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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Homeschooling Haze: Uncharted Waters

My husband and I used to be fairly intelligent people. Then we started homeschooling. And our children caused us to lose our minds.

The kids have special problems: they don’t always understand English and they don’t always understand school. Other than that, we’re doing fine.

Many of their challenges may stem from the fact that we undertake a lot of supposed said schooling while on the go: in the car, on a plane, train, or gondola. Have books, will learn. Or, have books, will stall and complain.

Maybe I’m losing my perspective while losing my sanity. I’ll let you be the judge: does this history lesson sound anywhere within the pale of normal to you?

The question was: “Could Marco Polo travel overland from Venice to China? If so, through which countries would he have traveled?”

The reluctant participants were Pasha and Benedetto. And me… trying to “help”… as usual… because their exchange seemed to be breaking down as we were hurtling down the highway at 70 mph.

Moi: (“Ask him if he knows what ‘overland’ means.”)

Benedetto: “Do you understand the question?”

Pasha: “I did not read entire question, yet.”

Benedetto: (“This is why I don’t get involved.”)

Moi: (“Trust me, you’ll be involved.”)

Minutes pass.

Pasha: “Papa, I answered ‘No’”.

Moi: “It’s not a ‘yes or no’ answer.” (“He doesn’t understand.”)

Benedetto: “Overland, what is overland?”

Pasha: “On the land. But he did not went on land.”

Benedetto: “IF he wanted to go by land….”

Pasha: “No, he go by boat.”

Benedetto: “I know that, we’re pretending, making believe that he went by land,” he grows exasperated. “What countries would he pass through?”

Moi: (“I told you.”)

Pasha: “Uh… how do I know?”

Minutes pass.

Benedetto: “Look at a map.”

Minutes pass, leafing through his book.

Pasha: “Okay, Papa, I have it. Two countries and two waters.”

Benedetto: “NO water! He’s going by land, we said.”

Moi: “Okay,” I jump in. “We have Point A – Venice, and Point B – China,” I motion, both hands apart, difficult to do with two dogs sleeping on top of me in a car moving at high speeds. “What are the countries inbetween? He goes from Venice, Italy, to… what country…?”

Pasha: “Persia.”

Benedetto: “No, that’s the Middle East.”

Moi: “Give me the book,” I look at the map myself. “Alright, look at page 84, and then page 80.”

Benedetto: “When we were growing up, we had to go to the library, and get out an atlas, or an encyclopedia. You can’t flip a few pages and find the answer?”

Moi: (“Apparently not.”)

Sound of flipping pages from the back….

Moi: “He would go from Venice to…?”

Pasha: “Hoon-gar.”

Benedetto: “Say the whole word.”

Pasha: “Hoon-GARR-ee.”

Moi: “Hungary. Then where?”

Pasha: “Persia.”

Benedetto: “Why Persia again? What kind of map is this?”

Moi: “Non-exhaustive,” I reply. Back to Pasha, “Then where?”

Pasha: “Constantinople.”

I’m not sure the Polos ever made it to China that day, by land or by sea, while we arrived at our next destination, feeling like we had been to China and back, for sure.


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10 Comments : Leave a Reply

  1. avatar Gwendolyn says:

    Oh, I feel SO much better! You mean it isn’t something intrinsically wrong with ME that we have these conversations? {Big sigh.}

    Add to your list of things they don’t understand: Russian. LOL.

  2. avatar Phyllis says:

    I agree with Gwendolyn! I feel sooo much better knowing that these types of conversations are not contained to only our house!

  3. avatar Phyllis says:

    All the time. We just had a discussion last night that everything that pops up in their brain does not need to be spoken. But it is nice to see that they do think of things. I asked them before if they ever think about things. They paused and said “No.” I am fairly sure that my sanity has already disappeared! : )

  4. avatar Carletta says:

    Just keep on swimming! 🙂

  5. avatar Nancy says:

    This made me giggle! I love your dry wit sprinkled throughout. Conversations of this sort, I think, are wonderful – when you’re in the mood for them. And maybe not traveling down a road at high speeds.

    Sursum Corda,

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