Monday, October 22, 2012

Ups and Downs

So after today I've decided to start reading the book  Hope For The Weary Mom yet again. I have so many issues. One is with anger which I guess can also be worded as frustration or stress.  I  think overall I am just burnt out from life, from trying to do too much.  I keep thinking that I'm supermom and that I can do it all and I even say the verse "I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens" over and over in my head thinking that indeed I CAN do all things but I can't. I am weak, I am empty, I am lost. I keep trying to push on with homeschooling and when we have a good day I want to scream "OKAY I CAN DO THIS" then a bad day comes and I'm ready to throw in the towel.  The thing is I know I'm not alone.  It's hard because some homeschoolers say to keep it simple which is what I want to do but on the home front hubby thinks we need to have STRUCTURE and things need to be run just like he was in public school but I DON'T WANT THAT. Can I scream it out loud? I DON'T WANT THAT! There I said it.

So what is my struggle with homeschooling?  It's my son, while he is very bright and seems to be learning things quickly and easily he is very easily distracted.  I have tried moving from doing school at the kitchen table to the office but he still finds things to fidget with or focus on other than the task at hand. He can't sit still in his chair (which I understand, he is only 5 and 5 year old boys really do have ants in their pants), he can't look at one word and sound it out without becoming interested in a poster on the wall or feeling he has to look back in his book for where we might have read that word before or even looking forward to see how much more work we have to do.  Part of the problem with me (up until today) was that I was so busy focusing on what had to be done be it dinner or laundry or shopping that I wasn't focusing on the task at hand which was school I just wanted to get school done and be able to do what I wanted to do.  But today I made sure dinner was planned and there was nothing on the schedule that could take me from homeschooling.  I thought for sure school would go better now.  But NO...I was wrong.  Math was fine, a breeze really but phonics? It took us about 2 hours to get through 5 pages of work. I had to walk away twice before I blew a gasket.  Thankfully I did stay calm but I did air my frustration with Ethan.  How do you make a 5 year old realize that if they would just focus that the school work could be done and he could be off playing instead?

Well, tomorrow is a new day with new Consonant Digraphs to work on.  Thankfully there are two less pages to do than we had today.  I continue to breathe and pray.  When trouble surrounds me, chaos abounding my hope will rest in YOU. (Lyrics from one of my favorite songs, ALWAYS) My hope will rest in You Lord.

Praying for more UPS than downs.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Something's gotta give!

Well after many ups and downs over the past few weeks of homeschool I think I am going to try something new tomorrow.  I had read recently from another homeschooler that she had set up a system where the child got to choose which lesson he/she wanted to do.  They had placed everything on shelves and labeled it clearly then the child would go to it and decide whether he/she wanted to do math, reading, art or whatever else filled the shelves that day. The only rule was that they had to finish everything on the shelves. I'm sure I'm not explaining this exactly right but in my mind I know what I mean. You can check out something similar here:  Now I think Erica does a bit differently than I originally saw but either way I LOVE the idea. I've been watching the price of the work boxes fluctuate on amazon so for now I'm going to try to find some kind of shelving system to do the trick (something cheap).  I'm hoping this will alleviate the arguments. My only downfall that I know I will run into is with my 1 1/2 year old, he LOVES to tear things apart and I'm afraid he will be pulling everything off the shelves.  We shall see. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Fly On The Wall

Wouldn't you just like to be a fly on the wall sometimes? I know I would, especially when it comes to this new homeschooling adventure.  You see all of these amazing blogs from mom's who seem to have it together and I would just LOVE to be that fly watching in spying on what their doing.  Now I know I've read their emails you know the ones that describe how they DON'T have it all together the ones where everything seems to fall apart in their day but when you see those pictures of their cozy homeschool rooms, their amazing curriculum their seemingly VERY bright children who look like their having fun learning you wonder "WHAT ON EARTH AM I DOING WRONG?" I know I know, it's early in the game I mean it's just like baseball they don't declare a winner in the first inning the game is far from over and this game of homeschool is far from over, we are only 3 weeks into it I need to learn to stop declaring the game over and lost when it's just begun.  I hope to continually be inspired by all of these other amazing homeschooling mom's (and dad's) and to try to not to feel like I have to do things exactly as they do.  As long as I am being led by God on this adventure all will be good.

Romans 8:5

New International Version (NIV)
Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Teaching to be taught!

I always hated school, well there was a time when I liked it but that soon faded once we moved to a new school and my grades started to drop and continued to drop until I hit grade 11 (I have my husband to thank for helping me to achieve better grades in both 11 and 12 grade). 

When we decided to homeschool I wondered how it would work with me being the primary teacher and feeling like I wasn't the smartest one in the bunch.  Well as we finish up week three I can say it's not so bad. Yes there have been ups and downs I've had to be taught a few lessons myself so far (and this is only kindergarten) but it's been fun. My husband continues to laugh at me at my lack of knowledge on some things but I laugh right along with him.  The biggest thing that I am learning is that indeed all kids do learn at a different pace and some things come naturally and others not so much.  One thing that I found most exciting this week was when my son finally understood something that I was teaching him and his entire face lit up and that same thing happened again today.  I am sure there will be many more of those moments but that first one just melted my heart. 

