Encouragement - When stressed, discouraged

Art, Foreign Language, Music, Nature Walks, as well as general ideas and encouragement
m&m's
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2012 12:47 pm

Re: Low on patience! Me!

Unread post by m&m's » Fri Oct 05, 2012 9:03 pm

One of the amazing things about homeschooling is what it does in YOUR heart. I taught elementary school for 8 years before homeschooling. I had so much patience with other people's children. So it was very shocking to me when I began homeschooling my kindergartener, and found myself very impatient, and even angry. I think God has used our homeschooling experience to reveal to me what is in my heart. To force me to depend on Him, and ask Him to make me more Christlike so that I can be a better example to my children. At one of the homeschool conventions near me, I went to several sessions by a speaker named Susan Kemmerer. She has written a book called "Homeschool Supermom: Not!" that addresses this issue so beautifully. She reminds us that while we are teaching our children, God is teaching us. The easy solution would be to put the kids in school and make it easier for ourselves. But then we would not be dealing with our own hearts. And we would be missing an opportunity to show our children that their Mommy needs God to help her be a better Mommy; we need God's grace and forgiveness (and sometimes our children's grace and forgiveness as well!) just as they do. We are all in the process of sanctification. I have not become the perpetually calm, easygoing homeschool mom that I desire to be. Just this week I had to quit our Bible lesson in the middle because I was so angry at my kid's bickering that I couldn't discuss God's Word with my angry spirit. I've got a long way to go. But now instead of seeing the behavior issues in my kids as simply THEIR problem, I try to see them as an opportunity to grow in my own character while I try to help them grow. It is definitely not easy; but I think looking back years from now, we will be so glad we chose to "put up with all the nonsense" in order to form a close bond with our children. I think my daughter, who is now is second grade, has grown from me being transparent with her about my struggles with anger. Even though she is often in the wrong, I am responsible for my own response. I hope this helps. If you can get a copy of Susan's book, it is a great resource for helping us deal with our children in Godly ways as we teach them.
Hugs, ;)
Michelle

bethinga
Posts: 110
Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2012 3:13 pm

Re: Low on patience! Me!

Unread post by bethinga » Sat Oct 06, 2012 2:20 pm

Thanks, Michelle! :)

Wow, what a blessing! How cool is it that my aggravating day turned out to make so many others feel NORMAL and not alone?! I'll try to remember this next time I'm feeling frustrated. Hugs to all of you! :-)
Beth in GA
Mom to a boy and a girl
Using MFW since 2012

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

needing some encouragement all around

Unread post by Julie in MN » Wed Aug 21, 2013 3:21 pm

hsm wrote:This is our first full year homeschooling. My kids are 5.5, 8, and 11. We are doing ECC and K. We have a variety of different issues going on that are really discouraging me and I just need to "talk it out" with all of the wonderful people here.
Aw, hugs Lori, I just have one 12th grader homeschooling now and even then, some days are just discouraging... Parenting is the most worthwhile but toughest job there is, eh?
hsm wrote:I will just start with my K-er. He is a boy through and through ;) . He is very smart; he is almost 6 so an older K-er but his emotional maturity made it better to start K this year rather than last year. He did Early Childhood for 2 years due to speech delay and hearing impairment. He also had sensory processing issues. He is very disruptive at times when I am working with his sisters. I can handle minor disruptions...that is life but when he is really feeling angry he has terrible tantrums which require me to stop school temporarily and address the situation. That said, he is a sweet little guy who always wants his mommy and has trouble playing on his own. I have tried reward systems, planned ignoring, holding him to control his aggression, time outs, etc. I do include him in ECC when he wants, but he doesn't want to sit all day and do school. I give him planned activities or toys to play with, etc. Besides the behavior problem, my concern with him academically is his handwriting. He can write all of his letters correctly (uppercase), but he can only write BIG. He HATES to do the MFW handwriting sheets because they are too small for him. Should I just wait on those and let him practice how he likes for now while his fine motor skills catch up? He does have slight fine motor difficulty but with intentional fine motor work, he has come a long way in this area.
1. K
I'll just admit that I'm a diehard better-late-than-early gal so I'm glad you waited for your little guy to do K until this year. But even then, at my house I probably wouldn't fight the pencil thing. I'd do more of the hands-on such as the salt box and the Lauri letters. I'd add a marker board as an option. I'd even consider having my (grandson) tell "me" how to write the letters -- and eventually he'd probably take over?!

