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Homeschool- We Are Sticking With It!

School with the kids has gotten so much easier now that Patrick can read on his own.

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!

10 Responses to Homeschool- We Are Sticking With It!

  1. Ooo, thanks for the link! My 4yo is sooo thirsty for learning right now, and we can’t afford any sort of preschool. So free/low-cost online resources are awesome!!

  2. We pushed back at the school for pressuring our now 8 year old to read. She was so stressed out over it and scared to fail. Now, with gentle coaxing and a lot of 1 on 1 time with me, Ace, and a reading tutor (a lovely woman who just helped her along, not pressured) she comes home and sits on the couch and reads. And reads to her siblings. And yesterday, she got lost in the Wikipedia world after looking up the Mexican flag, just like I would get lost in the paper encyclopedias as a child. So proud.

    • I just breathed a sigh of relief after reading this! This is my second year homeschooling my 7 year old daughter. Hell, I was a traditional school teacher for 9 years!!! You would have thought it would have been easy with just 1, but that’s not the case. I am still trying to get away from the traditional training that I endured and do what’s best for my girl. She is still struggling with reading, time, money, addition, subtraction. I could go on. BUt that’s my traditional teacher in me yelling back at me. I know things will work out. Last year was very rough. But this year is already better. The screaming and the fits and the “timeouts” from schooling were awful last year. I never thought she would succeed and I was hesitant to continue homeschooling this year. We just have to find our “niche” and we are finally making some progress. We removed Thia from traditional school becasue it wasn’t for her. her learning style didn’t meet that of her Kindergarten teacher. She didn’t fit into the mold of the rest of the class. I know that time will only make things better and i have to have patience. Thia is starting to read. She may still be behind but my husband and I know that this will improve with time and that there will eventually be a “click”. Thank you for sharing your experiences. It is nice to know that I am not the only one who struggles with these feelings and that we are doing what is best for our children.

  3. My children are 5, 3, and 17 months old, so this is really encouraging to me right now! I spend lots of time reading books to my girls, while fussing at the toddler to get out of whatever mischief he’s finding. We’re getting it done, but it’s so hard! I look forward to the day when my oldest will be reading to herself and the baby will be grown up enough to quit dumping my coffee in the floor and playing in the toilet while I’m not looking!

  4. And thanks for the link! Sasha knows her ABCs and loves to pretend to read, so I’ve been considering taking the next step. I want to unschool, so need to find that balance so that I’m not trying to control every step.

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