Homeschooling (Quarantine Style) Continues

  • Me: Have you finished your online schoolwork?
  • Little Girl: Yes.
  • Maury Povitch: Mom’s check on your google classroom proves…. that was a lie!
  • Me: (scanning in a completed worksheet called “Canada Facts Fun Sheet” for the twins)
  • Boo: What’s that? It says fun sheet. Is it really fun?
  • Me: No. Absolutely not.
  • Kids: I thought we would have fun being home all day! This is boring!
  • Me: I thought homeschooling the kids would be easy! This stinks!
  • Dr Phil: Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result… That’s called insanity!

Do we have to talk about this now?

I was taking a nap when my eleven year old son texted me from the kitchen. Yes. TEXTED me. From the KITCHEN.

Having failed to get his point across by text, he tried call me. Actually, he tried to Face Time me.

Did I mention I was napping? This a bad time to try to Face Time me.

I did not accept this call (shockingly) so he was forced to walk down the hall and speak to me in person.

He spoke to the mound of covers that was my head. “Mom. Mom. MOM!”

I made an indeterminate noise of reply.

“The stool in the kitchen,” he said.

I poked my nose out and said, “What about the stool in the kitchen?”

Urgently, he said, “You have to come see it.”

Obviously I did not want to do this. I said, “Why?”

He did not wish to clarify. “You HAVE to come SEE it!” he insisted.

I sighed. “Can’t I come see it after my nap?”

Here’s where the story takes a crazy twist.

Now I’ve had these kinds of conversations with my son more times than I can count. There’s always something that I HAVE to come see, regardless of whether I want to see the thing or not. He will INSIST that I put down my book/ get out of bed / come out of the bathroom/ stop folding laundry/ drop WHATEVER I’m doing, and COME SEE THE THING. He will not be deterred and he will not explain why. I simply MUST see the thing. NOW!!

Whenever this happens, I always end up going to see whatever it is he so desperately wants me to see, and it is pretty much always some trifling non-emergency that requires little to no attention on my part. But that is immaterial. THE THING is not the point. It’s the GOING TO SEE IT that matters.

So when I said, “Can’t I come see it after my nap?” it was pretty much just a stalling tactic. I knew I was destined to be forced to go see what the deal was with the stool. I would not be permitted to sleep until I had SEEN THE THING.

But then….

Miraculously, he said, “Okay,” and HE WENT AWAY.

I cannot overstate how unprecedented this was. He AGREED to let me continue to sleep and SEE THE THING LATER.

It was amazing.

I think we’ve made real progress here.

On a side note, after I woke up and went into the kitchen, I asked what the problem with stool had been.

He said the stool seemed to be a bit wobbly.

Shocking.

I am NOT a homeschool mom

Let me say that again: I am not a homeschool mom.

BUT…. They cancelled my kids’ school. They cancelled EVERYONE’S kids’ school, in fact.

So now, I guess, we are ALL going to be homeschool moms.

I’ve been hoping that this whole thing is an elaborate April Fool’s joke, but I guess not.

It’s April second, and the kids are still at home.

So I’ve been trying to learn about Google Classroom and whatnot; I’ve been trying to keep up with making sure the kids do their assignments online and keep up with their work.

And so far, it seems I’ve done a pretty terrible job.

The twins are in sixth grade, by the way, so I thought I could handle helping them with school work. But there are TWO of them….

So, I was trying to concentrate on Little Boy’s schoolwork because Little Girl said she had hers under control.

And it turned out that by “under control,” she meant “completely ignoring all assignments.”

Seriously.

She. Hasn’t. Done. DIDDLY!!

And Little Boy , whom I have ACTUALLY BEEN WATCHING, seems to be missing half of his assignments too.

I’m afraid to even check on (17-year-old) Boo. She’s in high school. There is NO WAY I can help with any of that.

I can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong!

I must be the worst homeschool mom ever.

Oh, wait. I forgot. I’M NOT A HOMESCHOOL MOM!!!!!

P.S. I wrote a little about homeschool vs. non-homeschool a long time ago. If you’re interested in that opinion piece, click here.

Guinea Pigs

So, Little Girl has been lobbying for her own pet for some time.

We still have the cat; he’s almost ten years old now. I have actually been blogging long enough (?!) that his origin story is in my archives, if you’re interested.

I’ve been strongly resisting any new pets on the grounds that we already have a cat; however, the lack of precedent for this logic was recently pointed out to me.

  • Me: You don’t need your own pet.
  • Little Girl: You let ET have her own pet.
  • Me: We already have a cat.
  • Little Girl: ET had a hamster. AND a tree frog.
  • Me: (floundering) But….

Yeah, I lost that one pretty quickly. I hadn’t taken a hard enough line with previous kids, and now history was against me. The argument that I was younger and stupider back then (my only defense!) wouldn’t really fly either.

(And she didn’t even KNOW about how I let her big sisters have a lizard, some fish, and mice at various times in the past. See “The Pet Wars” in my archives for more there. Yeah. I was MUCH stupider then.)

So…. I fell back on the Use-Your-Own-Money-And-That-Thing-Had-Better-Not-Bug-Me defense. It’s all I could do. I told her that if she could buy the pet in question AND all its supplies AND keep it in her room AND keep it clean and fed herself, THEN she could have her own pet.

Long story short…. we have a pair of guinea pigs now.

The good news is, they’re really cute!

