Jump to content

Menu

homeschooling - the dream vs. the reality


mamato3
 Share

Recommended Posts

anyone else out there get really exciting during the planning phase of a homeschool year - picking out curriculum, thinking about your children and what they need, and envisioning all the great learning. But then struggle with the reality of trying to implement amidst the chaos (I use this term lovingly) of family life? My oldest is just turning six and there are two younger siblings in the mix so we are still quite new at this. We have an occasional really great, super fantastic day, but many more days that just seem like a struggle with little bits of goodness tucked here and there between quarrels, misbehavior, bad attitudes etc. etc.

 

Any tips for managing expectations and not living so much on the roller coaster of ups and downs?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I could have written this post myself. Yes. Sigh.

 

I do have one child that makes homeschooling a DREAM. He LOVES, LOVES, LOVES homeschooling and rarely gives me a fit over any of his schoolwork. He is honest about his work, and never tries to get out of an assignment, etc.

 

Then I have another child that suck the lifeforce out of me. We've talked about a sentence being made up of a subject and a predicate for THREE YEARS by golly and he'll still look at me like "I have no clue what you are talking about lady!" He dilly dallies, complains, moans and groans and wants to do the least amount of work possible.

 

I love homeschooling and hate it at the same time. LOL

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, I hear ya. I look at the pictures on the curriculum catalogs, I always envision us snuggled on the couch having a discussion about something meaningful. I daydream about Charlotte Masone-esque nature walks. Listening to the call of birds. Exclaiming with delight over a squirrel scampering along a branch. Well, meaningful discussions don't happen. I have two boys. My favorite example is last year we were discussing John Locke (well, I was waxing eloquent about how his ideas were foundational to our ideas of freedom in this country, and our constitution, etc. etc. and how important freedom is and we can't lose our freedom, I was really on a roll) and my oldest son looks at me and says, "I'm a robot. I eat grease!" and that's all he had to say. Talk about bursting my bubble. And our nature walks - they're all about who can raise the biggest dust cloud and hitting each other with sticks. Most days it's all I can do to get the work done. We're not a Normal Rockwell homeschooling family. But, I accept it for what it is. Just like I've had to accept the reality of every other part of life.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is exactly what I've been dealing with the past few weeks while I've been planning. This is the part I love the most. It's a chance for me to set goals before they all come tumbling down :001_smile: I was just speaking with a friend about this and we were talking about how easy it is to overplan, only to set yourself up for disappointment. I know I was definitely guilty of it last year and the guilt wore me out. This year I'm taking the time to plan out everything, even the supposedly open and go curriculums. I'm really trying not to overplan, but to prepare everything ahead of time so it's a matter of me grabbing what we need and running with it. Personally, I know I'm a lot more likely to get a lesson done if I know it's just a matter of me pulling the folder off the shelf. It's been an exhausting summer, but I hope that it means it will be a much more relaxing and organized school year. I've also tried to spread our curriculum out so we don't feel rushed to finish x amount of lessons before Christmas. I just planned out 12 weeks of SOTW and assumed it would last us until the holidays. I'm hoping that will give us the freedom to take days (or weeks) off when needed and spend extra time exploring subjects the kids really enjoy. As tempting as it is to give in to the dream and pick every curriculum I love and fill each week with as much as I can, it just isn't realistic or fun for any of us. It's much easier for me to be honest with myself from the beginning and plan accordingly :001_smile:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Time and experience.

 

Sorry, that's not really something you can get quickly, and it won't help you much for a few years, but I hope it gives you hope that it will get easier.

 

I think the best piece of advice I ever recieved was to learn to prioritze and to teach my dc to, too. Some things are *very* important. Some things are not. And much is in the middle. Decide (on paper helps) what is important in all areas, and then follow that as a guide.

 

For me: It's very important that my dc can read and comprehend well. It would be nice if they knew the state capitals. I could take or leave them learning Greek. For them: It is very important that they obey their parents. It would be nice if they didn't jump on the furniture. I could take or leave them knowing what utensil to use at all times. :D

 

It's easy to treat every goal as equal, but then we can be disappointed. It is easy to make our dc think that we care just as much whether they treat all people with respect or whether they put their clothes in the hamper.

