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What do you do when the joy for homeschooling is gone?


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I have to fight myself everyday just to sit down with my dc and do there school work with them. I get no joy from it anymore, it's been a very long time since I really loved teaching them. To put it frankly, I hate it. Putting them in school really isn't an option. The schools here are not that great, and from what I've heard I don't like what goes on in the schools. I feel like I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place. Our options are limited. We took last week off for spring break, I thought that would help me but it hasn't. Just the thought of sitting down and teaching is depressing. Then I feel guilty for even feeling that way. Ugh! I've thought, maybe it's the curriculum we are using? Which I think a part of it is. I'm not really loving anything that we are using. This is our 6th year and I still haven't found what works well for my kids. All of them struggle with learning so teaching them hasn't been an easy thing. I think I am beyond burned out. Suggestions, Advices? Cyber :grouphug: ? And please don't throw tomatos!

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Does your area have a homeschool co-op or support group? Perhaps some advice and support from others who are in a similar situation can be beneficial.

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:grouphug:

 

When I felt that way, I started taking Omega 3 supplements, which helped my mood immensely.

 

In the meantime, I don't know what to say. I'm in the same boat as you, in that there just isn't any other option (but I'm really burned out), even though I'd really like to enroll my kids somewhere. Have you ever tried lapbooks? Or how about using MFW Exploring Countries & Cultures? The year we used ECC was our most fun year. How about using some online stuff to give yourself a break? We did that this year...we switched to CLE for Language Arts and BJU for science and VP for history.

 

I love your quote by Jim Trelease, "What you make a child love and desire is more important than what you make him learn."

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I don't have much advice as I'm a newbie. But I can offer a big :grouphug:. I have homeschooled in the past while dealing with depression, so I can relate to the not wanting to sit down with your kids to teach them and finding no joy in it. It's TOUGH when you feel that way! But kudos to you for putting one foot in front of the other and doing it anyway.

 

A couple of questions for you to think about. Have you thought about your kids' learning styles and what curric would fit them from that point of view? Are you able to take a week (or two or three) off right now -- to give yourself a break and the kids a break? Are your kids having a difficult time learnng because of the curriculum, or learning handicaps (like dyslexia), or a poor attitude, or do they just naturally have a difficult time absorbing information?

 

I hope some others are able to chime in and offer some wise words for you. Hang in there!

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My oldest two really struggle with learning, too, FWIW. I didn't even realize how much they struggled until I started schooling my 3rd son, who is pretty normal. Now, I find myself frustrated with my oldest two and their challenges.

 

:grouphug:

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Does your area have a homeschool co-op or support group? Perhaps some advice and support from others who are in a similar situation can be beneficial.

 

The co-op we are in ended the year a couple of weeks ago. I wasn't that happy with it because it was more enrichment than academic. I'm hoping to find another one for next year.

 

:grouphug:

 

When I felt that way, I started taking Omega 3 supplements, which helped my mood immensely.

 

In the meantime, I don't know what to say. I'm in the same boat as you, in that there just isn't any other option (but I'm really burned out), even though I'd really like to enroll my kids somewhere. Have you ever tried lapbooks? Or how about using MFW Exploring Countries & Cultures? The year we used ECC was our most fun year. How about using some online stuff to give yourself a break? We did that this year...we switched to CLE for Language Arts and BJU for science and VP for history.

 

I love your quote by Jim Trelease, "What you make a child love and desire is more important than what you make him learn."

 

 

Maybe I need to try Omega 3 supplements. I'm also 13 weeks pregnant, and have been exhausted the whole time. So that hasn't helped my mood any.

I put Jim Trelease quote in my siggy because it's something I would really love to see come true in my own children, however I have failed, they hate learning!

 

 

I don't have much advice as I'm a newbie. But I can offer a big :grouphug:. I have homeschooled in the past while dealing with depression, so I can relate to the not wanting to sit down with your kids to teach them and finding no joy in it. It's TOUGH when you feel that way! But kudos to you for putting one foot in front of the other and doing it anyway.

 

A couple of questions for you to think about. Have you thought about your kids' learning styles and what curric would fit them from that point of view? Are you able to take a week (or two or three) off right now -- to give yourself a break and the kids a break? Are your kids having a difficult time learnng because of the curriculum, or learning handicaps (like dyslexia), or a poor attitude, or do they just naturally have a difficult time absorbing information?

 

I hope some others are able to chime in and offer some wise words for you. Hang in there!

