While walking my six year old to school today, he said something that made my heart sink. We were talking about doing a reading challenge this summer when he tells me, “I don’t like reading”. This is a child that began reading at 3 years old and (up until now) has loved it ever since. Until he started school, he would read everything he could get his hands on. He showed such great joy and pride when he read to us. In fact, he enjoyed all sorts of educational activities and was excited to learn new things.
In the past two years, his interests have changed. Books have been replaced by pokemon. math equations with beyblade, and inquisitive questions with poop jokes. Some may say that this is a normal thing that happens to children, but I have to question this. Is it a natural evolution of the young boy’s mind, or is it a change due to their learning environment and early peer pressure? For me, the answer is obvious and I am not happy about it. Unfortunately, I now have to struggle with some decisions.
Both my six year old and my four year old will be registered for the upcoming school year by the end of the day, yet today my heart and head made a different decision of what is best for them. Watching my son’s love of learning fade away more and more is making my stomach sick. I fear that another year of traditional schooling will damage it beyond repair. And I fear that I am setting the next one up for the same fate. But the decision to pull them out to home school them is a scary one and we did say that we would let the results of the kindergarten waiting list be a sign. I think this dilemma will be eating at me for a while.
I know that I haven’t been posting on here all that often, but I have some interesting news to share. Up until now we have been homeschooling as an addition to traditional schooling. My 6 year old currently attends the private school my husband went to as a child, and the plan had been for him to continue there for at least another year and for our 4 year old to join him in September. That may not be possible anymore. I have no been informed that there is currently a waiting list 5 or 6 children long to register for junior kindergarten in September. This would mean that all of those children and at least one currently registered child would have to change their minds before we are able to send him.
My husband and I have always agreed that our children will attend public school over our dead bodies. I don’t mean to offend anyone. We have our personal reasons behind this. But this would leave us with the options of another private school or homeschooling…and frankly, we can’t afford the other private schools in the city. So this might really be the time for us to start homeschooling full time!
When we were first told about a potential waiting list, we decided to leave this is God’s hands. We will not panic. We will allow the circumstances that are laid out for us to show us the right path to take.
Have any other readers out there been in a situation like this where the decision was made for you? I would love to hear about some of your experiences.
We are more than half way through Caleb’s march break and things are not quite going the way I had planned. My original plan had us doing a test run of full time homeschooling, but there was no way he was letting me use up his break with my little project. I had whole days of lesson plans and everything, but all of that organization went to waste by Monday afternoon. Looking back, I really didn’t stand a chance. Tuesday was Sascha’s 4th birthday, which meant last minute planning and a two tier cake to bake and freeze so I could ice it the next day. Then add in a play date with the newest member of our extended family (who can say no to snuggling a baby?), plus the usual day to day stuff, and you are left with an hour at most for teaching. In that hour I had, I struggled with Caleb and his distaste for writing. I managed to convince him to write three whole sentences and draw a picture. Yup, that’s it. It took me an hour!
The next day was full of birthday fun. I had at least expected that and not planned lessons for the day. Wednesday, however, did have plans. We didn’t touch a single one. We went shopping instead…oops! We did come up with a great project to do though. Building a miniature dam will be in our near future.
Today is going better. He has almost completed the third level in his online reading program, and I am teaching him how to meal plan. Yes, meal plan. I’m hoping that meal planning will teach him about organization, budgeting, and healthy eating. I’m also hoping that he will gain a little understanding of how much work this mommy puts in to getting meals on the table and have some appreciation for it. Don’t worry, I won’t hold my breath for that one.
Wow do my kids have a lot of toys! Minimizing them is taking much longer than I thought. I have banned the older two from the playroom until further notice and filled one great big garbage bag full of stuff to go. I’m eyeing a whole lot more. I have to say that I am pretty proud of myself though. I tend to get sentimentally attached to nearly everything. Seriously, to a somewhat bizarre point. But I have been working hard at letting these things go and now I’m on a roll! If I ever get the littlest guy to fall asleep tonight I may try to finish it all up.
On a side note, I am so excited after my trip to the dollar store! I bought some great homeschool and home organization supplies that I will share with you soon!
