Encouragement - Behind - Finding Peace and/or Catching Up

Art, Foreign Language, Music, Nature Walks, as well as general ideas and encouragement
amana_seeker
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2008 3:52 pm

What to do if chronically behind? *long*

Unread post by amana_seeker » Fri Nov 13, 2009 12:40 pm

Okay, last year I did MFW K with 3 of my boys and we were *always* behind. Sometimes we got 'stuck' on a very fun week--like the 3 weeks we spent on dinosaurs (so fun!). I'd hope to catch up when we got to a 'not so interesting' topic, but *every* topic was interesting! Then there was the week that they went with Daddy to watch the new roof get put on the church building, or the week that we were all sick, or the weeks that we all just needed a break. Even though I continued to plow through the materials all through summer, we STILL had to just skip the last 4 or 5 weeks so we could have a new beginning for this school year.

I know, I could have finished K, and then begun Adv. in October. But I was afraid that we would continue to fall behind, and not have enough time for my oldest to finish the whole MFW program by 7th grade. And I was kind of burnt out and needed a new beginning...

Now the same thing is happening with Adventures. I thought maybe we were chronically behind in K because we did lapbooks on every theme. Everyone totally enjoyed it, and the boys are so proud of their finished binders full of the lapbooks--the photos, drawings, copywork, projects contained in them are priceless. But it was a lot of work for me. So I thought if we just stuck to the suggested activities in the ADV teacher's manual, we'd be fine. But there's this little thing called 'life' that keeps getting in the way. I was exhausted, so my dh sent me away for a week to rest. (First time away from my boys in 8 years!) Then this past week, everyone got sick. Then the weather is just so beautiful outside that no one (including me!) wants to be inside. And as much as I really try to keep the ball rolling with school, we NEVER finish before late afternoon/early evening. Granted, that's with a recess outside while Mommy takes a nap with the toddler. (My health and energy are not so great; I really can't function well without that nap.)

I found the recent thread started by meleasa to be very helpful (about getting behind in Adventures [ http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 587#p56587 ]), and have shifted the more fun things--like making play dough, canoes, bread, etc. to the late afternoon, evening. But we are already 3 weeks behind, and we aren't even to the halfway point yet. Thankfully, the boys are doing fine with reading and math and whatever is scheduled for Bible we do in the evening before or after story-time. What we get behind on are the history, science, music, and art. And these are all not critical at this point in their lives, right? My eldest are only 8 and 6 yrs old. I would much rather they be free to run and play and explore outdoors than be cooped up inside.

Part of the 'problem' is that I love to read, and they love to be read to. So if my library has the books on the book list, I get them and read them to the boys. All of them. They are our 'bedtime' stories. I haven't implemented a book basket time yet because my 8 yr old finds reading a chore and not a joy (he's only beginner 2nd grade level). Another part of the problem is that ALL the activities are so fun that I don't want to skip any of them, so we don't. And keep getting behind...

Twice this year I have packed a breakfast and lunch and taken all 4 boys to a park from morning to early afternoon. You know, a la Charlotte Mason. I took their sketchbooks and the huge black nature book from the 1800's (forgot the name just now.) We had *such* a blast. They fed ducks and sketched them, and the turtles and the squirrels. One day it drizzled and was muddy--they had a blast playing in the rain, building sand castles and tunnels and finding different animal footprints which we then identified.

*That* is what I wish I could do with them every day. There was no fighting, no bickering (as there is so often in our house). Just an awesome memory-making time.

Can any of you give me some advice? There's just not enough time in the day/week to do everything...

~Michelle in TX

dhudson
Posts: 320
Joined: Thu May 10, 2007 5:46 pm

Re: What to do if chronically behind? *long*

Unread post by dhudson » Fri Nov 13, 2009 3:34 pm

Here's my two cents worth. ;) What are your priorities and have you written them down? Do you have a written schedule? Have you scheduled a plan for the year that includes breaks and field trip days? I find having a plan helps me to see the year more clearly.

I think you are going to have to prioritze. Is having more carefree days the priority or is it getting the academics done? Are you getting Bible,math, and language arts done daily and on time? If so, then depending on your priorities, I wouldn't worry about it. If you are not getting the basics done then I would say that it is time for some change.

I know it works best for us if we stay on task during the school year and then take a long Christmas break and then have a long summer and we play hard (although we still do math and LA even in the summer). Some school year round with more breaks in between and that works well for them. Find what works for you and your dh and then make a plan for your year.
God Bless,
Dawn
http://www.shiningexamples.blogspot.com
blessed Mom of three - 16, 13 & 13
happy user of MFW since 2002

Wendy B.
Posts: 127
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 6:27 pm

Re: What to do if chronically behind? *long*

Unread post by Wendy B. » Fri Nov 13, 2009 4:22 pm

Hugs, mama!

I don't let myself have the option of getting or staying behind. I work PT ( 4 days every two weeks which means I work 1 weekday per week and alternating weekends.) So my week is 2 days shorter. It would be SOOO easy for me to drop the ball but I'd be doing my kids a disservice if I did. If we don't get something done during the week it gets done on the weekend that I am home. Nobody really likes that option of doing school on our family weekend so it really is in everybody's best interest to get the work done.

First. Work before play. period. Mornings are for schoolwork and afternoons for play. We will skip a schoolday 1 per month for a fieldtrip so we have to choose carefully. Weather is great so we need to be extra motivated to get our work done so we can get out to play! I want our family weekend to be the fun-all-day-memory-making time with Dad so the kids and I need to get our work done.

Second. I school year round. My goal is 9 weeks of school each 13 week season. This gives us 4 weeks each quarter for us to take off for the weeks everyone is sick, mama needs a break or whatever life may throw our way.