 

 

I believe that my ds12 and ds8 are both dyslexic. They've never been tested but I am dyslexic and I've seen the signs. My ds9 still can't read. They all have a poor attitude about school, some of which I'm sure comes from me even though I try not to let my attitude show when we are working. My dd13 seems to have a difficult time understanding non-fiction texts so I can't really give her a book and expect her to learn. So that leaves me with needing teach 3 kids one on one all day long. Not to mention my poor little dd5 who loves to do school but mama keeps telling her no because I don't have the time or energy.

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Okay, total newbie here (will START home schooling in June), but I thought I'd try "thinking out loud" to see if anything helpful comes out. Here goes:

 

Something I have never known much about is the British (European?) custom of a gap year, but it sounds intriguing. I know that you likely can't take a whole year off of home schooling (and wouldn't recommend it for kids), but perhaps something to completely shake things up? I don't know where you live or what the requirements are, but here in Texas the requirements are pretty basic and leave a lot of leeway in how things are handled.

 

What if....

What if you took the remainder of this school year and dumped it? What if your house burned down with all of your home school stuff in it -- how would you continue on? What if you found out you only had a few months left to live -- how would you set your kids up to handle life without you? What if you had the opportunity for the world trip of a life time, and could take the kids along -- what would you want them to learn (and how) while you were all away from home?

 

What if you and your kids play a "what if" game, to see if you can come up with something different to do for a month or two?

 

It seems like what you all need is to shake things up. How would you (all) like to do it?

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At the ages your kids are, it's time to get the formal evals. They'll give you much more information than just the labels, and that information (processing speed, etc. etc.) may help you make some changes. Our evals were a big turning point for us. It's high time. That could make a HUGE difference for you.

 

After that, I don't know if your oldest is rising 9th or rising 8th, but with mine (rising 9th), I'm finally thinking in terms of college, light at the end of the tunnel. So if you're not yet, you will be in a year.

 

And yes the prego thing is probably getting you. I don't seem to have that problem much (only twice in my life ;) ). I know it's hard. Come to the SN board and lament a bit. Get the evals. We tend to try to work around evals, but you're WORTH it. They can make such a HUGE difference in your teaching when you have that info. And your kids are the perfect age. Then can do them now and then in 3-4 years for college testing. Gives you the paper trail for accommodations.

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Okay, total newbie here (will START home schooling in June), but I thought I'd try "thinking out loud" to see if anything helpful comes out. Here goes:

 

Something I have never known much about is the British (European?) custom of a gap year, but it sounds intriguing. I know that you likely can't take a whole year off of home schooling (and wouldn't recommend it for kids), but perhaps something to completely shake things up? I don't know where you live or what the requirements are, but here in Texas the requirements are pretty basic and leave a lot of leeway in how things are handled.

 

What if....

What if you took the remainder of this school year and dumped it? What if your house burned down with all of your home school stuff in it -- how would you continue on? What if you found out you only had a few months left to live -- how would you set your kids up to handle life without you? What if you had the opportunity for the world trip of a life time, and could take the kids along -- what would you want them to learn (and how) while you were all away from home?

 

What if you and your kids play a "what if" game, to see if you can come up with something different to do for a month or two?

 

It seems like what you all need is to shake things up. How would you (all) like to do it?

 

Love this! I've pondered just dropping school for the rest of the year, but my dc are so far behind it's just not an option. For our state we either have to do yearly testing or have there work examined by a certified teacher. We don't do the testing since I'm sure that might raise some red flags for the school officials.

 

At the ages your kids are, it's time to get the formal evals. They'll give you much more information than just the labels, and that information (processing speed, etc. etc.) may help you make some changes. Our evals were a big turning point for us. It's high time. That could make a HUGE difference for you.

 

After that, I don't know if your oldest is rising 9th or rising 8th, but with mine (rising 9th), I'm finally thinking in terms of college, light at the end of the tunnel. So if you're not yet, you will be in a year.

 

And yes the prego thing is probably getting you. I don't seem to have that problem much (only twice in my life ;) ). I know it's hard. Come to the SN board and lament a bit. Get the evals. We tend to try to work around evals, but you're WORTH it. They can make such a HUGE difference in your teaching when you have that info. And your kids are the perfect age. Then can do them now and then in 3-4 years for college testing. Gives you the paper trail for accommodations.

 

I wish I could have my dc tested. We don't have insurance, and even when we did they didn't cover it. I have my ds13 'tested' by the school in the discrict where we lived at the time, he was 6. Whatever tests they used I didn't get any kind of diagnosis, they just told me your son is behind in math, reading, blah blah blah, which I already new, but didn't give me any good or helpful information. So I'm kind of leery of having them tested by the school.