 

This has helped out homeschool immensely. I am not flustered when we don't finish all of my plans, because we did get the important things done. I am not upset when dc miss a finer point of becoming lovely human beings, because I know they know what is vital.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the biggest thing is to teach children, not curriculum. Curriculum plans are fun, nice, exciting, and occasionally helpful. But we don't have our relationship with them, and they don't always know our children or know the future or know what our children need. They are, at the most, guides to help us structure our days.

 

Children are far more important than curriculum.

 

To me, part of it is just expecting to need to deal with attitudes & quarrels etc... Wherever our children are with their character training...that's part of the "curriculum" in my mind. Sometimes it takes over the day in the early years of homeschooling. When that happens, I just remember...the things I teach at that point, how I respond, is more important than what I planned.

 

Hold your plans loosely.

 

Nature walks--this is something I thought we'd do weekly, but instead did about twice per year, with more frequent fores into just exploring the back yard, or watching birds through the window or watching nature on vacation--it became more an informal part of life than a weekly occurrance.

 

Discussions that dissolve into "I'm a robot, I eat grease..." laugh and enjoy your children, and just realize that one day they'll be ready to consider John Locke and his ideas, but that day isn't today. That's ok. Your children are only young once. They won't remember most of what we discuss, but they will remember if we cherish them.

 

Kids don't always fit the mold of our curriculum plans. Instead of letting that be a source of conflict, find ways to embrace the uniqueness of each child.

 

Merry :-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I started HS, I had all these visions of beautiful Pinterest-worthy notebooks, lapbooks, timelines, "hands-on" history projects, etc. that my students would happily do to the background strains of classical music. :lol:

 

Come to find out that my kids *HATE* anything crafty or requiring a lot of physical writing in a notebook but enjoy workbooks and even textbooks. :tongue_smilie:

 

I still love CM and WTM in theory but I have to very much tweak them in practice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Discussions that dissolve into "I'm a robot, I eat grease..." laugh and enjoy your children, and just realize that one day they'll be ready to consider John Locke and his ideas, but that day isn't today. That's ok. Your children are only young once. They won't remember most of what we discuss, but they will remember if we cherish them.

 

 

Merry :-)

 

Oh, I did laugh at that one. It kind of put me in my place, actually. What does a 9 year old boy know about political philosophy, tyranny, freedom, et. All he cares aoub is Legos.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Getting along with each other, being kind and respectful is IMO the most important thing to teach in the early years. If we don't teach this to our children it will make homeschooling life very difficult. There are days when I just toss our curriculum to the side and pray and focus on our family. It is hard to do sometimes because I want to finish and move on to the next lesson. But I really think "peace" in the home is more important:)

Blessings,

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Any tips for managing expectations and not living so much on the roller coaster of ups and downs?

 

Remember that it gets easier as they get older.

 

Discussions that dissolve into "I'm a robot, I eat grease..." laugh and enjoy your children, and just realize that one day they'll be ready to consider John Locke and his ideas, but that day isn't today. That's ok. Your children are only young once. They won't remember most of what we discuss, but they will remember if we cherish them.

 

I loved your whole post but this part was just perfection. Thanks! :001_smile:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In the early years, there are few perfect days :D When your youngest is as old as your oldest is now, it will be a LOT easier!! My youngest is 6 now, and I was just talking with another mom the other day about how unfair it is for the oldest, that all the REALLY crazy days come for them for years and years, because they have to cope with their younger sibs craziness too!! :D

 

We have a lot more calm days now. Right now, my oldest is reading in her room and my youngest is building with legos and listening to an audiobook in his room. This is a typical at-home afternoon these days. It was NOT like this AT ALL even a year or two ago!!!!! :lol: Hang in there!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Time and experience.

 

Sorry, that's not really something you can get quickly, and it won't help you much for a few years, but I hope it gives you hope that it will get easier.

 

I think the best piece of advice I ever recieved was to learn to prioritze and to teach my dc to, too. Some things are *very* important. Some things are not. And much is in the middle. Decide (on paper helps) what is important in all areas, and then follow that as a guide.

 

For me: It's very important that my dc can read and comprehend well. It would be nice if they knew the state capitals. I could take or leave them learning Greek. For them: It is very important that they obey their parents. It would be nice if they didn't jump on the furniture. I could take or leave them knowing what utensil to use at all times. :D

 

It's easy to treat every goal as equal, but then we can be disappointed. It is easy to make our dc think that we care just as much whether they treat all people with respect or whether they put their clothes in the hamper.

