Tuesday, March 31, 2015

I am not an unschooler

This past year I tried a more relaxed unschooling approach to school and I learned a really big lesson, I AM NOT AN UNSCHOOLER! Try as I might, as much as the kids loved it, I can not let go that much. So now I am researching and looking up all kids of curriculum. Blaming myself for not doing anything this year. Kev has been great making me stop and think about what we really leaned when we didn't learn anything. He is also great at reminding me I can not go back in time and change what I did I can only go forward and change what I plan to do.
So back from the ND conference and after spending what feels like hours looking at curriculum I feel a little better about moving forward. The dream of unschooling is still alluring but I now know I need to be able to measure my kids growth, and they need to be pushed a little. Its just who we are and that is ok.
I am still reading lots of books about unschooling, and how to break my measuring stick or how to make a new one that fits each kid. I now need to make long term goal sheets for the kids so I can make reference to them in Jan-Feb when I am freaking out.

Friday, March 06, 2015

Why X 5

So Kev came home with a business thing that says to get to the bottom of something ask why 5 times. So I thought I would try it and you know what it did work. When I started with I hate work I came down to no I don't hate work I hate that my kids keep growing and I have to work to maintain our life style. I am not happy in our schooling and need to do that question next.

I not happy with the way schooling has been going
Why (1)
Because I feel they are not learning enough compared to other HS or PS
Why (2)
Because they don't shine in one subject that I can highlight and say see we are doing that really good
Because I need the validation that I am doing something right
Why (4)
Because sometimes I don't feel like I am doing what is right for my kids, I am doing what is right for me
Because I know having them home is right for me but is it better for them?

Well see how that 5 question thing works. That is not where I thought I would end up. Not being happy about school is actually about weather I am being selfish. But if I look in my hearts of hearts its true. Now what to do about that...I still need to figure that out.
If you end with two answers to one why question you can then split off and do them both no matter where in the questions it comes up. Like if at my 3rd why I had two parts in my answer "because I don't notice and I need validation" then I could split it up and do two paths from that point.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Day 3 of the new system

With more day light more seems to get done. The kids are getting up earlier and wanting to get school work done right away. This is great and not so great at the same time. I still get up and do my thing in the morning and am not ready for them until 9:30. That means they have time to fart around and get into trouble before that and at 9:30 they may not be ready to move off the activity they have found to keep them self occupied with and into school. Then I if I say ok lets start early I fall behind in what I need to do or I can not keep track of the time during the lesson and they work to long or not long enough.
I will get this, one day. I am worried about nice weather taking us away from our studies. But it will be what it will be. I started a new book called Take a deep breath you can do this, its all about homeschooling and so far I really like the style its written. I like her voice and what she has to say. My favorite so far was its ok if your gets are just average or even bellow average. This took pressure off me somehow. I don't feel like I need to do better then the school system I just need to do good by my kids and my family. Kev is still a great cheering squad and I love him for it. Sometimes I look at him and wonder what he is still doing here and why is still agreeing to this. But he never wavers and is always willing to help and cheer me on. How did I get so lucky?

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Writing to tear

I am a bucket dipper when it comes to writing with D. He is not a natural writer and does not come by it easily. When we try writing programs we struggle and I dip into his bucket. To understand this you need to know we are reading about feeling buckets and dippers and how it all makes us feel. But the idea is that I am mean and can not seem to stop myself from getting mad at him. Why is this, because I write all the time. I blog, I post, I write short stories. Not that I do anything with any of it but I do it. So why, oh why can the boy who is like me in so many other ways not write? Why don't the words flow out of him? K is working on a story with out being asked to and it is coming along really well. D is killing me today saying he does not know how to answer a question in a full sentence. WHAT?? Yes he does and he does it all the time. I even called him lazy today. Something I hate doing but really that is how I felt, like he we just being lazy. I don't want to call him that but what else am I suppose to think? I know he knows the answer he just does not seem to be able to give it to me. He did it yesterday with out a problem. At lest I think he did. Or did he just manage to get the answer out of me? Maybe like math it needs to be on the computer away from me. But even reading today was pulling teeth. K has been and angle but that is because he sees me struggling with D and knows I can not do both on the same day. He will keep his melt down until D is working hard then it will be his turn.
Kids... they know how to play us parents like fiddles.

Monday, March 02, 2015

New day, new month, new scheduled.

So to try and help out we have gone back to more of a schooling feel in the house. I just am not getting over the "my kids are learning nothing" feeling. So DH and I sat down on the weekend, made a schedule and plan and now I am trying to put it to work. WOW this is a lot of work. Not they I did not expect it to be but it take a lot out of me to keep them on track and on task. I also keep getting side tracked with other things, like blogging. I have learned something today, and that is why I have such a hard time teaching writing. Not the spelling of writing or the making of letters, but the composing of writing. When my kids write something and dictate it to me or read it to me I want to change it to my voice, because I think its better. This is not doing them any good. It was like math, because it came easily to me it is hard to teach. I am thinking it maybe one of those things they need to do on the computer, marked by someone else. I also found after reading John Holts book How we are failing our kids that Dathen is very good at getting me to answer the question for him. He knows how to push the right buttons so he does not have to do as much work. I now see this and am going to work really hard to stop letting him do it. Other then all this the day has gone well and I felt like we got lots done. I did not feel like I had to chase the kids around to do stuff or feel like I was always running behind. It was a nice change, we will see how long it lasts. I don't have much hope with the nicer weather coming but only time will tell.

Monday, February 09, 2015

freak out over

So last week I was freaking out about school and the lack of learning going on. It all came to a head this weekend with me crying in the bathroom, beating myself up and feeling like crap. But after talking to my hubby and agreeing to throw money and the problem (kidding) I am feeling better and on track again. We had a family meeting to talk about what our goals are, how TV is stopping us and what we need to do to get back on track. All these things helped, along with buying new curriculum to help with reading. We agreed we need to get back into working a little harder then we had been and come back to some subjects we had walked away from. History being a big one, writing is another. I agreed to work on reading the rest of this school year and writing will come next year. I hope this reading program will help keep me focused and seeing growth in the kids. Its in the mail and I will not get it for a week or so. Fingers crossed, and toes, and arms and anything else that might help.

Thursday, February 05, 2015


So far so good with the bucket book and making them aware of filling there and other buckets. Still feeling like they are not learning anything. Especially when Dathen has a melt down over the 3 times table today. The 7 times table and his melt down I understood a little more, but 3 times? He should know these, they should not bring tears to his eyes. I worry between his math and reading/writing/spelling skills I am failing him. If he was in PS he would be going to special classes for these things. Not that I want him to have all the feelings that goes with that but he would be with people who know how to teach him these things. Would have the schooling to know what he needs. What I am missing. Oh if I believed in a god today would be a day I needed him. For him to tell me I am doing the right thing and all will be ok. But I don't and so I need to figure this out on my own, or just let it go and hope it all works out. Hope is not as strong as faith, but when that is all you have you have to go with it.
     Kevin is sick with a hernia and I am worried about him. I am not sure how he is doing with all that. But I have not had the time to talk to him about school these days. I kind of miss out time together. By working late, dinner late and him trying to get money worked out and stuff its hard. Maybe this weekend we will find time if he is not to sore.