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Everything posted by Sweetpeach

  1. Hi Mama T -- I lurked your thread about your daughter coming up against that tough sequence and really happy to hear she could perform when it counted. Congrats to her! (I may offend my fellow Canucks with my next statement, so I apologize in advance) . . . our Canadian dynamic is much different than the American way of competing. Clearly, TeamUSA Any Sport knows how to win. Mama T, it seems that your coaches are doing a grand job of teaching the mental slice and you've figured how to keep the family unit stress-free and happy so that competition nerves don't derail the train. Way to go! I have the sense that gymnastics in the USA attracts the very best of coaches. They are highly competitive, well-qualified, I suspect fairly well-compensated for what they bring to the table. What if the sport our kids are involved with doesn't have the same resources in terms of coaching, especially at the state/provincial level? These are coaches who love the sport, but can't make a living off being a coach. If you felt like more was needed in terms of the mental slice, where would you turn for resources? This is the information I'm looking for. Warmly, Tricia
  2. If other people are interested, perhaps it doesn't have to be a "message me privately" situation. My kids are not athletic phenoms by any stretch of the imagination . . . I didn't want to give the impression that starting this thread means my kids are cruising at high-speed to the top of the pack. They are exceptionally hard workers and I think mental strategies would give them an edge over their more physically-gifted counterparts. I'm very interested in other people's experiences with high-performance athletes. I really hope some experienced folks will weigh in or at least point us in the right direction! Cheers, Tricia
  3. Hi Elise -- Thanks for popping in on this thread . . . could you do some under-the-rader investigative reporting around your club and find out if other parents are actively reading/thinking about the mental slice. I wonder if mental strategies are more "caught" than "taught" . . . even so, I'd like to educate myself so I can throw out tidbits here and there about coping with the crazy of competing! Warmly, Tricia
  4. Hello Hive, I have a few questions for those of you who are parenting high-performance athletes. At what age did your child start to need mental training, so they could figure out ways to harness their race-day energy/nerves and channel that into performance? (I'm asking b/c I shared coffee this morning with an experienced paddling mama who was telling me all about "muscle memory" and race-day strategies that her daughter used to become a successful, nationally-ranked paddler. It got me thinking about the mental edge of competing.) Was this coaching based on "age" or "level of competition?" Have any of you sought professional sport psychology coaching? Would you consider sharing the experience with me, from a parenting pov? What are the best resources you've come across for unpackaging the mental aspects of training and racing? Do you have specific authors or bloggers who you follow? Do you know of resources aimed at the younger crowd? I'm thinking parents of swimmers, gymnasts, tennis players, paddlers -- kids that have to learn how to perform under high individual pressure. I'd like to be able to start building some common language in our home around training, performing, pressure, adrenalin . . . so they can start to recognize or become aware of the mental slice of their athletic pursuits. Would you consider private messaging me if you have thoughts or experience about this? Warmly, Tricia
  5. Applauding you. Young men who don't meet their own (sometimes unrealistic) performance expectations are scary beasts. I think your no-reaction was perfect. There is a time to engage in teaching respect and post-event is probably not the time that a young man can receive a true thing. I'm encouraged by this story! Cheers, Tricia
  6. :bigear: My oldest Mr hasn't drowned in the wild, open sea of AoPS Alg 1, however, he has capsized a couple times and found himself floundering. If we didn't have our amazing tutor, AofPS would have chewed up my oldest. It is helpful to have someone come alongside that understands the whole picture. Our tutor has been able to back-fill the gaps. That said, I'm also looking for a student-led Alg 1 course that doesn't take those giant steps over small details. I need to find the right curriculum for my Middle Mr who might be able to stay afloat with AofPS but certainly not as a first run. Maybe one curr. would fit the bill for both boys? T
  7. See, this hive is so smart. Good Night Sleep Tight Don't let the bedbugs Bite and a few appliques bugs for good measure. Would make for a great boy blanket. Thanks to those of you who offered ideas. I hope more folks weigh in on this! Warmly, T
