Why am I struggling so much???

Discussion in 'Homeschooling' started by crazymama, Jul 17, 2010.

  1. crazymama

    crazymama Active Member

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    Sooo... we were supposed to start our trial run of school with Garrett this past Monday. Well, an unplanned weekend at truck show (not complaining, it's my favorite thing about summer, just thought we wouldn't have the money to go till last minute) meant I didn't get things in order like I had wanted to before this week began.

    Well, I have spent all of this week trying to get my ducks somewhat in a row so that we can start on Monday. I can't seem to do it!! I start to write out a schedule and then I feel like I'm heading right down the path that blew the tires out from under us before.

    What I dream of our school looking like and what I want to put onto paper are 2 very different things. I want to let him follow his interests, but then I plan out this and that... because I feel if he doesn't get exposed to it, he won't even know what he is missing out on.

    Ugggg... why is this so hard for me this year? (I know, really I do, it's because I don't want to fail again, but seriously, why can't I get past this??)
     
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  3. pecangrove

    pecangrove New Member

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    I think you can make a list of things you want to cover, but still allow yourself the flexibility to keep it fun and engaging for your son.
    Make your list - but let it serve more as a reminder of things you want to cover, rather than letting it dictate your every move. At the end of the week, if there are things you still need to cover then fit them in then, or at the beginning of the next week.
    I have found that I HAVE to have a schedule or list or I let things slide too much. But I try not to get bogged down in it to where it hinders us from enjoying things.
    HTH!!
     
  4. gizzy

    gizzy New Member

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    Because you are thinking too hard and too isolated.

    Garrett is what, 11yo? You dont have to plan out his interests for him. Let HIM plan them. Or at least do them together. Actually together.

    You need to make yourself incharge of....3 subjects: Reading, Writing and Math.
    Read and Write about what HE is interested in. Trains, Bugs, Science, Video Games whatever....the point is that he read and write. Have him do math, because it is "Required" but it isn't...ya'know essential, unless he is into something that makes it essential.

    I think you are planning his time too much. Thats what interest led learning is. (Isn't it?)

    Do Grammar as relevant to his work...critique his writings when he is done and make sure he understands the points of grammar he is screwing up...maybe have him study a list of "Most Common misspelled words" and Common Grammar mistakes.

    Listen to stories together and talk about them as much as you can or want to. Draw scenes from the books as you listen together.

    Maybe I'm just lazy or ignorant, but I have always believed that the 3R's are the essentials. Once you have them you can go as far as you want.

    Go Without Workbooks for a few months. Just read books on Science and do the questions etc, verbally. See if you cant identify certain things in real life.

    (Like condensation on a glass.) Do the MINIMUM required for written work.

    I tend to involve my students on a very constant basis. I tell them what we need to do and why, and then, once we're all on the same page about us "having" to do certain things. We work together to get it done, we dont just work together...we WORK together.


    6yo reminds me to do Phonics as much as I remind him. We look at each new TRL lessson and talk about ways to break it down and formulate a plan.

    I see it as my job to keep them on the track that WE have agreed on.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2010
  5. Embassy

    Embassy New Member

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    If you want to go with the flow I would make my list or plan general rather than specific. What worked best for me was to set aside (for example) 2 hours a week for history. I had a list of things to do or books to read, but it allowed flexibility to chase rabbit trails or skip history for days or have a morning of history if so desired.
     
  6. DanielsMom

    DanielsMom New Member

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    If you let him follow his interests...trust me that if he's anything like my guy he'll discover things along the path that you never in a million years would have thought of to teach. He'll learn...a lot! My point is, he may miss out on things if you don't plan them, sure. But he'll miss out on a lot of other things that you never would have planned if you guide the way all the time.
     
  7. crazymama

    crazymama Active Member

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    If I completely let him go, he would simply play video games all the time. Now, I have noticed if I say no video games, he will often times find programs on the History Channel or the Science Channel or the Military Channel to watch, not always.. sometimes it's stupid cartoons like SpongeBob :roll:. He loves when he can find shows about investigating things like UFOs and paranormal things... and I can see the educational value in them, so I don't mind.

    If I don't encourage him, he won't pick up a book any more, he used to love to read.

