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Ever feel like you are not enough - rant I suppose


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So as I gear up to start our first year of "official" school for DS5 I am reading through a lot of posts on this forum.  As I read I am feeling like there is no way I can teach my child at the level he will need me to be able to.  I know for certain the public and even the private schools would not be able to reach him at all.  I know I am the best choice, but reading what some of your children are learning I am sitting here thinking.... I don't even know what that is!  I am guessing I will be a lot smarter after homeschooling than I am now ;)
 

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:grouphug:

 

Do not make the mistake of being intimidated by the nonexistent composite homeschooler. It is easy to read about what everyone else is doing and then imagine that everyone is doing all those things, but it isn't so. Start with your strengths and bolster your weaknesses. That's all any of us can do, really. If you want to share particulars, I am sure you would get specific advice.

 

And, yes, you will grow smarter as you homeschool. It is one of the greatest benefits. I was just thinking yesterday how much better I am at Jeopardy than I used to be! :tongue_smilie:

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Thanks.  I know you are right.  Probably just feeling overwhelmed at the moment since I am in the planning phase. :)   I think I have a pretty good idea now though about what I plan for the Fall.  My biggest concern has always been not pushing my kiddos too hard while still having them live up to their full potential. 

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LTB, I think anxiety is a normal part of beginning homeschooling.  You'll fall into a groove.  If I could suggest, don't plan so hard.  I mean, mercy, I remember when I started I got out 180 file folders and tried to divide up all the pages, as if this was some paradigm I was going to shove her through!   :lol: 

 

You don't want your kids to live up to their potential.  What you want them to do is be happy, fulfilled, and decent human beings.  Living up to your potential would be stressful, mercy.  I'd have to be a MUCH better wife, mother, and housekeeper if I were functioning at my potential.  Since I don't hold *myself* to that standard, I certainly don't need that stress on my kids.  

 

Destress it.  Your job is to FACILITATE learning.  The more bright they are, the more you facilitate.  That's it.  That's all you have to do.   :)

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Yep, that Nonexistent Composite Homeschooler is the bane of many of our lives, not to mention self esteems.

 

She teaches her kids about 20 subjects, all at accelerated levels, in amazingly imaginative and engaging ways but also with unparalleled rigor. She supports the kids as they each excel in about 10 different sports and musical instruments, all the while working on their missionary activities and growing their heirloom organic vegetables. She successfully balances her very loving and hands-on parenting style with her high flying career and her own quirky hobbies. She never gets tired, stressed or disillusioned with her homeschooling life, but if she ever did take an afternoon off, she'd probably spend it crocheting a working model of the solar system for the kids to play with.

 

Sometimes you just gotta tell her where to go ;)

 

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I think there is also a pretty steep learning curve. If you could have seen how screwy our first two years were! My husband is very good for letting me continue. By the third year, I distinctly remember a moment whee my son was sitting quietly doing his grammar (a whole whipping ten minutes) and thinking, "Hey, look at that! I am being a homeschool mom!" Less than a half hour late he was spilling his milk all over the counter and whining about having to do math, but there was a moment!

 

Each year one subject might click. The first year all we did was read and math. The next year we added a couple more subjects, but not everyday. It was an ease in.

 

Depending on your kid, they will max you out most likely. I know that I only have two years left with my son before I have to begin outsourcing his languages. I just will not keep up. So I am putting aside money and finding good curriculum. I am talking to hi more about personal responsibility and management. I get to just be his mom. At the same time, I can teach him rhetoric and math all the way through without worry. We all have strengths. This is much harder for my husband.

 

Love your kid and it will all be okay!

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Yep, that Nonexistent Composite Homeschooler is the bane of many of our lives, not to mention self esteems.

 

She teaches her kids about 20 subjects, all at accelerated levels, in amazingly imaginative and engaging ways but also with unparalleled rigor. She supports the kids as they each excel in about 10 different sports and musical instruments, all the while working on their missionary activities and growing their heirloom organic vegetables. She successfully balances her very loving and hands-on parenting style with her high flying career and her own quirky hobbies. She never gets tired, stressed or disillusioned with her homeschooling life, but if she ever did take an afternoon off, she'd probably spend it crocheting a working model of the solar system for the kids to play with.