I wouldn't let the booklist or activities get you behind. Read what you can in the correct week and keep the list for books to read during your non-school weeks. If you can't get to an activity during the week then do it on the weekend as a family.

No history, science, art and music aren't critical for your kids at 8 & 6 but developing the habit of work before play and instilling in them that schoolwork is important will make it easier for you when they are 14 &16. Do what you can to make your daily schedule work while they are younger.I have known far to many hsing moms that have let the schedule slide with their younger kids in the name of fun only to have to attempt to change the direction and focus of their hsing with a hormonal 12 yo. It's ugly. You really don't want to do that!
Wendy B.
Graduated ds '08 & dd '09
Homeschooling ds 11 & dd 8 using RtR
completed: MFW 1, ADV, ECC & CtG.

lisaha
Posts: 35
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 3:04 pm

Re: What to do if chronically behind? *long*

Unread post by lisaha » Fri Nov 13, 2009 5:53 pm

I hate getting behind. I am one week behind due to illness a few weeks ago and it drives me nuts. So nuts that I figured if we didn't take any breaks for holidays we would be able to get done by mid May. By mid May my kids are DONE! LOL! ;) But I know that although we often break less then public school, if we don't take any breaks at all that we will all burn out. I will not go into summer as we all need that break to recharge. I can try and fit 2 weeks into one, cramming the barest of basics into very long days... I like to do lapbook cut-outs in our notebooks and other homeschool share activities too and one week fills up quite quickly with those fun activities and extra books. If we do one week per week we do get done in the mornings so the afternoon is free for them. I thought 34 weeks would work well, but in reality it is hard to have room for illnesses, holiday breaks and recharging breaks. I can understand your stress. I do know Adventures is very doable saving the fun stuff for later in the mornings, afternoon for free time, but wiggleroom can be hard when looking at the whole school year.

kellybell
Posts: 475
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 2:40 pm

Re: What to do if chronically behind? *long*

Unread post by kellybell » Sun Nov 15, 2009 10:37 pm

You know, I confess that I try to balance "schedule" with "living in the moment" all the time. I personally feel more comfortable with a schedule at my side. However, I know that I can take it too far and end up missing out on a beautiful park day because The Schedule said, "Tough luck, it's nice out but we must read about Charlemagne today." Duh. I like having that MFW schedule but I read it as if it were saying, "If nothing exciting happens today, do this..." That means no illnesses, awesomely beautiful weather, no enthralling questions from the kiddos, no need to take care of an old widow at church, etc...

But, while it is good to have a vision and big goals, and it's great to aim for them (and not so great to be aimless), I truly believe that we need to embrace the blessings of homeschooling, and one of those blessings is to NOT be slave to a schedule (which is different than using a schedule).

When I read the original post that started this thread, I can't help but thinking, "You're doing everything right." You are in tune with your children and their interests, you are doing what gives your family joy. Taking three weeks in D-D-Dinosaur is not a bad thing! We took extra weeks in Japan and really studied the ocean. Not because MFW told us to, but because our children seemed to really like the ocean (its animals, its currents, the seafloor). Not a bad thing. We've even set aside MFW to follow some passions. We studied bridges, astronomy, and Lewis and Clark "just for fun." Then we got back to the curriculum. It's actually the side-trips that the kids remember the most now that half a decade has gone by!

You say you love reading to the kiddos and that they love being read to. That's a good thing. And its okay to let a day be a terrific stay-in-your-pajamas day curled up with a terrific book. Follow their passions. Follow your passions. It's what they will remember! They will thank you by saying, "Oh, I'm glad we don't go to public school; they can't decide on a pajama-and-book day."

But I am guessing by "behind" you mean you aren't keeping up with the MFW schedule, right? MFW books are written to take a year, and it's great if it takes a school year to do a MFW program. If you finish a MFW program in a school year of 36 or so 5-day weeks, then you can rest assured that you kept a good pace -- not too fast and not too slow. If you take longer, you can ask yourself why that happened. You'll probably find that you had more illnesses than usual. Or that you took advantage of lovely spring weather and woke up a few times to say, "Let's take a hike" or "Let's ride bikes." Perhaps you scrapped some school days to serve a shut-in who needs some housecleaning. Maybe you had to take are of your mother who broke her hip. That's okay. Homeschoolers are living real life and sometimes real life trumps The Grid. It's more important to serve God by cleaning that widow's home than it is to do lesson 32 in math. You can do lesson 32 tomorrow. Or even next year. No need to hurry if God gave you another assigment.

I'm not an unschooler and I am uncomfortable with the style of schooling of only following a child's passions or ignoring subjects that a child is not interested in. I cannot wake up in the morning without some goals for the day. But I am also uncomfortable with "school at home" where everything is so scheduled that a day at the zoo (or the ER!) means that you are "behind."

I agree that its a good idea to work with DH to make some goals and set some priorities. What works for YOUR family? Do you need to meet weekly goals? What are good reasons for not meeting those goals (illness, learning of a need in your church family, getting an invitation to go skating with another homeschooling family?) for YOUR family. And what will your family do if you are "behind" (and what exactly DOES behind mean???). Will you school one hour extra for a week and catch up? Will you drop some extra activities? Will you work on Saturday or start your Christmas break a few days later than you planned?

For us, we're a little more casual than some of our MFW friends and we are chronically "behind" compared to the TM. We're on year six of our five year cycle and that's okay! I am comfortable with that because we DO get out to do hikes, etc. now and then but not too often. We take advantage of drama and music that our community offers. We serve in our church and community. We spend entire days reading a single book now and then. We participate on a prize-winning Science Olympiad team and that means we sometimes let our scheduled science fall behind. The kids ace their standardized tests, and they are polite, and they know their Bible stories and the lessons behind them. We cook, paint, plant, clean, take field trips etc.