Every kid is different, but with my 6yo grandson who lives with me and is with me a lot (his mom is a waitress at all hours), I sometimes plan some conversation time with him. I tell him what I see happening, how I care about everyone in the situation, and what I'm trying to do to take care of all needs. I let him tell me his point of view. We try some suggestions. It works for a while. Then we repeat.

I do think at that age it helps a LOT for them to know "what's coming." The calendar is huge with him, and the holidays, and anything that helps him make sense of the flow of time. I think "knowing" makes everything seem less "endless." Sometimes we go over the week, or even the hours in the day. It's hard, because my dgs doesn't have a total grasp of how long an hour is yet (close, but not totally there). We do the comparison thing -- a TV show vs. a theater movie, a lunch amount of time, etc., but time still goes much slower in his mind than in mine :)
hsm wrote:Moving on to my 3rd grader...This one is very compliant :) But, she does get frustrated with handwriting and math. Handwriting is a huge challenge for her. I wonder if there could even be a medical basis for it but I am not sure. When she writes, she starts at the bottom of the line and goes up in a clockwise motion. This is how she was taught in preschool I believe and it is a hard habit to break. If the writing was neat and letters were formed properly I would let it go but she has to concentrate on letter formation as she writes. Her hand gets very sore and tired when writing. She also has a weird pencil grip and holds her hand funny when writing. She is grade level and maybe even ahead a grade at reading, but reads choppily. I am working on fluency with her. I haven't even started spelling with her because it is also a struggle for her. I am not sure that her phonics instruction was thorough and foundational in ps. We practice oral narration and she does well with that so her comprehension is good. Maybe spelling is just a maturity thing. She just turned 8 in May. In math, she is doing "okay" with Singapore, but I won't lie it has been very hard for her. She is working through 1B now. We are just about to get to the multiplication but I am afraid to continue because she is struggling with addition and subtraction facts. Any game ideas besides flashcards? She doesn't know them snap fast and gets very frustrated. I am worried Singapore is over her head because she doesn't seem to be getting the methods (or maybe I am not teaching them well) but I am trying to stick with the program. I am tired of rethinking every decision I prayerfully made.
2. 3rd
Again, I'm a pushover in terms of the pencil. There are many posts on this board over the years about my pencil-phobic youngest child. He did very little pencil work over the years, besides copying the Bible verse weekly (sometimes it took him the whole week!). He used a marker board, we talked out loud a lot, and he typed. Would any of those work for your dd? I know there are some downsides to my technique, but I rationalize it by thinking of the ancient/classical education of Socrates that was done completely orally, or the early pioneers who didn't even have paper. And last year my 11th grader took 4 college classes without a pencil issue :) He even took notes sometimes !!

ETA: Math facts ideas here http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=1141
and here http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=8429
Just put them on your weekly grid and keep doing them in different ways. Each child takes a different amount of time. We worked on math facts up through 7th grade (when we did fractions mostly), and I have a mathy kid.
hsm wrote:And, the 6th grader... this is my constantly tired dawdler. Very very smart girl, but so ho-hum. She also has hearing impairment and sensory issues that affect her with fatigue and difficulty focusing and very distractible. She was also in ps the longest (through 5th grade). She LOVES homeschooling, but I think with the sensory problems, the need for deschooling, and ahem, let's face it... hormonal changes, she has become quite difficult. We started in Singapore in March. She needs to finish 5b by the end of the year and she is almost done with 3B. Initially, she was very good at working 2 half hour sessions, but now it is pulling teeth. It took her 1 hour and 15 minutes to complete 3 pages today. Pages that shouldn't have been difficult for her as it is mostly review for her still. ANYTHING I ask of her that requires focus or concentration or writing she argues/grumbles/dawdles oftentimes even breaking down into tears. Unless, it is reading :) THAT she loves!
3. 6th
What a sweetheart who loves homeschooling! I'd want to cherish and keep that.

