Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Off the Wagon

Homeschool these past few weeks sucks.

The kids whine and fuss and cry and refuse to do their work.  When I finally get them pointed in the right direction they stall or get so completely distracted they don't even remember their own names.


Two months ago, everything flowed easily.  They both got all their work down quickly and easily everyday.  We laughed and hugged and enjoyed easy afternoons together.

I know this is normal, the ups and downs of most everyone's homeschool experiences, but it still drives me crazy.  In the moments things are working, I think I should write this down and share what I think is making things groove so well.  Then I convince myself I would sound like a pompous braggart, so I don't. I hate those blog where homeschoolers present a family experience that works for everyone all the time mostly because I think they are hiding the whole truth. And I know how many struggling homeschool mamas take them as evidence that they suck at this, not that homeschooling with its highs of   connection, amazing education, freedom and necessary social coaching also suffers related lows.

Maybe I'll start with a post about what isn't working, and then someday when things are working again (deep breath), I'll allow myself to post about what helps our homeschool day go smoothly.

Here's what isn't working:
- everyone is perpetually hungry
- everyone claims to be perpetually tired
- I'm trying to alternate working with both kids in very close proximity and neither of them is listening to me
- the dog had oral surgery last week and Rosie has been pretty darn freaky since then
- Theo has decided he's just rather stall on doing his work until Sunday when we only require morning routine and one chore before he can play on the computer and read comic books
- the days of nice weather lure us outside and then the return to inside work is super painful
- I'm enticed by a million other things I'd like be doing and feel super resentful that my kids are drawing 2.5 hours worth of work into a full 8 hour ordeal
- I keep pointing out that my kids wouldn't be acting so poorly if they were at school right now
- Internally, I'm wondering if we won't really be better off if they WERE in school right now, even though I know to my toes that this isn't true for either of them
- I've been clearing out all our baby stuff I saved for the theoretical additional children we've decided not to adopt, and I've been pretty sad
- Rosie is what I would call super emergent right now - she is full of ideas and doesn't want to do anything anyone else tells her to do (read she screams at the hint of any assigned work, sigh)
- Theo resents doing all his work when Rosie isn't doing anything

Summer will be upon us soon - we just have this week's school work to finish and they I will more us to our short schedule (morning routine, chores, clean up, guitar, Theo does writing and Rosie does reading).  That all takes about an hour a day, so hopefully we'll get a break from all this frustration before  I try to figure out how I want to make our fall work.


Wil said...

Spring is always the worst time. Thanks for being candid. Homeschooling is hard work.

My few ideas to help the day go better:
* Running circles around the house (the kids specifically, but perhaps also you) Basically a quick sprint, so you will want to drink some water, but not more.

* This you might do already, but getting the kids up at a set time.

Hmm... That is all I can think of right now that helped me on these spring days.

Sara said...

Thanks for the encouragement and support. I really appreciate it.

My kids are like alarm clocks, they wake up at the same time every morning. Theo has since the day he was born, I think.

I have started sending them out to the trampoline to get the blood flow moving. It seems to help improve mood, but then I'm back to the problem of drawing them back into the house and their school work. I figure it's building up their cardiovascular systems, though, jumping longer and longer as a stall to coming inside!