Welcome to the Tales of a Kitchen Witch Blog.
Last year we struggled to get through even simple workbooks because he would get so frustrated. I would try to divide myself between two children that both needed one on one time with me and I failed miserably. I really don’t know how teachers in school do it because I was at my wits end by the end of an hour! The kids would get bored and start sniping at each other and then one would start freaking out because the other stole a crayon. Patrick would then have a meltdown and we’d scrap the whole project.
It was a mess. And I began to think maybe we weren’t cut out to be homeschoolers.
Trying to work with him gave me flashbacks to my mom trying to help my brother with his homework and the screaming fights that would result in frantic calls to my uncle while my brother sat howling in the corner. We ended up taking huge swathes of time as “breaks” from school because I just did not want to fight with either kid- I didn’t want to make them hate learning. Hannah was a different sort of child- she was a little sponge that would listen to every word and had mastered the written word by the time she was four. I knew the simple tactics I had used with her would not work with Patrick.
I was getting nervous as the years crept on, and Patrick got closer and closer to being eight years old and still not reading on his own… But being gentle and letting him figure it out a little at a time paid off this past February when he had that nearly audible “CLICK” moment and began to read.
Now he loves books! We go to the library every week and he always looks forward to picking out new books to read. I love watching him trail the librarian with a stack of books in his thin arms as they hunt for another.
This year, school is a breeze. Hannah prefers to take her books to the desk in the playroom, Cooper is old enough to entertain himself, and Patrick can work independently while I focus on working with Willow for a little while before it is his turn. Willow hasn’t yet had the “CLICK” moment… But she isn’t far behind. She’s already got her sounds sorted and has built up quite a list of sight words. (Thank you starfall.com!)
I finally feel like we’ve found a good pace, a good place, as homeschoolers. We’ve even been venturing out to socialize with other homeschoolers again- the kids are part of a few clubs and we are looking into more! I am so glad we stuck with it and made it through to the other side!