 

This has helped out homeschool immensely. I am not flustered when we don't finish all of my plans, because we did get the important things done. I am not upset when dc miss a finer point of becoming lovely human beings, because I know they know what is vital.

 

Beautifully said

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh, I did laugh at that one. It kind of put me in my place, actually. What does a 9 year old boy know about political philosophy, tyranny, freedom, et. All he cares aoub is Legos.

 

LOL, I have a 15 yo that still loves legos! He's learning Robotc this year! If you can't beat 'em, join 'em!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the biggest thing is to teach children, not curriculum.

 

Children are far more important than curriculum.
Hold your plans loosely.
Your children are only young once. They won't remember most of what we discuss, but they will remember if we cherish them.

Merry, these are gems of wisdom. Just printed them off to place in the front of my various IG's, binders, etc.

 

Thanks for the reminders!!:)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the biggest thing is to teach children, not curriculum. Curriculum plans are fun, nice, exciting, and occasionally helpful. But we don't have our relationship with them, and they don't always know our children or know the future or know what our children need. They are, at the most, guides to help us structure our days.

 

Children are far more important than curriculum.

 

To me, part of it is just expecting to need to deal with attitudes & quarrels etc... Wherever our children are with their character training...that's part of the "curriculum" in my mind. Sometimes it takes over the day in the early years of homeschooling. When that happens, I just remember...the things I teach at that point, how I respond, is more important than what I planned.

 

Hold your plans loosely.

 

Nature walks--this is something I thought we'd do weekly, but instead did about twice per year, with more frequent fores into just exploring the back yard, or watching birds through the window or watching nature on vacation--it became more an informal part of life than a weekly occurrance.

 

Discussions that dissolve into "I'm a robot, I eat grease..." laugh and enjoy your children, and just realize that one day they'll be ready to consider John Locke and his ideas, but that day isn't today. That's ok. Your children are only young once. They won't remember most of what we discuss, but they will remember if we cherish them.

 

Kids don't always fit the mold of our curriculum plans. Instead of letting that be a source of conflict, find ways to embrace the uniqueness of each child.

 

Merry :-)

 

Hilarious, and I love this whole post. Thanks, Merry.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am just this year starting to really get to sit down and cuddle for school on a daily basis. Last year it was an occasional thing. This year, it's every day. What has changed? The kids are older! :D We still have chaos... He's 3. :lol: But it's so much better than when he was 18 months or 2!

 

When my oldest was in 1st grade, I was happy if we got the 3R's in. Last year, we did more history because I was able to just hand it to the oldest and let him go read it himself. Reading aloud was NOT happening! This year, I'm able to sit with my younger two and read aloud for a reasonably long time (for them). The youngest may still wander a bit, and the 5 year old may end up upsidedown on the couch beside me, but he's paying attention. ;) And even better, I'm able to sit with my oldest and our tablet and study Latin or grammar together without interruption. Ah... so nice. :)

 

Another thing that has helped is that as my son turned 8, he started to become more responsible and independent with his schoolwork (and housework too!). Note that I said "more"... He's not responsible and independent, but he's more than he was. ;) Sometimes I still have to sit on him to finish his work, but with some good lectures and not getting to go play hockey one night, he's starting to get the idea that it's better to finish the work. I'm seeing a completely different child this year than last year. Amazing what a bit of maturity does! :D In housework, he's now cleaning up without complaint, folding and putting away laundry without complaint (that is the secret to being caught up on laundry, btw - make the kids do it! :lol:), and he even helped me weed the flower beds and worked his little tail off doing so. I am loving age 8! (and yes, I know, it will change as he gets closer to the tween/teen stages and argues more :tongue_smilie:).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I added the tag, Merry, I hope you don't mind. I always found your encouraging posts on the Sonlight forums over the years to have more than just the wisdom of an experienced Mom. Your faith in the spiritual aspect of parenting and homeschooling is so apparent, and I'm so glad you are on these boards now. So I gave you a tag.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

anyone else out there get really exciting during the planning phase of a homeschool year - picking out curriculum, thinking about your children and what they need, and envisioning all the great learning. But then struggle with the reality of trying to implement amidst the chaos (I use this term lovingly) of family life? My oldest is just turning six and there are two younger siblings in the mix so we are still quite new at this. We have an occasional really great, super fantastic day, but many more days that just seem like a struggle with little bits of goodness tucked here and there between quarrels, misbehavior, bad attitudes etc. etc.

