Monday, February 9, 2009

In the Interest of Full Disclosure...

I've been avoiding doing this post for a couple of weeks because I've been struggling how best to say what I'm feeling. Most of my friends are not homeschoolers. In fact, I have several teacher friends who are not big believers in it (of course, most of us weren't and then changed our minds once we became parents!). Therefore, I become ridiculously self-conscious about posting something negative about homeschooling. I completely realize this is my insecurity. Whether any of my friends or family believe in it or not, I know in my heart they support me through all things. Still, when it comes time to share that things aren't going so well, I don't want to "give it a bad name" for lack of a better way to put it. Therefore, when things became a lot harder in the last few weeks I just didn't post anything.

However, I've had several people lately asking me questions who are interested in trying homeschooling. Then I've had 2 say they couldn't do all the creative stuff they see on my blog. I realized I have been doing them and me a disservice by not being 100% honest about struggles as well as triumphs. Believe me there are a lot more days where we're doing workbooks than measuring Noah's Ark!

So, in the interest of full disclosure: week 3 and 4 were pretty awful. Week 3 I had fallen down the stairs and was sore and in a lot of pain. That definately made me lose my patience more often! I felt very overwhelmed and negative about the entire adventure.

Week 4 I felt a little better, but the kids were less than cooperative. I couldn't get them to sit and finish their work. Every time I turned my back or got up to do something they would goof off. We were seriously working 6 or more hours a day just to get 4 hours of work done because they were playing more than working. Jon and I had several talks with them about how if they would just sit down and do their work they could be done for the day and have more time to play. It took countless conversations, but I think they finally got the picture because they were getting up before me and sneaking downstairs to start their work to surprise me! However, nothing grates on my nerves more than trying to hurry them so that I can get on to the million other things I need to do as well! That's not to say that the problem is solved. In fact, we struggle with it at some point each and every day!

So, this is just to assure you that there have been low moments when I wistfully watched the bus go by wishing I could stick them on it and take a nap. However, we have all persevered and are doing better than ever about understanding what does and does not have to be done each and every day. A lot of the stress came from me the overachiever. I also had to take a hard look at what I was expecting them to do every day. For example, I have decided to do a Saxon math lesson only 3 days a week. If you do every little part of those lessons, they can take over an hour and was way overkill. My kids are both working well above grade level in math any way, so now we do 3 lessons a week and a quick and fun math activity on the other 2 days. There were other things I was making them do every day for no apparent reason, like Ashton reading all 60-70 of her flashcards. That is something that can be done once or twice a week and still stay fresh in her mind. I've also decided to do science one week and social studies the next. That's the way I taught in school any way and it allows us to focus and go a lot deeper into the topics each day.

Anyway, there are my confessions and partial solutions. I hope this helps someone who might be having a low point too. At least it is here for me to come back and reread it because I know we'll have another rough patch sooner or later!

3 comments:

Angie said...

Oh, Sweetie!! You are amazing! You are coming into the knowledge we all (if we are honest with ourselves) come into during the first year of homeschooling: it isn't always fun, nor is it very easy!

You hang in there, and if you want to, email me (agidget@hotmail.com), and we can exchange phone numbers and get together for coffee and empathy! Only one of my friends homeschools, so I am in a similar place - and our kids are at almost the same stages, too!

Me said...

Amen, sista, amen. I have a week 3 and 4 here and there to speak of. But then again...don't public school teachers too? I know I did.

You're doing great, and I'm so glad you modified that schedule. You were on the road to having Ashton reading at 12th grade level by June!!

Thanks for the candidness, friend.
~H

Wife of the Pres. said...

Thanks for sharing. I came over from Alicia's blog I think. Anyway, I am going to start homeschooling our children in June. AAAACCCKKK! They are 10, 6 and 3, which translates to 5th grade and above, 1st/2nd grade (gotta figure it out!) and then 3, but she is really more like 2 b/c she is behind and has only been home 6 months. So anyway, thanks for sharing candidly; perfect timing!!!