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Homeschooling Moms Homeschooling Moms

Getting Frustrated.. I could use some fresh opinions/point of views (kind of long)

Posted by on Oct. 1, 2012 at 1:17 PM
  • 26 Replies

A little background- I'm homeschooling for the first year (K) with my twin sons. In NY they don't have to start school until 6, so I figured this would be a trial-run to see how they/I do with it. We've only been at it a month and I'm getting frustrated..


Now, in NY, the homeschooling laws are pretty strict. Unschooling is not an option. We have to send the school a copy of our curriculum, keep a detailed record of how many hours we work on everything, what is covered in each session and send in quarterly reports. I will have to notify them by July 1st with my intent to homeschool and will have to do all of these next year (1st grade).

My problem now is keeping their attention and making it fun. One of them says he wants to only homeschool, yet it is hard making it fun because I'm worried about them getting in a groove for next year. They zone out sometimes, or get caught up in playing with random things around us while we work. Here's an example of what we did today.. I'm trying to do fun things to keep their attention but I also try to work in some of the "boring" things they'll need to know.

This was all in random order throughout the morning.

We looked through a book on Spain and read about a different culture. After that, we looked through a "My first thousand words" book where everything was in Spanish. We did this on the couch and one actually covered his ears saying he doesn't want to hear me.

Then we all worked together to read an "I Can Read Level 2 Iron Man Book" - they did the first two pages alone, then gave up so I read it for them, slowly and with pointing at the words as I said them.

We talked about the primary colors with paint and secondary colors. We used the paint to create the secondary colors. They did okay with this and actually had fun.

We read a book on Frogs and colored in a worksheet "Life Cycle Of Frogs" - This they did really well on. I had them follow instructions on what to color and what color to use. They asked questions and actually paid attention.

For math we talked about new shapes (cone, cube, cylinder) and I showed them the shapes.

Second part of math was learning more, less, and estimating with a little bit of fractions. I took out a bowl of beans, my 4 measuring cups and 3 different sized glasses. They had to estimate how much they thought would fit and then try it. Once they did, they told me if they needed more or less. I have circles cut out in fraction sizes so I used that to explain (1 and 1/4 cup, etc) how fractions worked. They actually enjoyed this but got sidetracked with pouring beans and playing "drums" with the measuring cups.

Sorry it's so long, but I just need a fresh point of view to know if they are acting normally and maybe ideas on how to make things more fun. I know we have a long time left before July when I need to notify the school, but I can't help but be nervous.. I don't want to let them down and I don't want to give up and send them to public school... Thanks in advance.


by on Oct. 1, 2012 at 1:17 PM
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Replies (1-10):
mem82
by Platinum Member on Oct. 1, 2012 at 1:21 PM
1 mom liked this

Can I be honest?

You're doing too much! At five, even in Kinder at public they wouldn't be hitting all those subjects. 8) Try to half your day, from what you are doing now.

mem82
by Platinum Member on Oct. 1, 2012 at 1:22 PM

I know a woman in NY that unschools. Her oldest just went off to college even. She has a blog called Homespun Juggling. Check it out. 8)

HippieMomma86
by on Oct. 1, 2012 at 1:24 PM
2 moms liked this

Thanks - I know it seems like a lot. My fiance suggested doing an hour then giving them a break, then coming back to things. So maybe I will cut back and just let things flow. I guess I don't want to miss anything or get them started off on the wrong foot next year.

kirbymom
by Sonja on Oct. 1, 2012 at 1:35 PM
1 mom liked this

Hi HippieMomma. :)  

