Menu
Jump to content

What's with the ads?

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

mom2kando

1st year homeschooling 1st and 3rd-is this normal?

Recommended Posts

Hi all!

 

I was just wondering, as I near tears thinking about putting the kids back in public school for fear of failing them

 

Are excessive lack of focus and careless mistakes a common theme around the holiday season? I'm wondering if they are simply "burned out" so to speak, however, when I see mistake after mistake, or ask a question, or for narration after reading a simple passage and they look at me with clueless expressions my anxiety kicks in.

 

My son (1st) is definitely growing academically. I guess in 1st grade it is easier because I see concrete growth as he learns to read and learns new math skills (he is still making silly mistakes though).

 

My daughter (3rd) came home from a very positive schooling experience and tested into and participated in the gifted program at her school. I don't put a ton of stock into this, it's just that I did see her growing in knowledge every day. I worry that we're at a standstill now, or even regressing. Many careless errors and inattention to detain (which she used to be a master at).

 

Does anyone have experience with this? Is it the grade...age (she's 9.5-red shirt kindergartener)...

 

oh, and they are fighting like CRAZY. That wears the nerves down pretty quickly as well.

 

PS- thanks for reading :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Totally normal.  :)  We take December as a break from regular studies because of it.  Right now, I am content with the two children running in the backyard after working on art projects all morning.  In January we'll come back fresh and ready for second semester, and then take another break 8 weeks later when winter begins to thaw.

 

Take pictures of the good in your day by day.  Write down what you do each day and remember homeschooling is like anything else - it's not done in a day, and a day is just a snapshot.  It's the total flipbook that shows you where you're at.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes-it's the same in schools particularly for 6 year olds!!!! When I taught first grade the last week was assemblies, parties, read alouds, crafts, holidays around the world projects and longggggg recesses b/c no "real" work was possible at.all. Relax and enjoy.

 

I like to choose s holiday book off of homeschoolshare.com and do a mini unit study.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

December in an elementary school is kind of insane, so don't judge your school year by what you see this week!

 

In general, for attention to detail, make sure the work is hard enough and short enough. Long, easy assignments encourage bright kids to slack off.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, this time of year is a bit crazy.

 

Attention to detail:  is it possible she's bored?  Is the material too easy for her?  Is the amount of material too long for her?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

She may be bored. We've been all over the place with LA curricula, so that may be a factor as well. Right now we are finishing our last week with Sonlight LA (Started with FLL which was a bust for her-we occasionally do WWE-but she craved more freedom)

 

We started Fix It Grammar and she loves it. We'll be starting Writing and Rhetoric Narrative 1 after the holidays-now that I am seeing the way her mind works more clearly I think it will be a good fit. Also doing SOTW1, Apologia Science, Classical Conversations. She is reading Heidi (unabridged)- I bet that is taxing her brain a bit. LOL! I think when she finishes we'll pull back a little on reading level. Maybe I need the tests for SOTW-that may motivate her a bit ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Starting at about Dec. 12th or so we would do 1/2 day school days.  After lunch we would bake, wrap, craft, field trip, library, etc.  We all needed a little break, but I wasn't about to go 'schedule-less', so this was a great compromise.  

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think lack of focus is totally normal for 1st and 3rd grade....period, but maybe that's just my kid!!  Aaaack.  Anyway, yes, we're extra scattered this week.  I told DD that this is her last week to get things done this year, and after this Mommy will be taking a Christmas break.  She's ok with it.  :) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you! This has been very helpful. I get wrapped up in my head and it helps to know that others who have been there take the time to relax and enjoy. Cookie baking with math on Wed I think!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And......she is sick.😶(snoring next to me) I feel so bad. She said she was feeling tired all day, I asked her why she didn't tell me and she said "because I wanted to get my work done." Know wonder she was having a hard time with her work.

 

I'm so glad it's almost Christmas. I really need to reevaluate, and read that Teaching from Rest book.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, that's normal. I have a 1st grader and a 4th this year. The 4th ( turned 9 in early Sep.) makes careless mistakes lately. Drives me bananas but from what I've heard from other parents at her Girl Scouts meetings, it's completely typical of her age. She also has bad days and good ones like everyone else!

