Encouragement - For homeschool teaching worries

Art, Foreign Language, Music, Nature Walks, as well as general ideas and encouragement
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Encouragement - For homeschool teaching worries

Unread post by bethben »

ainsleesmom wrote:We have just started K and we enjoy it! We are doing second Creation week this week. I'll relax and start enjoying it...

And then I start panicking because it doesn't have any geography or, or, or, or, or......

Or I'll read some of the stickies on here, and wow! I thought I was all awesome for actually making our Creation pages instead of printing coloring sheets LOL.

So, I guess sometimes I think it isn't "enough" and then other times I think I'm not "enough" and then there are the days my 5 yo doesn't want to cooperate with anything I've planned.

Overall, though, I will have to say, I am THOROUGHLY enjoying this!
Right now my panic for my 2nd grader is "how will he ever learn how to write stuff down?!?! The public school kids are all doing it!" Aarg!

So, I pray and pray and pray. I have to not compare and just go with ds and what he can do without pushing him farther than he can go. I figure if he knows how to read, write, do math, and know how to learn, he'll be o.k. The rest of the stuff (geography, science concepts, etc) is just fluff to help them learn the 3 r's. At least when they're little.

You're just voicing the mantra of the homeschool mom - "am I doing enough?". We don't have a national/state education board breathing down our neck telling us what to teach and testing on that information. But, we do have the God of the universe showing us and leading us so I guess we'll do very well in the end.
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Unread post by melinda »

I also remind myself that I don't have to teach everything this year. I can't spread out their entire education over 12 more years! After that they can learn what they want! :)

Oh, also remember that comparison is the death of contentment. I have to not compare my family's learning to what others are doing. What I am doing is exactly what I need to do. God has blessed us mothers with the instinct to know and do what our children need from us. :)
Melinda & Co.
Girls (ages 8 and 7, 7 (ID twins))
Baby boy (1)
Cyndi (AZ)
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Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) »

WELCOME TO MY WORLD! :-) Homeschooling can be a roller-coaster for me, but I love it. Some days are rough as sandpaper, but other days are smooth as silk. I actually love reading the posts by the "power posters" out there when they admit that they've had a flop of a day, and realize that it happens to all of us.

Fact is, on my own I'm not enough. But with God, I'm amazing. And I'm convinced the reason that all my improvising actually works is that He is orchestrating it. (And getting a good laugh out of it, too, if you ask me.)

At the end of MFWK, which at times I felt wasn't even "school" because it was so "easy," I look back at what we did, and how much my dd remembers and can narrate, and it is absolutely incredible.

BTW, you truly are all awesome for doing this!
2018/19: US1877
used MFW from K through WHL

Unread post by cbollin »

I treasure the many sides of it. The flop days to help us remember we're all have that those days. And the really good days --- I love hearing and reading those posts and rejoicing with them.

I have days where it is a lot of fun to share the excitement of someone else's project or even how organized their closets are. Then I have days where I have to skip those posts and come back to it in a few hours. I'll spend some quiet time praying (or maybe a crying email to someone--plenty of those too). Then I'm able to be content and not resent. And then find that I'm able to be thankful for what we're doing. then try again the next day.

For those creation pages in K, I was tickled and happy that my little 5 y.o was willing to sit for 1 minute and glue pictures from a magazine onto a piece of paper. She did a great job and it was very simple.


[editor's note: Social Studies in K moved here: http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 277#p21277 ]
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Unread post by Sailorboys »

Girls, girls, girls.... Please don't panic. I am praying to homeschool again, but so far it has not worked out. (job loss, house hasn't sold, etc) I'm the one with the health insurance.