 

Any tips for managing expectations and not living so much on the roller coaster of ups and downs?

 

Earlier today on a K thread I wrote that homeschooling is as much about how you function as a family as teacher prep. It is true. Children are less "busy" as they get older, but they are also more autonomous and verbal when they are older. ;) Having a flow/rhythm is actually probably a higher priority than curriculum. I can teach w/lots of different materials, but w/o a smooth "flow" than what curriculum I have isn't going to matter b/c I won't have the ability to teach in the first place.

 

When my kids are little, very, very little time is spent on academics. K is about 45 mins to an hour. First is 1 to 1 1/2 hrs. The rest of their day is spent learning to entertain themselves (no tv), playing, imagining, interacting w/younger siblings and respecting the needs of older siblings and mine as teacher.

 

That little amt of time is all that is really required to provide a solid foundation for them as they get older. But establishing a routine (not just random running around free-for-all) where the younger ones are having to respect boundaries will ultimately lead to a better homeschool. It will also help your older children understand that homeschooling is their "job" and that staying on task is their responsibility.

 

Since your children are so young, I would even start off w/shorter time expectations while working on flow and gradually work your way up ton an hr, etc.

 

HTH

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the biggest thing is to teach children, not curriculum. Curriculum plans are fun, nice, exciting, and occasionally helpful. But we don't have our relationship with them, and they don't always know our children or know the future or know what our children need. They are, at the most, guides to help us structure our days.

 

Children are far more important than curriculum.

 

To me, part of it is just expecting to need to deal with attitudes & quarrels etc... Wherever our children are with their character training...that's part of the "curriculum" in my mind. Sometimes it takes over the day in the early years of homeschooling. When that happens, I just remember...the things I teach at that point, how I respond, is more important than what I planned.

 

Hold your plans loosely.

 

Merry :-)

 

:iagree::iagree:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've learned to draw up a "bare bones" lesson plan and then have extra ideas listed next to lessons in case I have the energy and/or resources for those things. I plan for interruptions, grumpiness and sickness. In our state, we have a Pioneer Day celebration on the 24th of July (yesterday) that includes fireworks well into the night. I know that my kids are not going to be their usual chipper selves on July 25th due to the fact that their sleep is interrupted until midnight the night before. I do not plan any school on a day like that. When I do plan to push through it, it falls apart and I hate homeschooling. When I don't plan anything, I gratefully accept any sort of schooling that can happen; which, for the first time ever, was an entire day's worth today. (Hallelujah!)

 

I would love to be that homeschool mom who sews up historical costumes for each era of history that we're studying. I would seriously love to do that because it sounds like so much fun! But then I have to remind myself that I hate sewing. Hate it with a passion. So instead of making myself feel guilty for when "Pilgrim Costumes" comes and goes on my lesson plan, it's mentioned as a potential extra thing to do.

 

I wrote a blog post a few months ago about my love/dislike relationship with homeschooling: http://mrsbrooke.blogspot.com/2012/02/this-homeschooling-thing-that-were.html

 

It's OK that we're not perfect. All that we're required to do is get up each morning and keep pushing forward at whatever pace it is that we're able to push forward. I've spent so many years clinging to the edge of my table, overcome with morning sickness, just hoping to get through whatever lesson we were working on at that moment so that I could end the school day with "one measly little thing" accomplished. Fast forward to now, and it hasn't mattered that we had to have days like that. In fact, I look back on those days and I'm immensely proud of myself for getting that little wee bit done despite feeling like I wanted to die. Those nauseous days make squabbling kids and ruptured eardrums seem like a piece of cake. Whatever, we've done school through worse.

 

It all works out in the end. And it will be imperfectly beautiful.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My favorite example is last year we were discussing John Locke (well, I was waxing eloquent about how his ideas were foundational to our ideas of freedom in this country, and our constitution, etc. etc. and how important freedom is and we can't lose our freedom, I was really on a roll) and my oldest son looks at me and says, "I'm a robot. I eat grease!" and that's all he had to say. .

