Wednesday, April 25, 2007

It's been a while

Too much stuff going on lately: van troubles, kids sick (had only about 4 hours sleep the other night due to ds vomiting in the middle of the night), me sick, kids' resistant or just generally difficult about school work and more. It's one of those homeschooling lows. I know it'll bounce back up, but I wish it would happen soon.

The 12yo doesn't try. And I'm so inconsistent with him, it's hard for him to make decent progress. Why is he here? Is he truly better off with me? The first couple years, sure. But now... He's finishing up gr. 7 and what does he have to show for this year???? Almost nothing. I try this and that and I just can't seem to find something that will really, really work to engage him and get him going. I keep thinking how he's only got 2 years left of jr. high. I could always keep him for a second year of gr. 9. I refuse to do high school with him, but haven't told him that. He NEEDS to have that transition, even if it is forced on him. He seems to live in a little fantasy worl half the time and resists what adults say to him. He needs to have a different part of life open his eyes a bit. But back to my point: he's got two, maybe three, years left of jr. high. I know he can get caught up in that time, at least to an acceptable level (even if it's just 50%-60% average). I've just got to figure out how to do this all.

Dd fusses at everything. Has meltdowns for everything. Says she can't do this, can't do that, complains that she needs help (which she doesn't) and that I can never work with her because I'm working with someone else. We go through this regularly. I tell her I can almost always work with one child at a time. She fusses at reading in French, at writing in French, at most math... I have been wondering for a bit if home is really the best place academically. But I so hate the thought of what will happen socially in a classroom. Not to mention that she is so much of a follower and doesn't question others' ideas (especially if it's someone she wants to keep as a friend and somehow feels inferior to--age or size) and she's never been good at retelling what's happened during the day. (I still remember her brief stint at preschool, an attempt to make French-speaking friends since we knew we'd be homeschooling: every day, she'd be bullied by this one boy in her class, to the point of him having punched her in the stomach, but every day, it was the girl in my dayhome--in the same class--who would have to tell me about it.)

Ds... complains every morning that it's a school morning. Why? Because he wants to play XBox. lol. But school-wise, I feel I neglect him. :(

Things are actually going great with the 16yo. Maybe I'll keep her and send the others off to school. lol.

I know my real issue at the moment is my sleep issues. And there are just so many little stressors right now that I'm just feeling overwhelmed. I've stopped even trying to be Montessori-like. I'm too sleep-deprived to be creative and enthusiastic enough for that. But even trying to work with the kids with our meetings has fallen a bit flat. I have found they so often mirror my energy and other levels that it's probably that. *sigh*

Well, time for me to go get ready for the day.


Heather said...

I think this time of year is always hard on everyone...have you ever looked into unschooling with the kids? Especially the older ones??

Recently I have backed off from lots of structure...the kids are so much happier to go about their days. Sometimes it will be playing video games...but most of the time it is is reading...writing stories...building things...creating...I have projects and things that I want to work with the kids on but we have slowed WAY down and everyone is much happier....maybe you need to take your summer break earlier this year.

Daisy said...

The 16yo is, to some extent, unschooled, but not really. It's really in her hands if she's going to get her work done to get her credits. *I'm* not forcing her to get credits. And whether her parents expect it of her or not, she expects it of herself. So, while I do have to do a lot of work with her to help her (especially since things got so far behind due to illness, trips and other things), it's really in her hands.

With her brother (the 12yo--he'll be 13 in a month and half), I can NOT unschool. There's the aspect that I'm being paid to teach him, but also just how far behind he is academically--he was behind when he came to me and then issues with his parents separating and divorcing have caused further difficulties. He is the type who will hide from all this as long as he can. My job is to get him to a point where he's not afraid of a bit of challenge. So much damage done in school.

For my kids... They pretty much do unschool for the most part. But I'm finding that dd is getting whiny and "I don't know what to do" and "I want to work with you but you're always with someone else," etc. I think she just really needs some more one-on-one time with me.

I have to laugh, though--I've mentioned on-and-off for weeks that dd could do stuff with the 12yo and she never wanted to. She got some one-on-one with me this morning, and when he invited her to work in his tent (he bought himself a little tent yesterday from Ikea and asked if he could work in it), she loved the idea and they even did some of the same work. I think that's a clue that she needs at least a bit of time with just me.

montessori_lori said...

I can relate...I have wondered the same things too. Are my kids really better off at home with me, etc. One thing that helps is that often, the results aren't seen right away. It may even be years before the real fruit of your labors comes forth...I'm sure that someday these kids will look back with extreme fondness at the time they spent with you.