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Oh my goodness, those two things alone - being preggo and your co-op ending for the year are enough to bring on the homeschool blues!!! I've definitely seen a "let down" here when various well-loved activities come to an end! It's April, hopefully the end of the year is in sight. While you're trudging through to the end, think about what you can do to help next year - Evaluations (as others have mentioned), on-line classes (VP self paced for history? Plato for science?).... (anything that takes some of the load off of you!) .... and look into a better co-op situation. It helps SO much to have the weekly visual reminder that you're not in this alone.... and for your dc to look forward to seeing friends and maybe work harder because of that.

 

Cyber hugs, definitely!!! :grouphug:

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I wish I could have my dc tested. We don't have insurance, and even when we did they didn't cover it. I have my ds13 'tested' by the school in the discrict where we lived at the time, he was 6. Whatever tests they used I didn't get any kind of diagnosis, they just told me your son is behind in math, reading, blah blah blah, which I already new, but didn't give me any good or helpful information. So I'm kind of leery of having them tested by the school.

 

I think it's worth trying again. Tell them you are dyslexic and your 9 year old can't read. They are required to test if you ask them, too.

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I have my ds13 'tested' by the school in the discrict where we lived at the time, he was 6. Whatever tests they used I didn't get any kind of diagnosis, they just told me your son is behind in math, reading, blah blah blah, which I already new, but didn't give me any good or helpful information. So I'm kind of leery of having them tested by the school.

 

I would get them tested again, especially your 9 and 13 years old. Here before 8 years old, the district tend to be reluctant to label and see if the child catch up by 3rd grade. I'll just let them know you want to have them tested for dyslexic.

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Sounds like time for break! Spring is a great time, and they'll still be learning! Go for walks or visit a state park. Hike the trails and draw some of the plants or animals, etc that you see-- or take a trail guide book with you and identify some trees, flowers, etc.

 

Go on field trips. Are there any historic sites that give tours in your area? Or visit a science museum or something. We have lots of choices for live re-creations of different time periods in our state, and the kids really enjoy those field trips.

 

Have some art days and do some creative things. Make peanut butter dough maps or some paper mache. Pull out the watercolors or try some chalk pastels. Just found a site with 42 chalk pastel lessons a couple days ago.

 

Have them do a poster and something interactive (like for a 'science' fair) on any topic they like that they've studied. They may need to do a bit more research to complete that. They could make little lapbook pages hiding answers to questions they ask, etc. Or make up a game board with question cards for math or science or history. Look up folder games for ideas.

 

Have them plant a garden- veggies or flowers, or grow green onions or celery from the roots in your fridge. Plant sunflower seeds for a sunflower fort.

 

Have the kids do some baking and once a week sit down together and 'have tea'. Take turns reading random poems to each other, or do a read aloud together.

 

Hand them some experiment books (or find some at the library) and let them go at it!

 

Get some books from the library on any science topic they like each week, and a biography for each child, too.

 

It's all learning! :)

 

When you're burned out you need to take some time to recharge, and it sounds like all of you could use some refreshing. Hugs.

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Honestly?

 

I suck it up and just keep trudging along.

 

If I know the materials are the best I can afford to use

 

If I know home schooling the best option for us

 

Then it is what it is.

 

Burn out or not, this is my job so I do it as best I can.

 

This year has been burnt crispy for me. I think I posted about it a few months ago.

 

There's really nothing to change. Life is good. The kids are mostly good. Academics are fine to great. I try to eat and sleep better. I try to keep my burnt out funk in check to it doesn't bc contagious.

 

Other than that, I keep on keeping on because when I evaluate our life and home schooling, I don't see much I'd change and none of the changes would remove my burn out.

 

I think it's just a typical phase. A top salaried professional or tenured professor would take a sabbatical in this situation.

That's just not going to happen for me. Lol

 

So do what you can to lift your mood. Think positive and take care of yourself and fake it til you make it and all that jazz. This too shall pass.

 

(((Hugs)))

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I take "me" time. I find I get resentful of taking care/doing for others when I have been neglecting myself.

And I don't me regular "me" time, like getting a manicure, going for coffee or whatnot. I mean like a weekend.

Or at least overnight. Usually I fly out to see my bff, or my dh and I grab the kids and go into the city for a night

(or weekend) at a hotel. I find a change of scenery really helps.

