13 things we’ve learned about homeschooling at LBHQ

My fellow inebriates,

Our homeschooling effort is pretty rocky.

Here’s what we’ve learned:

  1. The kids think this whole deal is optional.
  2. This whole deal might as well be optional. Nobody’s going to fail the year. At least one of the two kids is depending on this.
  3. Using adult learning methods on kids doesn’t work. You need to have buy-in to teach kids online. Judging by the derogatory comments flying back and forth throughout any given session, the kids aren’t buying in.
  4. Traditional schooling capitalizes on having a captive audience. These kids aren’t captive to virtual learning, and they fully realize it.
  5. Teachers’ comfort levels with tech are highly variable. Kids know this and take full advantage. Anything they fail to hand in, they blame on the tech—and the teachers for not suddenly knowing how to teach in a fundamentally different way with fundamentally different tools.
  6. Everything the kids learn in one day at school can be distilled down to 1.5 hours. And they still don’t want to do it.
  7. Nobody wants to turn on their webcam. The kids have realized video represents invigilation and they want no part of it.
  8. This generation is going to be running the world in 20 years. They have until then to bring in the robots and push universal basic income—at least if they want to keep sleeping for 14 hours a night and 8 hours playing video games.
  9. Our natural clocks aren’t 24 hours long. If they’re not hustled out of bed, the kids will get up an hour later each consecutive day until they become fully nocturnal.
  10. They’d rather get paid to do yard work than school work (yes, we tried money as an incentive).
  11. You can cut your own hair if you need to. One of the kids did it at 3:00 am last night. Minimal lessons were learned.
  12. TEACHERS ARE DOING THEIR BEST. They are checking in via email, trying to round up missing assignments, and phoning when students are AWOL. We raise a glass to them almost every evening.
  13. Five p.m. is a MAGIC time. By then, my parents will have had it with urging, coaxing, muddling their way through the “new” math, and fielding lies. (Yes, lies about homework!) A beer will get opened.

E2013 fractions with wine glasses

Look out, teachers, and drink if you need to

My Fellow Inebriates,

Miss P brought this home from school yesterday.


At least P, aka God of Math, is cooperating at school.

As for Miss V, her kindergarten teacher sent home a note explaining that if V told us she didn’t get any playtime, it was because she had absolutely refused to do her coloring.

Magic underwear, magical thinking

Okay, so you guys know I’m a Canadian bear, but I still like to keep an eye on Mitt Romney and other nutty characters with grandiose visions of themselves in government. You don’t want to mess with magic underpants, especially when they exhibit skid marks. Speaking in Virginia yesterday, Romney revealed just such a brown stain when he said that students should get “as much education as they can afford.”

This while Romney:

  • supports cuts to grant money for education
  • supports undoing student loan reforms
  • takes heavy campaign donations from profiteering colleges
  • advises students to simply borrow money from their parents, “shop around” for education, or join the military if they can’t pay for college

Here’s another suggestion—one that might warm Romney’s cockles:

Get a free education from a creationist college.

Yes! If you’re willing to hunker down for some oxymoronic tutelage, you too can emerge from your years of schooling with something almost like a degree. In what, you ask? Well, read on:

How about Christian Ethics? (Note that these differ from non-Christian ethics, which endorse rape, pillage, murder, etc.)

How about Mind Manipulation? Learn the dangers of exposing yourself to outside information such as science. Manipulators are everywhere! Says the online brochure from Trinity Graduate School of Theology:

“Methods of desensitization are used in repeated exposure of immorality through television programs and commercials. Repeated lies are being told to convince Christians that those things that are right are now to be perceive as wrong and what is wrong should be accepted, by shifting values.”

I didn’t want to be a dick and edit the typos. This is, after all, a site of higher learning, so who am I to correct it? But doesn’t the program sound appealing? Wouldn’t you like to learn how to navigate through hazardous modern temptations?

And, for those returning to school after having families, there’s Parenting. Here’s a snippet from the curriculum:

“The internet is another source that teaches pornography, teaching of the suicide, drug addicts’ etc. parents could ask computer specialists who could help to hide sites on the internet not to be viewed by children or avoid them from being downloaded.”

I love that this college is savvy about porn (and really, what religious nutjob isn’t?). Too bad the college can’t seem to hire an editor…but that would cost money, and then it probably couldn’t afford to give away free education.

Now, this is all very well, but what if you want to study science? Creationist schools have that covered. AiG, for example, “teaches that ‘facts’ don’t speak for themselves, but must be interpreted…the Bible offers the best explanation of the world’s geology, anthropology, and astronomy.” Thus, the Grand Canyon’s many strata do not represent long time periods but rather extremely (!) accelerated periods of celestially assisted erosion. Likewise, a satisfactory wealth of transitional fossils will never be found, even while evolutionary biologists like Richard Dawkins wave them in the faces of creationists who insist they do not exist (“la, la, la, I can’t hear you!”).  And finally, the astronomy section’s large FAQ section explains why the earth is indeed truly the “spiritual center of the universe.”

Sounds good to me. Creationist colleges everywhere offer great deals ranging from free to cheap. Even those that charge a bundle are a bargain compared to most mainstream colleges. Sure, you’ll get spat out without a chance of competing against Ivy Leaguers in the work force. But at least you won’t go to hell.*

*Hell might very well be a place on earth. On this, Day Five of the Involuntary Dry-Out, I begin to understand it a little.