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The Eclectic Pen - Night and Day

By: Leslie N.  
Date Submitted: 8/28/2008
Last Updated: 8/29/2008
Genre: Biographies & Memoirs » Family & Childhood
Words: 1,169

  The difference in my children is like night and day. I have an 8 year old and he has acquired the nickname “Hurricane Tyler”. He is really your basic 8 year old that has tons of drama. His dad and I are divorced and we share custody so he is sometimes “allowed” a little more leniency than most 8 year olds when it comes to discipline.
Our day usually starts between 6 and 6:30a when I crawl out of bed and stumble to the kitchen to make him breakfast. Sometimes its just cereal or I make homemade pancakes, muffins or something in that nature. While eating he is answering all my questions about lunch money, snack money, tests and other school activities. Dressing and checking hygiene comes next and it is usually a rush to make it out the door at 7:30 to have him at school by 10 till 8. After that is done, I drive back home and enjoy my morning coffee. Clean my kitchen or other chores that I have put off from the day before. Usually between 9 and 10 my other son wakes up.

A.J. is 13 years old. A.J. was born when I was 17 years old and it has been him and me pretty much since day one. His dad chose a life of drugs and alcohol over his family and still to this day, that is the life he chooses. He comes into the kitchen or wherever I am and always kisses me good morning and he usually fixes his own breakfast unless I have fixed something for Tyler that he likes. He eats his breakfast and I have to remind him every day about personal hygiene. I wonder sometimes if other mothers of teenagers go through the same thing. When we are ready we begin his lessons for the day and we work at our own pace. We have been doing this for the last 4 years. It is hard and trying be your child’s teacher but we have made it work. At the end of the lesson he usually knows how to do it. We usually don’t quit till he completely understands the lesson.

After he is done which it usually takes 3-4 hours to complete each day’s lesson, he is free to do what he wants. He can work on his go-cart or play his games or play on the computer. Some days we have activities to do with other children such as bowling or skating. We can do activities every day if we like with our home school group. But we keep a limit to once or twice a week. We also visit with cousins a lot during the week to allow playtime or as he likes to call it now “hanging out”. Then we have to make the drive to pick up “Hurricane Tyler” from school. The drama is on as soon as he gets in the car. Tyler wrecks havoc the whole way home. He has been cooped up in school all day. He’s hungry and wanting time to do his own thing. But instead he has to do homework first. It is a question everyday. “Mom, can I do my homework later?” “No” is always the answer. Homework and he gets an hour or so to watch TV or play games and then it is time for his bath and getting ready for bed by 9. Once I get him in bed he wants to talk till 10 or so. That is our time though. We talk and he cuddles up to me and tells me about his day, what is or isn’t happening in school. Then he is soon sound asleep. I lay next to him glad he is finally asleep so he will not be so hard to get up yet wanting more time with my child. And if he has ball practice which is two days a week I get even less time with him.

As for which I prefer I can’t say. For A.J. home schooling has been the best thing for him. In public school he was going all day and coming home and I was teaching him how to do the work. He is a visual and auditory learner. He has to see and hear it to understand it. Tyler has only known public school and is a straight A student and when he does his homework he does it on his own and I do not have to spend hours teaching him something that his teacher was suppose to teach.

I don’t ever see Tyler being home schooled nor do I ever see A.J going back into the public school system. It is just what works for us and I would not have our lives any other way. I spend a lot of time with my oldest son and we have a close bond. Like I said in the beginning his dad chose drugs a long time ago and time spans in seeing him to about every 6 to 8 months if that. He has never been a permanent fixture in his life and I don’t look for it to change anytime soon. I have had to be the mother and father to him and it is a challenge.
Tyler on the other hand, his father is in his life and they have a great relationship most of the time. Even though we are divorced we are still a family and want what is best for our “baby”.

My point being in all this is that I would prefer to home school both my children because I believe that it is up to the parent to raise your child and that includes schooling them as well. I don’t like the fact that they teach evolution in school, as I do not believe in Darwin’s theory. I don’t really like that I get up and ship my kids off to someone else all day for them to raise and teach and then blame the parents when something goes wrong. The first thing you hear when a kid gets in trouble is well he doesn’t have good guidance at home. Kids that are in public school are not at home enough to get much guidance so how can the parents be to blame. This is just my opinion in the matter. Neither one of my children have been much trouble and I consider myself to be a good parent. Saying that I mean that I play with my children and do what they do. If they want to play in the sand box, we go play in the sand box. If they have friends over I am doing what they are doing. I am involved in whatever they are doing and we usually all do it together.

On the other hand I praise the teachers that teach my youngest son in public school. Because he is learning and all I want is for my children to be happy.

The Eclectic Pen » All Stories by Leslie N.

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Sabriena W. (hazeleyesrangeleyes) - 9/3/2008 8:26 PM ET
This was a really nice narrative. Our family is homeschooled (8 kids), and we really enjoy it. Sometimes the older kids help teach the younger ones, which is a good thing. It sounds like you have a good system, with public schooling the one son, and homeschooling the other. Whatever works for the whole family. And I totally agree with you about the schooling thing. Kids who are public schooling don't usually get to spend that much time with their family, they are getting more guidance at school (not always, but most of the time). Anyway, it is almost our dinner time, so off I go to help Mom with dinner (well, set the table, for today).
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