As a homeschooling mom in a state that requires portfolios, I’m currently suffering from Feverish Spring. Not to be confused with Spring Fever (we homeschoolers tend to get that in February, despite the snow on the ground), Feverish Spring is the time of year when the calendar sends us into a feverish frenzy of gathering, coordinating and filing our paperwork so we can close the book on the homeschool year. If you also live in a reporting-required state, you know what I’m talking about. If you don’t have to report, read on anyhow, because no matter where you homeschool, we can all use a little laugh at the end of the school year.
1.The kitchen table has gone missing.
Okay, so maybe it’s not technically missing, but it can’t be seen and the only reason you assume it is still there is because something must be holding up the sea of books and papers in which you’re currently drowning.
2. You’re totally reaching for ways to check off that checklist.
Somewhere in that aforementioned mass of paperwork is a checklist of all the subjects you need to cover before the end of the homeschool year. And somewhere in the recesses of your mind, the creative cogs are working overtime, churning out new and inventive ways to cover said subjects. Just yesterday, you spotted a police cruiser, pulling someone over on the highway, so you called out to the kids to look up from their devices and check out our government at work. Hello, Civics! And if you asked them to read a road sign or count a mile marker? Reading, Geography and Math! Check, check, check!
3. You’re also grasping for days to count.
As the temperature outside rises, your will to keep counting attendance drops. And so you fastidiously audit the attendance calendar in search of any loophole that will award you an extra day. Brushing those teeth before bed may not count as a school day, but if you add up the total amount of time spent on oral hygiene over the course of the year, you practically have a health class – and that’s got to count for at least one whole school day, right?
4. Your icloud is bloated.
Hey, remember back in September, when you thought how great it would be to just store all of your homeschool portfolio pics on your phone? And then you went pumpkin picking and forgot to delete the 347 pictures of your kids in front of the “How Tall This Fall” sign. The 793 shots you took trying to get the Christmas card just right are still on there, too. And so are the Valentines and Easter celebrations and the pictures you sent to your husband from the hardware store so he could tell you which package of screws to buy.
Speaking of screwed things, do you know what else is tucked away in that camera roll? All of the images you snapped that actually document your year of homeschooling. But you can’t access any of them because your phone refuses to open anything but a message saying your cloud is full. And you didn’t even know you had a cloud, nor do you have a clue how your photos got into it or how to extract them. So you look up to the sky and start to pray that your cloud opens up and showers you with a digital downpour. Or you pay the buy more storage ransom to set your photos free.
5. The printer is out of ink. Again.
Don’t even act surprised. Just refill and resume. And ready yourself for it to happen again tomorrow.
6. Your evaluator is considering a restraining order.
If this is your first time putting together a homeschooling portfolio, chances are you have a lot of questions. And a lot more questions. So many questions, as a matter of fact, that your text messages to your evaluator could be strung together to make up a novella. And now you’re wondering if you’ve texted too much. Maybe you should text her and ask if you sent too many texts….
7. You’re searching for the organizational supplies you bought 10 months ago.
Accordion files, three ring binders, folders, label tabs and a label maker. You can recall every item you bought at the back to school sale last August, but you can’t remember where you stashed them because it was still summer and no one wants to sort through school supplies when flip-flops are still in season. Maybe if you had started organizing back in September, they’d not only be on hand, but already filled with all of that paperwork that’s littering the table. Wait, what’s that you spot in the back of the closet? A bag of office supplies perhaps? Nope. It’s the stash of flip-flops. And the weather is perfect for them! Come on kids, let’s go to the park!
8. You’re inadvertently teaching a new foreign language
If your kids need a foreign language credit for their portfolios, fret not. Those words you’re making up to avoid actually cursing about your time management skills might just qualify.
9. Unschooling is life.
Forget the portfolio! Unschooling is now your jam! You decide to toss aside all this busywork in favor of a new, simplified philosophy! How do those unschoolers do it, you wonder and off to google you go, hopeful you can just stamp the word “unschoolers” on a piece of paper and be done. And then you discover that unschooling is not the same thing as non-schooling, and even unschoolers have to provide proof of an education. And just like that you’re back to little progress in the documentation of your homeschool’s progress.
10. The dog ate your paperwork.
You may not even have a dog, but at this point, this age-old excuse is looking like your only hope (not even Obi-Wan can save you now).