When my son dawdled continually, I would just give him plenty of time and then set aside the paper, telling him that enough time had been spent on it and he could do that later, when we were done with school time. That worked for him, since he liked his free time. My middle dd is very passive and perfecdtionist and and and. In public school, teachers sent home most of her work, and we spent much time at night working on it. So it wasn't much different than homeschool. She still took a Looooong time, and had little time left for other things, but I guess that was her decision. To this day (she's 25), she takes a long time to learn something, but once learned, she knows it better than any of the rest of us. I'm not sure if she's passively rebellious, or if she's just the way God made her, God hasn't answered me on that one, but I just did what I knew at the time. I know your pain, though.
hsm wrote:I also babysit a fairly high maintenance almost 3 year old. She is manageable but it does complicate things somewhat. My son is very jealous of her so this contributes to some of his outbursts.
4. 3yo
When my grandson was that age and I was homeschooling my youngest (11 years older), I tended to follow the advice on the boards and give the little one time first, until he was ready to play on his own. I had him on my lap a lot, too. I also conveyed the idea early on that school was this VERY IMPORTANT thing, and that seemed to impress him sometimes.

As for the jealousy, that's just something that some kids feel, no matter whether it's a sibling, whether they are close in age or far apart, some kids just seem to feel that way more than others. I figure we can try to help them develop tools deal with a trait that they may be fighting all their lives, in one way or another. I haven't been able to eliminate it altogether, but I love the way MFW curriculum starts them in K with speaking about sin and forgiveness and all the basics God has taught us.
hsm wrote: I am just very overwhelmed right now. God has called me to homeschool and I know He will equip me but I am feeling discouraged lately wondering if I really am cut out for all of the challenges we have right now. Any advice on any of these situations? Thanks for "listening". And, please know, I LOVE my children and I LOVE homeschooling them. That is not negotiable. They are good kids just going through some challenges right now. Anyone have a cure all for me? :-)
Mostly commiserating with you on the difficulty to be all things to so many. Prayers,
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

hsm
Posts: 146
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:09 pm

Re: needing some encouragement all around

Unread post by hsm » Wed Aug 21, 2013 4:54 pm

Ahh, Julie, thanks for the nice long encouraging response. I have been really overwhelmed and I just needed someone to vent to and maybe throw a couple of ideas at me. I was thinking like you were about my son with handwriting. I don't want to turn him off on it, so maybe holding off is better. Funny thing is that with my daughters, I was all about the earlier the better. I see the error in my thinking now that I have my son who just can't do it. He is very smart and probably ready academically for everything but some things like his emotional maturity and fine motor skills need some time to take shape. Eventually everyone catches up, it isn't a race to see who gets where first. God is using this little guy to teach me patience, kindness, love, all the fruits of the spirit! And, that is a good thing. I just need to keep that in mind and remember why I am doing this. I am officially putting the handwriting sheets to the side and will have him practice how he wants whether it is on the dry erase board, chalkboard, paper without lines, salt tray, etc. I wanted to add an idea I had used before in case anyone else is reading this. I put tempera paint in a large freezer bag, zipped it up with the air out. The paint forms a nice "writing board". He "writes'" on the bag and the paint separates leaving the letters in place. Neat, huh? I also have an app on my kindle but he is now bored with that. Like I said he can write the letters, but just not small. I am confident he won't be writing supersized when he is in college ;)

Funny you mentioned the flow of time. He is constantly asking me how long a certain time frame is. How long is a week, how many days is that, the day after tomorrow? How long is an hour? on and on...he wants to understand. Later to him means within the next minute and a half. :~ He is slooooowy beginning to understand, but it is something I will continue to work on.

Glad you mentioned your son's pencil phobia. I do remember some posts about that..heehee... Seems that ALL of my children are afraid of the pencil. I just figured out that my oldest hates writing too unless I let her type which she tolerates more. Maybe I should just toss all the pencils around here, eh? I do want my 3rd grader to practice some to improve her writing, however, I now realize that maybe she doesn't need to write in every subject. I can use other methods (oral work, typing, etc.) I have tried to cut back on some of the required writing simply because her hand really does hurt. Poor thing.