And that's okay.

I would say that you need to either keep up your wonderful (IMHO) style of homeschooling and realize that following passions now and then (such as 3 weeks of dinosaurs) is just fine or, if you can't feel fine about that, figure out how strictly your family needs to follow a certain schedule or plan. Is it okay to go outdoors all day (or stay indoors with a book all day) once a week? Once a month? Only on Saturdays? What is okay for YOU?

Basically, when you fall into bed on a school night, ask yourself what you learned/accomplished/did. If it was worthwhile, then you had a good school day and about 180 or so of those add up to a great school year...
Kelly, wife to Jim since 1988, mom to Jamie (a girl, 1994), Mary (1996), Brian (1998) and Stephanie (2001).

hsmom
Posts: 29
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2008 9:58 am

Re: What to do if chronically behind? *long*

Unread post by hsmom » Mon Nov 16, 2009 12:18 am

I was wanting to post on this thread, but kelly said all I wanted to say and more and did a better job of it than I would have done. Great post, I couldn't agree more. :)

cbollin

Re: What to do if chronically behind? *long*

Unread post by cbollin » Mon Nov 16, 2009 6:52 am

just wanting to add my pull quotes.

given the age of your kids and the fact that you said no one is behind in skill subjects such as "language arts and math"..... Ditto to Kelly's response. You're doing a good job!

I agree with what Wendy said "history, science, art and music aren't critical for your kids at 8 & 6 but developing the habit of work before play and instilling in them that schoolwork is important will make it easier for you when they are 14 &16." I'll add this: it will make it easier for the students too.

Are they learning to work hard even if you follow a few rabbit trails on social studies topics in unit studies? Then, it's ok in this stage.

and I agree with this statement Dawn said. It is an important theme running in the heads of most of us who are reading and had already posted ".... depending on your priorities, I wouldn't worry about it. If you are not getting the basics done then I would say that it is time for some change."
exactly: why are you worried about it when they are ages 8 and 6 and staying on track with skills? social studies is the context to learn skills.

Now my words....
At the end of each unit, I'd encourage you to look back and ask it this way: what did you get done today? (don't ask: what failed today on the ADV grid and didn't get done.) Ask What got done? Did that fit with our priorities. What needs to be done tomorrow and where do I need help to get it done?

At the end of each unit - even if you take a rabbit trail, look back and say "did we goof off, or did we get academics done in a relaxed manner" Relaxed attitude does NOT mean you are a slacker on academics. But if you aren't getting academics done, you need to adjust. Last week for us, was an almost goof off all week kind of week. We did a read a thon and took a break from structure of CTG. Played outside and did fun stuff too. Fall break b/c I never took one in October.

In general, I have an approach that works in my family. We're a bit more of the types who like to finish a 34 week curriculum within an academic year. I've been doing MFW since 2003. And praise God, so far, we've been able to complete a manual each year. We've cycled back to ECC and back to CTG. It's a priority to me. But at the same time, I don't think it is a requirement of homeschoolers to HAVE to do 2 cycles of chronological history across both grammar and logic learning stages. But I don't want my kids to be so relaxed that they fall behind in skill level things like language arts and math, and learning to work, get some independent learning skills. This other stuff (social studies, and elementary science and art/music) is the context they learn those skills but not necessarily the "driving force of homeschooling". Your mileage may vary.

So, in order to do that and still have fun and service time and following individual interests, I do this way and hope something might be helpful to you. If it doesn't then ignore it:

We "get done" with lesson plans in the morning and move along. Afternoons -- they can revisit any topic they want to. My middle child still does dinosaur units and she's in 5th grade and we're in CTG again. Oldest child follows her interests. youngest with autism -- well, right now she seems to really like photography. Has a camera in her hands, takes pictures of everything and takes her little yo gabba gabba friends and puts them in the pictures too. But, "School First, then play outside". Both are important. So, she's following interests, but still has to do MFW 1st grade too.

So, we get our lessons done -- some things extend to Fridays even if started on Monday. We keep on keeping on. Then in book basket time, they can still pursue books from a previous topic. (that's what Wendy was saying too). In the afternoons -- they can goof off and still be learning, or goof off and not learning.


all of that to say: When I read the original post that started this thread, I can't help but thinking, You're doing a good job, keep it up. They are in the grammar stage. You're ok. Remember if you stick with MFW long haul, then each child will have to be responsible for staying on track in high school years and will get a full cycle then. So, make sure they are learning to work hard and serve others while loving God. Social studies and science in elementary years don't have to be a slave to chronological history. If getting chronological history cycle done in grades 4-8 is a priority, then adjust how you allow for extending topics and stuff like that.

-crystal

kellybell
Posts: 475
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 2:40 pm

Re: What to do if chronically behind? *long*

Unread post by kellybell » Mon Nov 16, 2009 1:16 pm

Well said Crystal.

Hope I didn't come across as a slacker. Most of our days are ordinary days where we plug through the grid and finish the day. But not all. Today is a different day for us as we had our pet parakeet put down. He had cancer and was not expected to live past May and today was miserable and my dd15 (the bird's owner) came to me and said, "Mom, it's time."

Needless to say, this morning we said goodbye to him and then we all sort of spent time both together and apart working through it, writing letters and emails. We knew it was coming as he's gone downhill for months. But it still stings.

Anyway, we didn't do a lick of school this AM (okay I read Banks of Plum Creek to dd8), but now we're nearly done with lunch and we'll get back with it. I appreciate the flexibility of homeschooling.