Yes. They are very normal. :)  You should see my kids. 15,13,11,9,6. They all feel it necessary to get side tracked by what is around them.  And yes, that can be very frustrating too. Somedays you stop it and some days you go with it. The reason I say this is because kids process information differently than we do. When we see them as goofing off, they are remembering every detail to what they are doing. Whether that's playing for playing's sake or whether that's playing for learning's sake. We adults have been so conditioned to learning and seeing life in one exact way that when it comes to our children, it looks like goofing off more than learning. If you aren't too sure, how about deciding to find out at a later time when they aren't even on school and quietly slip in some questions and ask them to tell you like you don't even know the answers. You may be pleasantly surprised at what you get back for answers. :)  Now as far as what you did with learning about spain, how about finding out what animlas there are in Spain and using that as your starting point to learning more about it? You can do this with any country. Map out a particular country based on their animals. Maybe even make an animal collage with the different species. Do you think your sons might like learning about another country's animals?  

  

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HippieMomma86
by on Oct. 1, 2012 at 1:41 PM

Thank you for the reply.. I think the animal idea is a great way to start. I think I ended up doing it in a way that I would find it interesting, not realizing they aren't me and, as you said, learn differently. I had to smile at your mention of asking them at a later date. They watch some science shows and even days later they tell me about what they know or learned, so maybe I will try to back off a bit and give them the space to zone out.

Quoting kirbymom:

Hi HippieMomma. :)  

Yes. They are very normal. :)  You should see my kids. 15,13,11,9,6. They all feel it necessary to get side tracked by what is around them.  And yes, that can be very frustrating too. Somedays you stop it and some days you go with it. The reason I say this is because kids process information differently than we do. When we see them as goofing off, they are remembering every detail to what they are doing. Whether that's playing for playing's sake or whether that's playing for learning's sake. We adults have been so conditioned to learning and seeing life in one exact way that when it comes to our children, it looks like goofing off more than learning. If you aren't too sure, how about deciding to find out at a later time when they aren't even on school and quietly slip in some questions and ask them to tell you like you don't even know the answers. You may be pleasantly surprised at what you get back for answers. :)  Now as far as what you did with learning about spain, how about finding out what animlas there are in Spain and using that as your starting point to learning more about it? You can do this with any country. Map out a particular country based on their animals. Maybe even make an animal collage with the different species. Do you think your sons might like learning about another country's animals?  


MamaHome
by on Oct. 1, 2012 at 1:46 PM

It seems like a lot of things to cover. My ds is also 5 and here's what our schedule is

Mon-Thurs La./writing, phonics. I use a workbook that has handwriting lessons, hooked on Phonics and Bob books.

Mon, Tues - Math. We use spectrum workbooks and anything we have around the house to incorporate.

Wed. - Science and Art. Sometimes I combine the two by making it an art project that focuses on a science topic. For instance: we did a study on the four seasons and made it "artsy" by drawing 4 pictures of something (anything) that happens in each of those seasons. Thats just one example.

Thurs- Social Studies/History. This is a very casual study. We usually just talk about different times in history or fit the lessons around the season (i.e. Thanksgiving/pilgrims etc).

Fri- Is designated for craft and quiz day. We do some type of craft and then use a chalk board to review what we learned for the week. In his school book I made a "helper section" for him where we printed off different learning tools like uppercase/lowercase alphabet charts, left/right chart,sight words, counting in 1's, 2's etc. He will often grab his book and "practice" reviewing the helper sheets.

Also....we spend a lot of time on seasonal activities, and since its always changing its a good way to keep things fresh and exciting. Last week I designated the whole week, "seasonal craft week" where we did a craft every single day. My boys loved it!

Mommy2justone
by on Oct. 1, 2012 at 1:53 PM
2 moms liked this

We are doing Kindergarten as well. I only do one subject a day though. We didn't tell them we are homeschooling yet, so we are just going with the flow. Today we did spelling, later today we might do art, or go outside and see what is happening with the trees (Ohio has pretty beautiful colors). Then tomorrow, we will be doing Math, she LOVES tanograms, so we are learning about the shapes and sides of each shape. We also love to play with the scale. So we take cheerios and see how many scoops make it even, using estimation, and then we eat it. 
We stopped looking into books, just because my daughter gets SOO overwhelmed and frustrated. She loves to read individual words and I let HER be the teacher and tell me what the word is. She likes that :)
I try to just be laid back. I was like you at the beginning, but it got so frustrating for me and her. So we slowed things down.  

kirbymom
by Sonja on Oct. 1, 2012 at 2:16 PM
1 mom liked this

Sounds like you are just trying to make sure you are really educating them. Which you are. :)   Also, just because they are of a certain age, doesn't mean they are not capable of learning a plateful of subjest. Its all in how you present it and in how many pieces . We have a saying in our family that goes something like this... 

