Thursday, November 7, 2013

Haiku Hell

Sometimes our days are not all sunshine and roses with homeschooling. I had a simple lesson planned for Language Arts there were many interruptions, and no one was into at first but, it worked towards our growth in the end. Here are my notes from my journal entry a month ago:
 
 Its a beautiful day, as we head outside into the early October air. Crisp, clear blue sky.
This will be fun!
 
The kids are grumbling, making jokes, as they stumble out with notebooks and pencils in hand.
                      "Haiku is... poo-poo," one says (while counting syllables on his fingers).
                      "This is... so stu-pid," the other replies (again counting syllables).
                      "How many of these are we supposed to make anyway?", says a whiny voice.
                      "As many as it takes to do your best and be serious," I say.
                      "Awwww...!" I hear.
                      "I don't want to", from another....complain, complain, grumble, grumble.
 
We each find a place to sit (except for the youngest who finds it more interesting to play in the dirt.) 
I announce, "Lets read again what a Haiku is and how we are to make one." I read a quote from the lesson book and remind them of the 5-7-5 rule to get them thinking again.
 
We settle in with notebooks in our laps -me included. I take a deep breath.
There's a quiet rustling of leaves, a gentle breeze and some sighing from the children.
Daddy comes out and I pass his notebook to him. Yes, he's joining us for school today.
 
P. has one immediately:
 
Brook tumbles down
Reflections casting lovely
water dashes past rocks
 
 I tell her she is capable of making another maybe even three.
                    "Keep going."  More sighs and grumbles.
 
The youngest has now begun to play by the open kayak, that has been sitting in the yard, now filled with standing water.
And suddenly Little G's lost toad has emerged from his hiding place.
She drops her notebook to hop after it and imprison it again, while I try my best to bring everyone back to the task at hand.
After another reminder she dusts off her notebook, and sits back down, with the toad bucket, near the kayak and Sean, who is now "catching bugs".
He is filling various containers up with the water from the kayak.
 
G, now much too distracted to think about the lesson, sees what he's doing and is getting perturbed.
                   "He's collecting mosquito larva!" she announces in a disgusted voice.
                   "Its okay," I say trying to bring back the focus, "just make the Haiku honey. He's not hurting anything"...."What about making one about your toad?"
                    "No!"....arms crossed, "I don't want to make fun of my toad!"
 
I realize, because of her older siblings response, all this time she thought that Haiku is supposed to be a degrading joke poem of some sort. Do I have time to correct the error?
No.
I begin to explain but, Sean has found, filled, and is now carrying a very full drinking jar of the said "mosquito larva" to add to his collection.
Little G is too bothered to listen to me. She is worried about the ridiculousness of her brother catching such foul creatures.
She is overcome. 
And without thinking, she stands and pushes the jar out of his hands...
 
It falls
on rocks.
Smashes.
Glass shards 
and bare feet. 
 
Daddy Bear jumps, in one protective motion he picks them both out of the glass. He carries Sean to the safety of a bench and G to bed, correcting as he goes--reminding her about not being controlling over what other people do.
Sean is crying.
No, Screaming. His beloved bug pets are now gone.
After consoling him, I begin picking up bits of glass out of the gravel as I tell the others to get back to work. He goes in sniffling to play with Lego's.
 
 
 
Reluctantly we all sit down again, trying to bring diligence to the task at hand.
S. has one:
 
Hey, look a big toad
that will eat bugs as it goes
It's a load to hold
 
He's getting it but, he could do better. We see that he has the: "I will just give them what they want and get this stupid haiku done, so I can finish school and go do what I want to do" attitude.
No, we will not settle for that, we are trying to teach them to do their best in everything.
We ask S. to make another. Daddy gives him an exercise to get ideas.
S. is the next one to have the meltdown today and is sent inside to work at the table.
 
 
 
I finish mine and go in to share it with G. I want to see if she can guess what animal it's about.
 
peeping angrily
guarding his territory
furry friend perched high
 
She takes a minute and guesses. I get a sweet moment explaining that creating a Haiku is not a joke but a way to express ourselves simply.
                      "Will you come out now and see if you can make one?" I ask.
                      "I already have one," is her reply.
We sit together on the bench outside. She gets one with some help and rearrangement:
 
 Chickens cannot fly
try to fly over the fence
sometimes they escape
 
 P. has quietly done well writing several. Inside she goes to rewrite her story, from a previous day. 
I send G in to write one more. So in she goes as well, complaining, "I can't!" 
 
I remain out, I am exhausted. 
I ask the age old question that keeps popping up: 
Why are we making ourselves crazy with this homeschool thing again?
 
...An hour later:
Everyone has finished beautifully and are now playing joyfully together.
Lunch is prepared.
I call in the kids and Daddy.
We pray.
We eat.
We laugh.
We love each other
we love homeschooling again
and....I wouldn't trade this for the world. 
 
 
 
Sky so lovely blue
clouds pass by, white downy fluff
green trees frame the sky
-P
 
 
Spinning on its wings
a dead fly in the water
traveling no where
-D
 
 
Fishing at the brook
we had gone to do today
came back with no fish
-S
 
 
We went in the woods.
we found a huge rock with moss,
our house was mis-sing
-S
 
 
the enemy struts
rock held ready for release
chickens run, victory
-P
 
 

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