Keep pluggin' ahead but don't worry if any particular day doesn't look like the TM. Stay the course and you'll get there despite interruptions, both happy and sad.
Kelly, wife to Jim since 1988, mom to Jamie (a girl, 1994), Mary (1996), Brian (1998) and Stephanie (2001).

Pylegang
Posts: 41
Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:45 pm
Location: Virginia
Contact:

Re: What to do if chronically behind? *long*

Unread post by Pylegang » Mon Nov 16, 2009 1:59 pm

This thread has been a blessing to me. I, myself, am a little behind. Like, you, I don't like to skip anything. I LOVE doing the crafts. I LOVE the reading. But . . . I also love to take advantage of whatever the Lord presents on any given day.

Here are my two cents:
Make yourself a schedule. A plan--knowing that you will not be able to follow 100% of your schedule 100% of the time. None of us can do that. Life happens. But, figure out what is truly important to you. If you are able to follow your priorities most of the time, then you will not look back with regrets.

It sounds like providing a well-rounded education is very important to you; And it sounds like enjoying your children is very important to you, too! Bravo!! How blessed your children are to have a mother who has their best interests in heart. :) Enjoy them! Love them! Learn with them! Homeschooling is hard. It requires lots of work, thought, prayers and . . . BALANCE.

Many moms, including myself, who were educated in a traditional school setting, forget that regular life experiences can be educational, too. Many of us have been "trained to believe" that going to a pond to record all of the wildlife that we see and identify track is not "school". . . but it is! The traditional school methods would remind us that education occurs behind a desk. Not so! That's part of why many of us homeschool.

Young children should master reading, writing, and math. Teach them those things well and read books of all kinds to them, and you'll most likely have your bases covered. One thing that you could try is this: make yourself a blank spreadsheet to record the schooling that you accomplish. Maybe you need to incorporate a row for educational fiedtrips or educational games that you play. Maybe you could record them in the appropriate MFW subject. For example, if you spent 3 extra weeks on dinosaurs, then perhaps you should substitute that for whatever science MFW had scheduled. Your children were still learning science, right? Or maybe you took some extra nature adventures that week. Isn't that science, but up close and personal? I'm not suggesting that you just constantly take bunny trails during your "planned" school day, but occasionally that happens. The MFW is a guide book. It is a tool for you to use. It's okay for you to give yourself the authority to cross something off of the list because you did something else instead. If you don't want to cross things off of the MFW plan, then don't! It's okay to take longer than 34 weeks to finish! Even if you take 40 weeks to complete the curriculum, that's still 12 weeks off during an entire year!

I've made myself a blank spreadsheet, similar to the one in the MFW guide. The days of the week are across the top and the subjects we do are along the left side of the page. I write in the assignments my two boys complete for each subject. We participate in Classical Conversations once each week, which requires MUCH memory work. We don't memorize the MFW Bible verses, but read them and discuss them each day. Sometimes I double up on a subject because we spent more time in history the previous day. This spreadsheet helps me to see and evaluate what we actually accomplish without seeing all of the things we missed.

I want my children to have rich, rigorous education, but I also want them to enjoy a playful carefree childhood. I believe that I can have both. Sometime I say YES YES YES to a sunny day a the park, but sometimes, I say no and decide to have lunch outside on our deck while I read some of our history material. God has ordained you and your husband as the educator of your children. Follow His lead. If you need to be a little more regimented to have peace about the MFW plan you've chosen, then make a few changes . . . or maybe you need to be at peace with all that you're doing for and with your children and be at peace with being a little behind.

Many blessings to you!
--Angela
Homeschooling classically since 2000--DS grade 6 and DS grade 4.


Amy C.
Posts: 202
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:12 am

Re: What to do if chronically behind? *long*

Unread post by Amy C. » Tue Nov 17, 2009 10:00 am

We started Norway (week 12 - I think) of ECC last Wed. We normally try to begin a new unit on Monday but because of sickness we were a couple of days "behind". That is not the first time this year we got off track grid-wise. I have had an outpatient surgery since school started. We have had sickness, and one week we just did math and read Anne of Green Gables just because we were enjoying it so much and wanted to finish it before moving on. We have gotten caught up (sometimes not doing all the suggested extras and sometimes doubling up on a subject or two). I have felt behind at times this year, but as I was thinking about Thanksgiving coming up, I read an article about the Pilgrims coming to America that I plan to read aloud to my children next week (Thanksgiving week). In it is shared about their journey to get here and how in fleeing to Holland, the ship they were on ended up being navigated by a fierce wind to Norway (even though that was not the direction the ship's captain was taking the ship) - I never knew this. Of course, then we know that they ended up in Holland (which is also in the area we are studying).

So I say even though I have felt "behind", I believe we are on God's track and timetable. He knew when we would be studying Norway, and I can see how it is fitting in beautifully with our upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. Just as His providential hand was with those Pilgrims, I see His providential hand in navigating our homeschooling. I was thrilled by how this is all working out when I realized it after reading that article (which was part of a freebie holiday idea download from TOS). Anyway, I just wanted to share that sometimes we can feel behind, but actually we are on the right track with where God wants us to be with our children/homeschool. The Hazells may have written the curriculum to coincide in this way to Thanksgiving with a "normal" school year, but with us in particular, we started school earlier than we normally do in the year and like I said we have been "behind" at times and have done some catching up, but only God could direct our paths to work this out this way. He is truly awesome!