 

Yesterday, she struggled with some word problems and I was gnashing my teeth last night trying to figure out how to explain these problems that are so intuitive for me, spending almost an hour just googling different teaching methods for these types of problems to try to get the point across. This morning?? Took the sheet of harder problems I'd typed up and did them quickly, explaining what she needed to do while smiling the whole time. This was me:  :blink:  Oh, OK, so I'm not an abject failure at teaching my child! Sometimes she just needs to 'marinate' on a problem and then come back to it later, refreshed. 

 

The 1st grader also sometimes needs to sit on my lap and get cuddles in order for her brain to click in! It's all OK. 

 

Kids are kids. They can feel our anxiety which translates to "must do well so Mommy is happy" and then they feel crushed under the pressure. Homeschooling is such another vein of parenting..it's important that we don't become slave drivers in the process of teaching our kids! (Talking more to myself than you! :blush: ) Times like these I try to circle back to why I want to do this in the first place...besides the strong academic side of things. It also helps to think of the many, many *years* we have left before they leave the nest and need to know all-the-things! 

 

Teaching from Rest was a good read, btw, although not a secular read fyi. And, yes, the holidays are probably messing with everyone's focus.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And......she is sick.😶(snoring next to me) I feel so bad. She said she was feeling tired all day, I asked her why she didn't tell me and she said "because I wanted to get my work done." Know wonder she was having a hard time with her work.

 

I'm so glad it's almost Christmas. I really need to reevaluate, and read that Teaching from Rest book.

Aw, poor kiddo!  How sweet that she wanted to do her work!  I hope she feels better tomorrow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

((Hugs)) Hang in there. This is a hard time of year. Do something different and fun for a few days. Take some time off, put away your teacher hat and be just mom for a few days.

 

My 9.5 year old does the same thing. Sometimes my kids seem to go through a learning slump here and there. Give it some time and see if it gets better. :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's your first year so give yourself grace. You'll find your grove or routine for Lang arts and a flow to your week. It just takes time and yeah I might just call holiday school and do some crafts, baking, cuddling on the couch to read Christmas stories and watch classic cartoons. Pick it up sometime after the new year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know if this helps but for my 3rd grader out Lang Arts looks like this---

Independent work--about 45-60 min.

Spelling- 1 activity a day

Phonics- 2 pgs explode the code

Handwriting- 1 pg. cursive

Reading- free reading of her chapter book for about 15 minutes

Book basket- 15 minutes reading books related to history, science or other topics we are studying at her level

 

With mom---

Grammar- we use Language Lessons for Today and it takes about 15 minutes

Daily journaling for literature, history, science, etc., usually 1 a day, and typically takes about 20 minutes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The first year is mainly finding your feet. Getting to know yourself as teacher, your kids as students and your home as school. How all that works out with materials and schedules. None of those things are easily worked out until you try!

 

My kids' behaviour is usually the first sign of illness!

Sounds normal to me, and sounds like you're doing a great job!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Totall normal...

Fighting....mine fight constantly. An ironic example: we were studying in Blble class how Jesus came to serve others, the last shall be first and the first last, that whole thing. And my two were fighting over who got to read first in the lesson and who got to read the most. I'm thinking, "are you two paying ANY attention to what we are learning?"

 

Narrations.... Very hard skill to develop. Kids need good auditory learning skills. We gave up narrations years ago. My kids are very visual learners.

 

There's a learning curve for homeschooling. Your kids aren't going to just settle in. It takes time. And training. Don't give up! I'm not sure what your kids are like, but mine are very routine oriented. We are not a loose-goosie homeschool. For some families that works great, but for us, the kids (and me) need a schedule that we stick to every day.

 

Hang in there, girlfriend! You can do it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, when mine were that age, I always went light in December with just the 3 R's. They were so very distracted, and I was weary. We also did a few local field trips then because the historical sites are typically quiet in December and some are nicely decorated.

 

Now with one in college and one in high school taking outside classes, they're very busy in December with exams and projects and just power through it.

 

So it does get better!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, when mine were that age, I always went light in December with just the 3 R's. They were so very distracted, and I was weary. We also did a few local field trips then because the historical sites are typically quiet in December and some are nicely decorated.

