How To Get A Failing Grade In Homeschooling (Today’s Parent)
Illustration, Leeandra Cianci

How To Get A Failing Grade In Homeschooling (Today’s Parent)

A day in the life of your child’s worst teacher ever.

Originally published April 2020 in Huffington Post

8:30 a.m.: Gather near, young scholar! Behold my colour-blocked, bedazzled daily school schedule! Luxuriate in your brand new desk, which is the right side of the kitchen table, the part that doesn’t have curry stains on it.

Grab your learning device, a cracked seven-year-old iPad. Also, I guess you need a pencil or something? Let’s take a moment to thank the universe for the gift of education and quiet our minds to make space for learning.

8:32 a.m.: Yup, you’re right. I spelled science wrong. That was a test. You get a B!

8:33 a.m.: Alrighty, let’s see what work your teacher has sent for you to do today.

8:34 a.m.: Since when are you in Grade 3?!

9:00 a.m.: No you can’t have a snack. This cupcake is Mommy’s snack. Those two loaves of bread are also Mommy’s snack. That sourdough starter is Mommy’s snack, too. All the snacks are Mommy’s snacks.

9:07 a.m.: Fine, have a snack. Yes, chips count as a protein.

9:30 a.m.: MATH. Is it hot in here?

9:41 a.m.: OK, math is over!

10:00 am: RECESS. We don’t have a backyard so instead you can look at these pictures of clouds on your iPad as tears silently slide down your cheeks because that’s what I plan to do TBH.

11:00 a.m.: DRAMA. Wow, you’re doing an amazing job of shouting, “Just leave me alone!!!” while writhing around on the floor like a thing possessed by an evil most unholy. Is that from Macbeth?

11:22 a.m.: MUSIC. *Just the sound of howling

12 p.m.: LUNCH. Stick your tongue into this jar of peanut butter and swirl it around. To the left. To the right. To the left again. This is teaching you important survival skills! Also I’ve already prepared 1,273 meals within the last four days so I need to save some of my inspiration.

12:29 p.m.: RECESS. Run up and down the street shouting, “I’m doing self-directed learning!” and take note of who shouts back, “I bet you are!”

1:00 p.m.: Time for something your teacher calls “procedural writing,” So, I guess you’re supposed to be writing an episode of “Law & Order”? Wait, I see. It says here you’re supposed to “Bake a cake, and write out all the steps as you go!” Maybe just write down: “LOL.”

1:01 p.m.: Yes, “Oh, please, LOL” would be better. Great idea. You get a B!

1:15 p.m.: FRENCH. Oooh, I got this. Check Mommy out: “Voulez vous couchez avec moi!”

1:16 p.m.: Sorry, you actually do speak French?

1:17 p.m.: Tabernac.

1:30 p.m.: CREATIVE WRITING. “Write a letter to your teacher telling them how you’re feeling about home schooling.”

1:35 p.m.: While I applaud your honesty, I think the single phrase, “I would rather sit all day and do nothing than go to this school!” isn’t descriptive enough. Try again, and this time, use more adjectives.

1:36 p.m.: Actually, please don’t.

1:40 p.m.: SOCIAL STUDIES. Are the grownups in your home a girl grownup and a boy grownup? If so, make a graph of which one of them is working from home while also being a full-time teacher, and which one is getting some actual fucking work done. It’s interesting, isn’t it? I agree!

1:47 p.m.: I’m not a mean teacher, you’re a mean teacher.

2:00 p.m.: SCIENCE. Watch this animated TV show starring pigs who talk and wear shirts but no pants. Now you know a lot about nature! Also, they’re British, so this covers geography as well. “British” is where “Downton Abbey” lives.

2:23 p.m.: Read the numbers on the clock and tell me why it isn’t your bedtime yet.

2:47 p.m.: SPELLING. This is a G&T. It has two letters: a G, and then a T. Write them down. The Z is silent.

3 p.m.: Oh thank God. It’s time for you go to aftercare!

3:01 p.m.: Well, fuck.