Monday, September 29, 2014

Different Strokes For Different Folks.

So the saying goes. And I am glad that I can choose what path of education I will give my children. I am learning everyday that this is harder than I could have imagined.  That being said, its an a amazing challenge and I am so happy that I can meet this challenge and grow from it.
I really did not know how I was going to approach my homeschooling style.  There is a tone of information out there. And it can be confusing.  There are so many different homeschooling styles, on top of choosing curriculum.  It can be a daunting task. I thought I would start home school and my right from the start my daughter would be behind.
The challenges are real and it can be frustrating trying to figure out exactly what is right for your child. And you read other homeschooling blogs or books you will see that everyone chooses what is best for their child and what they want to teach them.  Learning how my daughter learns has been hard.  She has more energy then ten children but her desire to learn is so large. In kindergarten they said she passed a check list. They said she was able to count to 100 and read certain words.  Yes she learned a lot in kindergarten but how much of that stuck? I found out not much.  I was watching videos of when she was a toddler and she had learned so much from me.  now I have to start from the beginning because she has a hard time reading and she does not like to do it.  So I am finding new ways to show her how amazing reading can be.  It is a one day a time thing.  The local library has a read to a therapy dog day and she enjoyed that.  I hope she is encouraged to read more if we do this more often. She always says "mom is it going to be fun.?' And I can tell she thinks learning is boring.  And honestly we all know some of it can be. But that does not have to be the end all and be all of lerning. especially for children.
I am reading "How children Learn." By John Holt.  He says "What teachers and learners need to know is what we have known for some time: first, that vivid, vital, pleasurable experiences are the easiest to remember, and secondly, that memory works best when unforced..." I want to learn how teach in this way.  I want to be able to help things stick in my children s minds and have them enjoy learning at the same time.
Last week I read them a small printed book on "why leaves change color?"
We read it, spoke about it, and then went outside to have fun.  They happened to pick up some leaves so I asked her for a spot on, playground oral report on why leaves change? I did not tell her that is what it was. but she did it enthusiastically and she did so well. My husband watched the video I took of her telling me how leaves change and he said he learned something new. It was an amazing thing to see.  It was not just facts it was real. And she felt it and she was able to take her time seeing it happen. Not stuck in a room reading a textbook answering unimportant questions.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Good Day To Homeschool

We have had some rough days and today was a good day.  We were met with some challenges but I am truly learning how my daughter learns.  At the same time I am learning.  I am learning patience, and the fundamentals of learning.  She finished kindergarten but I realized that she was not completely grasping what she needed to start reading.  It was strange because she was so advanced.  She was recognizing letters before she was one.  I kind of fell off the wagon after having my son and my other dear daughter.   I was hoping for her to be ahead of the game in kindergarten but she was doing ok.  This was one other reason for me to consider homeschooling.  I just know in my heart that the my kids can learn better.  If I were to send her to school  I know she would do just fine, but I do not want her to have time wasted waiting if I can take the plunge and try it at home.
Today she made some amazing progress. I realized she was approaching reading with hesitancy.  I do not know why because she was so ready to read a year ago.  I wonder if she started feeling as though reading was just boring work.  My challenge is to somehow show her that it is work to learn but that it can be such an enjoyment to learn something new. Today I found some new games on  I had her play some games. As her usually new way of approaching things she tried to play the preschool games and I said, no way girl that is too easy but I let her play.  I wanted her to see for herself that she could do more.  That she can have confidence in what she has learned, that she can tackle the first grade games.  And she did. She said "mom this is too easy, I am gonna try first grade." She spelled some words wrong but she was beyond excited to learn, She said "its clicking in my head." We had spoke earlier of letters being symbols to a puzzle, the words.  And how its clicks in your mind when you learn more. She was using sticky notes to help herself remember the ed ending in words. I have seen her write little notes to us before but not like this, She was using tools to help her learn.
It so amazing to see this progress.  It reaffirms to me what I want for my children.   Yes I know she can learning public school.  But here at home she was able to take her time.  she was able to pick what she wanted to do.  I lead certain lessons but this was on her own.  It felt good to see her want more. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Rough Start Thursdays.

Wow what a difference a day makes.  I a mentally telling myself this is worth it, but its like my brain does not want to admit what I am feeling.  My daughter has so much energy.  She is extremely smart and has always been advanced for her age.  The thing is her energy can sometimes (who am I kidding), most of the times interfere with my thought process.  I mean that's why parents go crazy. All you want is a few moments throughout the day where you can actually think a whole thought without a child bursting into your thought and completely throwing you off.  
It is hardest when our financial situation is not the best. When I wake up and see how hard it is right now for us.  Then I start to doubt the decisions I have made for my family.  Why am I not in school full time right now? Oh yeah I can not afford daycare for two children.  Let alone books, travel, tuition for school.  And if I did get a full time job how much would we keep of that.  Not enough to make a difference.  It is still hard when situations hit me like a ton of bricks and I feel I have no where to turn.
My problem is I tend to scream when I am at the boiling point.  I am the thermometer in the old cartoons that would fill up slowly with red. Till at the end there was steam coming out of it and its too late because the thermometer broke.  It does not accomplish what I want it to.  I want to be able to communicate to my kids that now it is time to listen without my neighbors hearing me. 
Back to school.  Back to life. Bye for now.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Homeschooling Drama Mama.

Its official I am homeschooling.  It is week three and I have survived longer than I could have imagined.  I had imagined myself giving up and just driving my kids to the school within days of starting.  I honestly could not believe that I was taking such a huge leap in my children education and my families lives.  
When my daughter was born 6 year ago I had a desire to teach her at home and I had taken a lot of steps in introducing her to reading and language at a very young age.  I had previously heard about homeschooling but I really did not know much about it. I toyed with the idea of it but it never really resonated for too long.  There was no way I was going to stay home and teach my children.
Fast forward 6 years and that thought, that dream unrealized has turned in to a reality. I love it.  I can not explain this feeling I have.  I have read so much about mothers taking on this journey and really having a new appreciation and understanding for their child's education.  Being in it and living it is the only way to truly see what others are talking about.  The reason there are so many books on homeschooling. The reason why moms and dads write blogs sharing their journey.   Their ups, their downs.  And now I have mine.  
If you have read other blogs or have spoken to other parents homeschooling they will tell you some days are hard. And you may ask then why do it? why not send them to a school where there are teachers trained to do just that? To teach children. Because those hard days are nothing compared to seeing my daughter learn, and know that I have taken my time to teach her. Yes I have to learn patience when teaching her. Because it is a great challenge. Yet seeing her grow is amazing thing to see. I am seeing things I had never seen before. She is able to be herself.  I do not let her just run around with no rules. I just let her breather a bit. And she can take a break or two or three.  I know I am gonna get her there. 
I understand that all can or want to home school.  And that's the great thing about it, we can all choose whats best for our own children
I have so much more to see and learn.  I just hope and pray that I am doing the best by my children.  I had a calling for greatness for my family and I am not gonna sit idly by and wait for someone to tell me whats best for my family.  I want to be the one who chooses.