 

Sometimes you just gotta tell her where to go ;)

 

 

I got the heirloom organic vegetable thing figured out: they had seed packets on sale 5/$1 at the local grocery store, so I bought 10 random packages and gave them to DD9 to do with as she liked.  She is currently growing cucumbers, squash, etc. for the local rabbit population.  She waters them sporadically; we live in a pretty fertile climate so I think it will be fine.

 

IMO, homeschooling a bright kid is not hugely different than the above anecdote.  The soil is fertile; just give them seeds to plant (but try to make it foods you want to eat!) and be prepared to answer questions about germination times and have them steal the best spoons from your kitchen to dig the little holes.

 

 

(it is late and I am thinking the metaphor was not clear enough; the seeds are ideas/information/subjects/inspiration, the fertile soil is the brain)

 

eta: the spoons is literal though, they do steal spoons

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Well all I am doing right now is reading about making a crocheted model of the solar system and growing organic vegetables. I could always get on google and look up some images to broaden my own eduction. And then I think I would call it and go and find one of the teaspoons in the dirt outside so I could stir my tea while the kids play and make another mess in the bedroom. 

 

My oldest is 6 and my younger is 3 and I like to keep a list of what we have done. I plan very very little besides having some curriculum we can work through (or ditch if it is not working or she has moved beyond it) because life has a habit of hitting hard just when I have the best plans and intentions. Having a list of what we did do is far better for me than one of what I "should" do.

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You don't have to be the All-Knowing Educator. You might sometimes be just a book purveyor, sounding board, chauffeur, or tear-wiper. You are the Bringer of Snacks and the Community Navigator and the Encourager. That's rather awesome.

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Yep, that Nonexistent Composite Homeschooler is the bane of many of our lives, not to mention self esteems.

 

She teaches her kids about 20 subjects, all at accelerated levels, in amazingly imaginative and engaging ways but also with unparalleled rigor. She supports the kids as they each excel in about 10 different sports and musical instruments, all the while working on their missionary activities and growing their heirloom organic vegetables. She successfully balances her very loving and hands-on parenting style with her high flying career and her own quirky hobbies. She never gets tired, stressed or disillusioned with her homeschooling life, but if she ever did take an afternoon off, she'd probably spend it crocheting a working model of the solar system for the kids to play with.

 

Sometimes you just gotta tell her where to go ;)

I know where she went too, btw...  She went driving all over Europe over the summer with her kids in the RV she and her dh built in their spare time.  They speak fluent languages in all the countries they go to.  :D

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Well all I am doing right now is reading about making a crocheted model of the solar system and growing organic vegetables. I could always get on google and look up some images to broaden my own eduction. And then I think I would call it and go and find one of the teaspoons in the dirt outside so I could stir my tea while the kids play and make another mess in the bedroom. 

 

My oldest is 6 and my younger is 3 and I like to keep a list of what we have done. I plan very very little besides having some curriculum we can work through (or ditch if it is not working or she has moved beyond it) because life has a habit of hitting hard just when I have the best plans and intentions. Having a list of what we did do is far better for me than one of what I "should" do.

Are you for real or joking??  Do people really do this?  LOL  Seriously, when my dd was that age, I did have a lot of time and mental energy on my hands.  I finally took up photography.  It's definitely good to take up a hobby and use that mental energy.  Water color painting, something you can investigate and pursue and use as an outlet.  Many kids that age are NOT mentally satisfying.

 

That dc where I was bored was only bright, not gifted, and an introvert, meaning she preferred to meet her needs herself.  Ds may have a higher IQ from what we're being told and is distinctly an extrovert, despite his spectrum-kissing tendencies.  He would keep me busy all day long suiting his good pleasure, if I let him and could tolerate it.  As is, a few hours of that and I'm worn out!  