Question: How do you eat an elephant? Answer: One bite at a time.

Translation...How do you tackle an issue?  One issue at a time.

So if you have have small enough pieces you can have a plateful of learning experiences. :)    

Quoting HippieMomma86:

Thank you for the reply.. I think the animal idea is a great way to start. I think I ended up doing it in a way that I would find it interesting, not realizing they aren't me and, as you said, learn differently. I had to smile at your mention of asking them at a later date. They watch some science shows and even days later they tell me about what they know or learned, so maybe I will try to back off a bit and give them the space to zone out.

Quoting kirbymom:

Hi HippieMomma. :)  

Yes. They are very normal. :)  You should see my kids. 15,13,11,9,6. They all feel it necessary to get side tracked by what is around them.  And yes, that can be very frustrating too. Somedays you stop it and some days you go with it. The reason I say this is because kids process information differently than we do. When we see them as goofing off, they are remembering every detail to what they are doing. Whether that's playing for playing's sake or whether that's playing for learning's sake. We adults have been so conditioned to learning and seeing life in one exact way that when it comes to our children, it looks like goofing off more than learning. If you aren't too sure, how about deciding to find out at a later time when they aren't even on school and quietly slip in some questions and ask them to tell you like you don't even know the answers. You may be pleasantly surprised at what you get back for answers. :)  Now as far as what you did with learning about spain, how about finding out what animlas there are in Spain and using that as your starting point to learning more about it? You can do this with any country. Map out a particular country based on their animals. Maybe even make an animal collage with the different species. Do you think your sons might like learning about another country's animals?  



  

undefined

Jinx-Troublex3
by Jinx on Oct. 1, 2012 at 2:26 PM
4 moms liked this

Haha..I shave a similar saying... "Learning is like dinner.. you have to take little bites and chew it or you will choke! "

Quoting kirbymom:

Sounds like you are just trying to make sure you are really educating them. Which you are. :)   Also, just because they are of a certain age, doesn't mean they are not capable of learning a plateful of subjest. Its all in how you present it and in how many pieces . We have a saying in our family that goes something like this... 

Question: How do you eat an elephant? Answer: One bite at a time.

Translation...How do you tackle an issue?  One issue at a time.

So if you have have small enough pieces you can have a plateful of learning experiences. :)    

Quoting HippieMomma86:



Jinx - Homeschooling, Scouting & Karate butt-kicking  Mom to Star Scout Ian 1/98, Scout Sean 9/00, Junior GS Heidi 4/03. Wife to Joe & Alpha to German Shepherd Spazz.

kirbymom
by Sonja on Oct. 1, 2012 at 2:42 PM

LOL great Minds and All, Right? :))

Quoting Jinx-Troublex3:

Haha..I shave a similar saying... "Learning is like dinner.. you have to take little bites and chew it or you will choke! "

Quoting kirbymom:

Sounds like you are just trying to make sure you are really educating them. Which you are. :)   Also, just because they are of a certain age, doesn't mean they are not capable of learning a plateful of subjest. Its all in how you present it and in how many pieces . We have a saying in our family that goes something like this... 

Question: How do you eat an elephant? Answer: One bite at a time.

Translation...How do you tackle an issue?  One issue at a time.

So if you have have small enough pieces you can have a plateful of learning experiences. :)    

Quoting HippieMomma86:




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