Encouragement - When stressed, discouraged

Art, Foreign Language, Music, Nature Walks, as well as general ideas and encouragement
machelmay
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2006 10:56 pm

Re: Just looking for positive encouragement

Unread post by machelmay » Tue Aug 17, 2010 10:43 am

Thank you once again for the responses. Thankfully, I don't have to worry about drivers ed. at this point in time, but I really like your suggestion.
All of your advice has been helpful. Crystal, thank you for the offer and I love Tennessee. I am In MI now trying to get used to humidity again. We were in CA for 3 yrs and LA before that!
I agree, I think hormones are part to blame and having less energy. I'm sure once everything settles I will be able to balance my schedule and all will be just fine (smile).

Thanks,
Machel

wisdomschool
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri Aug 24, 2007 4:16 pm

Re: Just looking for positive encouragement

Unread post by wisdomschool » Tue Aug 17, 2010 5:04 pm

Hi Machel,

I just want to chime in on the "you are not alone" part :) We are currently in the processes of selling our home and moving. We are starting our 5th year with MFW and my children are: 4th grade, 2nd grade, 1st grade, 4 year old boy( active and busy, busy ,busy,busy and did I say busy!!!!) 1 year old boy(just mastered walking.....) and I'm due early October with another boy!

I love homeschooling and really cannot imagine doing anything else(I was homeschooled my self 1st-12th grades, and always knew I wanted to homeschool--my husband is all for homeschooling as well:)

However, I have no idea how I'm going to do it all!!! Moving, settling in, new routines, rules and chores(because of the added space!!!) adjusting to life with a new baby, schooling three plus two very active little boys(and cooking, cleaning, nursing, changing diapers etc.....)but I have learned it is sometimes better to just wait and see and adjust when it comes, not to stress/worry/plan too much in advance(I learned this with my last baby as nothing went as "I" though it should, but we are all just fine, and really probably better for it:)

You are not alone, and you can do it("I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me") Ask Him what He wants you to do, each day(maybe even each hour:)

Blessings,
Debbie
Momma & Teacher to my super seven:

Kanen-6th
Abia-4th
Charis-3rd
Tobias-1st
Elijah-3 y.o.
Micah-2 y.o.
Eden-3 mo.

Mexmarr
Posts: 57
Joined: Sun Jul 25, 2010 2:26 pm
Contact:

So FRUSTRATED

Unread post by Mexmarr » Wed Mar 16, 2011 8:34 am

ChristyH wrote:I am sooo frustrated with my children. I have twin boys age 10 and daughter age 13.

My daughter has averaged c-d level work on her first four modules in General Science. We went through some study skills and she basically blew me off. Unless it is something social she will dawdle her way through it. DD even admited to not really applying herself.She wants to go to college but I am beginning to think it won't happen. I feel like a failure.

My boys are constantly like the three stooges. Everything is a joke and nothing is respected or serious to them. They seem to only respond when I show anger and I have really been keeping it under control. No one wants to put forth any effort. I feel like we have let them have too much fun. We are actually pretty firm. No tv or video games generally during the week and their behavior loses them video games often. They complain about everything.

Is this a stage? I feel clueless and I have prayed and submitted this to the Lord. My husband worries about their behavior as well. I can't type more because I am going to cry. ADvice please.
I would recommend coming up with a system that ties privileges to their school performance. I was homeschooled and my dad required 90% as minimum passing grade, and nothing less was acceptable. I did not get "in trouble" if I didn't make that, but I did receive extra work, and then had to repeat the tests. If I failed again, I received even more extra work on the topic and repeated again. It was not considered a punishment, simply a tool to give me what I needed to help me learn what I needed to know. I learned very quickly to study hard the first time around! This set-up was started when I was 13, by the way.

While I am not recommend 90% as a minimum, I do not resent that at all. In fact, I believe that they did me a great service! And it has benefited me significantly the rest of my life! THose rules helped me develop a good work ethic as well as the self discipline to do what I do well.

On the flip side, there were also privileges set up for doing well, and finishing everything in a timely manner. During some seasons, the rewards were set up for daily work, they later switched to weekly, and the last 2 years, they were monthly. The requirements varied, too. But the general idea was that my parents listed out what was expected, for which we earned nothing. Then they gave a point system for anything extra we did, plus for extra Bible memory. At the end of the time frame determined, we received the "bonus points" that we earned.

The way of choice to redeem the points was to earn a trip to get ice cream alone with my dad. Those were good memories! He used that time to sit and visit with us. Also, he gave a money value to the points and we were able to save up to purchase something that had to be preapproved. I spent several months working as hard as i could to earn a pack of prisma color pencils, I remember!

So, there was no nagging needed. I knew what I had to do, and it was in my better interest to do it. Any results were already known by me and i knew that it would be my own fault. Oh, I forgot to mention that if we did not complete the minimum work required, we lost social time, and had to spend that time studying. Again, that was a natural consequence, and it rarely happened. We had a specific event every Saturday, and we were determined to do what we needed during the week to not lose that. I think I only lost it once.