I am checking out those math drill archives. Thank you! I had looked on here but I am just not a very good archive detective I guess. I am interested in Quartermile. Did you like it? I think she would. She loves horses and loves to play the computer. I don't know if I want to spend more money though. There are a lot of options mentioned so I have some reading to do.

With my dawdler, oh boy, this tests me a lot because by nature I am a hurry up let's go kind of gal. Again, maybe God is trying to teach ME something here. I like the idea of making the undone work "homework". She will not like that at all. Hopefully that will help speed things along for her. I try to be patient because some of this is sensory related but she also needs to understand that she needs to work on her focus skills/distractibility., kwim?

Thank you so much for your encouragement. It is a tough but very rewarding road. I am grateful for my place in this world, but it is a tough place sometimes :)
B
Lori-IL
K/ECC, CtG/Learning God's Story
dd-12, dd-9, ds-6

gratitude
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Re: needing some encouragement all around

Unread post by gratitude » Wed Aug 21, 2013 5:06 pm

I only have a few minutes and I think a long answer like Julie's is better for encouragement moments.

You know your son best, but he honestly doesn't sound ready to me for school work. I am not talking about intelligence but emotional maturity readiness that counts the most for study. I honestly would wait a year with him and focus on learning how to home school with the older two with ECC. If he is interested he will join in; if not a year really won't hurt 10 years from now. In fact it sounds like it would probably help for the long term to just give him more time with mom as mom and give you the energy to focus on his emotional needs, cuddles, and behavior.

My youngest has downs and it has really changed how I look at time lines with kids. What kids need is far more important than the arbitrary time lines. When we can meet their real needs they progress more, and it is rarely on a school or doctors time line for any if them. Sometimes they are ahead of it and sometimes behind and it can be different in different areas. It really sounds though like he just needs to be a boy awhile longer without school work. Boys too progress in grade school much differently than girls; so it will be very different than what you experienced in the past. No matter how intelligent they mature slower emotionally so it takes longer for true school readiness for them generally. About 8 1/2 if you have courage! I had my boys start sooner than that, but they were truly ready like a 5 year old girl at 8 1/2 for seat work.

Prayers.

hsm
Posts: 146
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:09 pm

Re: needing some encouragement all around

Unread post by hsm » Thu Aug 22, 2013 8:43 am

Gratitude,

That is a good point. I never really considered it since he is almost 6 he *should* be ready for school, right...at least kindergarten? But, your perspective is something to consider. His intellect is right on target but emotionally, yes, we have work to do and maturity that needs to develop. Thanks for that perspective.
Lori-IL
K/ECC, CtG/Learning God's Story
dd-12, dd-9, ds-6

lea_lpz
Posts: 146
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2012 2:00 pm

Re: needing some encouragement all around

Unread post by lea_lpz » Thu Aug 22, 2013 10:25 am

HSM-
I don't have older children yet so can't give you much help there, but I would second that your k'er might need more time. With some of hearing impairment, speech delays, and sensory issues, as well as what you describe as his tantrums, I think you will have to rethink the typical trajectory. As long as he starts the family cycle at 9 (turning 10) he'll complete the 5 year cycle. I would probably wait a year and start k at 6, then if necessary go slower so that the long term goal would be finish k & 1st in three years, so that by 9 he could enter the family circle. Just a thought. He might not be able to be do mfw like your other kids, but certainly a modified version could work.

Also, I know you've tried it all, so this might be a been there done that statement, but given his disabilities discipline is probably going to have to look different than what you are used to for the olders. Have you done parenting classes for kids with special needs, or attend a support group to get feedback from parents with special needs children? Could you guys see a counselor to discuss the issues you are having to get advice about how to handle his outbursts best?

I think until this area is either improved or you guys can figure out a more manageable way to handle it, school for him and the older kids will continue to be very challenging.
ds14, dd11,ds9, dd4.5, dd2.5, dd2.5 (yep twins)

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

Re: needing some encouragement all around

Unread post by Wendy B. » Thu Aug 22, 2013 11:12 am

Like Julie, I am a better-late-than-early kind of gal. However, in your post there are some potential red flags for LDs that it may be worth exploring. Hearing issues, speech issues, sensory issues, the "weird" handwriting, and the poor visual memory ( spelling), etc. could all point to a learning difference in your kids.