Starting today I introduced a reward chart because we were having some struggles getting through our phonics and reading, the math seems to be a breeze but maybe it's because it's only 2 pages and the phonics/reading is between 4 and 6 pages (even though 1 is me reading to him).  It started out with him being interested in everything around him instead of the work we had to do so we moved from the dining room into the office so he wouldn't be distracted by stuff but now in the office he just complains non stop of being tired non stop (but yet he won't have a nap although I have had him sit for a quite time only to hear him every 3 minutes "Is it time to get up yet").  So in comes the reward, if he sits without complaining and finishes his work with a good attitude he gets a sticker and at the end of the week he gets a quarter for every sticker he's received and when he's earned enough money he gets to buy a toy he's had his eyes on.  I can happily say that today IT WORKED!  I was amazed at how well we got through it and he actually seemed to enjoy it a bit. Lets see how next week goes.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Like a Volcano I Blew!

Oh wow, I just blew it big time. I was swearing and throwing stuff and my oh my did I ever repent and repent fast.  But I can still feel my temper it's there ready to blow again. Thankfully it wasn't at the boys but I'm afraid it will be if I step foot out of this office.You see we have a little problem in our house, okay I admit it's a HUGE problem and it's called CLUTTER! Yup, clutter and it's everywhere. You see on this particular day as I was trying to throw a few extra things together to get started on school everything came crashing off my husbands desk. First it was just a small dish full of stuff which made me somewhat angry then when a stack of photo's and other stuff went flying everywhere well that's when the chair went flying and volcanic ash was going everywhere. I spewed my nasty stuff all over.  Needless to say I grabbed a box and threw everything in it, I started to yell at Ethan that it was time for school and to stop goofing off but then I just looked at him and said "Go play for 20 minutes or so" and here I sit, writing and through this writing I can feel myself getting calm. Maybe this blog thing was a great idea after all. Just please I beg of you don't look at my grammar and correct all the times I should have used a different punctuation I will be learning all of these things over again as soon as I teach it to the boys. 

As a breathe deep and feel the calm overtaking me I understand that I am just human and even though I want to be super mom I can't be. (At least not ALL the time!)

Okay so a little time has passed and I thought an update was in order.  So I started out by doing some music today which went GREAT then we moved on to a coloring page which both Caleb and Ethan did GREAT but then it was time for our workbooks and holy cow...the monster showed up big time. He was having NO PART of school he was TIRED and going to bed and didn't want to do school. Well of course I stayed calm, really I did! At first I tightened the reigns a bit and made him sit and wasn't giving into his wining about NEEDING to go to bed but then I said "let's go outside" and I had him run a little relay race around the yard in hopes to get him to settle down but at the same time the thought of that poor little girl that the stop mom and grandmother made run outside for hours on end and she ended up dieing came to my mind so we ended our race and came back inside. Needless to say I think it helped to calm him down he still wanted to go to bed but we made it through our phonics (which I wish I understood better) and math as usual was a breeze.  Why can't the math be 4 pages long and the phonics 2? And as always LIFE GOES ON! Till we meet again. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

This thing called Pinterest

Indeed I am addicted. I once had an addiction and it's name was FACEBOOK. I have now stepped away from that a bit and focus most of my time on pinterest. I am in LOVE with pinterest so much that I think if they ever shut down the site I would cry. Some day's a feel like my life is on there.  The two boards I go to nonstop are my "In The Kitchen" and "Our Homeschool Adventure"  I have so many wonderful items pinned to both I would be LOST without them.  While I haven't tried or done everything that I have pinned I do hope to one day do many of them.  I guess you could say if I had a bucket list that would be one item on it. 

This Thing Called Homeschool

So this thing called homeschool, well lets just say it's DEFINITELY an adventure.  We're heading into week three and I can say without a doubt it has been a crazy first two weeks (technically three seeing as we missed a few days here and there so it took us three weeks to get through two weeks of work). BUT we're learning. I say we, I HOPE my five year old is learning, I know it's been a major learning process for myself and I'm sure there is much more to be taught as the years come. 

So far I can think of only one day that we spent doing school that didn't erupt in an argument or me threatening to send him off to public school. Oh how I wish I could relive that one amazing day EVERY day but like I said It's all a learning process.  We're still trying to figure out what works and what doesn't work. I have all these big dreams of how I would LOVE my day to go but at the end of the day I MUST remember that as long as we had fun doing what we did and we were able to LOVE on each other and spend time together that is all that matters.  These childhood days will soon be gone and I don't want to miss out on a second of anything. (So why am I sitting here writing this while the minutes tick by?) For now I say goodbye. Pray for me! Most of all for patience and loads and loads of LOVE. Oh that they would be able to see Christ through me. (Another thing that I'm working on daily)