I want to reassure all of you that you are doing enough. I am a K- Assistant in PS and my boys are in 2nd and 3rd grade. When I started homeschooling, in K and pre K, I felt just like you. This curriculum is covering soooooo much more than you could even imagine in PS. Sure the children are writing, all the same thing, all the say way, like little robots. I love my job and I truly feel God has put me there for this time to show me that I CAN homeschool. My confidence is soaring now, it just has not come together. Don't panic, do not worry about getting it all done. My boys ages 6 and 9 have not had any social studies, science, art (once a month and this has been cut this year). Your children are going to be so much better off. I will homeschool again, but please continue to do what you are doing. If you ever get discouraged. Email me I can give you an update on the PS. HAHA I read this web everyday just for inspiration and to see what I'm missing HAHA. God bless and have a great new school year. I'll be with you again, it just might be awhile.
Wife to Bob 19 yrs, Mom to Hobie 9, Cutter 6 and Whitney in heaven (SIDS)
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Does Anyone Else Get Panicky...........

Unread post by chrellis »

ainsleesmom wrote:Thanks so much, I just like to worry I guess.
If I didn't think MFW had what it needed, I wouldn't have purchased it.
It's natural, I guess, to think that I need to be TEACHING something LOL.
I do enjoy it, and it's fun fo rus to learn to work together.
Just to alleviate some of the fears expressed . . .

I have a degree in Elementary Ed. One of my field experiences was a semester in PS Kindergarten. As far as Social Studies goes, the lessons I had to teach were about topics like Helpers in Your Neighborhood and What is a Family. I spent the whole time wondering why those topics even had to be taught because most kids would learn about those subjects naturally throughout childhood without any kind of formal lessons. They were very simple assignments: draw a picture of your family or draw lines to match the fireman to the firehouse, policeman to the police station, etc. It wasn't Social Studies like the history and government type of lessons that are covered in later grades. There's not a single lesson I taught in PS-K that my daughter hasn't learned by now (3rd gr) without ever having completed a PS worksheet about the topic.

I actually think MFW is covering a lot more history and science in the primary grades than I ever saw covered in the PS. I will admit that my daughter was not reading as early as her PS peers because she was never forced to memorize a list of Dolch sight words every single night of her life thus far like the PS kids, but her phonics skills are way better than theirs. In the long run, she will be better served by the phonics. Does it really matter if your child starts reading chapter books in K or a few years later? I know it is difficult not to compare your child with the PS kids. I have my days as well, but what really matters is that you're raising a life-long learner with a sound Biblical foundation.

There is a pedagogical theory supported by some highly educated individuals called Delayed Academics. It is based on the belief that formal instruction in reading, etc. should not begin until 8 or 9 years of age. I could go into the stages of Psycho-Social and Cognitive Development in my support of Delayed Academics, but that would make for a very long post.

To make a long story short, I've had a lot of training in teaching methods and evaluating curriculum (5 years of college, 4 years as an elected public school board member, two years as the president of that board). I looked high and low to find a curriculum that fit my very particular standards. Every other curriculum I've ever reviewed pales in comparison to MFW.
Homeschooling in East Central Indiana
dd Faithlan ('98), ds Champ ('01), dd Honour ('04), dd Glory ('06)
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Unread post by kellybell »

Just my two cents:

When we first started homeschooling, a friend recommended the Core Knowledge "What your Nth Grader Needs to Know" and I found the books interesting and well-written. But I also found the books guilt-inducing.

We were doing most everything that the MFW manuals recommended but I felt the (internal) pressure to treat the advice as a second curriculum. I happily gave away the books. Whew! Freedom.

Use the books if they are reassuring. Ditch the books if they simply point out what you are NOT doing during a particular year.
Kelly, wife to Jim since 1988, mom to Jamie (a girl, 1994), Mary (1996), Brian (1998) and Stephanie (2001).
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Unread post by donnagio »

I love the line "raising a life-long learner with a sound Biblical foundation." I am putting that next to "facilitator of learning for all things in life" from another post! Thanks everyone for your encouragement!
RJ's Momma
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Unread post by RJ's Momma »

Just wanted to chime in with a little more to hopefully help. My mom is a ps teacher (yes, she tells me what kind of things my dd needs to know to pass state tests that we don't have to take:). Most of the time when I complain that our dd doesn't get this or is struggling a little with that she will say, "Oh, that is so important, the kids in my class have a hard time with this or that still."

