Home > Dispatches > Daily Dispatches 2018 >Daily Dispatch #343

December 9, 2018: Home Schooling is No Schooling

This is a very popular phrase around here. Lots of kids are home schooled and the parents don’t do much with them. These kids can often be found out on the trails, on their snowmobiles and ATVs. A few years back some were setting traps close to the trails. I usually see the boys and not the girls outside.

Okay, yes, there are parents who take their role as teachers very seriously, I am sure. And their star students end up becoming doctors and lawyers and investment bankers and consumer advocates. The best of the rest become construction workers.

Tyra comes alive
Tyra comes alive

Home schooling doesn’t always work out. It’s like this. The parents, when they get the kits from say, Raven Correspondence School, have the best of intentions. They foresee sitting down with Bobby and Betsy and doing innumerable algebra problems. And all are happy, when repeatedly, the lights start going off above their darling’s heads. But then the coursework gets harder and the children get less motivated. Parents then succumb to the temptation to let a day, week, month, year slide. Que sera sera – whatever will be will be.

I have not come to the above realization in the process of ruining a child’s life. Rather, I have come to this realization in the process of ruining four horses’ lives. I had this grandiose idea a few months ago – I was going to do horsey home schooling. I had a set schedule and lesson plans. I told friends that I was educating, not training horses.

Well we were all doing well with my agenda until around the time of the earthquake, the first heavy snowfall, and the onset of darkness. Let’s blame it on these variables. Curiously, I started doing less and less with them all because it was taking more and more effort. Today I did the bare minimum.

First, I took Tinni for a walk around the loop early on, dispensing with the meditations and body awareness work. I did walk with him some, but for the most part I was deep in thought about other things. Secondly, after being inside and working on my proposal, I got Raudi out on Peaches’ Loop and Siggi’s Trail. We had a good outing, but once again, this was a minimalist effort. I didn’t even clean her hooves. Then lastly, I took Tyra and Pete took Hrimmi for a walk around the loop. They did not spend much time at the hitching post, nor did I do any carrot stretches. What gives?

I do feel bad about my having abandoned my teacherly ways. And I’m sure that homeschool teachers feel similarly – at first. Like them, I am quickly sliding down the slippery slope of slackerdom and gaining increasingly more momentum. And I don’t have an ice axe to arrest my fall. I am going to hell in a handbasket, and the handbasket doesn’t have a bottom. I’m hanging on tight to a few pieces of wicker basket.

Maybe, just maybe, I will be one of those rare individuals who realizes that she has a problem; in this case, declining motivation, and do something about it. This will occur when the excuses run out. We’ll see what happens when it warms up, the days grow longer, and the leaves again come out on the trees. This will be seven long months from now. And right now, I don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel.

Next: 344. 12/10/18: The Darkest and yet the Brightest Days of the Year

Horse Care Home About Us Dispatches Trips Alys's Articles