3 of my 4 kids have LDs. My college age daughter didn't get a formal diagnosis until her Junior year of college at the urging of one of her professors who did not feel that her grades reflected her knowledge of the subject. This diagnosis allows her to get accommodations in her college courses. She did not "outgrow" the poor visual memory (spelling) or the "weird" handwriting. She did not catch up but learned to accommodate these difficulties. At the college level her spelling/poor visual memory/handwriting still made it difficult for her to take a typical in-class test or essay exam which meant that her grades did not reflect her knowledge of the subject. Her accommodations include the use of a computer for tests, spellcheck, and extra time.

My younger children have many of the same red flags, and they are in the process of getting a diagnosis of their LDs. My 11 yo has difficulty in spelling, poor handwriting, and a history of speech issues. My youngest daughter has the "weird" handwriting ( after several years of being taught the correct way) and difficulty in learning to read. It is likely that they both have a degree of dyslexia/dysgraphia ( although the formal diagnosis will be different due to current DSM coding). With a formal diagnosis, it will help me to choose curricula that will use their strengths while still allowing me to work on their weaknesses.

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

hsm
Posts: 146
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:09 pm

Re: needing some encouragement all around

Unread post by hsm » Thu Aug 22, 2013 12:59 pm

lea_lpz wrote:HSM-
I don't have older children yet so can't give you much help there, but I would second that your k'er might need more time. With some of hearing impairment, speech delays, and sensory issues, as well as what you describe as his tantrums, I think you will have to rethink the typical trajectory. As long as he starts the family cycle at 9 (turning 10) he'll complete the 5 year cycle. I would probably wait a year and start k at 6, then if necessary go slower so that the long term goal would be finish k & 1st in three years, so that by 9 he could enter the family circle. Just a thought. He might not be able to be do mfw like your other kids, but certainly a modified version could work.

This is something I am mulling over after the responses I have received on here. Academically is more than ready. He knows all the sounds, can count to 30 on own (further with minor reminders), can write (just not small), very good in math, etc. It is his maturity that is a challenge. He is pretty good about sitting with me to do his K work, but when the girls are doing school that is when he becomes disruptive.

Also, I know you've tried it all, so this might be a been there done that statement, but given his disabilities discipline is probably going to have to look different than what you are used to for the olders. Have you done parenting classes for kids with special needs, or attend a support group to get feedback from parents with special needs children? Could you guys see a counselor to discuss the issues you are having to get advice about how to handle his outbursts best?

Yep, pretty much tried it all. We even went to a counselor last summer when he got really bad. I had started watching a lot more children (I was running a daycare) and that along with all of his other issues and changes in our lives at the time was just too much for him. Since then, I dropped down to only watching one child and will not do more because of how it affects him. His behavior improved for awhile but is starting to get more "tantrum-y" again. Most of his tantrums are a behavior issue rather than sensory I think because he really only does this with ME not when my husband is around. :/ The counselor helped * a little* but really she didn't tell me anything I didn't already know or do. She didn't talk to him at all. Only me. Maybe a different counselor would be better? And, I do belong to a special needs support group that I never attend the meetings --blush-- due to time constraints but maybe I need to remedy that situation.

I think until this area is either improved or you guys can figure out a more manageable way to handle it, school for him and the older kids will continue to be very challenging.

Unfortunately, I believe you are right on. PS. I am playing with this quoting feature on here and I think I am failing, so if my response looks odd that is why. Good grief. :~
Lori-IL
K/ECC, CtG/Learning God's Story
dd-12, dd-9, ds-6

hsm
Posts: 146
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:09 pm

Re: needing some encouragement all around

Unread post by hsm » Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:11 pm

Wendy B. wrote:Like Julie, I am a better-late-than-early kind of gal. However, in your post there are some potential red flags for LDs that it may be worth exploring. Hearing issues, speech issues, sensory issues, the "weird" handwriting, and the poor visual memory ( spelling), etc. could all point to a learning difference in your kids.
Wendy, you are right, I have noticed these red flags. My two hearing impaired ones have hearing aids (so do I :) ) and my son was in speech therapy for 3 years. I am considering putting him in again but our school system does not offer special services for hs kids. My two with sensory issues are in the process of being evaluated by an occupational therapist to deal with some of these issues. This is all our cost. All of these things add up and quickly drain our funds. Hearing aids are not cheap either. Another problem I have is that while I do think there could be a problem with my dd8 who is struggling with writing and spelling, my husband is finding it hard to believe/accept that "there is something wrong" with all of our kids. He thinks she just needs more practice, but I am not so sure. I do have the number for an educational therapist that was highly recommended to me that I am considering calling just to get her opinion. I am leaning toward getting her evaluated. It is a wise investment in my opinion. My hubby's opinion does matter but sometimes we mama's see things differently.

