Thursday, April 24, 2008

My Contest Winning Essay

I won!

Our local homeschool group had a "extreme homeschool survival" writing contest. My entry, though not actually a homeschool survival story, actually won! My prize was $50, which combined with the $14 I already had in my wallet paid for this week's groceries (emergency surgery is expensive--I'll talk about that another post...). Anyway, now I can say I am not just a professional writer and a published writer, but als an award-winning one!


Although I have no stories of extreme homeschool survival to offer after just two years of homeschooling, I have noticed that being a mom and a teacher requires a unique and diverse set of skills, including:

1. Teaching lessons in a minivan while driving, using an old cell phone and the non-driving hand as visual aids.

2. Fitting $700 worth of lessons and $500 worth of curriculum into the $300 miscellaneous line of my household budget.

3. When that doesn't work, making do with what I can find for free at the library and on the internet.

4. Teaching classes that I failed in high school.

5. Explaining to a police officer that what he perceived as an illegal u-turn was actually a demonstration of centrifugal force.

6. The ability to stop peeing midstream to more quickly respond to a chemistry experiment gone awry.

7. Planning educational field trips while in a labor room (as the key player) and embarking upon them the day I am released from the hospital.

8. Convincing one's husband that unusual purchases (such as four chihuahuas) are necessary as a learning tool.

9. Recycling ordinary materials into useful craft projects, such as turning old sheets into a braided rug, leftovers into a lesson on the discovery of penicillin mold, and dark chocolate into an antdepressant.

10. Conjuring dinner from an empty refrigerator, three dark brown bananas, and half a box of graham crackers.

11. Explaining to your surgeon that you are not "making" your child read The Red Badge of Courage while he is deathly ill in the hospital, but that it is actually his choice of reading material.

When (if?) I am ever finished with my foray into the wild world of parenting and education, I will have developed the communication skills of Winston Churchill, the propaganda skills of Adolf Hitler, and the economic prowess of Ronald Reagan. The way I see it, when we homeschooling moms are done governing our large and busy households, we should take over the world.