Homeschooling Gremlins

The gremlins have been at home for a week as of Friday morning. I haven’t pulled my hair out … yet. I have another three weeks with them – two weeks that will consist of them doing schoolwork. The youngest is proactive and knocks out his work first thing in the morning. The eldest gremlin, well, he gets on my last nerve. He is the procrastinator. He wants to wait until the very last second, then rush to get it all done. Me? I cannot live my life like that. I like to be ahead of the game. I like to have room to breathe. I am a planner. I have learned over the past week that homeschooling gremlins can be maddening.

There were times in my life where the thought about being a teacher crossed my mind. Then I would think of the parents I would have to deal with and that was the end of that rambling idea. I think quite a few parents give teachers hell, but at what point do we look at our own home to see if the source of the problem isn’t the teacher, but us? There have been times when I had conversations with teachers about my eldest gremlin as he made his way through the school year. There was a point in time where he was goofing off all the time in class. I didn’t blame the teacher, y’all. Here’s what I did:

  1. I found an old school desk.
  2. Bought workbooks for his grade level – math, science, reading, etc.
  3. Placed the desk at the end of the hallway, facing the wall.

When he get home, he soon learned that his spring break was consisting of schoolwork. I used this moment to teach him a life lesson. Wasting someone’s time and not respecting it when they are trying to make you better isn’t kosher. Needless to say, he stopped goofing off in class. He knew that if he wasted his teacher’s time, mom was going to eat away at his free time with more schoolwork to make up for it.

It is easy to focus on blaming everyone else, but I think it is good practice to look at all the factors, including ourselves. I know I am far from perfect, and I know my gremlins are far from perfect. We’re human, and we’re constantly learning and evolving. That’s life.

After the youngest gremlin finished his schoolwork last week, I was duped into playing a video game with him. In the course of a few minutes, I believe I was killed a hundred times. Every time I would see the enemy, I would have to look down at all of the buttons on the remote. My brain was like sludge as I tried to remember what my eleven-year-old said each one did. I would end up hitting the button to jump instead of shoot. Then … I died. I even tried to use the youngest gremlin’s guy as a shield. The jerks would come from behind, and … I still died. After only killing a handful of the enemy in thirty minutes, I plopped the remote down, ruffled my gremlin’s hair, turned and walked out with my head held high. I figured I’d stop while I was ahead. I killed a few. I thought I had done well.

Later that night, my youngest gremlin came into the living room chuckling. Merriment sparkled in his dark eyes as he said to my husband, “Mom’s really awful. She died all the time. You really suck at playing the game, mom.”

I really wanted to stick my tongue out at him, but I could see my husband’s slow smile cracking across his face out of my peripheral.

“That bad, huh?” asked my husband, smiling so hard his cheeks had to be hurting. In my mind, I flipped him off, but instead … I just sat there, ignoring them.

“Yep.”

Y’all, I really need some estrogen in this house. Lord, save me from these gremlins.

~Tiff~ #momofgremlins

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