Postby hsm » Sun Jan 12, 2014 11:49 am
Here's an update to my original post [ http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 196#p96196 ].

First, let's talk about my middle one I mentioned in this thread. She had been struggling with handwriting, reversals, spelling, and math facts. Seems I jumped the gun in worrying about her. She has made HUGE improvements in the last few months. I am incredibly happy with how far she has come. We added a handwriting workbook to help her with getting intentional practice above and beyond what MFW has. I only did this because she needed that extra practice. With spelling power and copywork, her handwriting, reversals, and spelling have improved immensely. As I mentioned in another thread we took a break from Singapore to hammer out math facts and build confidence. We are back in Singapore and she is getting it....not saying we won't hit another bump, but we survived the last one :)

[ Editor's Note: See the Special Needs thread to follow up on the other two children: http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 398#p97398 ]
Lori-IL
K/ECC, CtG/Learning God's Story
dd-12, dd-9, ds-6

hsm
Posts: 146
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:09 pm

When homeschool gets tough - then what?

Unread post by hsm » Tue Dec 10, 2013 12:51 pm

asheslawson wrote:I am homeschooling my 9 year old & my 13 year old & a friend's 12 year old. I am becoming over-whelmed. My son is starting to really struggle through Saxon 87 - not horribly - but it's getting frustrating. I had to pull my friend's son off to work on facts, which he is finally getting down. But he really struggles with spelling, writing complete sentences, and math.

I am spending so much time with the older 2 that I'm almost letting my 9 year old self-teach. I rarely have time to do her science with her and that is heartbreaking to me. I feel like they should take on more on their own - but it just hasn't happened. My son can with most other subjects, but they are needing so much one-on-one with math. I'm thinking if he still can't complete it in 2 hours - I may stretch one lesson out over 2 days - which will mean it will take him 2 years to complete - but we've already broken off so long to help him where he was struggling.

I really don't know how all of you who have large families do this! I keep my 1 year old granddaughter when her mom works, so not everyday - but even when she's not here - school has really gotten tough. We did well memorizing the 1st chapter of James, and now in the 2nd chapter, we are starting to lose momentum. Grading is time consuming - but I'm trying to be prepared for writing a transcript, and of course, I need to give grades to my other family. I also am the director of our co-op, which is thankfully on break, but I'm mentally exhausted. Any tips - I'm going to collapse and try to come back with a fresh attitude tomorrow!
(((HUGS)))

I am so unqualified to give any tips as I am just at the one year anniversary of the beginning of our homeschooling journey. I am very new as a homeschooler. But, I have had overwhelming moments too. I am going through a tough time with my youngest right now (learning and behavior challenges) and it has been a real struggle. I often feel like I am not doing a good job. But, then I am reminded that I am doing the best I can and I am following God's plan for my family. That gives me peace.

I look for God moments...moments like when my child finally grasps something that he/she has struggled with, or when a smile beams across their faces when they are explaining something they learned to their dad, or when I get a spontaneous kiss on the cheek because my dc know that I understand him like no one else, I could go on and on... It has helped me to journal some of those moments. I write down those "wow" moments to refer back to later to remind me that I am doing okay and God is showing me. That gives me joy. He is faithful.

I read an entry in my MOM's devotional bible some time ago that always comes back to me when I am feeling down. I am paraphrasing here: Do you trust God to take care of your children; to keep them safe; to guide them, to help them make wise choices? Yes? Then, trust Him that he selected the best mother for your children. God chose us for our children and He knows what he is doing.