I am not saying that you should follow this exactly, but I do hope that sharing my story will give you some ideas of what could work for you and your family.
Misty, Wife to a wonderful man! Mother to:
Rosy age 8 - 3rd grade, ECC
Gracie age 7- K and ECC orally (legally blind, Aspergers)
Lizzie age 4 1/2 - waiting to start K!
Andy age 3
Rebekah age 2
Ruthie born March 31st

Completed 1st and Adventures

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

Re: So FRUSTRATED

Unread post by Julie in MN » Wed Mar 16, 2011 9:56 am

Christy,
It's such a treasure to hear from a real live homeschooled & homeschooling adult! Okay, first I am going to say that I agree 100% with Misty, and I tell my kids that the standards in our house are high.

But second, I should tell you that I'm teaching my youngest, after having two older kids who covered the whole range -- from a ds who is an engineer to a dd who didn't graduate. I know what the possible results out there are :)

So, since you seem to have the first part down (setting high standards and holding them accountable) I'm just going to chat a bit about the second part (allowing for children who cover the whole range). You have 3 kids, and they are all going to be different. That's hard, because they're all going to want you to give them the same work and expect the same amount of results *this year*. But I think the most benefit towards their lifelong skills will come from helping them realize their individual needs. Maybe one really is a good researcher and needs to go off on his own to do a more individualized report on what he learned. Maybe another is very oral and needs to talk things thru in order to get them in his brain, so he can stand up and give a more thorough report (have him take notes during the reading & keep those, or take a photo for his notebook). My dd was very artistic and her history notebook pages were full of hand-drawn maps and calligraphy quotes and such. And doing their work in individual ways could help you to expect more of the older one or whichever one you think is not working up to his potential. I don't know if any of this is helpful to you, but I was just thinking that the kids might apply themselves better if they were doing things in their own way (artistically, verbally, independently, etc.), and because you have them all together at once, it may be harder to figure that out?

A few more random responses to your questions:

- Some kids do General Science in 8th grade, or spread it over 1.5 years from 7th to early 8th. It is a big leap for kids. I was fortunate to have the time to do a couple modules right beside my ds and I found it difficult to catch all the points. My ds did like the audio version (it's only $15) and the 2nd edition study guides seemed helpful. I don't know, Science textbooks have not been a hill I would die over.

- Effort towards writing good summaries, though, is a hill I chose to die over :) My ds tends to be lackadaisical on how accurate his summaries are, how formal they are, etc. They were very fun as a kid, but around 6th-8th I started requiring "more" and that might be after school. So we each choose a hill, but maybe don't choose every hill, maybe focus on a couple major things to accomplish in 7th, and the rest in 8th.

- Boys & energy = run around the house, do some chin-ups or push-ups or jumping-jax, every-other-activity might need to have some action? Maybe if you add this and try to push them to be silly only during one class of the day, they'd be able to focus the rest of the time? How about Tuesdays doing narration by acting, letting them ham it up. Or watching goofy videos at lunch, such as Drive Thru History? An outlet for their goofiness and then on to the harder work?

- When I start feeling like I'm failing, it always encourages me to remember God raising Adam & Eve. Even with His perfect effort, Adam & Eve still sinned. Therefore, I don't need to hold myself accountable to have results better than God's. My children will sin. As my children head towards independence, my continual efforts are spent towards helping them see their temptations and fight them, more and more successfully each time.


Hope something in there resonates with you. Best wishes as you forge ahead into battle another day. <hugs> and prayers,
Julie
Last edited by Julie in MN on Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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

Mexmarr
Posts: 57
Joined: Sun Jul 25, 2010 2:26 pm
Contact:

Re: So FRUSTRATED

Unread post by Mexmarr » Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:18 am

Julie has some excellent thoughts. I wanted to add that my parents did NOT require the same things from me and my siblings. They made very individualized plans for us. We each knew what was expected from us, and we knew that it was different from the others. Sure, there were times that the work loads weren't "fair." But that is life. Life isn't fair. Besides, we also knew that they were choosing what met our needs, and yes, preferences to some degree.

Well, they did require the same level of quality to our work, just different subjects or different presentations, if that makes sense.
Misty, Wife to a wonderful man! Mother to:
Rosy age 8 - 3rd grade, ECC
Gracie age 7- K and ECC orally (legally blind, Aspergers)
Lizzie age 4 1/2 - waiting to start K!
Andy age 3
Rebekah age 2
Ruthie born March 31st

Completed 1st and Adventures

HSmommi2mine
Posts: 159
Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2006 5:59 pm

Re: So FRUSTRATED

Unread post by HSmommi2mine » Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:46 pm

I have found that a reward system is good for younger kids but the older the kids get the more the system needs to skew toward loss of privileges, instead of earning rewards.

We had to really think about what each child's "currency" is.

My 5 yo still responds to stickers and little prizes.