  8. Hello Hivers, Over the years, I've made many basic jean quilts out of reclaimed jeans. They are simple squares, easy to sew, durable. I would like to applique words on this quilt I'm making right now . . . but I'm stumped for ideas when it comes to cute sleepy sayings. I searched online but the quotes are way too long. I want something more original than "always kiss me goodnight" . . . I would like to sell these quilts so the saying has to be something that won't get me into copyright problems. I'd enjoy making toddler/preschool cozy quilts that would be just right for naptime but I'm hooked on the words idea and can't come up with anything creative. It's my curse -- I can sew lots of great things but the creative edge always seems to allude me. Suggestions? Warmly, Tricia
  9. Self-righteous anything makes me crazy. I agree with you, Harvard and Heaven are both doable . . . can we do Harvard, Heaven and also be in good relationship with them for a lifetime? The kids have to make their own choices about faith, and they have to decide how hard they want to push themselves academically . . . I can drive an agenda and make us all crazy or I can try to see where they are going, what is inside them that needs to surface so they can live a life that feels right for them. As a mother, that's what a really want for our children. Warmly, Tricia
  10. and my final thoughts: I really like your comments about doing hard things and it can be hard for young teens to find the strength to press into the hard stuff. I've done alot more hand-holding this week, let them enjoy what they enjoy and plod along with what feels harder or less enjoyable -- the key change this week has been with me. Change always begins with me. By backing off, not taking everything so darn personally, understanding that I have no right to expect anything from them by way of gratitude, that I'm doing what I'm doing as a homeschooler because I still think it's the right path - these tidbits have helped my headspace. My boys don't want to go to public school. Believe me, I've asked them many times, even encouraged them to give it a try. They like their life at home, which I guess means they like me. :001_smile: I need to grow into this new chapter of what it means to be in relationship with my young teen man, my tweener man and keep things rolling in a positive way while maintaining academics that will keep the doors open in the future. Thank you, Nan, for posting. The knotty, churning feeling in my stomach has decreased substantially. With deep gratitude, Tricia
  11. Hi Nan, I humbly thank you for taking time to write out this post. I have never figured out the beauty of multi-quoting in a post . . . in any case, I've used your wise words and applied to my situation. Blue: Math is a huge chore to me. Writing is a huge chore to my boys. Funny that I didn't realize this until reading your post about 10 times. If I never had to look at a math textbook again, wouldn't I be a happy camper? My boys feel the same way about the endless reading that I do . . . they enjoy reading (certainly nothing I pick out for them) and don't enjoy writing (though they will do the WWS and history outlining - some days it's a grumble-fest). I react to their grumbling, but now, I can tell myself that the work they're bickering over feels like a chore that they don't want to do but know they need to do it. Your post helped me not take it all so seriously or personally. All of us understand that writing, reading, processing are important skills but there are going to be moments when they just don't want to do it. I have to be alright with that. If I had to go back in time and do math everyday, I'd complain to anyone that would listen. Purple: Again, this is another epiphany that I only got after reading your post many times. I have poured my life into my children and we do life so our kids can have a great foundation with which to carry on into adult life. I admit, I do want them to be thankful, grateful to us and I didn't truly realize that expecting them to spontaneously break out in song and dance because of what we're putting on the table for them is an unrealistic expectation. Thank you -- this is a huge growing edge in my life. Green: Yes, we outsourced Math this year. He's doing online math, we hired a tutor and my contribution is to correct the end-of-chapter problem sets. I can manage some correcting but I have no desire to try to teach math. I'm still teaching my youngers and their math grumbling triggers me everywhere because there are many days (even in AofPS Pre-Alg) that I just don't always get the whole thing. I feel like I'm squeezing my brain into a whole that doesn't fit so well, so they could at least "try" to stick with me. Again, way too emotional and expecting way too much from my boys. Orange: Our boys spend lots and lots of time away from us. They paddle, they play, they do youth groups, they go snowboarding . . . we aren't a family that thinks everything has to happen inside our four walls. The truth is, I'd be batty.