So I say that maybe we feel "behind" at times, but we are actually not behind in the grand (God) scheme of things. Just wanted to share...
Amy C.

kerby
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Jan 21, 2007 10:28 pm

Re: What to do if chronically behind? *long*

Unread post by kerby » Mon Dec 07, 2009 1:50 pm

It sounds like you are doing a great job!

I have been "behind" from the get-go this yr. Financially we had to wait to order materials. I had started doing one thing w/ ds in 6th but it wasn't working like I thought it would, so turned around and ordered ECC upgrade, returning other materials. So, when they came, we tried to get it all going and I couldn't wrap my head around just jumping in. I had to stop to get my materials situated and organized to make it easier. Then, we have had a very warm fall - extremely unseasonable - and I wanted to let them run and play while they could. I did try to keep up w/ Math and reading along w/ some of their English. Not perfectly, but we have kept plugging along. Now, we are trying to get back into it, and we have our first snow. LOL Well, I have to put my foot down and get to the more formal stuff that's involved w/ all of their schooling. If I just had youngers, like my 2 littles (also 6 + 8 in K + 2nd), then I wouldn't be as concerned. It will work out. But, w/ my older ds, I have to be more consistant and really push through.

One thing that will help, along w/ the other things mentioned about priorities and goals, is to look at the grid and see what you really need to do. For example, you could probably skip some of the crafts or activities because you do those things w/ them anyway - even if they do look fun/interesting. You can always do those another time, too. Focus on the 3 R's first and then add in the next subjects, like History and Science. When those are covered, the rest is all frosting or gravy.

I thought I had really failed my dc last yr, especially the older boys, but as it turns out, we/they covered a lot! Between their Scout activities and Merit Badges, what school materials we covered, and the other things we did as a family, we had done quite a bit. Enough so that I was OK w/ the state. (I live in a "red" st and have to be approved.) The biggest thing is I didn't have enough "proof" or physical "evidence" of what we had done/covered so I am making sure that is taken care of this yr. If you have notebooks and take a few pics, that is fine. Anyway, all this to say that you are doing just fine!

One way to keep track of specific things you've covered and have a record for whatever reason, use a grid, like pp suggested. But, rather than writing down what you WILL do, write down what you DID. So, at the end of the day, take a few minutes to reflect on what you did that day. Break it down into subject areas and fill in your blanks. As you go along, you will find that you do a lot of science on your own, so then focus on a few History things. Read through the books that are in the pkg and do an activity or two.

It doesn't have to be much at these ages for them to learn something new. Even if you just do a notebook page after your reading. Keep those book basket books for after your pkg materials are done. The bb is extra, they even tell you that in the TM. Then you can at least feel like you are getting the important stuff done. IOW, modify the grid/program to fit your needs/schedule right now. You can always get back to it later on. Just keep in mind what your future goals are and work towards those as you conitnue the hsing journey.

Also, do you remember completing EVERY book in EVERY subject when you were in school growing up? Did they keep you 'back' just because you didn't? No! So, why are you stressing about that at home - especially for their ages. They are getting a more solid foundation and learning at home one-on-one than anywhere else. As all your dc grow up, you will be able to do things a bit easier and those older dc will be able to do more on their own so will cover more anyway.

Enjoy the ride! Your dc are, and it sounds like you are, too!
In HIS hands,
K

4 Blessings - 2 graduated
K, 1rst, Adv, ECC, CtG, RtR, AHL

cbollin

sick days and more sick days

Unread post by cbollin » Sun Mar 21, 2010 3:06 pm

tiffany wrote:I could use a pep talk. We are just winding up a 3 week sick period. One week would go by, and I would get mentally prepared to get started up again, and then whatever this virus/viruses is would start all over again.

I know you all know about the laundry piling up and the housework, ( you know the housework that barely gets done anyway, but now has totally gone down hill. :~ ) I am a bit discouraged by the quality of our work this year. We have been sick A LOT, and I feel we have cut more corners than I would like. I haven't been able to keep close enough tabs on everyone's individual work. Composition, notebook pages and science have really taken a hit.

We will make up some things over the summer, but we really need some rejuvenation time as well. Plus, we try to do some sports and other things during the summer, that we can't fit in our schedule during the year.

I know some of our scheduling is affected by having a two year old under foot. I can manage him to a point, but he is extemely active. He always requires a "keeper." I just remembered another thing I'll be doing this summer- Potty Training!

I am thankful we don't have any serious health issues, or loss of a job, there are definitely worse things, but I'm having trouble making a "comeback". Just worn out I guess. I just reread this, sounds a bit whiny, but I like to keep it real. No supermom here. ;)
Tiffany,

(((Hugs))) for all you are going through even if it is not "serious" or chronic health issues. it doesn't make your situation any less important to God who loves you. So, I just mean, it's ok to feel like you are feeling and to ask for a Pep Talk even in the daily wear and tear. We all need to be encouraged. And I sometimes think it's the daily wear and tear needs it the most.

When I get feeling like you just described for whatever reason (sick, move, job loss, life, special needs, daily wear and tear, or having a terrible yelling match with my oldest on Wednesday morning.... hey, we threw chairs and balls -- not fists! or whatever else)....

*I list out Why today/this week was a Good week and focus on one or two good things and try to be thankful for those. What did you do that was good? Name one thing with no "but" or "ors".

* I look for any sign of progress. If something had to slip this semester -- what areas of progress were made? (this was a real toughie for me after my move because well, we had to stop speech therapy for months with my youngest. For a while - we couldn't buy for it with no job. Then, in a new city --- where do I go???!?!? So, getting the full eval was not fun... I would have loved much more progress in speech/language development, but instead I was able to look back and say "you know.... she really did well on the trip down here and the transition, and is doing well in her church class." So, look for signs of progress in each child from where they were last year. It's ok even if it is in something that can't be measured in grades or percentages.

