sanity break could be anything: reading a
book, playing a video game, or working on
another subject that comes easier. The point
was to relax and get in a better frame of
mind. Nine times out of ten, when he went
back to his math, he would figure out the
answer within five minutes.
Recently, my youngest daughter, who was
at that time a junior in high school, was taking a college level English class at our local
community college for dual credit. About a
week after she got her full license and began
driving on her own, she called me, crying
so hysterically that I could not understand
her. My immediate thought was that she
was in the hospital or jail or had run over a
When I finally calmed her down, she
wailed, “I made a C on an English paper
and I don’t make C’s!”
I will be honest. I was overwhelmed with
the desire to hug her and then strangle her
for scaring me. However, I decided to use
this as a teachable moment to discuss pro-
per emotional responses.
“Are you in immediate danger?” I asked.
“No,” she said amid sniffles.
“Will this event ruin your life forever?”
“Probably not,” she said.
“Then this emotional response is not appropriate to this situation. I promise you
will figure out a way to handle this,” I said.
And she did.
Our kids are going to face a myriad of
problems in their lives. While as home educators we take on the role of our children’s
teacher, we are, most importantly, their parent—their social emotional advocate, if you
will. We need to add this title to our homeschooling parent resumes and help provide
our kids with the social and emotional tools
they need to deal with their academics and
life’s problems to come.
Amelia Harper is author of Literary Lessons
from the Lord of the Rings, (www.home
scholarbooks.com) a complete one year literature curriculum published by HomeScholar
Books ( www.homescholarbooks.com) for
students in grades 7-12. A homeschooling
mother of five grown children, she is also an
education reporter for a daily newspaper in
North Carolina and writes for Education
Dive, a website covering education policy
and trends across the nation.
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