Okay, here is the encouragement. My dd was in 2nd grade last year - my mom teaches 6th grade!!! Well, if we are only up to what some of the 6th graders can do then well, I think we are okay!!!

Okay, to be fair I know we aren't up to what they are doing, but some of the basics are still being repeated and not caught by even the 6th graders that she has. When we have a day that my dd isn't getting it, I just remind myself that we have a lot of time left, and she will catch on.


'RJ' - 8 years old
Julie in MN
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Location: Minnesota

Comparing to friends in public school

Unread post by Julie in MN »

sharij wrote:She still has friends from the public school who ask her if she is studying such and such and it makes her feel like she isn't learning what they are learning and not where she should be.
Posted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 2:52 pm

Just some random thoughts here:

- I have asked my ds's friends some more specific questions about what they're learning in school, and they've never been able to come up with much. Maybe it's because they're boys, but I wonder if engaging her friends in a more in-depth conversation would put them on more equal terms -- "Gee, what did you learn about? Today I learned about this really interesting fellow..."

- My ds is doing a Singapore level "below his grade" and he tests very well. Does your dd have to do standardized tests, which tell her what level she has achieved? I have also heard of taping over the title in a book :o)

- You could do a read-aloud about American history in the evenings (or she could choose her reading books from that era), and she might get a feeling of knowledge about a particular part of American history. A game or a little workbook (Which Way USA etc) might also accomplish the same thing.

- Has she created a history notebook that she is proud of? Could she share what "she is learning that they don't know" with them in return for their generous sharing LOL!

- Sometimes you just have to sit it out. Kids go thru phases, and your dd with her illness added to the mix may just have to persevere for a while until things smooth out for her.

Best wishes,
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Unread post by AES »

Posted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 5:21 pm

Does your daughter know that children in Singapore start with 1A in the calendar year they turn 7? For some reason, we like to turn the Singapore levels into grade levels, and that's not how it is supposed to be interpreted.
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Unread post by kellybell »

Posted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 10:53 pm

We pulled our kids out of a Christian school after their 1st and 3rd grade years (the other two were too young for school then). We keep in touch with some of those families as well as a lot of public school families.

Anyway, we faced similar issues as we came home. The kids would be talking about what they did and comparing. And feeling a bit behind. I wanted to nip THAT in the bud. The Christian school and public school kids were learning lots but ... we were too! We just were doing different things.

Here are some things we did and are still doing:

1. Emphasize the differences and how we believe in the differences. "We're studying history starting at creation. It just makes more sense to us." Or, "Aren't you glad we spent a year learning geography? Now when we read history, we know right where things are."

2. Discuss the advantages of homeschooling. "Wow, we were able to put our writing and grammar on the shelf for a month. And, you got to use that extra time to learn lots for Science Olympiad. And, you brought home a gold medal from the state competition. If we weren't homeschooling, you wouldn't have had that extra time to learn everything you needed to know to be the best middle school food science expert in the state. We'll catch up on grammar later. No hurry. You earned a gold medal and I'm proud of how hard you researched."

3. It's okay to remind the kids, "We left the public school so that we could do things differently. They are learning different things than you are. Yes, they might know about the trans-continental railway, but you know the capital of all the European countries and can cook a mean stir-fry!"

If she still feels "behind" remind her that she's doing just fine and that it's a blessing to move at your own speed, especially when dealing with illness.

However, if you make it to middle school without really learning about USA history, what I'd do is set up a basic timeline just for USA history and then fill in about a dozen events on it. That would give her a brief, chronological picture of USA history and whet her appetite for more later. She'd be able to discuss these things with friends now. She wouldn't feel dumb.

Then, find fun ways to learn the history, a bit at a time. Here are some ideas that we've used to learn USA history before we officially learn it via MFW:

1. America Rock video. It explains some history (such as Manifest Destiny, the "Shot Heard 'Round the World") and some civics (how a bill becomes a law). Great fun.