 

Anyways, if you're bored, pursue a hobby.  Take up an instrument or something in the arts or something that you can do in the evening.

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It's pretty darn hard to screw up the primary grades. Now high school is what scares me because that *CAN* be screwed up!

That's interesting to ponder, because I'm not sure my definition of screwing up is anymore what yours might be.  My definition, before all this, *would* have been failing to give them a good enough whatever that they could get into where they need to be.  Now I'm realizing failing is more failing to give them room to become who they're meant to be, a whole version of themselves.

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Thanks to everyone's posts!  I think I was overtired and had been staring at my computer for too long last night.  A somewhat decent night's sleep and now things are looking better.  I will have to make sure I don't post anymore late at night :huh:  Now I am off to take my entusiastic readers to the library so they can read their summer away! 

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Yes, I often feel like I'm not enough. I felt like I hit my stride last year, and then we seem to have hit early adolescence and a serious attitude which makes me question whether I'm doing the right things or not all over again. But, you know what? No one else is likely to be able to do it better at this point-so all I can do is the best I can. And hope that's enough.

 

 

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No one else is likely to be able to do it better at this point-so all I can do is the best I can. And hope that's enough.

 

I agree. And my husband who was extremely skeptical of my ability to be "enough" and has used terms like "clueless", "unmotivated", "not getting the big picture", "googling to teach" etc is slowly and surely coming to the same conclusion too after seeing some results that others find very hard to replicate. He now says "stick with your formula because it is working". I am a slacker in many things, but I try my best (sometimes I try beyond my best too) and that is all I got to offer :)

Good luck to you.

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 I know for certain the public and even the private schools would not be able to reach him at all.  I know I am the best choice.

 

 

This is one thing that gives me comfort when I am feeling inadequate. I know that no other teacher or person cares about my children as much as I do.

 

When I taught in public school, I would often see students that weren't having their needs met for one reason or another. I made my best effort to help these students but again and again I felt like I needed 40 hours a week to meet their needs alone.

 

This is what I love about homeschooling, I can put all of my energy and power into my two (really 3) children to meet their exact educational needs. No other person in the world could do that for me. Yes, there is probably someone else in the world that, if they were my children's mother, would do a much better job of educating my kids. I have to tell myself that I am what I am and that is enough. Not perfect, just enough. 

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SolarSystemBlanket0758_1rh.jpg

 

 

I've been feeling motivated to learn to crochet or knit (it would give me something to do with my hands when I'm feeling overwhelmed) but I'm not sure about making a solar system.  Besides, my children would complain because the planets aren't to scale, the moon is the wrong shape, the sun so small there is no way a million crochet Earths would fit inside, the planets aren't arranged so they can complete their elliptical orbits and my daughter would feel badly that the other dwarf planets aren't fairly represented.   :glare:   It would be a disaster and I'd have to put the whole thing in the back of a very deep closet.  

Maybe I'll start with a doll blanket instead.

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Yes!!! My oldest is the age to start Kindergarten this Fall, and as we approach the point of becoming "official" homeschoolers, I'm shaking in my boots. My baby is two months old, and we're still very much in survival mode. I have a very tough two-year-old and my three-year-old is going through a very difficult phase. My nearly-Ker is very vocal in her desire not to be homeschooled. I have serious doubts about sending her to the local school, but in our current state I have some major doubts about my own ability to do this well, too.

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I'm sending this one to grandma!

I was thinking of teaching ds to crochet and having this be his first project. He would probably be all upset at the inaccuracies in their model, so we can add a math lesson in scaling the planets.

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SolarSystemBlanket0758_1rh.jpg

 

 

Am I the only one ogling that blue nightstand? :D

 

We had loads of fun pursuing the things I wasn't good at because I was learning along with him! These areas were still new to me, I became almost as intensely curious, engaged, persistent to know more...and ta da, happy learner! It was more fulfilling too.

