Thursday, June 12, 2008

Finally...the Sun Is Out!

After about 5 or 6 days of rain, rain and more rain, we finally have sunshine! I wouldn't call it really warm yet, but at least I can look outside and smile! Today has been a much more productive day already - that makes for a happy husband tonight! When the weather is gray and rainy, I tend to shut down and only do what is absolutely necessary around the house. Nothing motivates me more than a beautiful, sunny day! This morning, I got some laundry done, including the sheets on our bed, and dishes washed up. I decided not to subject Sara to any schoolwork for the morning, so she and Sky spent a couple of hours riding their bikes and playing hockey in the driveway. I enjoyed the peace and quiet to catch up on reading my favourite blogs!

A few days ago, we received a big box with Sara's new math books for next year. (I had extra money leftover from the school board that I needed to use up by the end of the year.) We use the curriculum, Math.U.See, which has a heavy emphasis on manipulatives. For any of you with "hands-on" children, this curriculum is wonderful! Sara says math is her favourite subject and I think that's because they make things so easy to understand and grasp. I'm even "getting" things in a new way! We had their set of starter blocks, but needed the completer set for the next book. Along with the extra blocks, I ordered the fancy, wooden boxes that they can be stored in. I don't know how we survived a whole year without these boxes! :-) I love them and they will really help things be more efficient from now on. I gave Sara the job of filling up the boxes with all the blocks. She happily obliged! I think all the new things gave her some fresh inspiration to keep plugging away with math and finish up her book for this year. School is officially over for all children in this part of the world at the end of June. So, we will be going strong for another few weeks. We will also have to continue on with Math and Language Arts as much as possible through out the summer months. Sara was somewhat behind grade level at the final evaluation, so now we are playing catch up. I've been dealing with Sara on some major bad attitudes, stubbornness and laziness issues in the last couple of weeks. It has taken away a tremendous amount of my energy and joy. I haven't known what to do some days... Please pray that I will have wisdom and much patience with this child of mine. School has been tough this year. Partly because if my own disorganization and laziness at times, partly because of bad attitudes from the student (and consequently, me giving up), and partly because Sara was very slow to read and write. We would spend weeks on one lesson that was designed for 1 week. Finally, in February, I began to see real progress and we were over the hump. Now, Sara is progressing at what I would call a "normal" pace, but of course, we're now "behind." I am so proud of her and how far she has come from in just one year! At the beginning of the year, she could only write the letters in her name independently. She didn't even know all the letter sounds when the year started. Now, she is reading words like "gift" and "clock"! She is writing well and can even do some work independently. It's been so hard at times, but so worth it. I've never shared this struggle because it was just too painful for me. I was embarrassed, I felt like a complete failure, I was too proud to let anyone else in - even my husband. I've carried this load alone for so long, but I don't want to anymore. So, I'm sharing today just because I know I need to. And because maybe someone else needs to read this. And because I need your prayers and encouragement. Keep us in your prayers this summer. I know we need to catch up as much as possible, but I want it to be as fun as possible. Poor child - nobody else will be doing schoolwork. I'm afraid too... What if we hit another roadblock? I know I can't think like that. I'm also optimistic... Things are moving along so well and Sara is learning so much! I just cry when I think about it! I pray it will be a positive summer. Thanks for listening to me share my heart.


GE is me said...

Peggy, even though Sara may be behind in lang. arts or other subjects; I think that is part of the beauty of homeschooling. One of my friends who has 5 children & homeschools has that issue. I'm pretty sure she doesn't go through the summer. Her oldest is in grade 5 going into 6 in the fall. Subject wise though, she's in 5th grade math, 3rd grade something else & 4th grade something else. She is an avid reader & is definitely reading at grade level.
STOP beating yourself up!!!!!
You are NOT a failure, just because she is behind in some subjects. I can't even begin to say I understand your frustration since mine are only 3.
Have you considered changing curriculums? The lady I talked about above uses a mish mash of different stuff to teach her children. Maybe there is one out there better suited to Sara's learning style- which btw, I just started reading Cynthia Ulrich Tobias' book on. Don't know if you've read that or not.
If you do decide to do schoolwork this summer try making it fun. Maybe go to walmart or equivalent & let her pick out age appropriate workbooks. I know I have a couple for my girls that I've started working with them on. Tell her you don't want this to be "a chore" but you feel she needs to continue practicing through the summer. Ask her how many pages she plans to do a day, week or whatever. Then set consequences if she doesn't stick to it. Just a suggestion, like I said I have NO CLUE!!!
Glad you shared your struggle, hope what I wrote has helped & I'll be praying for you.

Nadine said...

Hi Peggy,

I will gladly pray for you over these issues..
I have a high spirited child..actually out of 6 children I have 3!...she is behind in Math by several years..she is stubborn, at times impossible.. but she is the child God blessed me the same time she is the most generous/ giving/ tender hearted person I have ever met...she being opinionated can be hard to take at yesterday...she hates Math...she hates school and doesn't see the point of getting a diploma ..she is 14 and wants to be a photographer and claims school is overrated...she what I mean about opinionated?...
We will be continuing Math and language arts all summer long...not at the same level because summer has to be full of free time and fun...but just 20 to 30 minutes about 1 hour of our can be done outside...under a the point is just to keep it flowing so that all is not lost and hard all over again in September...I also want to find her a tutor..not the adult kind... one of her peers who I could give some extra money and she at the same time could may be gain some insight from someone loving Math...(she doesn't understand how someone could love Math!)
Not sure I will home school all the children this year..I struggle with this at times...I am sure after a nice summer break and lots of sun I will be refreshed and ready to go...but I have my doubts...and I seems to do this every June...

Father's Day?
Yicks...honoring his day will be going out with friends and having desert..that is what he likes the most being that he is such a social butterfly!...of course his favorite meal and a walk at the garden plot is love to my hubby..
I see the forecast might have sun breaks tomorrow..I will be outside for all of!

Have a great week-end...


ET @ Titus2:3-5 said...

You homeschooling moms have got it tough some days. I just want to encourage you not to get 'down' on yourself. It is a mighty calling...all kids learn at a different pace...and this is simply an opportunity for God's power to shine through your family! I will definitely pray, too. But you're doing a great job. Really!

For those of us that have our kids in the school system, it's so easy to pass the buck - expect the teachers to do all the teaching and blame them if the child doesn't seem to be learning. I discovered this year that even if I'm not homeschooling I still need to teach (Yikes!).