My 9 yo favorite things are her CD player, CD's, the basket of books she keeps on her bed, and her stuffed animals. Earning a reward isn't such a big deal to her. She says it is, but in reality it isn't nearly as motivating as the idea of losing these things that she values. We have shifted our methods will her and let her know that the CD player and books and stuffed animals are privileges and they will be removed for disobedience and a bad attitude.

My oldest is generally compliant but he will be quietly angry and do a poor job on his chores. Generally these things improve when I pul out of him what is wrong and then validate his feelings and do what I can to help him. There have been occasions though when we got creative. It is easy enough to take away his video games and activities with friends but once when he was found to have been untruthful about his school work over a period of time he was required to write a report about Berrnie Madolf. Teens keep you on your toes!


Find their currency. Use what they value to your advantage.

One more thing that might not seem related, but for me it was. When I get depressed, I get angry. I am less tolerant of my children being children and life is just not good. The most recent time I went to the dr. and she ran blood tests. I was anemic and my vit. D levels were about 35 points low, that's really low! Also, once I started paying attention to my body I realized that I was doing all sorts of things just to keep myself awake all day. I took two naps a day for about 2 weeks before my body got enough iron and vit. D and rest to get back on a normal sleep pattern. Especially if you live in an area will little winter sun, it's worth getting some blood work done.

You can't take care of your family if you don't take care of yourself.

One note about your oldest's science. My son really struggled with that too. What I realized is that even though he is a quiet kid, not the out-going chatty one, he needed to talk about the material. If he was taking it in a classroom there would be discussion and lecture, study groups and an enthusiastic teacher. He wasn't getting any of that interaction from just reading the text. I really struggle with this. I am great with a classroom but I can't seem to lead a discussion and be dynamic when I only have one student. I did try though and even when I just went over the oyo questions and the SG with him he did much, much better.

I had to remember that he was just learning how to study for the first time and it was a skill that took practice.

Is there anyone else in the area doing the same book? Could they get together once a week to talk about the reading and do an experiment or two?
~Christina

Wife to my favorite guy
Mom to 3 great kids

Jamie
Posts: 22
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2008 10:04 am
Location: Montana

Re: So FRUSTRATED

Unread post by Jamie » Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:30 pm

I'm looking forward to gleaning some ideas from this post. Thanks, ladies!!

Behavior/Attitude wise ~ It seems like each day has new challenges around here, so we're still doing lots of learning.

Academic wise ~ I wrote a post a while back on the lack of neatness on our schoolwork, and a lot of the gals encouraged me to have my kiddos do their work over if it wasn't neat enough. I've had to do it with my 9 yo daughter already, but I tried to do it in a real encouraging manner, and I was pleased with her do-over (her handwriting was a lot neater). We also do a little reward system around here (granted, my oldest is 11) where they earn a sticker for a 100% (math, etc.)/job well done in handwriting book etc. (individual charts). For the first couple of charts, once they had it filled (20 stickers), they earned an ice cream cone ($1.50) at the local coffee shop. Lots of times, only one of them would be getting a cone/coffee ;) , as they each fill up their charts at their own pace. We have now "stepped it up" a little, and added some interest into the charts....Each chart is worth $1.50, until 3 charts (then they each become worth $2.00), then when there are 5 charts ($3.00/chart). That way, they can save, learn to wait, and see the benefits. My oldest currently has 5 charts, the next two have 4,....... They can either choose cash or a gift card to their favorite place. :) I can't say that this has solved all of our bookwork problems, but it has helped make their hard work a bit more fun & "rewarding."

Just a quick thought for your daughter's academics.....Last week, I read an article on topic mastery. The basis of the article was that the student only moves forward once the topic has been mastered. I've been pondering this (especially since I get easily behind on correcting), and am trying to implement that into our studies. The only tests we do around here are Spelling, thus far, so in our day to day work.....what it may look like for us.....we won't move forward in our math until the current lesson has been corrected and understood. We'll be working on that. :~ Would it be too much for your daughter to go through that section again in her Science?

I will stop there, as I feel like I'm on a constant learning curve myself. I look forward to hearing some more responses and learning from all of you out there. :)
Jamie
Married to my sweetie for 16.5 years
14 ds, 12 dd, 10 dd, 7 ds, 4 ds, 1.5 dd
MFW K, ECC, CtG, RtR, Ex to 1850, & 14 yo currently in 1850 to Modern

u8mycrayons
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jul 08, 2010 9:09 pm

Re: So FRUSTRATED

Unread post by u8mycrayons » Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:34 pm

Hi, Christy,
I just wanted to pop in and let you know that you are not alone. I have 4 children : 17ds, 16dd and also have twin 9yr old boys. The twins are fraternal; their personalities differ as much as their looks. I have some of the same issues you are having. I know that boys tend to be goofy and some days it is almost too much for me.

I will be praying for your family. I have to keep reminding myself that we are a 'first generation' Christian family as well as 'first generation' homeschoolers. Life was very different for my hubby and me growing up. Talk about not knowing how to be parent. I am so thankful that we have God in our lives bc things could be a lot worse.

