Homeschooling Shenanigans

Homeschooling Shenanigans

As most of you know, we homeschool our two youngest children. The other ones are adults now. Each Monday, Max (age 14) and Mason (age 9) are given their lessons for the week. They have colorful folders for each day of the week, and a large folder to keep those in, as well as workbooks, reading books, and supplies. It works out pretty well…most of the time.

After visiting the Holocaust Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida a couple of weeks ago, we ordered that old mini-series called Holocaust, starring Meryl Streep, James Woods, and a bunch of other people who didn’t make it as big as they did. I remember our family gathering around the TV back in the last 70’s to watch that 9+ hour drama.

We found the DVDs for sale online, and ordered them for the boys. We thought it would be a treat for them this week to watch that each afternoon, after math, keyboarding, reading and language arts.

During the entire four hours we’ve watched so far, Mason was bored out of his mind, staring at the ceiling, yawning loudly, and at times even turning himself upside-down on the sofa to watch TV. Max, on the other hand, who has studied WWII and the Holocaust extensively, spent his time pointing out historical inaccuracies in the show (mostly about the weapons they used). He also found an error in the show where a Nazi officer cocked open a gun, and there was no ammunition in it. He then pulled the trigger…but it still fired.

I wasn’t sure which was more entertaining. The show itself (which I realized I barely remembered) or the boys’ reactions to it.


Both Max and Mason see a math tutor twice each week. They also have math lessons daily, which are timed. Mason took FOREVER on one of his lessons this week. This morning, when checking his work, I found the following note on page one of that lesson, which he left for his math tutor:

“Note: Sorry, my brother is very distracting. -Mason”

Angela Hoy lives on a mountain in North Georgia. She is the publisher of, the President and CEO of and AbuzzPress, and the author of 24 books.

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2 Responses to "Homeschooling Shenanigans"

  1. aurora1920  February 20, 2016 at 5:59 am

    I applaud your homeschooling efforts! Amazes me, at 95 and therefore 22 when we entered WWII, how little younger and middle-aged people today know about that era. I wasn’t homeschooled, but my Mom had read Mein Kampf earlier in the 30s, and of course Hitler laid out quite explicitly in that where he was going politically, so by 1939 when England got involved as a family, we were buying “There’ll Always Be An England” teapots and Bundles for Britain as they became the only country holding back Germany until the U.S. got in, in 1942.

    As a political junkie today, I wonder Angela what “on the ground” activities you might be pursuing during this historic primary, and about to descend upon Florida?? When I lived in New Hampshire, as I traveled about to meet all the candidates I met several moms and their homeschooled kids doing just that — kind of on the spot observation of the primary system. This year it finally is getting the huge publicity and attention the primary deserves! People who only vote in November are what’s WRONG with this country.
    Maggy in Cape Canaveral

  2. Michael W. Perry  February 18, 2016 at 7:43 pm

    I am not surprised to find that the son who knew history got the most from the mini-series and the reason isn’t just his age. History like sports. When you first began to play baseball, it can feel terrible. There’s nothing you can do right. But pushed on by peers you get better and you finally reach the point where you’ve got enough skills to enjoy playing.

    In much the same fashion, some understanding of history and geography is required for what you’re learning to make sense. Mention something that happens in May 1944, and someone who knows the basic framework of WWII will think, “Oh, just before D-Day.” Someone who knows no dates, has no framework in which to put new facts.

    That may be why the college students in this documentary seem to know so little about history and geography. Their public schools didn’t make them learn the basics, so they have no framework into which they can place events. That’s both sad and infuriating.

    You see that with one girl 6:20 into the video when she is asked about the Normandy invasion. She seems to have a vague European map in her mind, but all she can do is wave her arms about. Her school didn’t teach her where France is on a map of Europe much less Normandy. She thinks the beaches are near Germany and England, particularly Germany. I suspect she’s trying to place the invasion in Denmark. That’s today’s public schools for the college bound.

    If you really want to wake your kids up about the Holocaust, have them watch this excerpt:

    Then again, maybe not. There is a reason Youtube puts a warning in front of it. It is grim.


    You’re smart homeschooling your kids. It’s a lot of work, but in the long run worth it. They will know history, geography and a lot of other things.

    –Michael W. Perry, editor of Chesterton on War and Peace: Battling the Ideas and Movements that Led to World War II