days once in a while! We loved having a few (a very few) days in which we sat around all day finishing up a great fiction book we were reading. (What I mean by this is that I was reading a book aloud to the kids. Since two out of my three kids NEVER “just sat around” – they always liked to be in motion – they were probably working out and stretching and drawing and doing other quiet stuff with their bodies while I read aloud. But those few days happened because we didn’t absolutely have to go anywhere, and, boy! that book just got GREAT!)

    We unschooled, and the kids and I came up with projects that were longer-lasting and bigger-scope than “assignments” or “lessons” tend to be. Those sorts of projects, embarked upon because we wanted to do them, beckoned to us more than workbooks would have. We also sometimes made commitments to others; because of those commitments, we would be motivated to accomplish certain things. For example, the kids wanted to learn about dinosaurs, and we invited grandparents and a few friends to a dinosaur party at the end of the month. Not only did the kids WANT to build a model and do a painting and figure out whether the longest dinosaur would fit our house – they wanted to do finish those projects in time to show off their stuff at the party.

    If any of your kids are interested in blogging or blog stats, check the stats with that kid and discuss what the statistics mean. How are the stats displayed? Would there be a better display method? How are the stats collected? What are the trends? How can you make the stats “better”?

    You and your kids can remind each other about balance (physical exercise, rest, cleaning activities, music practice, etc.) and moderation. As you build better or more grown-up relationships with your growing kids, you can discuss these issues with them, not just with us. The seeking, the striving, the journey – these are the things the kids need to see and know about.

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      Two things in your comment really resonate with me. The first is staying inside all day reading a book outloud. That sounds so cozy.

      The other thing you wrote that I loved is moderation is important — even moderation in moderation. Love that.

      Penelope

      • Cathy
        Cathy says:

        One thing we did a lot in our family was road trips. My husband is crazy for travel, so we would often jump in the car and go see the Grand Canyon, or Yellowstone, or a million other spots. And I would read books aloud to ALL of us. We did Harry Potter that way, and Jane Austen and science fiction books – and there was one memorable trip to Colorado in which we read Holes, by Louis Sachar. I tell you, when everyone in the family shares context like that – we all JUST READ the same book – it does make for some great discussions!

  4. Someone in WI
    Someone in WI says:

    Reading books aloud all day long is WONDERFUL! We’ve done intensive book-reads a number of times over the years, and it’s always memorable. We read Laura Ingalls’ “Long Winter” during a blizzard one winter. We read “Charlotte’s Web” in the summer just before State Fair week. And yes, the kids color, or play with Legos, or even (sometimes) play a video game with the sound off, while they listen. But they never miss a thing. It’s amazing.

    Homeschooling is NOT perfect. Nothing is. But lots of things are learned — including the most important things like persistence, and finding-things-out-on-your-own, and that wasting time on busywork is just stupid, and maybe best of all, how to have good relationships with siblings. I can’t say that these sibling relationships will be perfect, either, but I think they have a good chance at being life-long and strong.

    Our two oldest never set foot in a regular classroom (though they spent time in plenty of group activities, piano lessons, dance classes, martial arts, etc. etc.) and they are now in college on half scholarships and doing well.

    But no drugs. No off-label stuff. :)

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