It’s 1am and instead of sleeping I spent the last hour cleaning the playroom/future homeschool room. It’s still not done. I have had enough of it! It’s ugly, cluttered, and always a mess. Time for my first major project of 2013. I am getting that place fixed up and functioning even if it kills me. Actually, fixing it will probably be what saves me from killing myself after I trip over a pile of hotwheels cars!
The plan is to keep the kids out of there this week (ya right!) so I can go through and weed out at least 50% of the toys. Now this will have to be a mission so secret that the CIA will ask me for advice because if they find out a single toy is going their will be meltdowns of epic proportions. But every last stupid little McDonalds happy meal toy is history! (And they won’t even notice.). I’m ashamed of how it looks now, but I will post pictures of my progress.
Before I start, I should explain that my oldest is not fully homeschooled. He attends private school during the week, but I do extra work with him on weekends and after school. (Yes this seems excessive, but I will explain why at another time.) We are thinking of sending him only half days in a year or two and homeschooling the other half of the day to see how things go. This means that my lesson planning so far hasn’t been too extensive and I tend to teach as the subject comes up naturally. This doesn’t really leave me much time to find resources and activities. Tonight I am brainstorming for tomorrow. And such an appropriate word to use, as I am brainstorming ideas to teach my kindergartener about storms. Over the past few years he has developed an odd fear of the wind. A slight breeze can set him off into a panic. We have explained to him each time that there are times when yes, wind can be dangerous, but for the most part it is safe and we will not blow away. Today, as we were walking (we had beautiful weather today), he asked me to teach him more about tornadoes, hurricanes, and big storms. And tomorrow, that is just what I will do.
But I am curious…how do other homeschooling moms fit these last minute learning opportunities in? I would love to hear some feedback on this one.
It’s 1 a.m. and I should be sleeping, but I’m not. Once again my mind will not shut off. So I find myself sitting with the laptop on a bunk bed while my sweet little boys sleep around me. What on earth am I doing? I rarely get the chance to sleep like I could right now. Yet the internet keeps sucking me back into it’s vortex of information and ideas. There is always something to find or plan or learn. What point am I trying to make here? I need to train myself to stop looking for new things. We all do. I am so caught up in “what’s next” that I miss what is going on around me right now. It has become such a habit that I am not sure how to break it and my anxiety has gone through the roof to the point it seems to be affecting my physical health. My immune system is currently garbage. I am fighting off 3 infections and a cold right now. (Which fit in so nicely with my still healing broken fingers.) Time for this mama to get out of the virtual world a little more often and into the real one where the loves of my life are. Step one? I am putting a timer on for 1 hour when I get on the Internet during the day and that is all I get. You can all look forward to my posts whining about my Facebook withdrawals! So before I start making long winded nonsensical speeches, I bid you all a goodnight!
I know, I know….I’ve been MIA for quite a while now, but I’m hoping to get back to posting around here with a few minor changes. There will be a lot more focus on our homeschooling as I incorporate it more and more into my boys’ lives. But don’t you worry! Even if you are not a homeschooling fan, I will still be posting about the same sort of things I used to. I can’t wait to get reacquainted with the blogging world! Happy 2013 everyone!
Now that school is back in session, I am back to blogging about my life raising three boys and sharing ideas with all of my amazing followers! All what, like 5 of you? Ha ha, that’s ok.
Things have gotten pretty busy around here. Caleb is in senior kindergarten and going strong (as usual) and seems to have stopped the morning battles. We are working with Sascha on his social anxieties. And Gabriel is a walking tornado. He really keeps me on my toes! So this new phase will surely provide me with more great ideas and opinions to share with you!
I hope you all enjoyed your summer and are enjoying the new school year!
An idea popped into my head today that I just had to share. After a long night of a coughing baby and some throwing up, I was exhausted. So when I came downstairs to find the family room somewhat of a disaster, I was in no mood to clean it. My plan was to curl up with the boys on the couch and watch some movies. They liked that idea, but I didn’t like the thought of leaving things that way. So I told them they had to buy their movie tickets. The price? Put five things away, and the ticket was yours. I have never seen them clean up so enthusiastically! They loved the idea of “buying” tickets to see the movie. I will definitely be using this again for not just movies, but crafts, activities, and special outings. I am actually considering making reusable tickets for them. If/when I do, I will post them here for free printing.