  12. Dear Jane in NC . . . I'm usually super quick to fire off a response, but I've sat on this thread for more than a week now . . . watching myself and watching our family do our days together. My oldest Mr is very capable of pushing himself and he does. He gets the crazy math finished, he sat for hours this week playing with electronic stuff and figuring out how capacitors and resistors (and all that stuff that I could care less about anytime ever) and I backed off and let him have at it. I want to read books, read poetry, learn languages; neither of my boys sail that boat. A big level of my "stress" is they aren't doing what I think they should be doing. When I stepped back from myself and watched what was happening, the boys were getting math done, they were reading history and talking about what they were reading, mapping, playing guitar, getting lots of exercise and fresh air. I'm realizing that school is so much more than what happens when I'm "teaching" something . . . do I trust that they are absorbing what they need in the moment. Something must be working because my oldest said to me a few days ago that he'd like to be a math student for a long time. He's looking fwd to the next AofPS course, enjoys Khan Academy, loves coming alongside his younger brother as we're working in Pre-Alg. Neither of them love writing but both will do it -- what I realized from your post is "hand-holding" is not a bad thing. I've done lots of hand-holding so that this math Challenge Set gets done without a family melt-down and we're all happier. I guess I always need to be looking at my expectations and what is motivating me in our homeschool. If they are bucking my wishes, my first obstacle is to listen listen listen and see what it is that is pushing them to frustration. In a non-emotional way, assess whether the boys are pushing back due to human deficiencies of laziness/procrastination or if they really are climbing a wall that feels difficult and then, how can I creatively come alongside? I took 10 deep breaths many times this past week, re-read your comments (along with Nan in Mass') and I think I've got enough in me to carry on for a stretch. Thank you. With gratitude, Tricia
  13. I wouldn't attempt to teach AofPS Pre-Alg to my son without the videos. Seeing the video list online is what gave me the confidence to walk out the math with my 11 year old. [The prof is so funny: Very Very Very BAD things will happen if you try to take the reciprocal of zero! :)] What OP's have said above about not enough practice questions and a huge jump between chapter work and end of chapter questions -- I completely agree with the others. It would be very helpful for me to have a practice supplement. I think AofPS is smarty-pants math and I like how they think about math. I wish AofPS would give online extra worksheets for kids that need more practice but I'm not sure that they would put the effort into meeting that need. They are pretty clear about their mandate: we do what we do so gifted kids can be challenged in their mathematical thinking. I think extra practice comes with Alcumus, which is free. You just have to sign up your under-aged kids by sending in a permission slip.(Fax or snail mail) I have my older keep an Alcumus notebook so he can refresh his brain when the harder questions pop up. (Wouldn't it be wonderful is a mathy WTM mom felt compelled to make practice worksheets that correspond with the AoPS Pre-Algebra chapters? I would pay for that pdf.) T
  14. My 2 cents: My oldest son is pretty mathy. He can handle a challenge and is learning to manage his frustration when Alcumus kicks his butt. AofPS is a great fit for him because he has to work at it. He likes the online classroom setting and the discovery approach works just fine for him. Middle son is a completely different story. We're working through PreAlg at our own pace and yes, we'll definitely need to "supplement" or I refer to it as "plain ole practice" what we've learned together. I could not give my son the AofPS PreAlg text and say: "have at it" -- he would completely lose his mind. The teaching videos are amazing; funny, informative. PreAlg with my middle Mr is my favorite part of the day. AofPS is written so that kids can "discover" the beauty of math but if middle is anything like me, this type of math thinking isn't going to come naturally or easily to him. For now, I think it's worth the effort, but I may have to reassess our AofPS journey if Alg 1 turns out to be a wash for ds2. Every kid takes a different path to competency and I'm ok with that. Warmly, Tricia
  15. My uni roommates had this worked out . . . and also wired up a radio set to a 24 hr classical music radio station . . . one flick of the switch turned on the light, fan and classical music. A lovely experience! :)
  16. :bigear: Listening in! This is the elephant in our hs right now. In my world, pushing my kids into rigour is not something I'm interested in doing. Pulling them into joyful, authentic learning is my heart's desire. The question is: HOW? I'm processing with a few other experienced mamas who seem to have this balance sorted out. Great thread!
