Avoiding Homeschool DramaDec 5th, 2010 | By Jessica Parnell | Category: Issues in Homeschooling, Lead Article
It is that attitude that gets me into trouble all the time!
Just today I fell into that trap of what I call “homeschool drama.“ Homeschool drama is when we make a big deal out of little things. It is when we fail to see that things aren’t as bad or as important as we are making them out to be. It is when we blow things out of proportion and don’t even realize we are doing it.
So, how did I fall into the trap of Homeschool Drama?
My fourteen year old has the privilege of taking most of her classes from other teachers. And she takes her classes very seriously, spending a great deal of time every day ensuring that she is on track with her studies and her homework. In fact, she has been commended several times for how well she engages in class discussions and stands up for what she believes to be true.
However, since English is my specialty, I decided that I would teach her English at home in order to free her up to take Musical Theater and Drama. And that has been a challenge. For some reason, my class is a very low priority for her. Every week we hit the same brick wall. She is not meeting my expectations or my deadlines and I am ready to throw in the towel and turn her over to a different instructor.
Today, we once again hit a wall. Her paper is now three days late (and at a loss of one letter grade per day, at best she can now earn a C) and I blew it out of proportion. I found myself putting on my “lecture hat” and spending a good ten minutes slamming her up and down about how she is going to end up with such a low grade in English that no college or university will accept her, blah, blah, blah . . . (which is I am sure all that she heard)
ARGH! I know better! I was blowing her lack of responsibility into this major drama that will impact the rest of her life. The reality is, she will earn a lower grade in this class, but she is learning and she is becoming quite a skilled writer, and she is really enjoying the study of literature. If I keep this up, I will quell that love for learning and turn it into a hatred of English! Now for an English teacher, THAT would be a major homeschool drama! :-)
Over the years I have found that when I begin to blow things out of proportion (whether it is the messy house, the overwhelming feeling of so much to do and so little time, the frustrations of days where nothing seems to go smoothly, or whatever), I have to stop and say “Here I go again; where are the reality TV cameras?” Somehow, this helps me to calm down and get things into perspective. I mean really, how will a messy house or a late assignment impact me a year from now?
Have you ever watched a reality TV show? Watched how the characters seem to take every situation so seriously and how there is always conflict among them as a result? And it never stops at just a conflict between two people–no they take their conflict to the others and begin to create a huge melodrama out of a small offense.
Is that the kind of stressful home you want?
Not me. But I must admit, I fall into the trap of “homeschool drama” far more often that I care to reveal.
So next time you feel that blood pressure rising, take a moment and remind yourself that your reality doesn’t have to be a TV show. And step back and put it into perspective. Will this situation really mean anything to you a year from now? If not, it is probably worth letting go.
For my daughter, the consequences will come naturally. She will get out of this class what she puts into it. I will keep holding her accountable (because she does need to learn to meet deadlines and requirements), but I will do my best to calm down and let her take ownership of this course.
And I am fairly certain, that by letting go of my “homeschool drama”, she will benefit far more than my blowing things out of proportion can ever achieve.
Additional homeschooling posts:
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