2. American Girl books. Our library has these, has the teacher's guides that go with them, and also has these books on tape or CD so that we can listen to them in the car during long road trips. Dear America is a meatier series that I like better. And, don't forget some of the classics like LIttle House, etc.

3. Drive Thru History USA videos. This series focuses on the Revolutionary War era.

4. Liberty Kids on the History Channel (or check your library, our library doesn't have the videos but has some books). Since it's on at 5 AM, we don't watch this, but what I have seen looks good.

5. This is America, Charlie Brown is a great video series. I picked up these really cheap at Amazon.

6. Your Story Hour also has some history.

7. And, some "formula" chapter book series (Magic Tree House) probably has some books on USA history.

8. I really like the activity books from Williamson Publishing and Harvard Press Review. I'm sure your library has some fun books on big USA events (Civil War, the Depression, etc.). Our first summer homeschooling, before we officially started with MFW, we did projects from a Lewis and Clark activity book by someone named (I think) Johmann (it's a library book that I don't own -- sorry if the name is wrong). We sewed moccasins, made cornbread (I think), maps, teepees and a model of a boat. The kids had a blast.

9. Most libraries have the Slessinger videos. They aren't very exciting but they get the information across.

10. Remember to do a little reading before American holidays (Thanksgiving, July 4, etc.)

11. Take advantage of local events at the museum, living history park, etc.

12. I'm guessing there are games out there that teach USA history. Anyone?

Pray about what to do. She sounds like a terrific kid and nobody wants their child to feel inferior because they aren't following a PS scope and sequence.

And, make sure you remind YOURSELF that what you are doing is the RIGHT thing. We also did ECC with a 4th grader (and a 2nd grader) and I remember that occasional "gnawing" feeling of "I should be teaching history." But, when I saw that my kids learned their geography at those young ages much better than I ever did, the feeling went away. My kids left ECC with an understanding of different cultures, climates, etc. And, then we did CTG and celebrated the feasts and studied the history of the Egyptians and Greeks. The other day, I found a paper frog (from our plague) in the back of my closet and had to grin.

Oh, and about doing the right thing, this all reminds me a story that makes me smile to remember it. We were carpooling to soccer two years ago and were taking a neighbor girl who was in the same grade as my daughter (although she was 11 mos. older). Anyway, this girl's mom loved their public school. They were accepted into this special program for smart kids, blah blah blah.

And, this girl said they were learning about Columbus at school. She said she liked USA history and said that one thing she liked about her school was that they did a lot of history. My Mary mentioned that we did that Lewis and Clark study and that was "really neat." Kaitlyn, this friend, said, "Oh we learned that LAST year. It was before Columbus." So, our PS school self-proclaimed history buff was placing Lewis and Clark (1804) before Columbus (1492) because she studied it in that order. What it showed me was that while this girl knew some facts about both events, she DIDN'T have a big picture of USA history at all. Even if you forgot the dates, someone with the big picture would know that you've got to discover a land before you can move west in it. Mary kindly corrected her saying that Columbus came first. My dd has a "big picture" of history.

And this was during our CTG year. Mary picked it up from our little activities and some videos and books.

Oh, boy, did I really ramble. Sorry about that.

Again, pray about the situation and keep being a good mommy keeping an eye on the situation.

Unread post by cbollin »

Posted: Fri Apr 18, 2008 4:02 am

My daughter doesn't study the same things as the other homeschoolers or private schoolers or public schoolers that she knows. They talk for a few minutes about school stuff --- but they are kids! and that's what they have to talk about. Soon enough they change the subject to something else. Hang in there and praying that when your daughter is listening to her friends talk about school she'll realize that school is but one thing that makes them friends. They'll find something to chat about. Toss some books in book basket for something she is interested in and then she'll be able to talk about that for a few minutes.