*then, I go do something nice for me -- even a nice walk in the sunshine with a bad headache can be nice for 10 minutes to get away and enjoy something. So, do something for your health so you can really enjoy whatever the one or two things that made today a good day. But I take a cue from a veteran teacher and encourager (Joyce Herzog --- look to redeem the day, even if the only way is to call on the Redeemer)


looking forward to others encouragement as well.

-crystal

niki
Posts: 128
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Re: sick days and more sick days

Unread post by niki » Sun Mar 21, 2010 5:53 pm

You're not alone getting behind. I'm sorry you're family is sick and can't shake it! We're in the middle of a move and I started a new job (what great timing huh), but it's the Lord's timing and I'm ok being creative/flexible with school and sometimes that means getting behind. In our transition we're moving into a travel trailer, AHHHH!! Throughout the year we've had SOOOOO many showings. We'd have to clean and then leave...all with our dog in tow!? I'm thankful our house has sold. I'm thankful I have a flexible part-time job and steady income, I'm thankful I have a husband that will help with the load, even if it's a load or more of laundry!

Keep you're eyes on the One in control and then just smile...it'll all catch up! :) Summer vacation will start a little later this year :( but that's ok, we're all learning as we go along and God is transforming our character and revealing plenty of things to pray about and give over to Him...

Sorry, think I got on my own soap box for a minute.

((Hugs)) keep pressing along and stand firm (He will hold you up!) I know because He's carrying me through this time too!

Niki
Niki

Strong Tower Academy
EX1850
DD 6th DS 5th DD 3rd

doubleportion
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Re: sick days and more sick days

Unread post by doubleportion » Mon Mar 22, 2010 1:53 pm

I can so relate. This year has been months of doctors appointments, sickness, etc. I have finally gotten stronger after coming down with something that the kids all had. I just started catching up on that house work and laundry today that you are talking about. (((((hugs))))).

I try and think of the big picture. Our goal is to raise up children who love God and who will go out and share the hope of Jesus with a dying world. If we don't get spelling done for the day... or week, what eternal impact will that really have in the end? But if I can walk in God's peace in the midst of challenging circumstances, show my children how to hold on to Jesus in the hard times, and pray our way through, then isn't that the lessons I really want them to be learning?

It was so freeing to me to accept that I didn't have to be on a schedule that coincided with the public schools. We could stop when we needed a break and work on through when we were ready again. You'll be amazed at how you fly through somethings one day and creep through school another day. But I know my child WON'T be 20 years old when she finishes school. It will all pan out in the end.

Just know you are not alone and that He who gave you your children will give you what you need to complete the work that He has given you!

:)
Edie

Julie in MN
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Location: Minnesota

Re: sick days and more sick days

Unread post by Julie in MN » Mon Mar 22, 2010 4:35 pm

Hi Tiffany,
Hugs from me, too. I'm sure we all get discouraged at times like you're experiencing.

One thought I have is that I'd rather do less and do it well, vs. skimming over everything just to "get it done." If your students just read books for a while or learn how to take care of a sick family, that is still learning and probably learning well. It's can be the right thing sometimes.

Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

Pylegang
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Re: sick days and more sick days

Unread post by Pylegang » Wed Mar 24, 2010 7:58 am

You're a super mom for taking care of your faimily, your home and homeschooling, too! Many hugs to you!

Life brings us curve balls and then things don't go the way we'd planned. It sounds like you've taken a fair amount of time looking back (with some regrets). All that you can do is look forward to accomplish great things during these next few weeks. Remember . . . accomplishing great things doesn't necessarily mean that you get through xyz books and do 100% of a program. More often than not, it is the quality of things that truly matters. Take a little time to re-order/re-prioritize things for when everyone is healthy and then go from there.

So often we mothers judge ourselves on the things that "get done", such as laundry, a clean home, etc. We (and others) can easily see the fruits of our labor when we have a clean home and a hot dinner on the table. You've been busy caring for a sick family. That takes a lot out of a person, so give yourself a break! :)

Healthy, happy wishes to you!

Blessings,
Angela
--Angela
Homeschooling classically since 2000--DS grade 6 and DS grade 4.


tiffany
Posts: 160
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Re: sick days and more sick days

Unread post by tiffany » Thu Mar 25, 2010 8:56 am

Thanks ladies for the words of encouragement. The kids seem to be improving, but I have bronchitis now with a fever that I can't keep below 100, so I am still pretty miserable. I'm in bed now. The kids have the cell phone, so I can call them downstairs if I need something. So they are taking care of each other and me today.

Looks like I'm going to miss the Apache conference tomorrow. I'm still hoping I can rally around to go on Saturday. Hate to miss it. It is super encouraging, and I will miss the MFW table if I can't go. I hope Tim at least feels well enough to take the oldest two tomorrow.
Tiffany
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

Julie in MN
Posts: 2925
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Need encouragment

Unread post by Julie in MN » Wed Mar 31, 2010 5:45 pm

Sheena IA wrote:I love MFW and we are doing Creation to the Greeks this year. My problem seems to be time management, we are only in week 11, but have done about 100 days of school. So half the time we are not working on our main curriculum but just doing the three R's. I have three girls ages 11, 10 and 7. I'm wondering if any of you can give me some tips to get more done. I'm frustrated with myself for being so behind this year, we also got behind last year and I really didn't want to be in this place again. I work part time, but not so much during the week. My girls fight a lot too, so I wonder if all the time I'm taking to discipline them is wearnig me out and so I cut our days short. Anyway, I'm mostly just venting. We will probably be doing Creation to the Greeks through the summer just so we can start fresh with Rome to Reformation. Thanks for listening :)
Sheena,
<<hugs>> we've all felt your pain. But three girls? It's gotta be tough sometimes.

