Homeschooling is a Grueling and Rewarding Adventure

We learned about the continet Africa, and made Swahili donuts

This is Elly's lion....we read many books on Africa, and pointed at Maps and the globe.

Life has been busy here with our new school schedule, I think I need to take a moment to breathe. Please someone tell me, as a homeschooling Mom do you ever feel like there is a endless amount of facts and lessons to be mastered and memorized?  Does your agenda and curriculum to cover in a year feel overwelming?  Maybe it is because it's my first year, and that I still don't quite know what I am doing- or how it's possible I am even doing this, but I seem to feel stretched and withered often. I am overwelmed, I feel the heavy burden of responsibility for my kids educations.  There are moments in time when I feel like I am drowning in a sea of my own expectations, worried if I have the gusto to teach my girls. 

Just chilling on a bench outside with our ice pops.  I do a preschool with thes two cute boys

Addition with blocks.  Elly gets the concept of addition pretty well, now if we can only get her to recognize her numbers past 1-5. She can put one through ten in in order, but when I point to six and on she can't seem to remember thier names. What am I doing wrong??

Q is for Quail.  This is Brinley and Elly's crafts.

Thankfully I am finally beginning to see some light.  My daughter, oh my daughter, she is sweet and smiley, helpful and sensitive.  At any time you may catch her twirling about rooms, singing at the top of her lungs and making adorable expressions with each new word that springs from her mouth.  She is a dreamer, imaginative, creative, very much like her mother, and because of this, she is also  easily distracted.

We have been slow moving in our teaching AND learning.   Things take time and patience for Elly to soak things in, which is why we are only on lesson 42 of "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons."  I don't follow the rules.  We don't always move on after each lesson, in fact we rarley do.  It is often that we review a same lesson 2, or even 3 times. Because even though it sometimes feels like a race, it isn't.  I refuse to breeze through things if my daughter doesn't understand the curriculum.  I want her to taste the words on her tongue, soak it into her sight, breathe in learning, until it becomes a part of her. 

 I don't beleive in rushing through the process, even if it might kill us both in boredom and frustration.  And it is paying off.  She is READING!  She is sounding words out on her own and READING them!  And not just me being kind as she only sorta reads them and sounds them out, no, she is actually doing it all by herself!! We still struggle with memorizing certain sounds, but the girl has made leaps and bounds over the past couple of weeks, and it has been just what we both needed.  -sigh of releif-  Finally, progress!!

We had a dessert pot luck with friends last week, what fun it was and what delicious treats there were!  Pumpkin dump cake, homemade applesauce, hot cocoa, chocolate cake, caramel popcorn, apple cake (delish) apple crumb, spice cupcakes.

Before bedtime

B is for Bubble.  Elly's is the white paper, Brinley's is the blue one

And then there is math.  I guess I am a mother whom expects a lot from her kids.  I can be over bearing and mean- hey don't judge, we all have our moments, and in some ways it has helped- this high demand I have with Elly.  I stress because memorizing the curves of each alphabet letter and number seem to be a mountain we are struggling to climb.  I see it is a struggle for Elly to stay in engaged and focused, I watch as other children master a new number in day while we go over the same ones for a week. She is slow to catch on, because she'd much rather be doing something else.  When anything in life gets a bit hard, don't we all want to run away? I try to switch things up with games...candyland, chutes and ladders, dominoes, but there are still those times where what you have to do is buckle down and memorize those images and sounds. 

 And then I become the bad guy.  I have become very familiar with this new "character" trait as "villain" it sprouts up anytime I want to do a reading lesson, math recognition, request she makes her bed and takes out the trash, or ask her to clear the table after dinner.  A wailing and gnashing of teeth follows.  I want to crumble and cry with her because it feels like I am failing at parenting.  I am Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  I begin loving and kind but the more she pushes, the more my patience dwindles and out comes the ugly me. I am scared, out of control, frustrated Momma bear then. 

R is for Rocker!  So naturally we had to make a rocket out of cardboard, tape and aluminum foil and then tear it completely apart within minutes of finishing it.

Elly's shape rocket

More adorable rocket building

 No one told me how gut wrenching hard this parenting thing would be.  Your heart goes into their every moment.  You pray, wish, hope and prepare for their every success.  You love them harder than anyone else.  You expect higher, better, and shoot for the stars.  You push and pull, twist and turn in hopes that you are molding them into a refined pearl.  The other half of that time you are praying and hoping you are not screwing them up or giving them any lack of confidence or complexes.  It is a fragile, crazy thing, life.  Everyday I just pray and hope I'm not messing it all up for them.  Because I love them.  They are the reason I try to make life fun with trips and crafts, baking and games, cuddling and reading.  Their smiles and hugs light up my life, and I never want to imagine life without them.  Is there anyone else out there that feels this way??  Like a crazed mad woman wanting the best for the kids, trying to balance the crazy and kind?



Laura said…
Oh, sweetie, how I remember those days. Let me reassure you of a few things: They will eventually learn and they will amaze you at how they turn out. Lessons are repeated each year that cover essentially the same material. They will remember the essentials and isn't that really all they need? I don't really need to know the Gross Domestic Product of Chile, do I? I can look it up if I need to. Teach your children HOW to learn and then the rest will take care of itself. I encourage you to have your daughter use her body to shape letters/numbers--dance a letter shape or trace it out in sand. Make playdough letter shapes. (From an old book on left brain/right brain learning) I also would encourage you to invest in some calming herbs for yourself. Kava Kava, Rescue Remedy would be two recommendations. I apologize for not mentioning it sooner as I had recognized myself in some earlier posts, but I did not want to offend. Parenting is an under-appreciated vocation that calls upon all our resources, spiritual, emotional, physical. Make sure you talk to your doctor if you begin to feel overwhelmed. Just consider me one of 'the older women' talking to one of 'the younger women'. Take care.
Danielle said…
Laura, I just read my post again. Wow I sound like I am hanging by a thread. Thank you for the reassurance, it's a relief to know we repeat many things and re-learn it. I assure you I have my moments Of joy and frustration. I will definetly look into That kava, thanks! I so appreciate advice from seasoned veterans such as yourself. We have used playdough, flour, shaving cream and water doodle for writing letters, but it's been a few weeks so I'll pick it up again. I have been LOVING the
Lois Ridley said…
I LOVE your post! It is so fun to hear all the wonderful things you are doing. A wise man told me one day as I stood in the middle of a convention hall the size of a football stadium...character, character, character is the most important thing. If they have that the rest will fall in line. Info is easy to come by by character isn't.

I dried my tears of confusion and overwhelm and looked back to thank him....but he was gone=)
Danielle said…
Thank you! It has been a wild ride. I am loving it though. It is really fun to see the headway she is making. I hope all is well with you and your homeschooling adventure with 6 kiddos! Merry Chirstmas!

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