It'll be ok, they'll find something else to talk about, if you add a topic do it in controlled ways that don't overwhelm your school day or your daughter, and don't take it personally (easier said than done).
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Unread post by sharij »

Posted: Fri Apr 18, 2008 5:16 am

I feel so blessed at this very moment! Thank you all so much for all your words of wisdom... I am on my way to the MACHE conference this morning and have written down some books/ideas for US History... fun things that will be light but educational. Thank you for reminding me that we are different... for a reason! I have to remind myself, often, that God is painting on a much bigger canvas.
Thank you so much...
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Unread post by PaulaA »

Posted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 5:46 pm

This week I read a brief account of D. L. Moody's life in a Beth Moore bible study. I was amazed to find out that he only had about 4 years of schooling. Wow--look what God did through him. This is an excerpt from the study:
  • Before he left England to come to America an evangelist told him (Moody) "The world had yet to see what God will do with and for and through and in and by the man who is fully and wholly consecrated to him" Moody determined to be that man.
I'll keep you in by prayers.

Encouragement - For homeschool worries

Unread post by TurnOurHearts »

hollybygolly wrote:I'm feeling pressure from some other homeschool moms to have my kids join other activities: piano, Girl Scouts, etc. I don't see how to fit these things in AND do a good, solid job of homeschooling. But now I'm feeling guilty and lazy because I'm not "enriching" my children more. Is this a new homeschool mom issue? Are outside lessons crucial to their development? I'm starting to feel such anxiety about not doing enough for my children!
Posted: Sun Aug 03, 2008 8:43 am

Someone mentioned not looking around at other homeschooling moms/families ~ I have to second that. It's so easy to get sucked in to someone else's ideas for what 'success' is. Keep it between you & your husband as much as is humanly possible. ;) I am an extreme extrovert. Yeah. LOVE to be around people ~ the more the merrier! I'm sure you know my type. God had to really reign me in my first year of homeschooling. Left up to me entirely, I would've had us here and there doing ALL of this and Oooh! Some of that too! Thank the Lord, He had vision & direction to give my husband & me. He knew that we needed to establish 'us' ~ what we were going to look like on a day-to-day basis, at home, doing home education. This doesn't have anything to do with what anyone else on the planet is doing.

So what is crucial to their development? Sure, lots would say the physical activity outside things offer is very important. But what is crucial? Especially at the beginning? IMO, relationship. Some people think homeschooling is a cure-all for rebellious teenagers. I disagree. I see a LOT of rebellious homeschoolers running around! But real relationships, like the one Jesus wants with us, is what is crucial. Just like it's very difficult (not impossible) to have a deep relationship with my child if I'm shipping them off somewhere else for 8 hours a day, it's very difficult to have deep relationships with my husband & each of my children if we are rushing around like chickens with their heads cut off! I'm not advocating sitting home all day being lazy, but I think the enemy claims a lot of victory in the lives of HSers by deceiving us into thinking that in order for our children to be 'well-rounded' they have to play 2-3 sports, AND play a musical instrument, AND be in 4-H, AND do all the church activities, etc., etc., etc. Wow! If we can do all that, how do we have time to visit with one another on a level that scratches beneath the surface?

I guess the point of this much-too-long post is to say: take the time you need for your family to establish routine and relationship. Then, as the Lord guides, only then, would I think about adding in some of those other good things. And they are good. But even good in excess becomes not-so-good.

Feel free to sift the wheat from the chaff. :)
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Am I doing it well?

Unread post by LoveBaby »

salmy wrote:As many HSing moms do, I am struggling with what my report card would be for me teaching MFWK to DD. If I am going to HS, I want to do it well for the obvious reasons!, but I feel as though I'm being called to really look at this in the context of the other things in life. In addition to DD, I have a 1 and 3 yo boys, plus a 2 yo that I babysit 5 days a week. Dh commented tonight that he is concerned about how high strung *I* am schooling DD, managing the boys, keeping the baby off the table, etc etc. Yes, I've followed the advice about putting on a movie, having activities for them for just school time. But it's just about impossible to have a peaceful session.

