Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Late Night, Tired Morning

I was up too late last night stressing over hmoeschooling for next year. Doubts are beginning to creep in. Will we be able to do it? How can I make MB interested in it? Am I up for the initial fight? Am I expecting to do too much? What is the best approach for both MB and I?

Then there are the thoughts about the other girls. Is it unfair to them that spend a lot of time worrying about MB?

Then the self-inflicted berating; "What can I do about the bad habits I have let take hold?"

I know that homeschooling is the best option for MB. This article that I found last night confirmed it for me. The author's description of her son could be written about my daughter. In fact recently I have been wondering lately if I should take her to a psychiatrist to have testing done. Not for drugs or long-term therapy, but maybe find out if there is something I could do to make her mood swings easier to deal with for all of us. Wondering if there might be some sort of disability that I am missing that maybe I could take into account with my planning.

No, this is her temperament. In social or public situations she is a wonderful child, but behind the closed doors of our house, where she feels comfortable, she breaks down in such ways that I often do not know the trigger (and I am not sure that she does either). It is something that maturity will help, along with a lot of love.

Of course it doesn't answer my question about what will be the best method, approach for schooling this next year. It is not so much the subjects that are worrisome for me. But how to do it so that we don't spend the first few months in battle. Battle's that will wear me down and take away my time and energy from doing things with the younger two.

This year we did kindergarten while she also attended a three-day morning preschool. It was easy and very, very relaxed. I would say a kind of child-led aprroach. I would introduce something and if it didn't take hold put it away and come back later. Most of our schooling revolved around art and science, with whatever I could sneak in. I felt as if I was doing a lot of flank attacks when it came to certain things. It was fun, and towards the end the battles were limited. I also did not have to prove anything to anybody. Nobody was looking over my shoulder and examining her skills and development.

Next year it changes. We are going to be put under a microscope and examined by many people in the family including DH. When I plan for next year, I just feel this heavy rock of responsibility sitting on my shoulders. I still want us to be relaxed, but with goals for each week. I have to be able to plan. MB does seem to do better when she sees a list of things to do. So we will use the family white board to list out daily assignments.

If I just want her to meet the requirements for 1st grade, I wouldn't be so stressed. But that is one of my reasons for homeschooling. I want her exposed to so many more things, I want her to learn to think.

A tentative plan that I worked on last night for MB. I thought about how she loves to be read to, do hands-on projects and even workbooks. So here are my thoughts for the day.

Fall Semester - to begin August 29
Math: RightStart Level A (second-half of book), Then reassesss for next level math to begin in January
History: SOTW I
Literature: Ancients - using recommended reading list from WTM and corresponding to history lessons.
Science: Life Sciences: Sept-Dec Birds, Felines, Canines, Bears
Jan-Mar Human Body - Muscles, Bones, Circulatory, Digestive, respiration, Diet and Exercise
Apr - Jun Plant Life- Tree Identification, Bulb vs. seed plants and garden planning.
**Phonics/Reading Skills: Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading
Giant Basic Skills Workbook
The Complete Book of Phonics Workbook

Any other way that I can think of to sneak this into her program
Writing Mechanics: Cursive Writing continued(we have started this and she enjoys it much better than having to relearn the print mechanics that preschool messed up on)

Other: Art appreciation, drawing, piano lessons, gymnastics, music appreciation
Tools I want to use: Narration, Copy Work

** This is the toughest subject for us. MB will fight against doing this more than anything I have ever seen. I have tried Pathways to Phonics and 100 Easy Lessons with limited results. What I have found to work so far are a few worksheets a week and games. Sight Word games, phonics games, computer programs like Study Dog and Starfell.

I am praying so hard over this right now. I don't want to screw up my girls for anything in the world. I feel such pressure over this.

Better get back to the laundry - no thinking required.




Amy said...

Hugs Amy! I said a prayer for you. I get some flack from my dd about homeschooling, but I try to just smile big and say "we're the parents, and with our greater wisdom we've decided that this is what's best" (probably not those exact words to a 7yo, but you know what I mean, lol). And my dh was skeptical at first, but now (two years later) he is my biggest supporter.

Jess said...

Oh Amy, I remember how scary it was in the beginning. Are there any groups you can join in your area? Meeting other moms made SO much difference in how I felt. I became so much more confident when I saw parents teaching in all different ways and that it didn't matter, their kids were ALL intelligient and great. Not perfect, but well loved and supervised which is the recipe for success. ;-)

Relax, breathe, don't set too many expectations or you are just leaving room to be overwhelmed and disappointed. Start slowly, you have so many years ahead...

Hugs to you!


Anonymous said...

I would like to exchange links with your site www.blogger.com
Is this possible?

A family of six living and learning. You might catch us outside in the mud or working on crafts. We always seem to be on the go, come on and join us.