January 19, 2015

When our Homeschooling Day Derails:

After 2 frustrating days in a row, I had to stop to pray and think about what to do when my son gets in one of those moods where he refuses to read or write another word. I know there's a fine line between letting your kid do whatever they want and having an overly structured day where we are both stressed to the max. There HAS to be a medium! So I took a step back and thought- what am I doing right? AND what am I doing wrong?

I realized that the hardest part of our day is the language arts story and worksheets. We do about 4 worksheets a day (That should normally take a child 4 minutes to complete) and it's like pulling teeth some days. He lOVEs science, art and animals, so I save those fun activities for last when the hard stuff is done, but then some days it takes him so long to do one worksheet because he's complaining about it for 45 minutes so we don't get to the fun stuff before brother gets home from school and we call it a day! (He's not like this all the time, but it's definitely something we are working through) As I was feeling frustrated about this I realize that THIS is one of the major reasons we are homeschooling. We have the freedom to study WHATEVER we want, and I am not subject to that checklist of worksheets, I can brake away from that and go at his pace. So I discussed this with our Gorman IST and now I have a lot more freedom with Language Arts. I haven't quite figured out what reading program we will use but I have a few to look up. As long as we are reading, journal writing and doing some grammar everyday, he will continue to learn.

That night I stumbled on a few fb groups and one of them asked this question:
What do you do when your homeschooling day derails? Answers such as:
-get silly
-bake a cake!
-go outside
-read on the couch
-watch a discovery movie
-call it a day
-play a game
-have a go noodle break: https://www.gonoodle.com
-yell "RECESS!" and shove the kids outside :)
-do a puzzle
-play an educational computer game
-do an art project
-do a journal in a jar entry
-have a sight word scavenger hunt
-take a workout break
-call a "time-out" (mom needs a break sometimes too!)

Reading these allowed me to take a step back and realize the solution isn't me yelling at him or threatening to send him back to school, or telling him to go to his room! (although, I admit I've done all of those) We have the freedom to do what we want to, take breaks when we need to, and my goal with him has always been from the beginning "happy learning" So if he's happy, and I'm happy, and we are doing something productive, we are good.

I also instigated a little token reward system which really helps with his motivation the last half of the week. I'll post about that soon :)

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