And ps, how much do you add to the MFW curriculum as it's written? I go through the message board for the unit while writing the plan for the week and add a lot of extras to our plan. Is that really necessary?
Awww...mama! Big hugs to you! I look at K as a "free" year. They are little, it's kindergarten, let them enjoy the process and have fun. We had such a good year w/ kindergarten but rarely did we do every single thing, every single day. My son did brilliantly on the blend ladder and making the badges. I don't know if he could tell you anything else we did! But, I'm also teaching a 3rd grade struggling reader (although, that's taken off, now we're focusing on math), keeping a 4yo. boy's boy off the roof LOL and snuggling a sweet 20mos. old girl.

O.K....I don't add *anything* to the MFW manuals. It always leads to frustration, burn-out and struggle.

My biggest piece of advice: do *not* let reading these boards or any others make you feel unable to homeschool your children. You are called to do this job and sometimes the learning that is done is more what God has planned for you, for you to become the mom/wife/woman that He wants you to be. I thought that homeschooling was about teaching my children, I have now decided that homeschooling is about teaching *me* the lessons God wants me to learn and it is in the context of teaching my children.

I'm still learning consistency, scheduling, plain 'ol get it done regardless. Some days(weeks) we are really, really on top of it. And other days (weeks) we really are *not*, but that is o.k. We are all learning! My children are learning character/academics and I'm learning how to be/do what I'm supposed to!
Jesse, homeschoolin' helpmeet just trying to do the Lords will! Starting MFW 1st and CtG 9/12!
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Unread post by tiffany »


I don't have it more together than you, I'm pretty sure. Yes, we have a plan. Yes, we have a schedule. Some days things go smoothly, but most days are full of prayer opportunities :). I wonder if God sometimes lets things get out of control, so we will remember Who is in charge. If my life was organized differently so I could handle it better, different school choice, smaller family, would I need to rely on Him? Just a thought.

To answer your question, we don't add extra things to the program. We don't get to everything in the manual even, let alone the message board. Be encouraged, from one imperfect and easily stressed Mom to another.
Wife to Tim ('88)
Mother to Sophie 16, Jonathan 14, Joey 12, Noah 10, Matthew 8, Eli 4
Have completed MFWK, MFW 1st grade, ECC, CTG, RTR, Exp.-1850,1850-Mod., HS Ancients, HS World
Fall of '11 ECC,HS Ancients, HS U.S. History to 1877
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Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2005 6:07 pm

Unread post by meagabby »

Your post reminded me of something I was told last year by a new friend. When I asked her if they were through with school for the year, she laughed and said "No." Upon further investigation she was meaning that completing a workbook doesn't mean that alot of academic or spiritual ground was covered during the year. That statement sort of help me relax to enjoy our year of learning and worry less about getting it all in.

That's not to say that we skim on purpose or that we don't strive to do it all, but life with little ones, sick ones, holidays, etc. So having a schedule and routine is what I strive for and the days that all boxes are checked, I go to bed very thankful that we were all focused. And If I find that I have more days that I'm feeling frustrated, then I see if MY expectations are too high or if I'm trying to do too much.

Also, some families find it works for them to stretch the year a little longer than the public school system. First it allows for more short breaks during the year and secondly because being together 24/7 isn't fun for 3 whole months with nothing to do in the summer.

Be encouraged. You are homeschooling because you feel it is best and you'll find a way to give the best to your children.

Re: Am I doing it well?

Unread post by cbollin »

salmy wrote: ps, how much do you add to the MFW curriculum as it's written? I go through the message board for the unit while writing the plan for the week and add a lot of extras to our plan. Is that really necessary?
I don't add much in the upper years at all. The stuff we add is dance class. That doesn't count.

On the Kindy Ideas Forum, I don't add those things. I use them as substitutes for books, websites, activities IF needed. I know some folks use it to do more. But, just like you, I have a full plate already, thank you.