I'm sorry but this has me :lol:. And I know my son does very similar stuff...maybe it is an age thing LOL.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

anyone else out there get really exciting during the planning phase of a homeschool year - picking out curriculum, thinking about your children and what they need, and envisioning all the great learning. But then struggle with the reality of trying to implement amidst the chaos (I use this term lovingly) of family life? My oldest is just turning six and there are two younger siblings in the mix so we are still quite new at this. We have an occasional really great, super fantastic day, but many more days that just seem like a struggle with little bits of goodness tucked here and there between quarrels, misbehavior, bad attitudes etc. etc.

Sounds like my kids....especially my son. It all gets pictured but the reality is often quite different.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I started HS, I had all these visions of beautiful Pinterest-worthy notebooks, lapbooks, timelines, "hands-on" history projects, etc. that my students would happily do to the background strains of classical music. :lol:

Yeah....this was me....and I am tired and exhausted all the time and I don't have the energy to do all that stuff.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

anyone else out there get really exciting during the planning phase of a homeschool year - picking out curriculum, thinking about your children and what they need, and envisioning all the great learning. But then struggle with the reality of trying to implement amidst the chaos (I use this term lovingly) of family life? My oldest is just turning six and there are two younger siblings in the mix so we are still quite new at this. We have an occasional really great, super fantastic day, but many more days that just seem like a struggle with little bits of goodness tucked here and there between quarrels, misbehavior, bad attitudes etc. etc.

 

Any tips for managing expectations and not living so much on the roller coaster of ups and downs?

 

What I have learned over the years is to be flexible and be willing to throw all those painstakingly created plans out the window in order to embrace what is needed that day. Sometimes what is needed is ice cream for breakfast and a stack of read alouds, other times what is needed is to open the craft supply cupboard with instruction to build something to drop an egg from the window without breaking the egg. being flexible and living in the day helps keep us grounded in WHY we homeschool in the first place. I didn't start homeschooling in order to battle it out toe to toe about what is written on teh schedule.

 

As well even with all that lovely planning, don't do daily plans for the whole year up front. have your long term goals, and midterm goals but keep the day to day planning at a max 6-9 weeks at a time so that you can re-evaluate where you are as far as those goals without having to redo everything because you are 5 days "behind"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I could have written this post myself. Yes. Sigh.

 

I do have one child that makes homeschooling a DREAM. He LOVES, LOVES, LOVES homeschooling and rarely gives me a fit over any of his schoolwork. He is honest about his work, and never tries to get out of an assignment, etc.

 

Then I have another child that suck the lifeforce out of me. We've talked about a sentence being made up of a subject and a predicate for THREE YEARS by golly and he'll still look at me like "I have no clue what you are talking about lady!" He dilly dallies, complains, moans and groans and wants to do the least amount of work possible.

 

I love homeschooling and hate it at the same time. LOL

 

Wow. I have one of each too. Just today he told he had no idea what perpendicular lines are. Funny, because we've only talked about perpendicular for three years now.

 

Yep, I know all about the life force being sucked dry daily.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yep, I know all about the life force being sucked dry daily.

 

I SO needed this now.

Boy and I have had it and I quit last week.

DH is teaching him after work for a while.

They're visiting my folks so I get a few days alone.

 

It was funny last night hearing DH say the same things I say.

It's not just me!

 

You guys give me hope that I can regroup and get back in there after a bit of a break. And it's so nice to feel not so alone.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Two things help me - taking a proper break for at least a couple of weeks and doing portfolio assessments. The first helps me refuel and get new ideas. The second helps remind me both of what we're doing really well and of places where we have holes. I almost always leave portfolio updates (we take a day every couple of months) feeling reassured that we're doing a great job and have "done enough" - more than enough, really. And feeling directed by seeing what we didn't do enough of or could do a better job with.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are so many stages of disillusionment yet ahead, it's really not necessary to stumble over the first. :)

 

Seriously, I'm too tired tonight even to go into how many times over the years I've had my bubble burst. It's like each stage you see more of their personhood and have to release your ideas to their realities. But it's a happy thing, where you sort of embrace who they are and love them and let that be the dream. Personally, after waiting 10 years between kids, I would say the chaos you have IS the dream. I would totally embrace it sister, seriously. Sometimes we get really deluded by what we read on the boards and think most of it is necessary. It's NOT. You could do what is necessary in exceptionally little time with exceptionally fun methods that would integrate all your kids. You're teaching a newly *6* yo, not a 16 a yo.