    How would it work out if I set it up something like he has to do math and grammar and particpate in read alouds (which I will be having him help read to the littles) M-Th (Friday is Funday... when we play games and watch movies and things). We also have to hit on PA history this year (state required and we haven't hit on it yet), but I ordered some fun books for that, so it won't be a problem (I got things like Untold Tales from Pennsylvania History and Pennsylvana Ghost Towns because know they will appeal to him), but that can be 1 day a week.

    I like the independant study idea that Chelc had in my other thread, maybe I can require certain subject area be covered in something like that? Like he has to cover a science topic and has 4 weeks to do it, then the next one would be a history topic, then the next a geography topic? Actually I can see history, science and geography over lapping in so much, maybe I could just require that the project for the time period touch on all 3 topics?
     
  8. JosieB

    JosieB Active Member

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    You know what happened here-when Ephram was in PS-all he wanted to do at home was play video games and watch tv (though tv is educational 90% of the time in our house)

    So he's been out of PS for almost 2 months now-some days he doesn't even play video games at all!!!! This is the child who on the weekends would play for 5 hours straight if you let him (and I would when I was sick! LOL) I'd say he only plays video games 1/2 the days now and when he does it's usually less than an hour a day! When he was in PS all he ever wanted to do was play video games. I think it was a way for him to relieve stress-and now that he's not stressed....he doesn't feel the need as much....

    Maybe YOU need to deschool??? It's hard to let go of that way of thinking, or at least it is for me. I spent 13 years in the PS system, it's all I know. It's hard to break away from 33 years of being programed to think it's the right way, the only way....but it's not....

    We didn't get to start our homeschool when I planned either-due to some of my medical issues, and it frustrated me and I thought "I'm behind" but then I realized "behind what???" So what if we don't start this week or even next week?? What does it really hurt?? NOTHING!!

    We are really enjoying just winging it. Now Ephram likes worksheets so I randomly pull out some worksheets every day (usually 2-one math-one language) and we just seize educational opportunities.

    2 days ago there was a frog on our sliding glass door, so we looked online and identified it (we thought it was a baby frog-turns out it's just a tiny frog-full grown!) and learned about other frogs in GA and which ones lived in our area and listened to their calls and tried to identify the frogs in our pond by their sound only!

    And you can find things you think he might be interested in-Ephram has never shown any interest in cowboys but I found a documentary series on some famous cowboys and he loves it! I thought he might like the civil war-but he doesn't...so we'll stick with cowboys for right now...He likes to learn about plants and animals so I plan lots of things to learn about plants and animals. And if you can fit survival skills in anywhere Oh my! LOL That child watches man vs wild for hours almost every day and will come tell me some amazing facts about other countries and weird animals and plants and what to do if.... LOL Oh-and soon we'll do a lapbook on meerkats cause he's gotten really into meerkat manor. I might sneak in a little about Africa there too ;) LOL

    Your son is old enough I'd have him write down a list of things he would like to learn about or explore. Then hand him a list you make of things you think he might like to learn about-and have him chose 2-3 things from your list as well. Then, ask him what he wants to explore first and let him have at it until he wants to move on to something else...

    Maybe pick a theme for each month? (or week? or 2 weeks? Whatever works best for your family) Make M,W,F 3R's day and let him explore whatever T&T?

    I hope to eventually be able to let go of the 3R's and let them be child-led as well, but I know right now that would not work for Ephram. So I hold onto them and let him led totally in science (he loves science) and I guide him a bit in SS, so far, it seems to be working. We have kinda found our groove the last week or two. It took about a month for us to get into a groove, but now we are....come Aug-we start co-op so we'll see how that effects us....probably throw us all off! LOL
     
  9. ochumgache

    ochumgache Active Member

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    I have an idea! Storytelling Alice ... and it has nothing to do with me. It's a FREE animation program from Carnegie Mellon. They have a version for high schoolers, but this is for the middle grade. My kids love it.

    He likes video games and TV, so what if you had him research a topic and then create an education animation with Alice. He'd be learning the topic and computer animation.

    Here's the website...
    http://www.alice.org/
     
  10. crazymama

    crazymama Active Member

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    lol.. Alice.. are you partial because of the name?

