15
Sep

weeks in review ~ the real story

   Posted by: liz   in homeschooling

last year, when i had my weekly ducks in a row, and had enough energy to blog at the end of some weeks during the school year, i published homeschooling weekly reviews on fridays.

i haven’t done one yet this year, and here we are, three weeks into school already!

one reason is that i can’t bring myself to list the lessons we’ve accomplished in curriculum that most of you have never heard of, without going into details, sometimes tremendously tedious details, of how we finished the lesson. i have a day planner (one that my husband designed, printed and bound for me – it’s LOVELY!) for that, and none of you want to read my day planner.

another reason i haven’t published a week-in-review yet is that although this school year is off to a great start, i’ve failed so many times already. and i don’t want you to see that part of homeschooling. i want you to see the 95% of homeschooling that is good, and beautiful, and fun. that 5% is just plain ugly. but…i feel the need to be honest about all parts of homeschooling. so here goes:

rowan and sawyer and i have shed some tears over MATH already this year. they did so well remembering all what they’ve learned so far, and that first week of school, i was amazed at how much they remembered. then we started getting into new concepts – concepts that were difficult for this literature/theatre/language-loving momma to explain to my bright, energetic boys. i grew so frustrated with myself, and they interpreted that as frustration with them.

that is humbling. that is HARD. and that, my friends, is why several of you have told me you’d never homeschool.

fortunately, that’s not the end of the story.

we have a great, supportive husband/daddy who is involved in all aspects of our homeschool. afterall, it’s called HOMEschool, not MOMschool. we did a few math lessons in the evening which took a long, long time (bad time of day for focusing attention!), and i did a lesson first thing in the morning, after breakfast. the latter worked best of all, but it’s still not perfect. yesterday, we had another frustrating math lesson, where i think all three of us shed some tears.

but here’s the beautiful part: we closed the math books, had a big chat and then headed off to soccer practice where they hung out with their closest friends, and i got to chat about my day with another homeschool mom. who had been there, done that, and was still learning.

and then we gathered around the dinner table as a family and talked more about it. after the boys were in bed and kenny and i were talking about it, he encouraged me to take a “mental math day” – a day where we just don’t do math. i decided to leave that up to the boys. and then this morning, i asked each of the boys what they wanted to learn in school today.

i’ll bet you can guess that math wasn’t on their list at all.

rowan and sawyer both chose Bible and Spelling. adam chose “how a bean grows a flower.” so, we’ve finished Bible, we took a long break to make applesauce, there are beans in a glass of water in the fridge in order to “disect” later today, and the spelling lessons are on the kitchen table waiting to be finished.

on today’s homeschool agenda is learning to deal with the hard parts, learning to forgive each other, learning to ask God for help, and learning to put others before ourselves. because our learning here isn’t just academic. that’s an imporant part of our schooling, and we will make sure our children understand things like number division, present participles, and Newton’s Laws of Motion.

but in order to provide the best academic atmosphere for their learning minds, we have to love, trust, and respect each other.

of which i am the biggest student.

it’s okay to have imperfect days. they help you make perfect ones. like applesauce-making and Spelling and Bible-only days.
it’s okay to have imperfect days. they allow you to talk honestly and openly as a family, on an hourly basis.
it’s okay to have imperfect days. because we are all imperfect. and we can learn much from that knowledge.

and learning together is one amazing gift to cherish.

This entry was posted on Thursday, September 15th, 2011 at 1:26 pm and is filed under homeschooling. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

4 comments so far

 1 

I so appreciate your open-ness as a new to homeschooling Mom! We have had tears over math with my Kindergartner and I have totally backed off and tried to make the lessons more fun. THANK YOU!

September 15th, 2011 at 3:42 pm
 2 

I’ll have to admit, I cried when I read your first day of school post. We had already started and already met with many frustrations. We took a week off last week to regroup, and I had a little talk with Jonathan and realized I needed to back off for Noah (it’s just Kindergarten, why am I stressed?!) This week has gone much better, but I wouldn’t quite say great yet. Thanks for posting the troubling stuff as well. Then we can help each other when things aren’t perfect.

September 15th, 2011 at 7:10 pm
Lisa
 3 

Liz,
I totally understand. Connor and I have been banging heads for almost two weeks, and I decided that I may have chosen the wrong curriculum for him this year. Change is hard for him, but I think it is the right move before we get too much farther in the year.

I have some really good math resources I would be glad to share. They are fun and educational. Also, Shane and Connor like math as opposed to English and such, so maybe they could help too. I think teaching can be one of the best ways to learn. Don’t worry. We’ll all get through this together!

September 15th, 2011 at 9:22 pm
 4 

This. Is. Beautiful.
I love your super GENUINE family SO MUCH!!!

I have had the same frustrations just over homework with Will re: reading & spelling. I have to always apologize & explain that I’m not mad b/c he got it wrong, but that *I* get frustrated when *he* gets mad. :’( Soooo hard…

September 15th, 2011 at 10:50 pm

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