There have been rare occasions where tackling a home project helps as well. My dh will either help

or watch the kids, and I get it done. I then feel satisfaction from crossing something off on my never

ending to do list, and I take enjoyment from my finished job. Especially since home schooling is a never-ending

job! ;)

 

 

PS getting tipsy and really good tEA would probably also work as well :D

PPS OK after reading, scratch the booze; add chocolate instead

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I totally understand not being able to afford testing. Testing is an option that is good for some families; other families cannot test or choose other options.

 

Drop expectations, to goals YOUR children can meet. Meeting goals is invigorating. Failing is scary and depressing.

 

Narrow you curriculum, and take the time to teach each topic better.

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I believe that my ds12 and ds8 are both dyslexic. They've never been tested but I am dyslexic and I've seen the signs. My ds9 still can't read. They all have a poor attitude about school, some of which I'm sure comes from me even though I try not to let my attitude show when we are working. My dd13 seems to have a difficult time understanding non-fiction texts so I can't really give her a book and expect her to learn. So that leaves me with needing teach 3 kids one on one all day long. Not to mention my poor little dd5 who loves to do school but mama keeps telling her no because I don't have the time or energy.

 

 

Are they struggling in all subjects or only reading based subjects due to what you suspect might be dyslexia?

 

I would drop all reading subjects and get them tested or get a special tutor or new curriculia design for their needs or go to teacher/parent enrichment programs to learn some tricks of the trade to help make things easier. Reduce down to math and art and read alouds while you dig into some research on your options to get them reading better. There is no point continuing doing what doesn't work and expecting different results. That's completely different from general tired of the same old same old burn out I thought I was addressing in my first post.

 

I agree just stopping is not wise, though I also agree it sounds lovely, truth is it would be akin to digging the hole deeper.

 

Physical activity. Play ball. Whatever. I hate doing it, but I can't deny it works for me and the kids, especially boys.

 

Get their eyes checked. It's well worth the $75 - $250 that an exam and possibly a pair of glasses can correct.

 

Talk to the pediatrician or specialist frankly about your finances and ask what they can recommend.

 

I agree testing isn't everything and you have to work with them where they are, but I also think you have to have the tools to help them progress and it sounds like you don't feel you have those tools. (((hugs)))

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I wish I could have my dc tested. We don't have insurance, and even when we did they didn't cover it. I have my ds13 'tested' by the school in the discrict where we lived at the time, he was 6. Whatever tests they used I didn't get any kind of diagnosis, they just told me your son is behind in math, reading, blah blah blah, which I already new, but didn't give me any good or helpful information. So I'm kind of leery of having them tested by the school.

 

 

 

Have you heard of Dianne Kraft? She has some nice free tools on her website. I used her 'diagnostic questionnaire' to pinpoint one son's trouble. I changed my expectations. I changed how I was trying to teach him. We're both happier.

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Switch up things a bit. Maybe one of the reasons is that the curriculum you are using isn't a good fit for your teaching style, or it's not a good fit for your child/ren's style. Maybe turn into an unschooler for a while...plan some fun stuff and maybe a field trip or two if you can.

 

For your older kids, could you ask them? I mean, they're 12 and 13, right? I'm sure they have some definite ideas about what they like and don't like and might want to head their attention to. Depending on their personalities - maybe they could help you plan fun stuff for them and the littles? I think getting the older kid's buy ins could be a tremendous help.

 

It's not a demerit because Mommy needs a bit of a break. It's okay. We all need a break. Just try to get your kids to help you. You'd be surprised at some of the answers they give if you ask them what they think!

 

Lastly - HUGE HUGS!!! :grouphug:

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I would take myself out of the equation as much as possible. I would suggest getting Time4Learning for the rest of the year. It is very independent and covers all the basics that the children need. Then I would give each child a stack of books that they would have to read on history, science, and for literature. Maybe add in an audio book for everyone to enjoy and plan some time outside together. Beyond that I would do nothing else besides take care of myself.

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:grouphug:

 

When I felt that way, I started taking Omega 3 supplements, which helped my mood immensely.

 

 

 

I am an afterschooler, so I don't have any tips on HSing. But, I am also bipolar, and want to second this recommendation. Fish oil supplements really help my mood (they also work well for my husband). Hugs.

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:grouphug:

 

I can't remember, have you tried my nonsense word tests and the MWIA? Or the Barton pre-screening?

 

Also, there is the DORA Phonemic Awareness assessment. It is $20 for the first assessment and $15 for each additional one in a family.