 

Well whatever, you probably don't see it that way. However, looking back I can tell you you ARE living the dream. You're living *my* dream because I wasn't able to have babies so fast and close together. As I plan, especially now that we're doing junior high and high school stuff, I try to stop and ask myself what I would look back on as happy, what I could plan in that would be living the dream and what stuff am I allowing in that is DISTRACTING me from getting that done. It's hard to get that retrospective sense when you're in the moment, but it's worth working for. That's why some planning and pausing is good each spring or summer, because it let's you stop and reexamine how life is going and whether you're building the habits you meant to and living your dream.

 

Just because things aren't going the way you thought doesn't mean you aren't living the dream. You just have to stop and see it. Make sure you aren't trying to do overmuch and you'll probably be able to sort it out. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My favorite example is last year we were discussing John Locke (well, I was waxing eloquent about how his ideas were foundational to our ideas of freedom in this country, and our constitution, etc. etc. and how important freedom is and we can't lose our freedom, I was really on a roll) and my oldest son looks at me and says, "I'm a robot. I eat grease!" and that's all he had to say.

 

Yesterday I was reading about the Cuban crisis, and after hissing over what Hearst and Pulitzer did, kiddo responded to the description of TR charging up San Juan Hill by charging across the room without warning and doing a full forward flip onto the couch I was sitting on.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

:lol: to the first...

 

There are so many stages of disillusionment yet ahead, it's really not necessary to stumble over the first. :)

 

Seriously, I'm too tired tonight even to go into how many times over the years I've had my bubble burst. It's like each stage you see more of their personhood and have to release your ideas to their realities. But it's a happy thing, where you sort of embrace who they are and love them and let that be the dream. Personally, after waiting 10 years between kids, I would say the chaos you have IS the dream. I would totally embrace it sister, seriously. Sometimes we get really deluded by what we read on the boards and think most of it is necessary. It's NOT. You could do what is necessary in exceptionally little time with exceptionally fun methods that would integrate all your kids. You're teaching a newly *6* yo, not a 16 a yo.

 

Well whatever, you probably don't see it that way. However, looking back I can tell you you ARE living the dream. You're living *my* dream because I wasn't able to have babies so fast and close together. As I plan, especially now that we're doing junior high and high school stuff, I try to stop and ask myself what I would look back on as happy, what I could plan in that would be living the dream and what stuff am I allowing in that is DISTRACTING me from getting that done. It's hard to get that retrospective sense when you're in the moment, but it's worth working for. That's why some planning and pausing is good each spring or summer, because it let's you stop and reexamine how life is going and whether you're building the habits you meant to and living your dream.

 

Just because things aren't going the way you thought doesn't mean you aren't living the dream. You just have to stop and see it. Make sure you aren't trying to do overmuch and you'll probably be able to sort it out. :)

 

and :001_wub: for the rest.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Earlier today on a K thread I wrote that homeschooling is as much about how you function as a family as teacher prep. It is true. Children are less "busy" as they get older, but they are also more autonomous and verbal when they are older. ;) Having a flow/rhythm is actually probably a higher priority than curriculum. I can teach w/lots of different materials, but w/o a smooth "flow" than what curriculum I have isn't going to matter b/c I won't have the ability to teach in the first place.

 

When my kids are little, very, very little time is spent on academics. K is about 45 mins to an hour. First is 1 to 1 1/2 hrs. The rest of their day is spent learning to entertain themselves (no tv), playing, imagining, interacting w/younger siblings and respecting the needs of older siblings and mine as teacher.

 

That little amt of time is all that is really required to provide a solid foundation for them as they get older. But establishing a routine (not just random running around free-for-all) where the younger ones are having to respect boundaries will ultimately lead to a better homeschool. It will also help your older children understand that homeschooling is their "job" and that staying on task is their responsibility.

 

Since your children are so young, I would even start off w/shorter time expectations while working on flow and gradually work your way up ton an hr, etc.

 

HTH

 

Love this response and hope to implement much of this advice!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is me. To a T. I have stopped reading blogs because I am terrible for wanting to incorporate other people's "dreams." Nothing but real life books, field trips and meaningful discussions (see: sugar plums and fairies dancing in my head) But none of this fits in to my reality. My oldest needs to read, hear and write in order to fully grasp a concept. My middle will wiggle right out of her chair (seriously, it's happened) if you expect her to sit for more than 10 seconds and try to broach a conversation and you're likely to get several "I don't knows" which eventually deteriorate into nothing but shoulder shrugs. And all of this while a 3 year old plays at our feet.