Please no one on here take offense by what I am getting ready to write, but sometimes when I get on here, I feel very alone. The issues I have with my children seem to be much more than the average academic dilemma. I have seen God's love and compassion pour out of these pages, but this is the first time I have come across someone that I could say I really identify with. Thanks for 'listening' !
Laurie

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

Re: So FRUSTRATED

Unread post by jasntas » Tue Mar 22, 2011 12:42 am

u8mycrayons wrote:Please no one on here take offense by what I am getting ready to write, but sometimes when I get on here, I feel very alone. The issues I have with my children seem to be much more than the average academic dilemma. I have seen God's love and compassion pour out of these pages, but this is the first time I have come across someone that I could say I really identify with. Thanks for 'listening' !
Laurie
I understand feeling alone here. There are some wonderful ladies of whom give great advice here but not many go through the same things my family is experiencing.

For instance, I have to modify our curriculum so much for my dyslexic ds that it tends to look very different than the way MFW was written. That makes it difficult to give advice or even seek advice due to the sometimes extreme modifications we make that others don't need to make.

It appears that my dd seems to be following the same dyslexic patterns. On top of that she is extremely strong willed. When we begin to relax and be a bit easier on her she takes advantage of it and we seem to have to start all over again.

There is another mom or two on here that has gone through a lot of the same things our family is experiencing with dyslexia and it does help to 'know' someone else struggling with some of the same issues.

Anyway, I'm not sure why I'm posting other than to say you are not entirely alone even though it may feel that way at times. Each family IS unique so each of us deal with different issues and sometimes at different times and stages of our lives.

I think spending 24/7 with our dc brings in a whole new set of issues. I think there should be a support group just for all of those issues.

It's late. I'd better go get some rest so I'm ready to take on my youngest and her constant "life's too hard" issues in the morning. (And she's only 7. I am not looking forward to the teens with this one).

Take care.
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.

TriciaMR
Posts: 998
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:43 am

Re: So FRUSTRATED

Unread post by TriciaMR » Wed Mar 23, 2011 9:24 am

Christi,

I have twin boys who are 6.5. Silliness seems a common problem between them. I have another friend who has twin boys just a bit older, and she too has to separate them for teaching, or they are constantly comparing, joking, etc.

I finally had to start teaching mine totally separately for everything. The thing is, they love being together, so now they behave and I can teach them together (I only do science and Bible and "number of the day" together - reading and math are done totally separately) because they don't like to be separated. (In fact, that's one of the things my husband does - if they start acting foolish, he immediately separates them: one in the living room, one up in their room and they sit and do NOTHING.)

It is kind of interesting... My daughter is 10 and is in a dance class. It's a bunch of girls between 9 and 12. You get the same kind of silliness from them (and this is WORSHIP dance). They take everything "literally" (think Amelia Bedelia), tease the teacher, etc. I'm always amazed that she never snaps back or becomes (as my husband will occasionally refer to me) "military mom." She just keeps going like they didn't say anything, or she rephrases it so it can't be taken so literally. I always think she has the patience of a saint. Then I remember, I'm a saint, too - anyone in Christ is a saint.

Just make sure you and your husband present a united front. Make sure they are 100% clear on the expectations and have consequences for not meeting them and rewards for meeting them. For dinner, I agree with Julie - they can pick and choose what they put on their plate, but if they don't eat at least on bite of everything, then no desert. But, I would also start including them in meal prep. I know, it makes it take twice a long, but if they're helping they might actually eat it. My daughter was really picky until I started letting her help. Then she started nibbling on stuff and realized how tasty it was. Now she's a great eater.

-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

asheslawson
Posts: 213
Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2010 1:37 am
Contact:

Re: So FRUSTRATED

Unread post by asheslawson » Wed Mar 30, 2011 11:21 pm

All I can say is THANK YOU for such candor. I love reading the posts here for ideas, but sometimes I feel like homeschool goes so smoothly when I read how much others accomplish. I, like u8mycrayons, am a first generation homeschooler, from a family that never took me to church. It was my stepgrandfather - who never had a child of his own - who finally put his foot down when I was 11 & said he was taking my brother & I to church. He died 9 days after my 13th birthday, in my arms. But his faith had grabbed my attention. I accepted Christ 3 months later. My walk has been fraught with difficulties - many of which I created for myself. I feel VERY alone raising my children since everyone in my church has loving families to fall back on. We don't even have anyone to leave our children with if we wanted to - though trusting someone else with my kids is difficult due to our pasts.

