Thursday, November 11, 2010

My New Introduction to Homeschooling

Homeschooling has taken on a whole new meaning in this house. It's nothing I can even remotely compare to anything I've done in the past 12 years or so homeschooling my first three kids. I don't recognize it from anything I did as a homeschool kid either. It's a total new concept around here.

I've always said that homeschooling is mostly about building character. Moment by moment you are working the character. Academics are important but it comes second.

We'll, homeschooling at my house is all about character now. Academics hasn't even shown it's face yet.

No one can learn anything in our little school until the foundation is dug and the corner stones laid. The digging has been hard and slow going. The ground is rocky.  We're hitting one  boulder after another the size of a building and it takes weeks of hard labor, strategy, and a ton of dynamite to get it out of our basement and we turn around only to find another just as big or bigger blocking progress.


Um, the last one is for me.

Okay, so does anybody have any suggestions?

There's this sequencing thing she is suppose to do. We've been at it forever. She knows how. I have gone over it and over it, but she won't. Absolutely and completely won't. It looks like this:

I've smartened up in my trials. I've made 8 copies of this particular page so far and she has used up most of them. She has to cut them out. Which she will do. Then she has to put the pictures in the right order. She will glue the first one but will not do number 2. She absolutely knows which one is next. Her hand goes to it, and then she grabs a different one. Twice she has purposefully put them all out of order... but she WANTS me to tell her what to do each step of the way. I will do that orally with her. She can even tell me how it goes orally, but she WILL NOT do the project.

This is for EVERY project. Every single thing she is asked to do for school is just the same. There is no varying. She will tell me that yes she knows how, and yes, I'm right, she just doesn't want to obey and she will not. I know if has something to do with lack of confidence to start with, but then it goes to all out defiance.

This is a boulder the size of the umpire State building.

I"m losing patience. She hasn't had a full blown tantrum today yet, but we are close. I am about ready to have a stroke.


C Dawn's bucket said...

I may be really off base and perhaps my solution won't work for your family. My instinct would be that if she can identify and talk you through the cycle. Which takes a higher order of thinking over doing it herself...that I might just count that as good enough for now. Maybe for now accepting having her do the first one is enough...and then next week on another task you can expect her to do 2 and talk you through the others.

I get that her brain is stuck...the only other thing I could suggest would be to have her talk through it and then do hand over hand and "help" her do it correctly. Clearly she is stuck..and that would be what I would do for a younger child who was struggling to do what they were asked.

Go back to the choices of you can do it yourself or with help....

GB's Mom said...

I agree with C Dawn's bucket. It isn't worth fighting right now. By yourself or with help... You win no matter what she chooses. Our kids are always emotionally several years younger than their age.

Anonymous said...

Could you give her an insentive for finishing the project? A sticker? Bookmark? A small coloring book?

I think you're doing swell. Keep up the hard work.

Mama in Uganda said...

AMEN! Godly character comes first in our home too!

Keep looking to Jesus friend.

Hugs and prayers from the North,

Dee said...

I agree with what the others have said. If she can tell you how it goes and in the right order, then maybe you could have her color the pictures and as she's telling you how they go, you place them where they need to go. I would do that for a couple of days and then after a week or two, try and see if she could even do half on her own. If not, repeat the process until she can, and always always praising every little accomplishment, even the oral ones.

She's second guessing herself and her decision making process. It will probably take hundreds of successes to make her brain forget the fear of even one failure.

La Tea Dah said...

Angela, you are doing a great job. Be kind to yourself. It seems that God is not only helping you develop godly characters in the twins, but is also refining those of everyone around! By the time the youngest two are 18 you should have more patience than anyone I know! :D

Today is a day to be thankful for the encouraging words of those who promote delayed academics. Free as lambs until 8 or 10 or even 12, as Dr. Moore would say, becomes very reassuring right now.

Since it seems that Missy does understand the chart, I think I would not see how she can apply her knowledge to a different format. Instead of the circle diagram, can she place them in order on pie-shaped wedges in a circle? Or in an ordered sequence of puffy white clouds in a row? Or in a straight line? Then, what can she do without the prompts? Can she draw the sequence (or an assigned portion of it) without missing a step? Or model it with clay?

Enjoy a day of rest --- although I know it will be teaching of another sort today.

Praying for you and yours...