I try to have "school hours." I probably post that way too much here, but it really does save my sanity. We do certain things in the morning (Bible, any together time on language arts & math, etc.). If those things aren't "finished" in the morning, then we continue the next morning -- NOT in the afternoon.

Some of those things just need to progress from day to day. There are no laws written in the sky that say exactly what that progress needs to look like. Progress on some days might be a math game and an involved discussion about what a certain word really means, with writing done later during history class. Maybe it doesn't worry me because I've had kids in public school and I know full well how little can get done in a day. I feel quite confident that my son is learning a lot at home, and it wasn't until 7th or even 8th grade that I felt a certain "textbook amount" needed to be completed in a school year.

But it helps both of our attitudes if we know that certain things are done at certain times. School ends at our house at 2:30, especially for the "teacher"! If my son dawdled a lot, he may have some math problems or a chapter to read after 2:30. Once or twice, he even had <gasp> to do science until 3:30! But those are completely independent of me. I have commitments after 2:30 such as picking up my husband or going to work -- just like those public school teachers who have to leave! I think knowing that helps me endure the days when mornings are stressful :( If I do need to help him out with his "homework," it's usually late in the evening under more relaxed circumstances.

Is there a way that you can allow yourself to be done with school during certain hours of the day? You need to take care of yourself, too. Blessings,
Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

TriciaMR
Posts: 998
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Re: Need encouragment

Unread post by TriciaMR » Wed Mar 31, 2010 6:19 pm

Sheena,

{hugs} from me, too.

Some things that have helped me in the past...

1. A stopwatch, to time how long it is really taking us, vs. the ideal schedule in the book. (The schedule in the book sometimes alloted 20-30 minutes for science, when it often takes us 45 minutes to an hour. This helps me adjust my expectations for what is realistic for *my* family.)

2. A timer - set it, and when it goes off, we are done with that topic for the day. Any work not done, they have to do during "free" time or the next day or we save for light and independent Friday. I based the timer on what I discovered in 1.

3. Have the kids memorize verses like Ephesians 4:29 ("Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ, God forgave you.") And then ask, "Are you guys living Ephesians 4:29? Is there any kindness here?" You might want to look at a book called "Say Goodbye to Whining and Complaining in You and Your Kids." It talks about honoring each other.

4. I like Julie's idea of setting school hours - no TV, no video games, no phone, no computer (unless it's math drill with a 15 minute timer).

5. Separate the kids. I know, you want to teach them together. But perhaps, if you can pinpoint the time or subject when most of the fighting occurs, you teach that subject separately.

What are they fighting about? My boys (5 yo twins) fight over stuff that "doesn't matter." My dh and I have really had to work with them on this.

-Trish
Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
2016-2017 - EXP1850, US1877
2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
2018-2019 - College, AHL
My blog

Sheena IA
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2008 3:38 pm

Re: Need encouragment

Unread post by Sheena IA » Thu Apr 01, 2010 7:58 am

Thank you so much :) They fight about things like when one is trying to recite the memory verse and the other sister steps in to help her remember, esp. the youngest one, she gets offended very easy and wants to be so much like her older sisters. They get upset if they think one of the other sisters is looking at them in a "bad" way.

I like the idea of reciting the verse about kindness. I'm also going to try the stopwatch idea, so we are not spending so much time on one subject and then I'm so worn out by the time we have lunch. I think I do get worn out from the time it takes to discipline them. They started out so well at the beginning of the year. We have learned so much this year and its amazing how much Bible we've read. Thanks so much for the help and encouragement, your ((HUGS)) made me smile this morning :)
Sheena Mom to Sabrina-10, Sara-9, Ashlyn-7
Creation to Greeks

John 10:10

TriciaMR
Posts: 998
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Re: Need encouragment

Unread post by TriciaMR » Thu Apr 01, 2010 9:44 am

Well, then I would do the memory verse time separately. You know, go to the laundry room, and while you're throwing in that load, or shifting from washer to dryer, have them come in one at a time and say the verse.

Or, give practice on being "honoring" to one another.

"You know, we're going to work on honoring each other, especially during memory verse time since this seems to be a big problem for you. To honor someone means to treat them as special. So, today, {youngest} is going to go first. You older two are not to help or say anything while she is reciting. You are going to honor her by letting her try all by herself. And then when she is done you are going to say one nice thing about the way she said the verse. If you do interrupt or help her, you will have to {some extra hard chore or write a nice paragraph about the one they interrupted or something}."

"Now, {middle child} will have her turn. Again, no one else may say anything or help while she is doing her verse. When she is done, you are going to say one nice thing about the way she said the verse."

Repeat for oldest.

Again, anytime someone looks at someone in a bad way, talk about honoring - treating each other as special. I think at first you have to really point this out a lot.

A fun thing from Say Goodbye to Whining and Complaining in You and Your Kids is to play a game. Mom/Dad give examples of honoring and dishonoring things, including the way they are said. The kids make a "buzzer" sound for dishonoring things, and say "Yeah" or clap or something for honoring things. So, you might say, "Your shirt is ugly!" or "Wow, you really picked a nice outfit." or "Are we there yet?" (really whine with that one). Anyway, choose things you've heard them say that so they can hear it and study it outside of the heat of the situation.