 

It does help to try to figure out what the underlying problem area is--some of my students problems are from sight words, some are more visual, some are phonemic, and my apraxia student's underlying difficulty seems to be speech/language processing. Each type of underlying problem is best addressed by slightly different resources, although all of my students benefit from Webster's Speller. However, depending on the underlying difficulty, I will use all uppercase, all lowercase, or the diacritically marked version of Webster.

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Take a break. Either send them to public school, or just go to the park. the only time we really home schooled was when our kids were, let's see,...it was about 1983, so they were 6 and 10. We just took them out of private school, kept paying the tuition to hold their spots, and went to Rome for Fall semester. (We knew Romans who gave us the use of their apartment so we were only out the plane fares. This seems to be not that unusual for some Italians.)

 

I worked at the university, and my wife taught them about 30 minutes a day at lunch and the rest of the time took them on trips. Maybe our academic standards were not very high, but when we got back, they were ahead of the kids who had been in school the whole time, so we didn't feel bad.

 

I think the moral is that home schoolers are way ahead of the curve and deserve a few breaks.

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First, I am an after-schooler, and I hear ridiculous rumors about what the public schools are like here, when I happen to be at the park with my littles when it is a homeschooling day. My favorite was the time I heard my son's school was "on lock-down," isn't it horrible, the children are locked in their rooms..... in fact we had gotten a note saying the door to the playground was going to be locked in the morning and afternoon. Pretty far from some horrible lock-down with children locked into their classrooms.

 

With that said, I am after-schooling my son I suspect is dyslexic, and it is a lot of work, and the school is certainly not doing what needs to be done for him. The school here will not diagnose dyslexia, either. But maybe it is better where you live.

 

Also, maybe the things you hear are true. I just know -- it is not true here, it is not true where my husband grew up, where his parents sent him to a very poor, unaccredited Christian high school b/c otherwise they would be shunned at their church. But I also know it is true many places.

 

Maybe come to the special needs board :) Maybe another approach or curriculum would help :)

 

This is what I think ----- when it is working out with the kids, it will be a pleasure. When it is not working, it will be a pain. When you can see things go more smoothly, for your kids, that is what makes it worthwhile and gives a good feeling. So I think looking into that is something worth doing. :)

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First, I am an after-schooler, and I hear ridiculous rumors about what the public schools are like here, when I happen to be at the park with my littles when it is a homeschooling day. My favorite was the time I heard my son's school was "on lock-down," isn't it horrible, the children are locked in their rooms..... in fact we had gotten a note saying the door to the playground was going to be locked in the morning and afternoon. Pretty far from some horrible lock-down with children locked into their classrooms.

My daughters middle school WAS/IS on full lockdown all day, everyday. The gate at the front is propped open for parents to come in and out of the office, but that is it. Any door to the outside is locked at all times, and the student that sits closest to the door is the door monitor.

 

While I know, and at time could appreciate the whys, of it, I cannot explain how it felt to be locked in that classroom even on back to school night. It felt not like a great place to be learning, but like working in some highly classified government building. Badges to swipe in and out, doors locked where the teacher even needs someone to let her in.

 

The elementry school has their "outside" doors locked, but the interior hallway doors are left unlocked and are mostly open as you walk by. It has a different feel to it - probably because those outside doors are never used like at the middle school.

 

So to most homeschoolers, the thought of locking out kids in a room all day - is going to seem extreme. But totally a sign of the times..... But totally not a form of "real world socialization" either, well, unless the kid goes into the secret government type job.

 

Eta: forgive my typos, typing with a bandaid on your finger on an iPad.... Doesn't work well! Lol!

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I can see being bothered by that.

 

It was just not the case at my son's elementary. The layout has about 5 entrances, and of those, two in front and one on the side are always open.

 

One is used only by kids getting on and off the bus and locked otherwise.

 

The issue was the door to the playground. The building had been renovated over the summer and it changed the location of that door to make it an area no teacher would easily see if they were not down that hallway to use the door themselves. So it is locked during school except between about 11:00 to 2:00 when kids go from the cafeteria to recess and go down that hallway.

 

In this case I think it was really overblown gossip. If they were really on lockdown or doing lockdown drills where they lay on the ground and are told there is a scary person ----- that would not be okay with me. But that is not happening. They do not have any drill where they are locked in the room.... They have tornado drills and fire drills, and an evacuation drill where everyone walks to the high school football stadium.

 

But I have "heard" also they do that type of lockdown drill.

 

I would have a huge problem with it, if they were doing that, but they are not.

