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Advice on reconciling ideals with reality

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I'm having a tough time lately coming to terms with what I'd *like* to do with my dc with what I can *actually* accomplish. I'm guessing on this board, I'm not the only one who's having or had these same troubles so I'm here looking for some advice.


Here's just one example of what I mean:


I researched math for early grades like crazy and determined that in my mind and for *my* child, RS is one of the best programs out there. I think it lays a fantastic foundation in mathematical thinking and of course I believe that building a strong foundation in the grammar stage years is key. Well, my reality is that RS takes a great deal of effort to implement. Now, I know this is true of any math program in the early years, but I've used other programs and didn't find them this intense. I'm thinking of doing another program as I know the best program is the one that gets done (RS IS getting done, but it's, well, tedious some days) but I feel like I'm letting my child down if I don't do what I think is best for them. :tongue_smilie:


I know I should think like this, but since I do I need help changing my outlook. Anybody else here struggle with stuff like this? How do you manage to "let it go" and trust that you're giving your child a good education when it's not your ideal?

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Most of the time its about what is best for you and your child. There are SO many factors to enter into the equation of YOU. You now, you later, you tired, you pregant, you rich , you poor, you with one child, you single, divorced, happy sad. There are as many factors that are for the child--learning style, ability, desire, attentiveness, willingness,. Think about how many different types of Bibles there are-historical context, teen, child, mens, womens,. These are all the word of God- appealing to different interests and learning styles, levels of knowledge. Cut yourself some slack and try and find a good fit that works for both of you without losing too many of your standards. (The Bible must still be the Word of God). My DH and I make race engines. So many people want the "best" of every type of part, the best engine, however, is one where the parts works best together. Maybe not all top performer parts, but not all top performer parts like to work together. The best is what blends to make an engine strong and not have to be beaten into place to "fit" together.



Edited by Lara in Colo
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Yes, I am really drawn to a lot of the teacher-intensive programs. For the first number of years that I homeschooled, I was working one-on-one with a child (mostly my son) for 5+ hours a day. I have too intense of a personality to do that successfully and we were both absolutely miserable. It was truly a revelation to me that I didn't have to homeschool that way and that my son was capable of a lot of independent work. While I've kept one or two teacher intensive subjects per child, they do most of their work independently now. Everyone is so much happier and I don't think anyone is suffering academically.


When I remind myself that if they were in school, they would get whatever program the school district picked whether it suited them or not, that really puts things in perspective for me. I am still able to pick and choose programs that I think will fit my children well, but everything doesn't have to be "The Best".



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I choose the next best choice. Sometimes 2nd best is still good but more doable.


Same here: Real Science 4 Kids is the best looking science program for what I'd like to achieve for my grammar kids.


Reality: ds-6 needs plenty of one on one help, ds-8 needs extra help with social skills, dd-10 is blossoming in writing and poetry.


2nd best choice: Science gets one hands-on project every 3-4 weeks. ds-6 uses bbc, KS2 science modules once a month, enjoys magic school bus books with mom. Ds-8 and Dd-10 use adaptive science modules once a week and read living science books.


Result: Kids are still asking thoughtful science questions, Home is relatively peaceful- doable, had time to participate in science fair and brought home a trophy.

Edited by heart'sjoy
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I think this is a case of taking a minute to look at long term goals. I wrote in a post in another thread that I listened to SWB's Joy of Classical Education lecture (totally worth the 99cent download) and it really reminded me of what my long term goals are and not to get too frazzled over the day to day nuttiness.



That said, math is *my* favorite subject and there is no way I'd spend time doing a math program with my kid that I didn't like. If you feel tedious teaching it, make no mistake, your kid will pick up on that. Or as I like to say, "Monkey see, monkey do."

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Is this a cop-out?


I just tell myself the same thing I tell myself when I have to give the house a "lick and a promise" as opposed to an actual cleaning: "It's better than it could be."


Speaking of math programs, I really pulled a doozie: Because we're low on funds and I know that dd3.5 is a tactile learner, I chose MUS to do with dd6. I figured that dd6 was smart enough to deal with it not quite being her learning style and I'd already be prepared for dd 3.5. Well, I really think that dd6's least favorite subject is math now . . .


But she gets it, at least. After a while. It's just really teacher-intensive for her. :)


Mama Anna

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Hi Jane! We can only do what we can do, right? ;) You have a lot on your plate right now. Please cut yourself some slack. R&S Math "might" be the best program out there for your dc but there are others that are similar and just as/almost as good, imo. However, if R&S is working for dd, then perhaps look at ways to streamline the OTHER subjects? I know you have crazy requirements up there in Canada :glare: but could you either a. cut something else out to give you more time for math or b. find another math program that is similar but less intensive for you? We use Singapore for ds8 and although it is not very teacher-intensive, I still have to teach it and sit w/ ds while he does every. blessed. exercise! Blech. Email me if you'd like to "chat" about this some more! :grouphug:

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Admitting you are not a perfect superwoman is not a cop out.


Plus I find it helps to remember that home education is education for the whole family, not just the school aged people. We're all on a lifelong learning journey together, and one of the many things I have learned so far is that there is no way I can ever predict with 100% accuracy what is and isn't going to work out. As long as we keep the big picture in mind, keep on keeping on, and have plenty of fun along the way, it'll all be fine. (Now, do I get a prize for the most cliches in one short paragraph? :lol: )

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I used to struggle with this issue a lot.

Over the years I relaxed. In the end, the best curriculum that stresses everyone out, that needs too much of mum's help, that takes up too much time, that doesn't fit the child....is not as good as, I will even say, an average curriculum that gets done and doesn't cause other issues.

When you have a child with learning differences you realise pretty quickly that the "best" curriculum is not always going to be the best for this child.


I try to remember that this is our life too, not just preparation for the future- these are the days of their childhood they will look back upon with fond memories- or memories of a stressed and pressured mum and family life. There has to be a balance- for mum, and for child.

I have a friend who has used Rod and Staff English and Saxon Maths for her two daughters, because she felt that according to TWTM, her guide, they were the best. And her daughters have done fine with them- thrived academically. In the end though, they havent gone down all the wonderful bunny trails we have in using many different English curriculums and approaches, from Ambleside to Classical Writing, English Prep, LCC, many grammar programs. Yes, I see the solidity of Rod and Staff, and I am glad for the year we spent with it...but I wouldn't swap what we have done for years with R&S. My friend also doesn't do read alouds or together work- which are our daily nourishment. Her kids work independently. Thats not how I want to do thngs and I am very happy to make compromises in curriculum to try and keep us engaged and interested.

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