I wanted to suggest that you and your husband listen to homeschooling workshops together. I'd recommend starting with Working Dad Can Homeschool Too. That will be a good place to start to help him be able to help you. And it is guy to guy talking.

and possibly help! my homeschool is chaos!!! (I listen to one when the house gets too well, uh, too much chaos)

purchase info on those
with some MP3 follow up info on this thread too
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 234#p45532

Also, this is not a MFW book, but I think Todd Wilson has some nice books for homeschooling dads as well as his cartoon books. His cartoon books are funny because you realize that you aren't the only one!!!!
Check it out at his site

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Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2005 9:56 am

Unread post by tiffany »

I was still thinking about your post when I went to bed last night. I often get comments from non-homeschool moms like "I don't know how you do it" or "I could never do that!"and other remarks that make it seem like I am some special breed of supermom. Of course I tell them I'm nothing special, and that I do it because of my husband's and my commitment to it, but I think there is always some sort of illusion there. What are they basing their comments on? The way my family looks, acts or dresses in public? I often wonder what they would think of me, if they spent a day here. Our family would not fare well on a reality show :). Thank goodness I don't have people watching me all day. I would not want all of my struggles made public, nor have to pretend I have it all together. Of course, our goal is to be more like Jesus, but the extra pressures of homeschooling and kids help bring our flaws to the surface. It should also increase humility:). I know God has not called everyone to have children, but they do bring a certain level of self awareness, dying to self and dependence on Him that I have not experienced with such impact in any other part of my life thus far.
Wife to Tim ('88)
Mother to Sophie 16, Jonathan 14, Joey 12, Noah 10, Matthew 8, Eli 4
Have completed MFWK, MFW 1st grade, ECC, CTG, RTR, Exp.-1850,1850-Mod., HS Ancients, HS World
Fall of '11 ECC,HS Ancients, HS U.S. History to 1877
Posts: 320
Joined: Thu May 10, 2007 5:46 pm

Unread post by dhudson »

I agree with all the ladies advice. I am a scheduler and a planner so I have this to add..

Have a written daily schedule - including breaks and time with the younger children. Make it realistic, not undoable. You won't always be able to meet it but a plan is a good thing. Include time to do your housework, make dinner etc.

Have "school" for the younger ones - I always had a "school" box with activities for my younger ones that was only able to be played with during school. Give them a timer and tell them that they are to sit and play quietly until the timer goes off. Start with 5 min and move up the time gradually. Even the 1 year could have play pen time for a short period of time during school. Bible and Science could be "school" for everyone. MFW's pre-school toys are perfect for this.

Don't plan on adding anything until you've gotten a handle on your schedule. MFWK is great and in-depth on it's own.

Don't answer the phone or schedule anything during school hours - hard to do but it will pay off in the long run.

And lastly, give yourself the freedom to be inperfect. None of us are perfect Mom's or home schoolers, as a matter of fact I need to get off-line and finish the science that we didn't get to this week because life happens.
God Bless,
blessed Mom of three - 16, 13 & 13
happy user of MFW since 2002
Laura D.
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2008 5:44 pm

Unread post by Laura D. »

In the words of my favorite fish...."Just keep swimming; just keep swimming; just keep swimming, swimming, swimming....." You are not the only hs mom who has had these feelings! There have been (and will be) times when I feel as if I am drowning under the weight and responsibility. During these times is when I need to step back, review my reasons for hs, pray for guidance, and ask my husband to encourage me or even help me. He may help me plan meals for the week, shop for groceries, tweak our schedule, teach math for a day, a week, or.....forever :), or just help me remember the good things we HAVE accomplished while hs'ing. One thing I have noticed over the years is that this time of the year can be especially difficult. I often begin evaluating what is working and what is not working and this, although necessary, can be defeating. But I have also discovered that this is the time of year when our productivity skyrockets. The fall is full of all kinds of excitement and outside activities, but now is the time of year when being inside and really putting one's nose to the grindstone is easier - at least for us, this has been the trend. I can directly relate to your dismay regarding not progressing in your K program in a timely fashion. I must confess, when my third daughter was doing K (with two older and two younger children in the mix), I failed miserably. We didn't get any further than week five. I was very hard on myself and negative thinking stole my joy. I felt like the worst mother in the world. She was "behind" where I knew she could be if only I hadn't dropped the ball. The kicker - I was a first grade reading teacher before I decided to stay home and my daughter couldn't read! Talk about feeling lousy!! But, here is the rest of the story - she is now eight and right where she should be! God has a way of filling in the gaps when we "fail". You haven't failed!! You haven't stopped working with your k'er (like I did) and you have a plan to finish the program. Nobody will be scarred for life if the plan takes you through to next year! I think everyone has made good suggestions as far as trying to formulate a schedule, etc. We follow Marie's schedule from the TM's and we complete a lot of our work during naptime. We also work on weekends or evenings if necessary. This journey is not easy with little ones, but if you feel this is the path you have been called to take, be encouraged, you can find a way to make it work, despite sickness, mountains of laundry, scribbled-on walls, crying babies, and cereal for dinner - everyone will get what they need! "Just keep swimming......"
Posts: 93
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 11:26 am