-Trish
Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
2016-2017 - EXP1850, US1877
2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
2018-2019 - College, AHL
My blog

terick89
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:09 pm

Need advice on what to do....we are so behind

Unread post by terick89 » Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:33 pm

amelasky wrote:I really need some advice on what to do. We had a rough school year beginning at Thanksgiving do to serious health issues that I developed. After missing what totaled to about 7 weeks of school due to dr appointments and medical tests, we are just flat out behind. We have continued to try and get at least two days a week of school in this summer, but between swim lessons, company, guitar lessons, piano lessons, art class, sewing class, etc.... I just don't see how we can even be close to finishing before September. We just have too many weeks to make up.

I guess my question is two fold. 1.) please tell me that we aren't the only ones to ever be in this situation.
2.) what did you do? What advice can you offer? I don't want to skip the end of CtG. We are loving it and I feel it's too important to miss. So, should we just keep working until we finish and then just begin RtR once we complete it? My only concern is that we will stay behind and then will be in the same situation next summer.

Please help! Please pray that God will give me wisdom and that we will be super motivated and able to get as much accomplished as possible in the time that we have.
Hi Annie,

I'm just going to encourage you to "keep on keeping on." I had a lot of rough and challenging moments this (our first) year of homeschooling, but I am so glad I didn't give up and that we completed CtG. Of course it helped that I had a friend on the same year with us and we did a few things together (field trips, a Passover meal, and a Greek dinner to end our year). There are some great things in the last few weeks of CtG: Jonah, Jeremiah, Daniel's adventures, one of my favorites - Esther, Nehemiah and the rebuilding of Jerusalem's walls, finishing Children's Homer (which IS tough, but I'm glad I can say we finished reading it), the rest of the vocab. words, Alexander the Great, more Greek culture, Archimedes (which was a little dry at times, but kind of interesting at the same time), and eating Greek food for a culmination. I think two days a week for the summer is pretty good. I'm not up to doing anything right now, so my hats off to you for doing those days. I think you'll be able to complete it in no time.

Remember in traditional school those teachers rarely finish the textbooks anyway. Since finishing CtG I feel more ready for Rome to the Reformation, but not yet until we have a nice long break! :-) We're in the L.A. area so we were able to go to the Getty Villa in Malibu and see a lot of Greek art. That really cemented our year as well!

So hang in there and persevere. You can do it!
Teri
DD, DS, DS - all 11 - CtG 2010-2011
Teri
DD, 13
DS, 13
DS, 13
CtG 2010-11, RtR 2011-12, Exp. to 1850 2012-13

Wendy B.
Posts: 127
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 6:27 pm

Re: Need advice on what to do....we are so behind

Unread post by Wendy B. » Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:01 pm

My first thought is to complete CtG then start RtR but a couple of questions....

If you continue on and start RtR when you finish CtG would your oldest child still be able to complete the whole cycle before starting highschool?
Are you under any requirement to start a new year with the traditional school schedule? (such as a state requirement or umbrella school requirement)
Do you continue that level of outside committments during the traditional school year or just during the summer that you have so many outside classes?

I think those answers will help you determine what is the correct answer for your family.
amelasky wrote:The swim lessons, sewing lessons and the art classes are summer only activities. The piano and guitar lessons are year around. We live in Texas, therefore we do not have specific regulations. Also, our daughter will be able to complete the cycle before HS. She will actually get to repeat ECC a second time.
No you aren't the only one who has found them in this situation. We finished ADV in March and started ECC. In May we decided to start our summer schedule since we were so ahead (whatever that really means :) ) and my oldest son was coming for a visit. We were off two weeks of May for his visit then the illnesses started. Several ER/Urgent cares visits and extended illnesses later, we have only done about 1 week of school since May 1st. Not what I had planned! I had planned to start back this week, but company surprised us for a week long visit. We aren't obligated to follow a particular calendar, my oldest will still finish the cycle if we do not make up for the weeks we lost, and we don't have a lot of outside commitments to interfere with school so we will just start where we left off. I try not to view it as being "behind"; we just aren't where I thought we would be at this point.

FWIW, this is the very reason I like to be ahead and don't wait until Aug/Sept to start a new year. These little glitches occur from time to time and it is nice to have a little leeway during the school year.

HTH
Wendy B.
Graduated ds '08 & dd '09
Homeschooling ds 11 & dd 8 using RtR
completed: MFW 1, ADV, ECC & CtG.

jasntas
Posts: 469
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2009 6:10 pm

Re: Need advice on what to do....we are so behind

Unread post by jasntas » Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:42 pm

I have not (yet) been in this situation but I know when we are a little pushed for time such as a 3 day week instead of 5 or whatever, I will skip, pick and choose. In other words sometimes I may skip a craft or science project or whatever. I'm a bit of a schedule keeper so I like to stay on track if possible. I know this is not always possible as in your situation, but maybe you could assign light LA and math and then pick and choose what you really want to do to finish CTG. Maybe that would lighten the load a bit. Just thinking out loud. HTH
Tammie - Wife to James for 27 years
Mom to Justin (15) and Carissa (12)
ADV & K 2009-2010 . . . RTR (again) & WHL 2016-2017
http://tammiestime.blogspot.com/
The days of a mother are long but the years are short.

Julie in MN
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Need advice on what to do....we are so behind

Unread post by Julie in MN » Mon Jul 04, 2011 3:08 pm

Hi Annie,
<hugs> and prayers.

It sounds to me like you need to make a list and then put the list in order of priority. You can't do everything. You can't recover, have company, go to every fun event and lesson, add-add-add, and still finish all of school in a year. So many good things... so little time.

Realize you can't do everything. None of us can do everything. Find God's peace with that. That's my prayer for you. And then dig in and decide what you will accomplish. I think doing fewer things and doing them well (**including recovering well**) creates good learning and good memories and good health.

Julie :)
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

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