 

Now with one in college and one in high school taking outside classes, they're very busy in December with exams and projects and just power through it.

 

So it does get better!

Most year we do the same from Thanksgiving to the up to about a week before Christmas and then take a 2-3 week break.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are the same. I'm trying not to take too many breaks so that we have lots of flex time when baby comes in March, but thankfully we finished some fall semester things last week and this week is quite light. It's been good for everyone's morale!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a wonderful place to be! I am so glad I reached out. Thanks to all of you for your wise and seasoned words. :001_wub:

It's been truly encouraging!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I second what everyone has said! What a wise bunch of parents around here. 

 

One thing that has helped me is realizing that learning can also happen in spurts just like physical growth. You can "jar" (maybe "prepare" is a better word) your kids for the next learning spurt by changing things up for awhile. Have your kids narrate with a drawing or on video. Or try a unit study instead. Maybe take your school on the road and go to the library for several hours.

 

Whatever you do, don't stress over it. It's winter, almost Christmas, and all the kids everywhere are driving their teachers crazy!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just wanted to chime in bc it is likely that your gifted kiddo is bored. Mine needs constant curriculum changes and way less repetition than an average child. If i ask her to do too much of one thing she procrastinates or zooms through making careless errors. If i switch things up regularly i get attention to detail and good work. We skip over lots of stuff and let her have tons of free time. She fills it reading and recently started writing a novel. Lol. As long as i limit screen time, she learns all by herself. Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excessive lack of focus and careless mistakes is a common theme among 1st and 3rd graders.

 

Regardless of the holidays. Regardless of public school vs. homeschool. 

 

The first year homeschooling two last year I took the schedule and I shredded it a month in. We just worked at getting X done a day and took frequent breaks. You have to accept that if they don't get X done that day, it's OK. Having a hard day? Have an ice cream sundae decorating afternoon. 

 

1st and 3rd are indefinitely young. Ours are that age this year - daily we get done:

30 min History (twice a week, rotated with science)

10 minute copywork

30 minute math

20-30 minute reading

30-45 minute science (twice a week, rotated with history)

20 minutes of bible a day or so

 

They aren't doing formal writing curriculum and spelling doesn't start until they are 9 years old. 

 

This means we do 2 1/2 hours of school work a day. And it sometimes it takes all morning to get their attention for even that long ;)

 

 

Hi all!

 

I was just wondering, as I near tears thinking about putting the kids back in public school for fear of failing them

 

Are excessive lack of focus and careless mistakes a common theme around the holiday season? I'm wondering if they are simply "burned out" so to speak, however, when I see mistake after mistake, or ask a question, or for narration after reading a simple passage and they look at me with clueless expressions my anxiety kicks in.

 

My son (1st) is definitely growing academically. I guess in 1st grade it is easier because I see concrete growth as he learns to read and learns new math skills (he is still making silly mistakes though).

 

My daughter (3rd) came home from a very positive schooling experience and tested into and participated in the gifted program at her school. I don't put a ton of stock into this, it's just that I did see her growing in knowledge every day. I worry that we're at a standstill now, or even regressing. Many careless errors and inattention to detain (which she used to be a master at).

 

Does anyone have experience with this? Is it the grade...age (she's 9.5-red shirt kindergartener)...

 

oh, and they are fighting like CRAZY. That wears the nerves down pretty quickly as well.

 

PS- thanks for reading :-)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing to keep in mind with previously schooled kids is that they are used to having some of the intensity focused broadly around the room and their classmates. They listen to other students, get ideas from other students, work with other students, so they aren't always THE ONE to have to come up with an answer or be on the ball all the time. They compare themselves to others to see what's easy, hard, etc. This is not all bad. But, kids who've been in school sometimes feel very on the spot, vulnerable, and frankly, naked, when they come home and have to be a class of one. Even in a low pressure situation. They are IT. The one who answers all the questions. 

 

I brought my older son home in 3rd grade. He had similar issues. We do have some exceptionalities with the giftedness, and that is part of it, but a lot of it was just adjusting. Give yourself some time and grace. He was young for grade, but his fourth grade year was kind of hard regarding attention and such.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×
×
  • Create New...