 

Maybe, with stuff I know well, I inadvertently place certain expectations on him and on myself. I do introduce him to things I love, but we approach the learning of these together. Like fellow discoverers and explorers.

 

It helps with perfectionism too when they realize that mom is willing to make silly guesses in the pursuit of truth. :)

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Start small and grow.  I really feel you should focus on the basics and not go overboard when 'schooling' a young quick one.  My 3rd is 2 and my oldest and first is 9.  We've homeschooled all the way.  I started out planning out the whole year and putting way too much on the schedule.  I schedule electronically now and only a couple of weeks at a time.  We school year round so we can take breaks or dive off into child desired topics when needed (Lego EV3 and deer (yes-deer as in the animal) at the moment).  I feel like I'm not enough every single day, but that's probably a given in the life we're living right now.  In the beginning,my best friend and I agreed on my front porch that we'd homeschool kindergarten and then reevaluate.  Both families are still going strong four years later.  You'll see that you may need to accelerate some subjects and supplement others.  You won't get a good feel for the rhythm of your lessons and teaching until you get started.  Please take a deep breath and get ready to have some fun and learn yourself!

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Yes, you don't start out knowing how to handle it all. You start where you are and stay just a tiny bit ahead of your student. Rinse and repeat every year. And each year is just a little step above the previous. It's just like parenting--you grow with your child. You will be fine!

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The advice I give to first timers is relax relax relax.

 

I started homeschooling with a 10 year old and the first year she caught up on all her reading and ended up having read 40 books in 8 months. The other subject she did was math. Everything else was not a priority and she picked them up from co-ops and field trips. 

 

However, when it came to my 2nd one, a boy who learned to read by age 7, I couldn't stick to the ideal schedule I had made in August and was worried and nervous for about 2 years.  Then I started checking the world book curriculum site. I copied and pasted their topics for every subject into tables in a word doc and printed out a sheet for each grade.  Then I would put check marks next to topics my kids had learned either through me, textbooks/living books, a class, or a trip.  Just from putting checks next to the topics, I realized my kids were doing alright. Two years of doing that made me feel so confident and I've not had to do it again.

 

I hope this helps.

shamima

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All children are different. All parents are different. Don't compare you and your child to another parent/child combo on this forum. Let me tell you, what acceleration looks like in my house is way different than what it looks like in some folks' houses around here. My kid isn't PG, so that helps. We just plow through, and let him read on his own what he wants to outside of school. I do not currently try to find him outside classes or co-ops or special projects or any of that. I don't want to, and I don't think he needs them right now. He's happy with what he's doing (getting school done by a little after lunch time, then playing with his brothers).

 

Also, having done the younger elementary years twice, my 3rd kid (who is reading well, doing math independently, and writing decently) has a very simple school day - math, spelling, tag along with history and science. If he were the oldest, I wouldn't even bother with history and science. His day is short and easy. He's just doing his math a grade level above, and his spelling is what a 7+ year old would normally be doing (I'm using LOE Essentials with him, not Foundations... about one lesson per week). In fact, I combine him with my 7 year old 2nd grader for spelling, though I may separate them and let the 5 year old move ahead. We'll see.

 

Again, I don't have PG kids. My kids aren't begging for more/deeper academics. They're happy to get school done and then go play, and I'm fine with that. I learned a LONG time ago not to worry about what other parents/kids are doing. Every family has their issues. Every homeschool has their issues. The ones that seem perfect posting online really aren't perfect. They have their bad days too. They just aren't posting about them. ;) I feel confident that I can give my kids what THEY NEED. That's why I pulled my oldest out of school. I didn't want him coasting through school, never learning how to work hard at studying. I can handle giving him higher level work. I can handle driving him to the library to get books on a topic he's interested in. I've set the bar in my homeschool to something realistic for my family, not to where other posters on this forum might have it for their family (because they have a different kid and a different parental personality). I don't have to know about all the topics other kids are learning. If my kid gets interested in those things, he can read about them himself. I don't have to learn it. They're not my interests.

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