Posted by: ME | March 31, 2011

Refreshing my day to day

Lately I have been feeling very fatigued. I see the WiiFit and have the neighborhood to walk in safely and see those shoes just waiting but I can’t bring myself to GO, but it’s just not that….

On homeschooling. I see the kids and all of the books and we trudge along. We do what is next. Thankfully, we have been working on preparing for the Stanford and going over problem areas so our routine is a little different and much more hands on which I am enjoying. I have spent so much energy over the years working to get them to be independent learners. As far as this Stanford prep-overall they have done well, but there ARE areas needing help. And there are areas of just blatant mental block, like “story problems”. Haley is just like I was at her age. 

When I was about her age, I had troubles in math. My mom traded babysitting with a math teacher to tutor me after school. Did she really think that I was even going to DO one more hour of math in my day? So, instead of really appreciating what my mom was doing for me and listening attentively with an open mind about word problems, I completely shut down and cried every week, every minute of the hour that poor many tutored me. Now that I am older, I look back do blame a lot on the fact that I was in tutoring after a 7 hour school day and my brain was fried. Then I had to go home and do homework. I remember the frustration and how mad I was about it all like yesterday. I just wanted to scream. I wanted to draw and make things and I was STUCK trying to figure out the stupid math equations that somehow help me in my life today. Okay, so I don’t remember how this ended other than that I didn’t have this tutor for very long. I am sure I MADDENED him. I am sure I MADDENED my mom and dad. Because, it MADDENS me when one of my kids isn’t open to learning something. 

I was explaining a seemingly simple story problem to Haley today and she, really, just completely IGNORED my explanation and artwork on the whiteboard to help her out. She was singing under her breath(sort of).When I realized I didn’t have her attention, she forcefully told me she didn’t care about the stupid story problem and that she would just guess the answer and that was fine with her. Then it all came back to me and REALLY, I didn’t blame her at all. It WAS a silly word problem that absolutely will not help her later in life.

Parents, don’t let me scare you! I have a “BUT” coming….

I actually called my mom today just to relay this story to her. She didn’t laugh at me but she did laugh WITH me! She apologetically and lightheartedly said she was sorry that she passed that down to me and me to Haley. My gosh we are stubborn hearted gals! I just call it creative. Our minds are too bogged down with all the cool stuff we have to do OTHER than a silly word problem.

BUT(there ya’ go gals!)……

Maybe Haley is where I am at right now too. She has always tended to feed off of my mood. Maybe THAT was not the time to explain that story problem and her mind was not open. Maybe I need to stop and smell the roses with her. I know that some how, somewhere in the small synapses and neurons in our brains, those story/word problems are gonna help them connect and in some future episode of our life those synapses will have a memory that will somehow help us through a situation. That’s why we have to do SO many. We need to exercise those neurons all of the time and in different ways to keep our brains young and healthy. YES, some word problems ARE helpful in real life and you will need to know how to figure it out, but for the ones that seem silly, just know that you ARE keeping your brain functioning well. Just put it off to brain health.

Okay, so I really didn’t plan on this being a blog about our stubbornness with story problems.

A friend challenged me to write down the reasons we started homeschooling 7 years ago. There are a million, but here are a few and not in any order….

  1. It was a calling from God. I NEVER would’ve ever even thought of continuing homeschooling after pre-k! EVER. It was laid on my heart and it took a year to have Paul’s support(he didn’t want weird kids-LOL) and I was NOT touching it without his support. I just prayed for God to lay it on his heart too. And He did. Paul loves it and doesn’t want that to change.
  2. Lack of Christian education in public schools. After a physical and spiritual journey through childhood cancer, I was NOT gonna chance someone not letting my very believing child get told she couldn’t talk about GOD. After all, He healed her.
  3. Truthfully, I MISSED them when they were in traditional school and actually LOVE having them around all day. I was practically LIVING at both of their schools anyway. I hated my life back then. I was running like a chicken with no direction. The fact that they’d have to change schools 4 times by graduation meant that they’d be in different schools quite often. NO freaking THANK YOU. I had homeschooled Ashton before kindergarten and wow, we finished pre-K curriculum in half a year, and I didn’t really believe that I couldn’t do just as well as the traditional school system.
  4. Homework. Do kids really need homework after 7-8 hours of school? When does family time come in? or a bath? Or dinner together? Or just hanging out? Add after school activities and voila- a miserable me. As Paul says, “a miserable momma makes the rest of us miserable too”. You don’t think so? Try it! I love that we are a laid back homeschool family and spend a lot of time with each other. I’d be the mom protesting homework if they were in traditional school. (You may say,” well it’s not about YOU, it’s about the kids”. To you I say,”it’s not ALL about the kids either, it’s about what works best for our family and goshdarnit, I live in America and I have choices and these are MY kids”)
  5. Christian character education. Elementary Public school had a wonderful character building reward program. I wanted more. I wanted their character built on something deeper than the worlds idea of what is good behavior. I wanted it rooted in Jesus. To have a REASON for good character is gonna stay with them. In the days they question it, because they will, I pray this is always nudging them back there somewhere.
  6. I think that by homeschooling, you can really help your child learn their calling in life and help lead them in that direction. Part of that is know the things that are truly important. And to us, that is not jobs or money. I never had this all through Catholic school. No one ever sat down and talked to me about what vocation or group/choice of vocations in life I would be good at. I wasted a LOT of time searching. I spent a lot of money on that unnecessarily. College is important to us, but in all truthfulness, it is not everything. Some people are more cut out for trade careers and things that are learned not necessarily in classrooms. I believe we all need to figure out our God given talents/gifts , and follow that path. That way, our passion and our brains can work in Gods way, and not our own, altogether in one nice neat little package(until your 40 or 50 and heed a different calling!LOL)! Thankfully, I do see this more and more in public schools today, but see # 2, 4, and 5 for more on that!

There are MANY MANY MANY MANY MANY more reasons we started homeschooling. I am sure I will log off and think about 10 more important ones. Oh wait! Some just popped into my head! Vacations in off-season when everyone is in school, Disney almost any time(MUCH more fun when everyone is IN school), daily prayers at all meal times and bible reading, my kids get along really well most of the time-they are friends as well as sisters, we can sleep in, etc, etc….

I guess that was what I was challenged to do.

This makes me want to put away the mundane school books and do unit studies again! Where’s my Amanda Bennett? Where’s my KONOS? Thank God for Apologia!

(….a million things about why I shouldn’t put it all down and do unit studies is racing through my brain right now…..)

Good night!

Lori

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