The bad news is, her room smells like a livestock barn, and I keep having to buy food for these rodents.

Oh well.

The Book Fair at School

The twins’ school is having a book fair.

They are in middle school now, so I wondered if the book fair might be different, but it’s pretty much the same as it was in elementary school:

Ostensibly it’s to sell books and promote learning, but the real goal from the kid’s perspective is buying random junk that promotes clutter.

(I’ve written in the past about how much my kids love random junk; see that post here if you’re interested.)

They simply CANNOT go to the book fair without buying some of the non-book items such as odd bendy pencils, erasers shaped like weird things, or bookmarks with strange shiny patches on them.

I’ll admit that these things are cool, and I do remember being a kid (many MANY years ago) well enough to know the draw of interesting small objects to children.

Little Boy brought home one of those pens that writes in a lot of different colors. He was simply THRILLED about the pen.

He wanted to know if they had pens like that when I was a kid. I admitted to coveting one of those four-color pens kids had when I was in elementary school.

Remember those? Only cool kids had them.

Well, his pen is WAY cooler! He left it out for his siblings to view, but carefully put a note next to it to make sure no one tried to steal it.

This pen is definitely for cool kids!

I don’t know what you’re talking about

Have you ever noticed that when you tell a kid to do something they don’t want to do, they act like they don’t understand?

  • ME: Time to do your homework.
  • KID: What?
  • ME: Time. to. DO. your. HOME. WORK.
  • KID: Home? Work?
  • ME: Did you brush your teeth?
  • KID: What?
  • ME: Your teeth. Did you BRUSH them?
  • KID: Teeth? Brush?
  • ME: It’s bedtime. Time to give me your phone for the night.
  • KID: What?
  • ME: Give me your phone. Where’s your phone?
  • KID: My? Phone?

It’s like suddenly words are meaningless to them.

They have absolutely no idea what I am saying.

So, now I’m a mother-in-law?

My oldest daughter ET got married.

I know; I’m nowhere NEAR old enough for this.

And how is it that SHE is old enough? When I started this blog she was thirteen, so I gave her the name ET for Evil Teenager. Now she’s 23 (!) and no longer a teenager at all. (But still evil? Yes, if you ask her siblings.)

Anyways, last weekend the whole family went to a nature park in rural Alabama and watched her get married.

Everything went pretty well, I think. The weather was nice, but we were holding the ceremony inside a building anyways. Park or no park, I think we’d have to be completely crazy to hold an outdoor wedding in December.

And ET had plenty of built-in bridesmaids, since she has so many sisters.

I don’t have anything funny to say about the wedding, which is definitely a good thing. Nobody wants their daughter’s wedding to be funny. Not even me.

So instead, here’s a few of my favorite past stories about ET for your entertainment:

Middle School: The Drama Continues

A little while back I wrote about a secret admirer note that Little Boy received in his locker. (It was addressed some guy called Hugh.)

To read that story click here: http://christinakosatka.com/?p=1968

Well, today he found another note for the same kid!! And this note is in different handwriting, so it’s not from the same girl.

I had this translated for me, by the way, so here is the text:

“Hi, I kind of like you. (Blushing smiley-face) Note: I know you have a girlfriend; people told me. (Crying tears emoji). To: Hugh From: ?”

OK, so we have: Secret Admirer #1 from before, Secret Admirer #2 here, AND a Girlfriend?!?!

Well, well, well, Mr. Hugh! I think I need to get a look at this little lady-killer.

Middle School Begins

So the twins are officially in middle school now.

I know this for sure, not just because I took them to their new sixth grade class last week and helped them navigate their class schedule and learn to open their lockers.

These are of course important middle school milestones, but today we reached another crucial middle school point: the Secret Admirer Letter.

My son received one in his locker!

Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately for him) it was addressed to another boy.

Hue is not my son’s name. (I don’t think it’s actually the correct spelling of any boy’s name, in fact, but that’s beside the point.)

Some poor girl put it in the wrong locker I suppose. Well, he has his twin sister to help straighten this out, and the letter will be redirected tomorrow.

The travails of middle school have definitely begun!

UPDATE: 21 August 2019

Here’s an update on the secret admirer post from yesterday:

Little Girl took the note to the intended recipient, who was in fact named Hugh (not Hue).

She explained it had been put in her brother’s locker, but of course it appeared to Hugh that it was a note from her. So in true middle school fashion he sent his friend to interrogate her.

  • Friend: So…. did you send this note?
  • Little girl: No.
  • Friend: Then… where did you get the note?
  • Little Girl: It was in my brother’s locker.
  • Friend: So… how did you know it was for my friend?
  • Little girl: Because it said his name.
  • Friend: And… how do you know his name?
  • Little girl: Because he sits next to me in first period.
  • Friend: So… you admit that he is in your class?
  • Little girl: Yes.
  • Friend: And… you admit you know his name?
  • Little girl: Yes.
  • Friend: (Moving in for the kill) How do you SPELL his name?
  • Little girl: H U G H
  • Friend: Oh. (to Hugh) She’s clean, man.

I think this kid may have a future in law enforcement.

Why does this kid have a phone?

Little Girl decided to buy a phone with money she’s saved.

I don’t know why and eleven-year-old needs a cell phone, but…..

So far she has used it mainly to take weird pictures of herself.

And text them to me, along with odd information or demands.

The good news is, I can send her messages too.

No more calling down the hall for meals!

The modern world is a strange place…