Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Yesterday and Today

Yesterday went much better. The 15yo initally met me with some resistance at the idea of planning things, but it turned out she'd had a dream about me yelling at her that she wasn't getting enough done, so my bringing up getting more work done kind of hit something in her! However, we worked out a system for her where she picks at least one thing each day she's determined to finish and set herself some time limits for some of her subjects. It went very well with her.

Dd, otoh, had a bit of a meltdown. It's been weeks of resistance and a sulky, helpless attitude whenever it's time to work and complaining she can't do anything on her own, that I never help her and more. I ended up saying to her, "If you're not happy with the homeschooling and I'm not happy with the homeschooling, why are you here?" So we talked a bit about what would make her happier and how we can plan things better together to have smoother days. She is just so utterly convinced that everything new is too hard. (This is not a child with a learning difficulty.) She has such a hard time dealing with the fact that she doesn't know everything and some things are difficult (or take longer than half a second to learn) but surmountable. She has been like this since she was a baby. I still remember the fits she had trying to do something around 9 months or so that she mentally knew could be done (although the activity was designed for older babies) but she couldn't get her hands to do it. So, on the one hand, there could be some merit in giving her really easy stuff for a bit, build up the confidence and positive attitude. Otoh, she'll fall into the same trap of thinking that challenging things are bad because she thinks she can't do them. This is something I probably need to deal with daily and not just when there are meltdowns.

Ds is still such a kindergartner. I'm almost wondering if I should have waited a year to register him for grade 1 homeschooling. But the board just looks at work, really, and he can do grade 1 work, so... We only do about 5 minutes a work a day plus fit in a story I read to him on our good days. It doesn't help he just had his birthday and has new toys!

So, today is Wednesday, usually our slow day. But I'm prepared for it today. I'm pulling out the timer and making sure the 12yo sticks to it. I would love to be able to sit down and talk with him about his schooling but he just wants to avoid all 'bad' feelings and it won't get anywhere. I was reminded yesterday of how Marva Collins really spent a lot of time building up the kids' confidence and their sense of choice--they can choose to be better. I think I need to do this with him. I'll go find the quotes I took from Emerson a while back when I was feeling inspired by Marva and print them off. He and I can start reading that a bit today. As for the others and Wednesday, the 15yo will make her plan as she did yesterday and dd and I will have our first private planning session.

My plan for today, other than the timer and individual student planning: The 15yo already has her schedule, but I still have not done a French phonics lesson with her and dd since the beginning of Sept. , so I hope to do that today. This is supposed to be an almost daily thing! I think I need my own checklist and have it posted so I can say, "You know what, I really need to do this with you today." I'm getting a summer/fall art activity ready for ds: putting the leaves on the trees for the summer page and picking multicoloured leaves with some glued to the 'ground' for the fall trees. I also want to do some letters with him and some math. (We did some yesterday. It was so cute--he was so proud of himself!)

Well, I'd better get to work!

3 comments:

DianeC said...

The goal setting and planning sure do work, don't they. Today ds8 was struggling with having to play a song on the piano. However we planned out the number of days he would practice this week, the number of bar measures in the song, and divided up the song into measures per day. He only had to play two measures today, but had to play it 10 times. It went good and he was so proud of himself. It wasn't as hard as he thought. Making a plan & breaking it down into smaller chunks is not as overwhelming for them. I think I need to show that process for Math and other subjects to my kids!

DianeC said...

The goal setting and planning sure do work, don't they. Today ds8 was struggling with having to play a song on the piano. However we planned out the number of days he would practice this week, the number of bar measures in the song, and divided up the song into measures per day. He only had to play two measures today, but had to play it 10 times. It went good and he was so proud of himself. It wasn't as hard as he thought. Making a plan & breaking it down into smaller chunks is not as overwhelming for them. I think I need to show that process for Math and other subjects to my kids!

Daisy said...

Yes, they definitely do! Especially when they get stuck in a rut. Even the 12yo set his own little goal for reading. (Which is truly amazing!!)