 

I would not like that middle school situation at all, and honesty I don't know much at all about the middle schools here.

 

The whole lock-down and lock-down drill is the main thing I have heard about that is just not true, I think. Other things I think are a matter of perspective sometimes.

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I can see being bothered by that.

 

It was just not the case at my son's elementary. The layout has about 5 entrances, and of those, two in front and one on the side are always open.

 

One is used only by kids getting on and off the bus and locked otherwise.

 

The issue was the door to the playground. The building had been renovated over the summer and it changed the location of that door to make it an area no teacher would easily see if they were not down that hallway to use the door themselves. So it is locked during school except between about 11:00 to 2:00 when kids go from the cafeteria to recess and go down that hallway.

 

In this case I think it was really overblown gossip. If they were really on lockdown or doing lockdown drills where they lay on the ground and are told there is a scary person ----- that would not be okay with me. But that is not happening. They do not have any drill where they are locked in the room.... They have tornado drills and fire drills, and an evacuation drill where everyone walks to the high school football stadium.

 

But I have "heard" also they do that type of lockdown drill.

 

I would have a huge problem with it, if they were doing that, but they are not.

 

I would not like that middle school situation at all, and honesty I don't know much at all about the middle schools here.

 

The whole lock-down and lock-down drill is the main thing I have heard about that is just not true, I think. Other things I think are a matter of perspective sometimes.

Our Elementary school is a grouping of 6 buildings, and a group of portables - kids wander about because they still have PE outside twice a week. There is just an open feel - even with the "closed campus". Yet, those kids are required to walk on one of 3 lines on the ground, and silently.

 

The Middle school stated they were on lock-down all the time. I think I stood there with my mouth open. They seemed proud of it - no feeling of any openness there at all... if you didn't know school was in session you wouldn't based on standing in the main courtyard. Kids are locked in their age building and change classes mainly within that building all day. They are "let out" for lunch and 1 special. Oh and it is a 1/4 of a mile from the class DD was in to the office... :ohmy:

 

Our elementary school HAS added lockdown drills in addition to the fire and tornado ones. That has the kids doing things I don't want to think about (being silent, huddled and then I stopped asking), with the interior hall doors being locked. That was their first few days back in January (post Sandy Hook). I'm not sure what the middle school is doing - DD was pulled from it in late September after being accused of bringing drugs to school (my special needs student, and the aide took her fractured responses out of context and it just wasn't pretty nor someone we wanted our child around).

 

My current experience with PS is not reflective of a great learning environment, that is not meeting the needs of my child.

 

 

 

To the OP - I like the suggestion of using Time 4 Learning and calling it good for the rest of the year while you regroup and take care of you. I can say that my experience with PS has changed my attitude and outlook on how and what to teach. Not overloading on some parts - but looking at the overall picture and saying the "whole" is going to be enough. We are revamping here this week - and I'm pretty excited about the new stuff we are going to be doing.

 

:grouphug: :grouphug: I'll be hoping you find a way to make it work for you.

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Well, I've had plenty of jobs with no joy to them, kwim? I still had to go to work, and home schooling is the same. I'd certainly look for ways to increase job satisfaction, but in the meantime I'd just keep on trucking.

 

My number one priority would be getting evaluations done. Don't throw up your hands in defeat over one unsatisfactory evaluation seven years ago. Try again. You may get much more helpful results this time around. If you don't, I think you still have to do *something* - including putting public school on the table for consideration. Tweaking curriculum choices is not going to be a magic bullet for kids who have spent years struggling to read.

 

I understand the reluctance to put them in school. I love home schooling and would be very disappointed if we had to quit, but public school is not the end of the world, even if the local district is subpar. Remember, a decision to put them in school one year is not an automatic decision to keep them in school every year.

 

The first thing I would do is pick up the phone and call about evaluations, today. It's a start, and you might as well get that ball rolling while you consider other options. If you get evaluations done and they are not helpful, you are no worse off than you were before.

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Thanks for the advice everyone. I actually did call for evaluations in the fall and got the school pychologists voice mail. I left a message and she never called me back. I'm really just not in the position right now to deal with people who are put off by homeschoolers. When I called the district to get the school pychologists number after I told the lady what I needed it for she was very short with me. I just don't feel like messing with people who are going to be looking down there noses at me, I don't have the strength to stand up to them. It may sound like a lame excuse, but it is what it is.