    No seriously, it sounds AWESOME!! Way better than writing a book report of something ;)
     
  11. heartsathome

    heartsathome New Member

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    I don't do lesson plans UNTIL I am done with a day or two. So, I have a simple lesson plan book and I write in each day what we actually did! Or atleast that is what I have always done. I plan on using a Well Planned Day this year and getting better organized. So, we will see. But, perhaps something like that would work for you.

    After a day, write down all that you did. Then there is no stress to keep up with your plans and you still keep up because you see what you accomplished.
     
  12. jakk

    jakk New Member

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    My planner is also empty until we are doing the work. I made my own planner. I knew I wanted to do bible, math, reading and handwriting every day, history 2x a week, science 2x a week, music and art 1x a week, nature program 2x a week etc. I printed out 5 days, with day 1 having bible, math, reading, handwriting, history. Day 2 has bible math, reading, handwriting, science, art...etc.. I created 5 "days" that are undated, and nothing else planned. As we do the activities I fill in the blanks.

    Last year we didnt even plan a calendar. We didnt stick to m-f, we did schoolwork on weekends if we were busy during the week. We planned 180 days, and when we had a school day I filled in the work and then put the number on top DAY 1, or DAY 122. When we finished 180 pages, we were done with school.
     
  13. Jo Anna

    Jo Anna Active Member

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    I see what you are doing and knowing you and what you have told me. STOP! Stop planning! Remember you want to have fun and enjoy this again. So, it is important to remember you cannot always plan out fun, it just happens. It once was part of your school days, and it will be again. Relax and enjoy each day. Try not to look too far ahead and over think all this. You can do this and get back on track again. Just remind yourself that if things start feeling like you are force feeding it to him again it is time to move on to another way of learning.

    You did not fail! You just lost your path for a little while.:love:

    Now if you feel you need something on paper, write down your goals for the year, don't put in there x book or such needs to be done. Just where you would like to see him at in say 4 weeks or more. Then go from there.

    Go take a nice bubble bath relax and keep reminding yourself why you wanted to do this in the first place. After that it is all gravy!:wink:
     
  14. crazymama

    crazymama Active Member

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    Thanks JoAnna... your the bestest :) (ps, I'll email you after our "unplugged time" tomarrow)

    Soooo I just printed out the 6th grade list from the world book site, I figure I will show it to Garrett and together we will work through it, throughout the year and check things off as we go... and if he wants to skip something well fine, if he wants to add something fine too.

    We are going to have "unplugged time" until noon... well we will be allowed educational videos and certain web sites until noon, but that will be it ;)

    Off to bed for me now, have a big day tomarrow ;)
     
  15. Jo Anna

    Jo Anna Active Member

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    Sometimes we just need a reminder of stuff we already know, but slips our minds sometimes.

    Have a great night and a wonderful day tomorrow.
     
  16. Eloquy

    Eloquy New Member

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    Hi CrazyMama
    I tried to leave a comment on your blog (but comments don't seem to be working), so I had to sign up here to show my support.
    I think unplugged time sounds great - we do this a lot too. I find it helps to have a list of things we 'may' like to do during that time - so that if they are both looking at me I seem prepared! I brainstorm some ideas and activities and then mark them 'green if they are ready to go right now - or amber if they need some setting up first. If the children have something to do during unplugged time - then I work on turning amber activities into green ones. If they don't know what to do then we can do something from the green list. I keep all my ideas in a notebook so I always have some great things to plan for and I never feel stuck.
    best wishes, Julie
     
  17. crazymama

    crazymama Active Member

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    Ok.. so why aren't my comments working???

    Julie, you have some great ideas :) Thanks for sharing.. oh and stick around this is a great board ;)
     
  18. mom24boys!

    mom24boys! New Member

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    So what is "unplug time," did I miss it somewhere?
     
  19. crazymama

    crazymama Active Member

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    Unplugged time is when the TV and Computers are off. Well I will allow preplanned educational shows, or educational DVDs or computer programs (like starfall for the littles) but... I'm really thinking of saying that even those have to wait until a certain amount of unplugged time.

    (oh and I think I fixed the comment thing on my blog)
     

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