Monday, March 11, 2013

Homeschool... Take 2

Last fall when I was super overwhelmed I started to triage my life.



Asher was in a hard stage and I could do nothing about it. Vayda was in a hard stage, but I could quit watching her... so I did. My heart broke, but I knew it was right. Homeschooling was hard when it was happening and it began to get overlooked. I had planned to plan each week out ahead of time, and then prep them all every Sunday. Life happened at that didn't work. She would blow through what I planned for each week and then she'd end up sitting on the floor crying to do school while I had two crying babies and a 3-year-old that needed a lot of attention. It just wasn't working. I got a LOT of help from my teacher-sister on how to run a classroom. After reading through a lot of online blogs, forums, etc I have realized I fell into the trap that most first time homeschool parents fall into; believing my home had to run like a school classroom. It's a HOME school and it's not a SCHOOL for a reason. I felt like I failed, but I knew it needed to happen. Acey needed OUT of our house but we couldn't get OUT. She needed to stop sitting at a table while I tried to cram facts into her head. She would fidget and tap things like crazy and I was so annoyed. (Remember this fidgeting point)

I pulled the plug on our homeschool, signed her up for the second semester of public school preschool, paid out my $75 a month and wiped my hands clean of it. Done. I was less overwhelmed, she'd be in preschool like we'd always thought she would be.

Not done.

The last several weeks she has whined and complained about going to school. She sighs heavily when I say, "Tomorrow is a school day!" and then she drags her feet. When I sat her down to have a chat about it, she says she LOVES the part where she gets to play and go to the Library. She hates the part where they learn. Why? Because I already know that stuff, it's so BORING!

It's true. She's reading books. They are going over letter identification. Sigh.

So I've been trying to approach it like, but you may not know EVERYTHING they know. Try and figure out one new thing that you can learn each day that you didn't know before. She loves to learn. She came home excited to tell me that they use different motions for their zoophonics' Willy Weasel. They also have a song. It's kept her going without encouraging her self righteous side.

But is that my goal? To have her just go and try to get a new perspective on things she already knows? Not really. I don't want to pull her out because I'm afraid she'll get whiplash from my "let's find a better plan" tactics.

We are planning to move anyway, which would have us located 30 minutes from her school. I don't want to drive her each day, but I also don't want to start her in the new school district only to pull her out when we move back...whenever that is.

We're back to homeschooling. This time with a lot more practice, a lot better information, and a realization that I should have just powered through the hard time and not caved last time. This time I am going to listened just a little bit less to the fear that I am going to do it wrong and listen more to homeschoolers who have gone before me. I am also going to get curriculum. I was advised not to do curriculum because it's "so easy" to "just figure it out. It's only kindergarten." That was hard because I haven't had any experience writing lesson plans or even finding what information I was even supposed to be covering. Too much. Too much.

I have started with reading up about methods of homeschooling. It's like learning another culture. Because, well... it is learning another culture.

I just found a placement test and had her do the Language Arts test. She scored an 80% for SECOND GRADE. Which means she easily falls into a second grade level.  I am going to test her for math when she gets home tonight. I am assuming she'll be K or maybe an EARLY 1st grade level for Math. She is four... almost five. No wonder she is SO BORED at preschool. It says that I could even bump her up to a third grade curriculum, but it would be a little more challenging for her. We have the time, and if she's bored, we'll just move forward when she finishes the 2nd grade curriculum--even if that is the middle of school year. That is the beauty of homeschooling. I can teach her where she is at, and skim over the fact that she is ahead of her peers. She is still socially a Kindergartener. I want her to socially be a Kindergartener.

Also, the fidgeting. Duh. It's HOW she learns. She cannot sit still. With homeschool she doesn't HAVE to, necessarily. I let her fidget today during the placement test, checking myself every time I felt the need to still her hands, still her legs, or get on her about SITTING STILL. I watched instead. The more she had to think about a question, the more she fidgeted. Duh. So we will have to find an outlet for that that isn't interchangeable with Chinese water torture for me.

I have a plan again that is heading us in the direction of, What I Think Is Best For My Kid. And that is what is most important.

We still get sleeping mornings. We still get to take naps on days we need it. We still get to spend the night at Grandma's house on weekdays if we want to. Hallelujah.

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