 

We are having a better day today and actually getting through some lessons. I sat down with my ds12 at 9am and we got through a lot in an hour, it felt good to finally accomplish something. The exhaustion usually sets in around 2pm, so whatever needs to get done needs to get done in the morning or it doesn't happen. That's when I get frustrated that I don't have enough hours in the day before I'm spent. Some days it feels like I'm shoveling snow while it's still snowing, like we never make any progress.

 

We were using LOE for spelling with my older 2. I liked it in the beginning but haven't seen much progress with my dc. I've decided to put it on the shelf. I'm trying Apples and Pears Spelling with my ds12, and my even my dd13. I also have AAS level 1 sitting on the shelf, so I might throw that in as well. I'm also looking at using AAR level 2 with my ds12. He does fine reading single syllable words, but multi-syllabe words stump him. I'm not too worried about my dd13 reading, it's her spellling that she really needs help with.

 

I'll have to write more later, need to teach while I can.

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No tomatoes from me!

 

Advice? Keep on keeping on. Some years are truly better than others.

 

If you know you're doing what you're supposed to be doing, find joy in that fact alone. Find joy outside of homeschooling, things you can do to reward yourself for a job well done. Look ahead to your joy in the future when you've completed your task and your children are off and running with bright lives ahead of them. Sometimes the joy can't be found in the task itself, but in the rewards to come.

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Thanks for the advice everyone. I actually did call for evaluations in the fall and got the school pychologists voice mail. I left a message and she never called me back. I'm really just not in the position right now to deal with people who are put off by homeschoolers. When I called the district to get the school pychologists number after I told the lady what I needed it for she was very short with me. I just don't feel like messing with people who are going to be looking down there noses at me, I don't have the strength to stand up to them. It may sound like a lame excuse, but it is what it is.

 

It might be the time of year. I used special services for one of my children, and after February of each school year not one therapist wanted to update goals or start new treatment plans - regardless of how much progress my child had made or could possibly make by the end of the school year (or during the summer break!). At the time I was put off, but now I think I understand. Now is just the wrong time of the school year to try and start something new. There's a cycle to it.

 

Wait until school has been out for a month. Call and ask about setting up evaluations for your children at that time. In my experience, there is a real drive and push right before the beginning of the school year and right at the beginning of the school year to get evaluations done. If you call after school has been out a month, they will probably already have a schedule for evaluations set up that they are trying to fill.

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What is it exactly that you don't like? Maybe you need to mix it up a little, have some fun and throw some of your expectations out the door. It sounds a little like they don't meet expectations you have and maybe they know it - that could be sucking the joy out of all of you. What if for a while you dumped actual curriculum and played educational games, played outside more, did projects around the house together, went to the library for strictly fun reads and books on cd to listen to together? Do you have Netflix? Could you get it for a month or two and enjoy watching loads of educational shows and funny oldie movies and tv shows? If you really hate then I would just do it all differently and see what happens.

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A little tough love: This cannot be about your comfort level. I so know where you are. I have been pregnant, homeschooling, and dealing with sn kids. It sucks! It really does. You MUST put your own comfort aside and get them assesed. Like yesterday. It might help if you shared which state you live in. Often there are state appointed advocacy groups that will get things done. In CA we call a regional center and THEY call the schools. The schools don't want to do the assesments. It cosst a lot of money for the district. I have not paid anything for assesments or treatment and the kids with sn are not subject to the same academic assesment standards.

 

Big hugs!!!!!!!!!!!! You are in a tough spot. I bet there are people here in the state you live who know who to ask for help.

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I was kind of feeling this way a few weeks ago. Whining and venting about it here helped me a lot. ;) I didn't want to hear "just muscle through it," even though a few people did say that. It helped most to hear that I'm not the only mother who doesn't always LOVE homeschooling. I enjoy being home, being with my children, mothering them. I enjoy teaching them, too, some days. But not always.

 

When was the last time you actually enjoyed TEACHING your children? What were you doing then? Were you achieving something hard, but not necessarily fun? That's worth hanging in there for. Are you learning anything along with them that is interesting to you? I get discouraged when I'm bored with it all.

 

One thing that helped my frame of mind was to weed out all the school stuff we had finished for the year. All the history books that we've read went out of the box, all the science books we finished were packed up, all the finished math workbooks, etc. This made the shelves look better. I chopped out a few things that are not necessary for Kindergarten or 2nd Grade and redid my teacher's planner for the rest of the year. It was worth taking the time to reorganize and pare down the rest of the work for the remainder of this school year. What can you weed out of your shelves and plans?