Somehow - through it all - God NEVER let me go. He has led me to homeschooling & despite the days that my children don't seem to be 'model kids'...I know this is right. We read in Matthew 15 yesterday about clean & unclean...we talked about how what comes from the mouth is what reveals more about us than almost anything. I am praying for my children - I am struggling with my 10 year old, who struggles with the new materials as MFW is VERY different from the thousands of menial worksheets he was used to in public school. I have had to really learn how to help him through learning in a different format. It is paying off - but everyday is new & I don't know when he will have a meltdown. It breaks my heart. Not to mention - my dd gets VERY creative while my attention is focused on him. Today - I'm not sure what she was going for - but she blended shortening, pepper, loose tea leaves, and salt just to see what it would look like. I never know what she will do while I coax my ds through an assignment! Heehee!

Thanks again to everyone who posts on this site. I gain so many great ideas - and tonight - I was able to connect with others who were honest about the rough days.
"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him" Colossians 2:6
dd-28, ds-25, ds-24, ds-22, ds-14, dd-10, student 13, granddaughter 3
MFW K, 1st, ECC, CTG, RTR, EX1850, 1850-MOD
http://texashomeschooler.blogspot.com/

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

Re: So FRUSTRATED

Unread post by jasntas » Thu Mar 31, 2011 12:03 am

When you see everyone's successes, remember that it's a compilation of many different families' good days. Also each family has its strong areas. I tend to be more the crafty type yet fail in teaching formal art and I don't think my dc will ever be ready for a foreign language. But for others, those areas may be their strong suit. Some people seem to have angelic kids. Mine are not no matter how much I try to make them that way. None of us accomplish everything and all of our dc misbehave and go through stages.

As I previously posted, my dd is very strong willed, yet we actually received a compliment from an older couple on her and her brother's good behavior in a nice restaurant not long ago. This occurred after I posted on this thread about her bad behavior. I was just about at my breaking point with her when this happened. (My dh told me that God knows what we need and when. Yes, I cried right there in the restaurant.) She has been getting better but there are still bad days.

As I recently added to my siggy line: The days of a mother are long but the years are short. We do what we can and let God do the rest.

Hang in there and do what you feel God has called you to do.
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.

SonShineJewel
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 6:41 pm

Re: So FRUSTRATED

Unread post by SonShineJewel » Thu Mar 31, 2011 7:49 am

Just want to say: I get Overly Frustrated with at least one of my children Almost EVERY Day! But, I wrote this on my facebook last week to help me remember:


Some people say:
"I could never home school. I'm not organized enough. I'm not disciplined enough. My children wouldn't listen to me."
Then, I say:
"I Home School. I'm Not organized enough. I'm Not disciplined enough. My children Don't always listen to me."
Well, The Bible says:
"With God's Power working in us, GOD Can Do Much, much more than anything we can ask or imagine." (-Ephesians 3:20 NCV)
#LOVE God! ♥

My favourite part of that: "GOD Can Do Much!!"
My husband is A LOT better at "handling" their foolishness. The boys play off each other. He separates them too. But, it's difficult in our small house & all three boys now share a room (to save our house from destruction). ;)
SonShineJewel
ds8 (3rd)
ds6 (K)
& ds6 (K)
**mfwA-Z & mfwADV**

asheslawson
Posts: 213
Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2010 1:37 am
Contact:

Re: So FRUSTRATED

Unread post by asheslawson » Thu Mar 31, 2011 8:29 am

Again - just good to hear all the great things happening as well as see you guys being "real" about the tough times!

And to jasntas, Tammie...I did notice your sig yesterday: "The days of a mother are long but the years are short." I just have to say - I love that. Somedays - I feel worn from the trials of motherhood, but in my heart I always know that these times are fleeting and I will really miss them someday.

Somehow - even in my most frustrated moments - God grants me the ability to constantly remember that I am so blessed to be given my children. And yes - for every moment of stress - there are those moments when we catch them doing something that just makes our heart sing! Thanks again for all of the insight you guys offer. I post here and there - but I am always seeking ideas from all of you - especially in those areas I struggle to feel competent!
"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him" Colossians 2:6
dd-28, ds-25, ds-24, ds-22, ds-14, dd-10, student 13, granddaughter 3
MFW K, 1st, ECC, CTG, RTR, EX1850, 1850-MOD
http://texashomeschooler.blogspot.com/

ChristyH
Posts: 34
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2007 10:39 am

Re: So FRUSTRATED

Unread post by ChristyH » Thu Mar 31, 2011 12:14 pm

Somedays I still feel clueless when it comes to parenting. I want to thank everyone for their advice. My DH and I have talk over some of the ideas and we are going to give a few of them a try. :-)

Here is quote that has stuck with me for a long time, "Men can not be developed perfectly who have not been compelled to bring up children to manhood" Henry Ward Beecher. I figure the Lord is using my children to rub off my rough spot and to conform me more into the image of His son. ( I must need a lot of work, ;) )
Married Scott, 1992
Erin, 13
Connor, 10
Gavin, 10
ECC 2007-2008
CTG 2008-2009
RTR 2009-2010
1850 to modern times 2011

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

Herding cats.... Thats my life!

Unread post by Julie in MN » Thu Aug 11, 2011 1:50 am

dunns05 wrote:Have you seen the commercial? Thats totally my homelife.

