Tuesday, September 3, 2013

So You Think You Want to Homeschool? There might not be enough chocolate for that.

At the end of the first day I sat on the couch downstairs, hiding from the kiddos, wondering what I would do when I got to the end of the chocolate bar I was eating. Eat another? Cry?

It wasn't the school part that was the problem. No. My lesson plan was great. Iain did really well. We even managed to accomplish almost everything I had planned. I didn't plan for it to take 5 hours, but nonetheless, it was done.

It was the girls, ages 4 and 2. I hadn't anticipated them being so...needy. I don't recall a day where they have so absolutely, non-negotiably insisted upon 100% of my attention. The whining, the tantrums, the insisting on being with me, if not on me, all. the. time.

It must be a new-to-homeshooling/life-has-changed-and-I'm-insecure thing. Right? Please tell me "this too shall pass."

I need some advice. What do I do on days like this this? How do you handle the needy younger siblings who are preventing you from getting any school done?


Michele said...

Take a deep breath- this too shall pass! Somedays are just like that, it is ok, I promise it will still be wonderful. The girls need time get used to you spending time with Iain doing school. They see you spending time with him at the table (or wherever you are schooling) and what to see, touch and be a part of what you are doing. Try to involve them, give them paper and markers and ask them to make some letters or numbers- they will most likely get bored within the first couple of times you give them work and go and play. School time will become a natural part of your day and most days (NOT ALL) you will get it done with less interruptions. Everyone will get a lot out of what you do with the oldest child and you will be so blessed. Do not compare what you think children do in school with what you do at home- it is not the same- you have multiple ages and they will learn from each other. Homeschooling is wonderful, hard and challenging- worth it all.

Patricia Lawson said...

Hang in there! This is our 3rd year homeschooling and I just plan for four students when I do my planning (They all have their own special needs :-). I make sure our space is toddler friendly, put out activities for the little ones and spend some time doing school activities with all the kids. (We say prayer, pledge, sing some songs and read about a saint together) & I make school things for everyone. Miriam (5) is just beginning Kindergarten this year but in reality she's been doing school work with William(7) for 3 years and is more than ready. Some tips for working with the littles is to work a bit with them first - read a story or teach as letter or whatever works & then have activities that are only for during school time (play dough, a water table or any of various busy bag ideas). Make sure to put the things away when not doing school. Also I tell my kids that when those frequent drop everything interruptions (the baby needs a nap, or diaper or whatever) come they can play until I get back, or this year I'm planning some quiet time activities they can do as well. I don't plan times for things to be done but I do plan an order and we generally do things in that order but are really flexible. Hang in there it Does get easier!!! You'll just adjust to this new challenge just as the many challenges of parenthood and know learning happens in many different ways! I love homeschooling and my kids do too but it is definitely challenging :-)

Anonymous said...

This is my answer to needy children interrupting "important" stuff. Invite them in. When I advise nursing mothers with the second child, I say, tell the older sibling that you will need some help with the nursing and she may need to be right by your side for awhile. The child will oblige for a bit and then want to be on their own. So, too here. Ask the little ones to begin their schooling tomorrow as well. Nothing prepared, just simple things: coloring, looking at story books, or perhaps even listening to big brother's lessons.

And btw this is not "child psychology" wherein your actual goal is to get them to do the opposite. You want them to know that they ARE invited and can participate. They will demand less with this knowledge.

Pediatrician and HS dad of 7.