Eh, I know I didn't give you any tangible/practical advice. I am sorry. I don't have much to offer there but just some encouragement, virtual hugs, and prayers from across cyberspace. :) And, maybe something I said will help.
Lori-IL
K/ECC, CtG/Learning God's Story
dd-12, dd-9, ds-6

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

Re: When homeschool gets tough - then what?

Unread post by asheslawson » Tue Dec 10, 2013 9:04 pm

hsm wrote:I read an entry in my MOM's devotional bible some time ago that always comes back to me when I am feeling down. I am paraphrasing here: Do you trust God to take care of your children; to keep them safe; to guide them, to help them make wise choices? Yes? Then, trust Him that he selected the best mother for your children. God chose us for our children and He knows what he is doing.
Lori - that is very helpful advice! Thank you. Yes - the good moments are helpful to remember. And today - I took a deep breath, and worked hard to make small changes in the areas where we seemed to be losing time - and it did go better. But yes, trusting Him is easy - but I hadn't thought about the fact that He selected me to be the mother to my children. That really just had not crossed my mind. And knowing Him; that can't help but bring me comfort! You may have only been homeschooling a year (and my first year was truly the toughest - so prayers to you), but that is very wise counsel. I needed it today, so much! In Christ, Ashley
"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/

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

Re: When homeschool gets tough - then what?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Tue Dec 10, 2013 11:31 pm

I love Lori's perspective. And keeping a record of those good moments and verses that speak to your heart seems very wise. I think our kids' notebooks can be an encouragement of their progress, too.

Not a large family here, but I have seen homeschooling get crazy while babysitting grandson or times have generally been tough to balance at my house at times. I always like to stop and remind myself that public schooling gets tough, too -- I've been there and have many stories I could share...

Some practical thoughts that came to mind:

1. Set aside math and any other "big kid, time consuming" subjects until the afternoon. Spend the mornings as a family, doing Bible and sharing lessons from HIStory, etc. This time frame would allow for some interruptions from the littles, as well as give some fun activities that they could join in. Try not to forget that kids actually learn from fun stuff, too ;)

2. Consider assigning math facts as homework. Public teachers do that. It isn't complicated like assigning math concepts. Just make a list of drill tasks that you find successful and send them home? Or even just assign one "fact of the week" to bolster some of the more difficult ones, and have the student place index cards of that fact all over his home.

3. Let go of elementary science. Treat it as a weekend activity, to be enjoyed when time, maybe even in summer. One of my kids' 2nd grade teachers didn't know if they had a science curriculum at November conferences. One of my kids' 6th grade teaches said he liked to do lots of science experiments but couldn't do any this year because, well, Ryan was in the class (we do love Ryan, tho :) ). That son is an engineer now, so it didn't ruin him to skip most of science for that year.

4. Let go of grading. I didn't really do any grading up through 8th grade, except what naturally showed up on math tests and such. I then stacked up everything for grading in 9th but didn't get to it. I had to really do it in 10th because of college dual enrollment apps, so I had a headache that year. Sure, grading now has its advantages, but not if it's dragging you down. I'd rather spend the time with the kids.

5. If you do grade, try to do everything school during school hours (rather than throwing in laundry or dishes), and do no school tasks during the rest of the day. You'll likely get more done that way, and it will model a focus for your children.

6. Do writing in the afternoon, too. Get your bigger kids used to writing "something" every day, and editing it, too, so you don't need to debate them or yourself - it's just a fact, every day. Start with the sentence. The goal is an organized and grammatically decent paragraph by the end of 8th.

7. Let go of Plan A for Bible and do Plan B. It's still good :)

And here is more reading until any other moms-of-many have a moment to post: http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1011 (4 pages)

Blessings as you take loving care of each child,
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

MelissaB
Posts: 368
Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 10:01 pm

Re: When homeschool gets tough - then what?

Unread post by MelissaB » Thu Dec 12, 2013 9:25 am

Hi, Ashley,

Love what Lori wrote- that's perfectly true. :) And Julie's ideas are homeruns.
Melissa B. (Arkansas)
Girls ages 16 & 13
Completed K, 1st, and Investigate {ECC; CTG; RTR; Expl.-1850; and 1850-Mod. Times}
"That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,.." Titus 2:4

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

Re: When homeschool gets tough - then what?