I have 3: dd10, ds8 & dd3. You say time for school, they scatter. You go to help dd10 then dd3 & ds8 scatter, the phone rings, they scatter, you go to grab they dictionary... they scatter. At the end of the day I'm exhausted.

We're getting ready to start up our 2nd year of homeschooling in 10 days now. My plan was to regain control in my house over the summer. Didn't happen. Now the new year is starting and it's as bad as ever.

HELP!
- Melissa in Cal...
Aw, <hugs>, it's never as bad as we worry it will be... And the school routine always seems easier than the summer chaos...

The key at my house is to have "school hours" and certain things that are allowed during those hours. It's harder with a dd3 to set those rules, but usually they can understand to some extent that things change in the morning and they change back again in the afternoon. My 4yo grandson is even able to look at the digital clock and at least acknowledge that it "doesn't say 3 yet" ;)

Adding: It's also been important for *me* to model the idea of setting aside my other "important" tasks (laundry, phone calls) and turning myself towards school. This is something unique to homeschool, since we don't shut the door to our houses and separate our lives, but I think it's probably a good skill to learn.

While you wait for more replies, there are a few pages of encouragement here:
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=1930

Julie
P.S. Love the herding cats analogy -- what a picture comes to mind! :~ :-)
Last edited by Julie in MN on Thu Aug 11, 2011 9:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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

cbollin

Re: Herding cats.... Thats my life!

Unread post by cbollin » Thu Aug 11, 2011 5:40 am

I'm sorry they are frustrating to you. ((hugs))
Establishing routines and order in our schools and lives is one of the harder parts about homeschooling. I like how David Hazell once said on some workshop out there that you hear all of these success stories from these families who have been doing this for 10 plus years and it might make us feel like we can’t. But a lot of times, they didn’t tell you what it took in those first ten years to make it run smooth.

Hopefully, you’ll get plenty of ideas to realize that most of us took more than just a summer to have it run smoothly and even best plans don't always work as well as we want.

I have children: a high schooler, 7th grader, and 9 y.o on the autism spectrum. Been homeschooling for over 10 years. Oh my. When did I become that crowd that’s been doing this for over a decade? yikes. Here are some limited pieces of the puzzle that I can share. I will say up front, my house is not show case quality with beautiful organization. I have functional organization. I will never win an award or recognition for how we decorate. I probably will not be a good model for perfectly cleaned sections of the house in spite of my efforts for zone cleaning. I also work part time outside of the house. School is a big priority to us. But I stink at housekeeping.

for school time to work, I need to be on top of my game. My children need to know what they are to do and not do.

From reading your cat herding experiences, I have some ideas to suggest.

Sounds like they need a lot more structure and rules charts to point to so they know their expectations.
Agreeing with Julie - set some specific hours where they know we do educational stuff.
Have a rule "you have to ask permission to leave the school area"
If needed, set a timer to let them know they need to return within 2 minutes if they get permission to leave. We don't need longer. House is big, but not that big.
Follow through with whatever discipline you like to use when they get up and scatter.
Get dad involved with that too.

The 3 y.o might be done with school much quicker than the others. Or might not do well to sit in the school area. I know with my youngest (age 9, autism), I don’t require her to be in the same room with middle school gal. Her school time is separated out.

Begin to keep as many school supplies in one major area as you can so that you aren't wondering off. I know what it's like to not have a perfectly designed, organized house. But school stuff is close together. It means I get my act together and get stuff ready. In fact, I need to stop typing and get my day on with all of it. If you have to stop and get dictionary, have the children come with you and return with you. That's a little trick my daughter's speech therapist does.

Let them see their grid/schedules as well. When you work with one child, assign a specific independent task to the other child to be done. You have the 10 year old and need to work with her on something. Tell the 8 y.o: I’m working with your sister on language arts. I expect you to make your bed, and start book basket. When that is done, I will work with you on language arts, and your sister will get a turn at book basket. Then, dismiss them to their work areas.

Also, assign as “independent school time”, care and occupying the 3 y.o. In other words, someone has to watch the 3 y.o, so flex around on it. If it is better to have 8 y.o playing with 3 y.o while you work on math with 10 y.o – it’s ok. Just make sure everyone realizes what they are to do. There’s the famous Hazell White Board approach. I never made one for me. I just tell the kids at the time. Well, oldest does her own thing with high school but.

Let the phone ring. ignore it. oh yes you can. :) voice mail/answering machine. Use them. When you call people back that are friends/family, tell them up front "we are in school from these hours and I will not answer the phone." They'll have to adjust and get over it. I know this is a hard one b/c my mother in law likes to call once a week to talk exclusively with my oldest. During summer it wasn't so bad at 930 am, but you know what? they have to find a new time slot now. Lunch will be fine. Or something, but not 930.

Plan ahead for quick lunches that the children can make.

Plan that this will take a few weeks to get routines down. Get dad to help between now and start by working with the children to make the rules.