  17. Great poll! Again, more about how to be relational and academic . . . the more I press the academic gas pedal, the more effort I have to put into the relational. It seems that my academic expectations are often tied to the amount of energy I have to keep propelling them fwd. As soon as I lose my temper, I feel like I've taken 10 steps backward in the relational end and then I'm in damage control mode. I hate that feeling. I'm trying to figure out how to increase the academic workload without pushing everyone to frustration. I guess it's a process that I'll have all figured out once they've left home. T
  18. Colleen in NS, thank you for taking time to respond to my thread. Your kind tone delivered via this public thread is appreciated. Warmly, Tricia
  19. Jane in NC and Nan in Mass . . . thank you for your kind, encouraging words. I'm in the middle of a math crazy stretch today, so I don't have time at this exact moment to process all of the advice your offered. Thank you for taking time to help me in my moment of need. I'll will print out your posts and carefully match up our day-to-day realities with the advice you've offered and get back to you with some of solutions. Warmly, Tricia
  20. Jane in NC . . . I've been reading over my posts from the past few years and I think you've thrown your pearls my way before about the same issue . . . keeping academics and relationship in the sandbox. Yes to appointment making . . . with a big assignment due on Friday, I'll make an appointment to check his progress. Yes to hand-holding . . . my middle disappears without the nudge and encouragement and I forget that he's 11 and not 14. Thank you for reminding me that my expectations have to line up with his ability. Both of my boys get lots of exercise via their paddle training. Perhaps I need to teach them to take a quick jaunt around the neighbourhood, have a shower and a hot cuppa tea etc etc . . . some strategies that will help when the slogging gets tough. Thanks for chiming in. I'm always so appreciative of your kind words. Warmly, Tricia
  21. Hi MomSuz123 -- yes, when my children were younger, academics was just regular life around here. Enjoy these years -- it seems they slip away super quickly. As the boys get older, the work load progresses and it has become harder for me to keep school fresh. Sometimes, it feels like a slog and they both moan and groan. I'm trying to navigate my way along that and wonder how other families with teenage men have managed to keep academics at the forefront without banging compliance into them. What sort of key phrases do you use? For ie, we used "First Things First" for the longest time. University is a long ways off, so I can't really say: do this so you can get into university? That wouldn't have motivated me as a 7th grader. Warmly, Tricia
  22. Yes, this in blue is what I'm looking for to encourage my own journey. I want all of my kids to soar with whatever talent they have in them, but at some point, it becomes hard work. I want to listen, talk, listen some more and also, get the work done. (I thinking specifically of the AofPS challenge sets that my son has to complete; loves math but he can totally get his knickers in a knot when he bumps up against a concept he doesn't get right away!) I wonder how mothers help their young men keep their momentum moving in a forward motion without being overbearing, reactionary etc etc. Or, does the end justify the means, as you state above with calculus. It's just so hard to know the next few steps, how hard to push, if I should push at all as we find ourselves in the middle school years. Warmly, Tricia
  23. Certainly! If you consider your teaching philosophy to be wildly academic and your mothering-style to be fabulously relational, how do you respectfully draw your child forward so that the relationship stays intact when the going gets tough with school? It reminds me of another thread awhile ago about boys being mostly under the tutelage of mom and how that effects their growing up years, into middle school and beyond. Is it possible to help your children soar academically without relying on draconian tactics to get them there. These are the strategies I want to know about! Warmly, Tricia
  24. I really like what Angela in NC has to say about this topic. Learning to compete is a marvelous adventure for young people. They figure out quickly that there is always going to be someone a bit stronger, faster, smarter, more able than they are. Somewhere, they learn that training becomes a competition with themselves and they have to fight against that little voice in their head that says: quit, stop, this is too hard. They learn how to stare down the weakness that wants to give up and figure out how to press into it. I believe competition refines people and helps them to win well and lose graciously. Like Angela, the people who I sense are competitive about how they parent, how they school, how their kids are turning out, etc etc etc -- I also stay far far away from those folks. I want to love and teach my kids in a way that feels right for me. Nobody can tell me what that should like because they aren't me! Yes to competition contained in the proper arena. No to competition/comparison in life. Warmly, Tricia
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