I wrote this post a couple weeks ago and was too anxious to actually publish it. But I am going to click that button and be brave in the interest of realism.
A lot of homeschool moms imagine that every other homeschooling mom has it all worked out. That their houses are clean and quiet. That their children do perfect work and never argue or pick on their siblings. That they know perfectly how to handle every situation and how to teach every child. And that she alone is the only one who faces problems.
Encouraged by a couple friends, I have decided to try "being real" about the struggles we face. I hope you can see beyond the occasional frustration and inadequacy I post. I had those when I taught school too, so teachers don't have it all down pat either.
So, without further ado or any editing, here is my original post, entitled "Shut up!" (And yes, I say it on occasion. Certainly more frequently than I ought. Just being real, now! LOL)
I am SO TIRED of constant noise as my children work (or not work, as the case may be). Yes, I have been known to shout the above words. Clearly not the best plan of action, but I'm just being real here.
One of my children seems to need to make constant noise - blowing raspberries, chanting single words or phrases over and over, humming just loud enough so everyone can hear. The others don't make noise constantly, but don't seem to heed that others around them need a quiet atmosphere to concentrate on their lessons.
I used to teach. My classroom of nineteen children could be quieter than the four children who live here.
Here is a small slice of our day. Maybe five minutes? They are supposed to all be working quietly. Suzy is silent reading, David and Emily are doing grammar worksheets, and James is waiting on me to do Spelling. I could have intervened in this scenario at any point, but I decided to let it play out and just transcribe what was said.
D: Captain American lives there.
E: Who's Captain America?
S: (not paying attention to THEM, but commenting on a picture in her book) It's a pepper!
S takes book over to J and he begins to read aloud to her.
D repeats a phrase from the book and shakes a necklace around, making plastic beads clank.
D (in English accent): He's a spotted deceiver. He's a spotted deceiver.
J is still reading aloud with occasional loud outbursts.
D: CHEESE! (clear reaction to J's reading, which apparently mentioned the word)
D: CHEESE! Cheese is the answer to all the world's problems. I have to say that to Alex. Cheese! Cheese is the answer to all of America's problems. CHEEEEEESE!!!! (makes noises in his throat)
J reads on.
D: I know I said Cheese. My name is Cheese.
E: Dakota is a cat. Brody is a dog. (commenting on the read-aloud)
J reads on. D continues to mess with the plastic necklace.
J: Who could that be? (reading aloud)
D: It could be an intruder with a gun!
J slams book closed.
S: Hey, that's not all of it! There's one more page.
E: David, stop!!
D: I'm just practicing my acupuncture techniques on you.
Meanwhile, J resumes reading.
At this point, I have enough and call the room to order. See how inane it all is? Shouldn't a teenager know how to sit quietly so as not to bother those around him? For that matter, shouldn't a seven-year-old?
I am at a loss as to how to require silence during work time. I have heard people say (or write), "we just don't allow this kind of behavior" (whatever kind it may be), but how does that play out? How do you reinforce "not allowing it"?
What is tempting is the idea of putting them all in school and letting some anonymous teacher train them to be quiet in class. I did it for a bunch of kids. I should know how! Why is it not working? Am I just not strict? Am I stupid?