One Hour Of School A Day?!?

October 22, 2013 in Parenting

Little Dude’s diagnosis occurred right at the beginning of the summer, which was probably good timing if there could be good timing for something like that. We scrambled around to different hospitals and doctors, trying to make sense of the whirlwind around us. We immediately cancelled camp and vacation plans and focused on the challenge ahead. Once we had a firm plan and came up for air, I inquired about how we should handle school for Little Dude in the fall. His doctors recommended he be home-schooled for the year.

Before you become all impressed that I could juggle this AND home school my child, let me squash that notion right away and inform you that he is being home schooled by a tutor, NOT BY ME. I’m only capable of so much, people!

I put the call into his school principal and she told me what to expect. It all seemed straightforward until she told me the number of hours a day he would be tutored….just take a guess. Three? Four?

Try ONE.

One hour a day??? Five hours a week?

That can’t be right, I pleaded to no one in particular.

Little Dude, on the other hand, thought he won the lottery.

“That’s it?” he asked incredulously. “Only one hour of school a day?” he asked again, with a very wide grin on his face.

The principal reassured me that he wouldn’t fall behind and would be just fine.

I suppose when you factor in lunch, recess, gym, art, and group instruction, you are likely left with about one solid hour of learning time a day in 4th grade. I don’t know if that reassures me or makes me realize that my taxes are way way too high. Actually, I knew that already, but now it just hurts a lot more.

I wasn’t actually worried about my son keeping up with learning division and reading and writing. I was worried about ME and the fact that I haven’t had a kid home all day every day with me in years.

What are we going to do the other hours during the day? Sure, we’ll have hospital visits and days when he’s not feeling well, but seriously, one hour a day?? Does that mean it’s time to dig out the puzzles and board games again? Or, do I just let him overdose on Xbox because after all, he’s going through a tough time? Should I supplement his tutoring with our own reading hour and perhaps throw in a nap time for both of us? And then, in the late afternoon, we could label it our very own “happy hour.” Little Dude would have the snack of his choice and I’d have my favorite chardonnay.

Hmm, maybe I’m on to something here…

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristi Campbell October 22, 2013 at 9:31 am

You’re totally onto something with the afternoon “happy hour.” And wow. One hour seems like not that much, even when factoring in art, recess, and all the rest of it. Wow. I’m actually sortof blown away…
What a huge adjustment to having one of the dudes home all day. Glad you got a tutor because the whole home-schooling thing (which has been suggested to me for kindergarden next year and my only thought is NO F!!!KING WAY).


ohboymom October 22, 2013 at 9:37 am

Yeah, I’m with you…I sooo admire the moms who home school, because not only does it take an extreme amount of patience, but I am also envious because I think that it really is a better option for certain kids. And yes, big adjustment for us, but so far so good.


Kristi Campbell October 22, 2013 at 9:32 am

And I beat Janine in commenting! Wha-hooo!!! (I was typing FAST)
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ohboymom October 22, 2013 at 9:34 am

Hahaha! I was thinking the same thing!


Kerri October 22, 2013 at 9:47 am

Only an hour a day? I hope my girl never realizes this :) I would have had the same freak out you did, what the heck are we supposed to do for the rest of the time? I would also ask how early happy hour could be. I think this is was something so unexpected for you to have to deal with. You were warned about procedures, medicines, doctor visits but to have to home school on top of it all? Even with a tutor that is a lot to ask. Hang in there!
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ohboymom October 22, 2013 at 2:34 pm

Yes, I agree — a lot to ask, but my son sure doesn’t seem to mind.:)


Marina October 22, 2013 at 9:56 am

One hour? We are totally wasting our kids time in school. Love the potential schedule, especially the happy hour! Maybe with the extra time both of you guys can take up a new language?


ohboymom October 22, 2013 at 10:07 am

I love your suggestion, but it may be a bit too ambitious for me. I’m sticking to wine. :)


Janine Huldie October 22, 2013 at 10:42 am

Lol, Kristi totally beat me this morning and was taking care of a 4 year whining about her shirt needed to be laundered after she got it dirty. But seriously love the Happy Hour in the afternoon. You totally put a smile on my face describing it that way!! But the hour would have so thrown me, too.
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ohboymom October 22, 2013 at 2:15 pm

No worries on late commenting today Janine! :) Glad I could make you smile too — it’s the only way to conquer these challenges as far as I’m concerned.


Eric Poll October 22, 2013 at 11:06 am

I actually see this as a great opportunity to teach time management. Most never learn to be disciplined in a day structure. Take this opportunity to create a fixed schedule and have Little Dude stick to it with some incentive. Schedule an hour of homework time, an hour of independent reading, etc. Or whatever time frame then when completed and only after completion can Xbox or games come out.


ohboymom October 22, 2013 at 2:14 pm

Well, I like your thinking Eric, but a kid in 4th grade usually does not get that much homework and because he is undergoing chemo, his stamina/energy is low, so that makes structure and discipline a tough thing to implement. He needs sporadic periods of down time, but I’ll give your suggestion some thought and see what might make sense for him.


Kim October 22, 2013 at 12:52 pm

As a (former) teacher I think that their hour allotment is lousy (way more for you, than him!), but probably not that far off. By the time the kids come in, settle down, walk to and from all the specials/lunch/ recess, settle between each subject and pack up, there’s not a lot of instructional time left. Plus, most of the time you are reviewing. New stuff is only taught every few days…it sounds crazy, doesn’t it?
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ohboymom October 22, 2013 at 2:10 pm

Yes, it does sound crazy! Like I said, I think my school tax dollars are way too high!


Stephanie @ Mommy, for Real. October 22, 2013 at 4:50 pm

Oh my, that is…awesome? Hmm. I think the Happy Hour is definitely in order- I’d say you’ve both earned it and then some. One hour! I’m kind of speechless…
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ohboymom October 22, 2013 at 7:22 pm

Yeah, took me a while to wrap my head around it too. So far, we’re doing okay, but ask me again a month from now!


grownandflown October 22, 2013 at 5:11 pm

Guess he is too young to Netflix binge with you?
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ohboymom October 22, 2013 at 7:22 pm

Ha – how did you know I’ve been Netflix bingeing lately? I whizzed through “Orange Is The New Black” in a matter of days! He seems to like watching Minecraft videos on You Tube, which for now, works for us both. :)


Kelly October 22, 2013 at 7:17 pm

You know Emily…with all the obvious distractions in schools they probably only take in an hours worth of education anyhow:). The rest of the time…it’s social networking! LOL


ohboymom October 22, 2013 at 7:20 pm

You are so right on both counts!


Julia October 22, 2013 at 11:04 pm

Lol – I love the line about not knowing whether to be reassured or realizing that your taxes are too high!!

Hope you guys are working into a good groove. You and Little Dude really seem to be on the same wavelength :)


Ruchira October 24, 2013 at 8:40 pm

I am glad you laid out the rules with the happy hour thing…that helps ease the situation after his one hour tutoring.

I wish him the best and patience for ya, Em :)
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ohboymom October 24, 2013 at 9:23 pm

As always, thanks for your support!


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