After a particularly hard day of homeschooling when the kids had been whining too much, I turned to them and said, “That’s it. Next week you’re going to public school.”
And I got looks of great shock from my kids. I don’t blame them because I’d always said we were homeschooling for the long haul, and they’d heard my many reasons for homeschooling.
But I was tired of the complaints.
“How much longer. We’ve been doing school forever?”
“How much do I have to write?”
“This is boring.”
I was tired of the complaints, so I sent my kids to public school for a week
I lined them all up on Sunday night and said, “Tomorrow you will be in simulated public school. I will wake you up up at 6:00 (at least an hour before they normally wake up), and you will need to be dressed, ready for school with a packed lunch at 7:30 so you can walk to school.”
The next morning I woke them up and heard many complaints about the early wake up time. I pointed out at least they weren’t riding the bus. Their friends who ride the bus wake up at 5:45.
They had to pack a lunch because school kids don’t get to eat a hot lunch made right then while watching an educational show.
And at 7:30 we all headed out the door and walked to school.
Then turned around and walked home. You wouldn’t believe how embarrassed the kids were. “Mom do we have to do this every day?” Yes, yes my child you do. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. of public school.
We walked in the front door and the kids started to take their shoes off, “No, your shoes stay on. Kids in public school wear their shoes all day long.”
What? That’s not fair! I don’t want to wear my shoes.
Too bad, this is public school.
Then I made them ask permission to go to the bathroom
Because public school kids don’t get to just go, they have to get a hall pass and ask if it’s an okay time. They looked at me like I was crazy.
I was mentally committed to the insane asylum when I said they had to sit at their desk with their feet on the floor. I got to practice my teacher voice and say, “Four on the floor,” just like I was teaching again. If looks could kill I would have died a thousand hideous deaths.
Lunch was 30 minutes of silence
Because if they get too loud that could be disruptive, so public school kids are required to eat quietly. I often went to pick up my class and discovered they were in silent eating because of some infraction.
This was particularly stressful to my daughter who is a slow eater.
The next rude shock came in the form of recess
My kids are used to regular breaks, after all we keep a 20 minute homeschool schedule, and occasionally I just need my space. The occasional hour long recess is not unheard of here. But for our week of public school it was 20 minutes on the dot. Then they lined up and walked back to the classroom.
And when it came time for school to let out I lined up the kids gave them homework and we walked back to the school and home again.
Yes I gave my children homework
And they just about died. “You mean I still have to do more work?”
And that was just the first day.
By Wednesday the kids were begging to go back to our normal relaxed homeschool schedule
The one that started at 9:00 and let them have school in pajamas.
Of course by Tuesday I was ready to not be doing it anymore because I didn’t like waking up either. So, it’s not like I’d survive as a public school Mom either.
What we learned from our week of public school?
We are not cut out for public school. We ALL enjoy our relaxed schedule, and time to pursue other interests.
My kids learned the grass is not greener on the other side of the fence, and they quit complaining quite so much.
All in all, it was a wise, if somewhat tiring, decision.
Check out the day when other bloggers realized they couldn’t do it all.