 

I don't really have any tips. I am still trying to naviagate through. We've been doing this since my oldest was 5 (she's 8 now) and I still have a lot of days where I struggle. It has improved (immensely!) though, and we have found our groove now. It doesn't match everyone else's "groove"...but it is what works for us. So all I can offer for advice is to keep on trucking! Don't expect perfection from the kids, or from yourself. Ride out the lows and hold tight to the highs!! :001_smile:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've felt so discouraged too. Reading the awesomeness on these boards is intimidating at times, and I find myself holding my kids to other people's standards or lives at times... (bad bad bad). It's our competitive nature.

 

My kids drop pencils at an amazingly fast rate, bicker, cross arms in defiance, refuse to read, shrug, sigh, cry, fight, and many other grating things. I almost dropped homeschooling altogether a few months ago, but I'm going to give it another try because I'm in love with the concept.

 

I pray for guidance and patience. I renew my intention for homeschooling so that I can keep my eye on the prize.

 

I like how some of you say you'll actually just have a craft day or reading day. I never have just called it a day and ditched what was on the calendar. I've been afraid they'll feel like they can get out of work if they act bad enough.

 

Maybe I should have some reasonable 'outs' in case of a terrible day.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

thanks for all the great responses here! It is so great to know that I am not alone. I will definitely save all these great words of wisdom and funny stories (laughter is a wonderful medicine!) in my little encouragement file. press on!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like how some of you say you'll actually just have a craft day or reading day. I never have just called it a day and ditched what was on the calendar. I've been afraid they'll feel like they can get out of work if they act bad enough.

 

Maybe I should have some reasonable 'outs' in case of a terrible day.

 

You know, you might just flip it. Start cleaning and have them work and slave so hard school is a release and a reward. :lol: Seriously, a mom on the boards here said that years ago, that when her kids weren't onboard enough to school, they had to clean. But making it punitive doesn't go over very well in our house either. If I foresee a bad day (or bad afternoon), I just give up and change course BEFORE it gets bad. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've just skimmed this thread so far, and I will return to it to read again and with more depth. But it's been a great thread to read as I've been doing a mental evaluation of what's working and what's not 3 weeks into kindergarten. It's not completely how I envisioned it but it's working for us fabulously. And that's what counts.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You know, you might just flip it. Start cleaning and have them work and slave so hard school is a release and a reward. :lol: Seriously, a mom on the boards here said that years ago, that when her kids weren't onboard enough to school, they had to clean. But making it punitive doesn't go over very well in our house either. If I foresee a bad day (or bad afternoon), I just give up and change course BEFORE it gets bad. :)

 

That and/or let them think they are about to die of boredom. My kids are extraordinarily motivated by boredom. :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've felt so discouraged too. Reading the awesomeness on these boards is intimidating at times, and I find myself holding my kids to other people's standards or lives at times... (bad bad bad). It's our competitive nature.

 

My kids drop pencils at an amazingly fast rate, bicker, cross arms in defiance, refuse to read, shrug, sigh, cry, fight, and many other grating things. I almost dropped homeschooling altogether a few months ago, but I'm going to give it another try because I'm in love with the concept.

 

I pray for guidance and patience. I renew my intention for homeschooling so that I can keep my eye on the prize.

 

I like how some of you say you'll actually just have a craft day or reading day. I never have just called it a day and ditched what was on the calendar. I've been afraid they'll feel like they can get out of work if they act bad enough.

 

Maybe I should have some reasonable 'outs' in case of a terrible day.

 

Regarding being intimidated by what other people are doing... I took a giant board break (more than a year, between 2010 and 2011) because I found that I was starting to care waaaaaay too much what others were doing, what every curriculum on the planet was like, etc. My own ability to create and my own knowledge of my kids and family were getting pushed out of the picture, so I took a break to regain independence of thought. Now I can say I'm doing what I'm doing and it is what's working here.

 

I am definitely not saying to leave the boards, and I am happy to be back because DH isn't always up for super lengthy chats about the minutiae of our days, book choices, etc. :D What I am saying is to get confident with yourself. You know your own children best and all of the many recommendations for projects, books, curricula, etc. need to go through your filter of compatibility instead of adding to your list of things you are failing to do. :grouphug:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...