Memes. People want ‘em, the Internet’s got ‘em. Did you know the average millennial looks at 20 to 30 memes per day? Add up the entire population, and that’s a lot of bandwidth going to silly images and self-referential jokes.
In this post, one homeschool mom and maker of memes explains why we love—and need—homeschool memes and shares a few of her favorites along the way.
Why We Need Homeschool Memes: Because February is the Worst.
You either already know this, or you’re about to find out. It’s cold, it’s dark, it’s grey, and there are no holidays except for one where you’ll be pressured into giving candy to your already wound-up kids. The most difficult season of homeschooling is in the bleak midwinter.
About two years ago, my son was ready to throw in the towel long before February.
In fact, it was on his second day of school. He was upset in that special way reserved for teen boys: utterly convinced and totally immovable.
Rather than letting the moment become a Situation, I decided to try and make him laugh instead. We began joking around, and he eventually said, “Someone should make a meme for that!”
Someone was us. We made that meme and several others that afternoon.
Creating memes about our homeschooling journey has now become a family hobby, because we’ve realized that laughter truly is the best medicine. Yes, homeschool life can be challenging, but it’s hard to despair when we choose to focus on finding the humor instead.
Today, I want to share a few of our favorites to help you laugh your way through the winter doldrums.
For a non-memetic look at the winter blues (winter grays?), check out these winter wellness tips.
Acknowledge That It’s Difficult . . . and Laugh
We get it. It’s harder to get out of bed and start your school day on a winter morning. Homeschool community days are especially difficult. It seems no matter what you do to prepare, you’re always struggling to arrive on time:
Does that morning rush sometimes turn into an “opportunity” to practice reconciliation?
Classical Conversations Tutors might know the tension that is the final minutes of class:
If you’ve ever assumed that you were the only parent who experienced these things, I hope you feel a little less alone today.
An interesting thing happens when you acknowledge that something is hard: it gives other people around you permission to share their own struggles. As the saying goes, “A burden shared is a burden halved.”
When that burden is shared with humor, it disappears altogether for a few precious moments. That’s why we call it levity.
Remember How Far You’ve Come . . . and Laugh
Classical Conversations founder, Leigh Bortins, often says that a classical education is useful for helping you understand jokes, and we have certainly found that to be true. The longer we homeschool, the more material we have.
Here are a few memes that you likely could not have understood before your journey with Classical Conversations. Use these to remind your students (and yourself) how much you have already grown, and be encouraged.
By now, you’ve seen some instances where even your youngest learners are applying the information they’ve memorized. Celebrate those times when the “surprise tool” gets used!
You’ve been singing catchy history songs all year. Show this to your students and watch them fight the compulsion to finish the song:
The Timeline Song gets in your head and never leaves. Neither does familiarity with major events in world history. As you sing the Timeline for the 257th time this year, celebrate the fact that you are filling your mind with information worth knowing.
If your children are anything like mine, they may have started out their first year of Essentials struggling to outline, or even to read their own handwriting:
Can you remember your own first day as an Essentials parent? It may have been overwhelming, but you’ve stayed right beside your children, learning with them!
You know so much more about English grammar now:
Your Challenge students may be growing weary around this time of year. Maybe they’ve just completed a big project like a policy debate or the Science Fair.
Perhaps they’re heading into a challenging season with a research paper or Mock Trial looming. Remind them of all they’ve done, and that they’re already over halfway there.
Their writing is more refined now, and they can correctly use Very Fancy Words like exordium:
There may be new concepts to learn in Latin, but you and your student have been through this before. More than once, in fact. You have survived every time, and you’ll make it through this next challenge:
If you are a Challenge B family facing a new semester of studying Logic, notice that the following image was undecipherable just a few months ago. Now your student laughs. Look how far you’ve come!
Lean into Community . . . and Laugh
We need other people, especially when homeschooling is hard.
When our family decided to share our inside jokes, we weren’t sure how they would be received. Was this only funny around our dinner table, or was our experience universal? Imagine our surprise when the response was overwhelmingly versions of, “I thought this only happened to me!”
While we have been able to experience the power of community on a large scale, we feel the true magnitude of that power locally.
The other parents at community don’t need to be told why my youngest child is delivering a presentation about his left shoelace. They know. It was just one of those weeks.
They understand the joy I feel when I begin to see the fruits of our effort in my teenagers because their teenagers are going through the same process:
Sure, it would be easier to stay at home and give up during the cold months, but we never regret the effort of going to community. We leave refreshed and recharged because we’ve been with our people, and that gives us the encouragement we need to head into the next week.
Before we know it, February will be gone. The sun will shine again, and the end of the school year will be in sight. Until then, we can acknowledge the difficulty of the present season, remember how far we’ve already come, and lean into community.
If we can find a way to laugh while doing it, that’s even better.
Humor is great. Combine it with prayer and various methods of coping when homeschooling gets difficult, and you can overcome anything.