I have a lot of hugs and sympathy for you as you transition. I know my youngest is quick to scatter, but is getting better with it. But if she can sit and do her work, or move around and finish 3 tasks, I’m confident your regular needs children can do the same.

I’ve been back in school session for a few weeks. My 7th grader and I work a lot together in the morning early on. I long ago gave up the feel of everyone at the same work table.
But there were years where school started at the breakfast table in order to get group teaching done, then youngest off to group preschool group (special needs), and so forth. These days, I have to work fast and furious with 7th grader, go teach exercise class, return and deal with that long break, more teaching, etc.

Hard to be brief when summing up the practical side of homeschooling. I'm sure there are so many others who are so much more ahead of the game and have it running perfectly. So hopefully, they can list their tips as well.

I wanted to add... I'd encourage you to look through the intro section of any mfw manual from ADV and 5year cycle and see some of the things they did. Maybe some of the ways they did stuff will spark some ideas that will adapt in your family. They had to do what worked for them. Specific start times. spelled out expectations of what to do when. supplies not scattered. some of it was little stuff. and they had all of the same kinds of growing pains in this process as all of us.

-crystal

TriciaMR
Posts: 998
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:43 am

Re: Herding cats.... Thats my life!

Unread post by TriciaMR » Thu Aug 11, 2011 8:47 am

Herding cats... Monday I was in the grocery store with my 3. They were all oogling over the school supplies (even though we've been to WALMART already). And I said, "Step away from the school supplies!" A couple of other parents heard me and LOLed!

My dd used to run and hide, but only for certain subjects (spelling, math). I finally told her that if she did it again, she would lose computer time for a week. Ahh, that worked. She doesn't hide any more. Only had to enforce that one time. (She loves going to the American Girl Doll website :) ).

My boys are used to the routine, so they come when called, and don't hide when we start school. But, I have one who is basically crying through math drill, spelling, handwriting, Rosetta Stone. Sigh. This too shall pass. I'm right there with you in helping the kids learn to do school cheerfully. Pray. As God to show you and give you ideas. He usually does in the most surprising ways.

ETA: I do have a routine posted on the wall. I have one of those teacher wall charts that can hold word strips. I have word strips that are for dry erase markers. And it basically shows the order of the day. The kids understand if they finish an "independent" task early, they can have free time, but the must come back as soon as I call them back for the next task.

-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

1974girl
Posts: 78
Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2010 11:09 am

Re: Herding cats.... Thats my life!

Unread post by 1974girl » Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:44 pm

Girl I sympathize! I went to put the towels from the washer to the dryer and turned around and they were up! "I'm finished" they would say. So I decided to put a book beside them and said "If you get done and Mama is not here....read this book until I get back." Sometimes a little busy work wouldn't hurt! I also checked out the book 1-2-3 Magic from the Library (a parenting book) and it was wonderful! It has totally changed how I discipline now.
LeAnn-married to dh 17 yrs
Mama to Leah (14) and Annalise (11)
Used from Adventures on and finishing final year (1850-modern) this year
"When you teach your children...you teach your children's children."

erin.kate
Posts: 134
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:38 am

Re: Herding cats.... Thats my life!

Unread post by erin.kate » Thu Aug 11, 2011 3:19 pm

I love your analogy of herding cats. Perfect. I struggled with something similar this summer and sort of blamed it on not having our "school routine" in place. I realized quickly though that good habits have to be taught and reinforced every.single.day. :-) I read Habits Revisited (from Queen Homeschool) and it shined such a light on simple, Godly ways to train our children up to want to listen and use their manners. Well, they're still kids, so you just never know what each day will bring, but this book certainly gave me a foundation and set a whole new tone in our home.
♥Count it all joy ~
Mae 11, Viola 9, Jude 7, & Jack 6
2015: RTR
2014: CTG
2011: Adventures
2010: MFW First Grade
2009: MFW K♥

Mom2theteam
Posts: 184
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:33 pm

Re: Herding cats.... Thats my life!

Unread post by Mom2theteam » Thu Aug 11, 2011 9:42 pm

I had to giggle a little when I read your title. I have 5 kids who are 5 and under including 2 sets of twins. I am always saying, "it's like herding cats." People laugh, especially in public. I'll be back tomorrow to read everyone's advice. Looking forward to it. ;)
Heather
Wife to an amazing man
Mom to 6, ages 10, 7, 7, 5, 5, 3
Zack, 10 CtG
Samantha & Blake, twins, 7, CtG
Matthew & Joshua, twins, 5, MFW K
Nicholas, 3 derailing and tagging along

Yodergoat
Posts: 243
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 2:14 pm

Re: Herding cats.... Thats my life!

Unread post by Yodergoat » Fri Aug 12, 2011 12:04 am

I only have one child, so it is not so much herding cats here. So I don't have advice. The rest of this is almost off topic except that it relates to your title and I thought I'd share the image I had come into my mind as soon as I read it.

Your title reminded me of the time I was a young married woman (19 or so) and I took three of my ferrets on leashes into Walmart with me... Weezer, Fiend and Glutton. They rode in the child seat area of the cart.