Unread post by Ariasarias »

I think you have received lots of good things to think about. I was thinking the other day about when my oldest was in K. I expected way too much of me and of her. I wanted to do everything in the manual and on the boards and anything else I could find related to the topic. I too was babysitting someone else's child at the time.

Now my second dd is in K and I look back and laugh at myself :). I probably expect less of my now 3rd grader who was in K then. It's part of the process of homeschooling, learning what to expect. Now I don't even look on the boards for ideas unless I have extra time -- which honestly with a 3 year old and pregnant, I don't ever have extra time :). Which is okay. I've come to the place that my goal is to get the three R's done each day, hopefully progressing -- it's a process :), and the rest is to whet the appetite of learning in my children.

Take for instance lesson 7 -- US. With my first I expected her to be able to tell me all about her five senses and how they worked -- repeating what the Magic School Bus presented to her -- okay I can't even do that. Now I am pleased that my K'er knows her five senses and that God is who so wonderfully made her. After that it is gravy, chocolate cake with ice cream and a cherry. Does that make sense?

Being further down the road I can also see how well the K program prepares them for 1st and so on. They will have so many more opportunities to grasp the details. Right now they are making "pegs" in their brain so they will have some where to put the information when they are older and also to encourage a love for learning.

I would say focus on the math and phonics and try to do a few activities throughout the week. Some weeks we do more than others. Sometimes it depends on time and sometimes it depends on interest. Enjoy your little ones. You will never have another year like this one :).

You mentioned about big families pulling off school with littles in the house -- they also have olders to help them with the littles. You still have all littles. Your home and school will look different.

One last thing, I do remember when my oldest was in K and I watched another little boy, sometimes we would do some school before he would get there, sometimes even before breakfast -- the math and phonics part. My dd was an early riser. The rest we would do when I could see it was a good time -- many afternoons when everyone was safely playing or during nap time. My mornings were spent playing and taking the children to the park and other outings.
I'll be praying for you. :)
Nicole, wife to Claudio since 1996, and mom to dd (2000), dd (2003), dd (2005), and ds (2009).
Posts: 109
Joined: Sat Sep 11, 2004 9:25 pm

Unread post by MJP »

I just wanted to let you know what happened at our house one year. I had always done the Explode the Code primers with my 4 year olds. Well, for some reason, they just didn't get accomplished with child number 5 at that time. I just promised myself I would do better the next year. The next year we did them alongside MFW K (because I already had them). He really did well. Not having done them at 4 did not hurt him at all. In fact, at 6 now, he only has a week and a half left in his MUS Alpha math book because he just "knows" how to do it and does it for fun sometimes. He is so easy to teach. It may just be because I didn't start him too young (not because of my own wisdom, but because I just couldn't get it all done). He is also reading well.

God always has a way of providing the time we need (at just the right time), although not always on the time schedule we had planned.
Wife of 1 for 18 yrs. Mom of 7--ages 1-15--1st, 2nd, 5th, 8th and 9th grades & (one on the way)
Psalm 16:8
Currently using--1850 to Modern Times
Previously--MFW K , 1st, CtoG, RTR, Exp. to 1850
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