Unread post by Yodergoat » Thu Dec 12, 2013 10:29 am

I am also not very experienced, and teach only one child, so feel funny giving advice... I will call it "encouragement" instead! ;)

I think it's important to remind ourselves that some of these problems would still exist even if our child or children were in public school. I watched my sister struggle with her public-schooled boys as they labored for hours each night over homework... literally hours every single night. Sometimes the long nights were a discipline issue, sometimes they just had difficulty in getting a concept, but the result was the same. The boys were spaced 7 years about so there wasn't much overlap during these struggles, and she might spend those hours working with just one boy. It was a tough season for her.

I saw that you homeschool a friend's child... that is an amazing commitment. You must feel led to do so or you would not be doing it, but it must add a whole other dimension to this. I can see how that would be overwhelming, especially if you feel like you are not able to spend as much time with your daughter.

And directing a co-op too... if there is any way to delegate and lessen your responsibilities there then I say do it! I am not the director but a member of a small board of directors, and I know how it feels to almost "dread" co-op and to be thankful when it's on break... that was a sign for me that it was too much and was no longer enhancing our homeschool but was just draining me. (Thankfully our co-op changed direction and we now meet just once a month for fun and social time with just one class each meeting, and it is a huge burden off my shoulders.)

Just some thoughts as you go through this.
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!

Joyhomeschool
Posts: 138
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 9:11 am

Re: When homeschool gets tough - then what?

Unread post by Joyhomeschool » Mon Dec 16, 2013 8:57 am

Everyone has had some amazing advise! Here are some thingsi would add that also that work for me...

1. Get the one year old used to a good schedule. That helps. And a big playpen. My one year old takes a morning nap at nine till tenand again in afternoon. That helps a ton.


2. Get up early. I don't know when your other school kid comes over but in our house we rise an hour before breakfast and do math and PLL/ILL. Usually we can get most if the teaching tutoring portion done before little ones wake up. So for us my 7th, 5th, 3rd and 1st get up at 7 and start in on Math and LA and I rotate through there desks and help as needed.

3. Read and eat. I eat my breakfast and lunch quickly in the kitchen before I sit everyone down for a meal. Then while they are eating and occupied I read Bible, or Science, or history. I choose what is read at breakfast based on weather it has an assignment they can do independently after breakfast.

4. Independence.. I foster Independence by using that early morning time to teach, assigning work that can be done independent ly after breakfast. So a note booking page, typing tutor, online math drill, spelling city, homework from our teaching time, book basket. All of this during that after breakfast block when I'm cleaning up breakfast, getting toddlers situated and working with my Ker.

5. Grading. I do not grade! Well tests I grade. But Math can be graded by an older student or self graded. I have a grading table wit the TMs and red pens. No pencils aloud. If three problems are wrong then the whole page is reworked. No questions asked. I grade all tests myself. That combined with my morning tutoring sessions shows me they know their work.

6. Choose independent curricula. We don't use spelling power because I never had time for tests. We use sequential spelling DVD. We use Math U see for math and the kids watch the lesson. On their own and I tutor as needed. For those that still need !me to watch with the! Its easy because its teaching once per lesson not daily. And PLL/ILL I make notes or take 5 min to explain each lesson. Very simple for me. I do loom over those lessons daily.


Its okay to just be in survival mode.
Vicki
Homeschooling my 7,
2018/2019 1st, EXP, AHL, US 2

Ohmomjacquie
Posts: 70
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2012 8:26 pm
Location: ohio
Contact:

Re: When homeschool gets tough - then what?

Unread post by Ohmomjacquie » Fri Dec 20, 2013 6:03 pm

Hi! I have four kiddos. This is our first year with 2 grades but we've also added a baby to the mix. I've learned something recently that has truly saved my sanity.

Forget your preset schedule or time frame that you think school has to be done in each day (for me it was before lunch). Relax and get it done when you can. Leaving harder subjects for later definitely helps a ton. Fun things first get them in a good mood.

Things definitely get crazy with several doing school at the same time. relax, have fun with them and things work out in the end.
Jacquie
2012-13 Adventures
2013-2014 ECC & K
Mom to:
Chelsea (9) Hunter (5) Natalie (4) & Alison July 2013
See MFW in action @ http://www.myblessingshomeschool.com

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