Right now I am reading "The Five Love Languages for Children" by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell and it's reminding me of why I tough out the hard days at home with my boys. This morning went HORRIBLY! I wanted to be in the classroom working happily by 9 am. At 10:15 when we finally got to the classroom, I assure you the mood was NOT great. Both D and P were angry with me, upset about doing school since it was interrupting what they wanted to do and I was discouraged and irritated at their lack of cooperation after all of my obvious sacrifices to home school them...LOL! So, I started thinking about WHY it is that we do what we do...and here's a few of my conclusions and decisions stemming from those ponderings.
~*~My Patrick especially is NOT cut out for public school....not because they are evil and terrible, but because they are centered around visually oriented (textbook/workbook) kids and he is just NOT one of those. He is a 'hanging upside down from his desk, running around the classroom, doodling, whispering, waving his arms kind of kid' and spent PLENTY of time in trouble during his public school days. And being scolded for not following the rules is perfectly appropriate, except that if he never hears anything but scolding, he can't feel very good about himself, can he? At the very least, at home he knows that he is loved and that's way more important than knowing how to do long division in his head, speak 3 languages or sit still in a desk for 7 hours a day. So, instead of fighting with him to work on math this afternoon, we spent quite a while working on a poster to remind him that he IS a good boy and that we do appreciate his efforts to control his behavior. So now it's hanging on the fridge to remind him every time he walks through the kitchen that he is a NICE BOY and knows how to do NICE THINGS. So call me an unschooling wacko (who thought THAT day would ever come) but it was more important that diagramming sentences today. My main goal for homeschooling is to spend as much time with, and be as big of an influence as I can in my boys' lives...and if that means they always need to carry a calculator and use spell check, I'm OK with that. It's more important that they know the Lord, have kind hearts and helping hands. I am realigning my priorities this school year to get Patrick's esteem back to where it should be, he's having a rough year. He's starting to get worn down by constant failure at his attempts to be something he's not.
~*~I need to rearrange my schedule to get school done as early in the day as possible. The boys are all early risers and if I allow them to watch TV or start video games, the day just goes downhill in a hurry when I announce that it's time to start school after I've started laundry, spent an hour on the computer, tidied a bit here and there, etc. SO, I will be getting out my 'Managers of Their Homes' book and making a new schedule for our home. It will be a loose schedule, because there are MANY variables around here, but Pat needs the structure and I need the accountability.
~*~David is getting lazy on me since Pat is taking up so much of my teaching time. It's time for him to start working more independently. I may start making him a list of what needs to get done at the beginning of the week and have him start to self-manage a bit more, or teach Derek a bit more. More thoughts on this later.
~*~Derek needs and wants more lessons...he's the one really getting lost in the shuffle right now. He often ends up watching a video so that I can get school done with D and P...not that watching a well appointed video is the end of the world, but if that's all I ever do with him, then shame on me. So back to our letter lap books we go! This one is easy since I have them all prepared to go, it's just a matter of making the time to make it happen.
There...that's enough self exploration for today : ) Glad I can speak freely and without fear of ridicule. Thanks for your support ladies...none one ever said homeschooling was easy, just worth it! Happy homeschooling everyone! Always remember WHY you do it!