WHAT WAS I THINKING? Tangled leashes, people gasping at the sight of what they thought were rats, little bells on their collars jingling wildly and the ferrets themselves trying to squeeze and leap anywhere but where they were supposed to be. I usually carried my ferrets in a shoulder bag with a special home made wire front that could be hidden with a flap, with no one the wiser and the ferrets safely contained. I don't know what made me think I could take them all into the store like that.

Why I was not kicked out, I don't know.

Herding cats? Yeah, that would be tough. But the slightly contained chaos of three ferrets on tangled leashes in Walmart is a close second! Might give somebody a good word picture for the future.

I hope you get some good advice here, and not just inane comments like mine. :~
I'm Shawna...
... a forgiven child of God since 1994 (age 16)
... happily wed to William since 1996
... mother of our long-awaited Gail (3/15/2006)
... missing 6 little ones (4 miscarriages, 2 ectopics)
... starting Rome to the Reformation this fall!

dunns05
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2011 7:58 pm
Location: California

Re: Herding cats.... Thats my life!

Unread post by dunns05 » Fri Aug 12, 2011 9:01 am

Ladies, I so appreciate your advice and encouragement. My kids are absolutely delightful, sweet, fun, thoughtful kids full of life! But that means that when I turn my back ds8 dives into his Lego bin, or dd3 has to go potty, or they tell each other some funny thought in between my sentences... On one hand it shows how much they are enjoying each other (which I love!) but it is highly distracting with some kind of interruption or other every 3 minutes. I have set ds8 to a task, turned to dd10 to work with, only to have to remind ds8 to keep working every few minutes. That's not fair to dd10 because I cannot focus on her. And I think I'll search the board for ideas for dd3; I'm sure that's a topic that's been covered :) .

Also, in case you never saw the cat commercial here it is for you. I used to work for a subsidiary of EDS, the company advertised here, when the commercial came out, so it really caught my attention. But if you listen to what the cowboys say, it really is a great analogy for homeschooling! 8[]

Blessings!
-Melissa

[ editor's note: To find the site referenced, search YouTube for " cowboys herding cats, firenearth " ]
**********************************************************
- Married to the love of my life for 13 years!!
- MFW Exp1850, PM, GD for Chemistry, SOTW3
- DD10: CQLA
- DS8: EG3, IEW, Spelling Workout
- DD3: preschool stuff

cbollin

Re: Herding cats.... Thats my life!

Unread post by cbollin » Fri Aug 12, 2011 9:17 am

dunns05 wrote:. And I think I'll search the board for ideas for dd3; I'm sure that's a topic that's been covered :) .
In the archives, there is an entire section on Toddlers.

Also, MFW's david hazell has a workshop on Occupying Preschoolers while Teaching Others. You can buy it from the mfw website. Or some people listen to a streaming version
http://hche.org/Mp3.jsp?id=164

maybe there are some insights in there?

Jami
Posts: 36
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2008 1:43 pm

Need encouragement

Unread post by Jami » Fri Aug 26, 2011 10:56 am

dstj wrote:I need help:) We are starting 8th grade and K and have a 2 yr old almost 3 and a 4 month old baby.
Already my 8th grader does most of her work on her own. I feel like I have more of an understanding now to be a little laid back - but I still struggle. We took all last week off because I had so many things I had to take care of. This week we tried to do K again but only did a couple of days and they went really bad. While I'm writing this the kids are fighting - I really shouldn't even be on the computer right now. While we are doing school I have had all 3 little ones crying at the same time.

I really believe in homeschool but don't seem to get things together. Then I don't know when to just say okay let's just have fun - and they actually learn. We went swimming this week and played in the park and they loved it. This morning my 5 year old cheerfully did her chores (which doesn't happen often) and then wanted to color (also doesn't happen often). So let her do that and looks like we won't be doing "school" again today.

My 2 year old seems to cry so much now - is never really happy. I feel like I'm neglecting her. My baby is a good baby - but still cries sometimes of course:). I know this isn't anything new to anyone who homeschools. And this isn't my 1st year either - actually it is our 6th year (that is embarrassing - and I'm still having such trouble). Sorry this is so long. I have to go now - everyone is crying:(
I'm so sorry. Things can certainly be loud and whiny with many young kiddos in the house.

Have you tried doing school during naptime? I've been doing that for the past three years because my young daughters would not let me keep my attention from them for long enough to do school while they were awake. I like that it leaves mornings for going out to activites also.

Maybe your kinder child will like doing school better if she had your full attention. And then you can devote more time to the little ones when they are awake.

Just some thoughts based on my own crazy home!
Jami - AF Wife

8th, 5th, 3rd, 1st, Pre-K

2014/15 ECC
2013/14 1850MT & 1st
2012/13 EX1850 & K
2011/12 RTR & 1st
2010/11 CTG & K
2009/10 ECC & 1st
2008/09 ADV & K

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