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10 Things I Miss Most About Caldwell Academy: A Bad Homeschool Teacher's Confession

Posted by Barbara Stein on May 13, 2020 4:02:08 PM

I am not a teacher. I never wanted to be a teacher. When so many of my friends were dreaming of being teachers, I wanted to be a horse trainer, a dancer or an actress. I knew almost as soon as my son was born that homeschooling was a calling and I had never heard that call. So we searched for alternatives that offered a full-time education. We quickly settled on Caldwell because the classical Christian model is a perfect fit. Plus they teach five days a week and all I have to worry about is homework (which I am also bad at).

As a type-A perfectionist who’s never been good with kids, motherhood has presented certain challenges. I am impatient and expect too much. This is not a great combination when confronted with the realities of childrearing. I tend to get frustrated with normal kid behaviors and mishaps. Things get so much worse when I am forced to be a preschool/1st grade teacher. So when schools were closed in March 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, I prayed everyday for my kids to get back in the classroom immediately. How was I supposed to teach a preschooler and a 1st grader who each needs a lot of attention? I am outnumbered and ill prepared.


I yell too much.


I expect too much.


I don’t have that “kid voice” that teachers use so naturally.


I hate Kahoots because I’m overly competitive.


We all cry daily. It’s not going well.


Class zoom callBut Caldwell Academy stepped up in a big way! They gave me daily lesson plans to follow. We have videos from the teachers introducing new concepts and Zoom meetings to keep in touch. I am so grateful for the hard work our teachers and Caldwell staff are still putting in despite these wild times!


All this remote learning has reminded me of the things I miss most about our beloved school. Caldwell is a school, community, family and so much more. I may be the worst homeschool teacher, but I have the best support team to make up for my shortcomings. 

10 Things I miss most about Caldwell

10. Carpool I know this might sound crazy to all those that sit in carpool for hours on end and hate the experience with the fire of a thousand suns, but Caldwell has carpool down. It is smooth and comparatively quick. On the rare days when I don’t have my preschooler in the car, I relish the silence as I sit in line for a few brief moments by myself. When she’s in the car with me, we play Eye Spy and listen to music together while I listen to her talk non-stop. It always goes quickly and smoothly. I miss this so much!

Morning assembly9. Morning assembly  This is such a sweet way to start each day! I tried to replicate it at home with no success because there’s no way I can lead like Mrs. Speckman. I am so grateful my kids start the day with prayer, learning to respect our country with the Pledge and Anthem, and a daily dose of kind words. 

8. Recitation Grammar Recitation is one of my favorite things each quarter. Seeing the tiny kindergartners sing a sweet song all the way through the 5th graders teaching me something through rhyme that I swear I never knew is always a treat. 

7. Class Parties I love class parties! I love seeing the kids and other parents. I love getting a glimpse of how their class runs and seeing our amazing teachers in action. 

6. Fellow Caldwell Parents One of the best things about Caldwell is that we’re a community. Anytime I step on campus I see the smiling faces of those I count as friends. I miss catching up and exchanging funny stories about our kids.

5. Mrs. Turner and all Caldwell Staff The staff at Caldwell are so kind and friendly. They always offer a smile and a wave in carpool line, a friendly word to my kids and endless attention to my daughter’s hallway shenanigans. And I’m especially grateful for Mrs. Turner being so understanding and letting me in when I forget my passcode.

4. The Lunchroom The Caldwell lunchroom is surprisingly pleasant considering how chaotic and messy just my two kids can be eating lunch at home. The kids are usually well behaved and listen to instructions. Often an older kid will hold the door for me and good manners abound. It’s a great reminder that they’re not just learning the three R’s at Caldwell.

3. The Playground The Caldwell playground is full of joy. I love to sit back and listen to the kids’ exuberant screams. And while terrifying, I love watching their death-defying stunts on the monkey bars and swings.

Caldwell Kids!2. The Kids I miss their faces so much! Caldwell kids are really special. Of course they are silly, loud and make corny jokes. But in my humble opinion, this is the best group of kids around.


We love our Caldwell teachers!1. THE TEACHERS!!! We miss you teachers! We NEED you! I can never be you and trying is about to kill me. Caldwell teachers are more amazing than I realized after all the hard work and preparation they have put in during this crazy time. They love our kids in a way that warms my soul. You all deserve medals. And plaques. And statues! There are not enough adjectives in the English language to describe how awesome you are and how much we miss you. Please come back and take these kids with you in the fall!

There are so many things we love and miss about Caldwell. As a Grammar parent, I know we haven't entered the world of sports, drama and other amazing extracurriculars. What would you add to this list? What do you miss most about our school?

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Topics: Classical Education, Primary Education