 

I started planning for next year. Planning cheers me up. Lining up the online shopping carts also cheers me up. :)

 

I have to check my own attitudes and moods. Do I get to bed on time? Do I get up on time? Do I organize the school work in the evenings, so we are ready to begin the following day? Do we have a morning routine in place to facilitate getting started on the work? Do I communicate clearly to my family members what the expectations are for each day? Ask yourself, What is my attitude towards learning? Studying? Hard work in academics? Do I take this decision to educate my children at home seriously enough to serve them well throughout their lives, or am I simply keeping them home? You, the mother, have to set the emotional thermostat for your home. Are you in-charge or overwhelmed? Are you curious or bored? Passionate or apathetic? Energized by goals or defeated by challenges? Your attitudes and moods will saturate your children, whatever those attitudes and moods may be.

 

So often here I see the advice for burn out is "take the rest of the year off" or "go to the park." I'm not against doing those things, and sometimes we do need to do just that. But sometimes, we are discouraged and burned out because -- well -- because school work is work. And we realize that we don't want to work the work. Plan the work, yes. Talk the work, yes. But work the work? Not so much.

 

To be successful at homeschooling, we have to keep doing the school work. Plug away at it diligently, and it will be accomplished. When we accomplish good work, we feel good about what we have done and are doing. We've made very good progress this year, so I don't know why I was down about it in the first place. Still, it felt good to do MORE, instead of LESS. If it's not the time to "go to the park" or whatever, then you know it's time to sit there and get it done.

 

I'm sorry you are feeling burned out. I hope the sunshine comes out for you again soon.

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A little tough love: This cannot be about your comfort level. I so know where you are. I have been pregnant, homeschooling, and dealing with sn kids. It sucks! It really does. You MUST put your own comfort aside and get them assesed. Like yesterday. It might help if you shared which state you live in. Often there are state appointed advocacy groups that will get things done. In CA we call a regional center and THEY call the schools. The schools don't want to do the assesments. It cosst a lot of money for the district. I have not paid anything for assesments or treatment and the kids with sn are not subject to the same academic assesment standards.

 

Big hugs!!!!!!!!!!!! You are in a tough spot. I bet there are people here in the state you live who know who to ask for help.

 

I agree. If you can't face making the phone calls, have dh do it. A harried secretary and one unreturned phone call don't mean that they will look down on you or give you a hard time, but it doesn't matter if they do - this has to be done.

 

Another poster suggested waiting until the school year was over, but I personally would not do that. The process varies from district to district. In mine, calling now would still likely mean waiting till the fall for an appointment. But calling when the school year ends would mean waiting till the holidays or possibly the second semester. Then there is a lag between the evaluation and actually scheduling services. It can take a good long time to actually get started if you are eligible for services. If you are not, the evaluations may well have helpful information.

 

Mom's burnout and the students' struggles are two different issues (although I am sure that the struggles are adding to the burnout!). When struggles go on for years, and students are significantly behind, it's time to do everything possible to find out why, and what, if anything, can be done about it. That has to be priority one. I think that with six years in, and two students very close to high school, it's fair to say that tweaking curriculum is not the answer to your problem. Some way, some how, you need additional help and information. With little money to spare, the most likely place to get that is through the school system.

 

The best case scenario is that the school system offers you solid information and helpful services. The worst case scenario is that the evaluation is useless and offers no new information - I doubt it would be so bad, but even if it is, you are no worse off than before, and you know that you did everything possible.

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I still think you might look for curriculum recommendations on the special needs board. Some people use Rewards for multi-syllable words -- it is specifically for kids who need help with multi-syllable words. Or maybe another option would be good. I have used things that are not going to work for my son and it is so miserable.... and I have had good luck with trying another program that seems like a better fit. I think it is something to keep in mind. I disagree with thinking a public school is automatically/necessarily going to do a better job teaching your kids ----- I am afterschooling here b/c my son's school is not able to teach him reading..... he needs one-on-one, a lot of one-on-one, and public school is not set up for that. It is just how it is. But maybe it would be an option where you are, or you could send them part-time or anything ----- some schools allow parents to come to school and tutor their kids during language arts time, and things like that. I got my son's homework last year replaced with doing the reading program I was doing with him at home. Of course a lot of schools really would do nothing like this, but some will. (Abecedarian helped my son with giving him strategies to try for where to break a word into syllables, but it is probably less popular.... Barton is also possible, and if you sell your levels when you finish them it is not too expensive ----- people are buying used and re-selling for the same price they paid, as near as I can tell.)

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