Friday, March 26, 2010

Rainy Days and Fridays always get me down...

For everyone who still mistakenly thinks that I have it all together, well, stop reading.  I love the idea of someone thinking I'm doing something right.

For the rest of you, those who know better...

Let's talk Latin.  95% of our homeschool budget this year (okay, maybe that is slightly exaggerated.  But not much.  It's probably closer to 90%) is going for Connor to take a wonderful online Latin course. He's done well with Latin in the past, but this class is definitely stepping it up a notch and the biggest problem is falling behind.

One of the reasons we are doing this is because I don't know Latin, and Connor needs a challenge, and I need to have something off my plate.  Unfortunately, I've taken it off the table, not just the plate.  I'm tired.  I want to think I can trust my kid when he tells me he's caught up with Latin.  I know better, I guess.  But I'm just too tired to micromanage something else.

I guess I don't have a choice.  I was working on All About Spelling with William, while Connor was on his laptop working on Latin. With my Mac, I can pull up the screens to see what my kids are doing, so I did.  Connor has spent a LOT of time lately reading comics.  I knew that.  I wanted to just be able to occasionally take over his mouse, close out the comics, and have him get back to work.  I got something else entirely.

He wasn't working on it most of the time.  He was either reading comics on his dashboard, or he'd pull up the Quia matching game and just systematically click answers.  It was blatently obvious that he wasn't even reading, just clicking until he got a match.  

So he had to talk to his dad.  I'm failing him.  Again.  I just don't know how to prioritize some of this stuff.  William needs a lot of one-on-one time with his reading.  He has made SO MUCH progress this year.  Thomas has been neglected, but I've been working with him on reading a lot more lately, and he does great -- he just totally lacks confidence.  We're working on that.

Do I dump the history and read-alouds and geography and art and music?  It's not like most of that is taking up a whole lot of time.  How do I prioritize all of this?  I just don't know what to do about anything anymore.  And now all of you know that too.

I know I'm not alone in this.  A friend of mine told me in our 10 minute phone conversation that she's struggling with exactly the same thing... she's trusting her kids' reports about their schoolwork in the areas that she has delegated away, and she isn't following through.

But I still feel alone.  My kids deserve a mom who can at least occasionally finish something right.

1 comment:

Sheri said...

OK, one you are too hard on yourself. At some point the child needs to bear the task of completing what has been assigned. I know too (all too well!) this problem. One of my precious dears will put the minimum in and/or then state they "forgot" or "didn't see that" and so forth. I don't have time to micromanage. Neither do you. Talk with your hubby and set some "consequence guidelines" then when son fails to meet the tasks for the day-immediately and consistently hand out consequences.

I had to. Totally stunk big time-I felt like I had to be the HS cop instead of mom/instructor. But-it has really helped this child to take on the responsibility of their work, and to follow thru. We're not across the finish line, but the stress levels have dropped significantly.

I am not sure why you think you haven't finished something are but one person dear and can only do so much. I get that you paid for this Latin-but darling, Latin or many other subjects should not be top of the list if he is struggling to keep up with the work-this is a habit problem and issue of the heart. Decide what 4 subjects are the utmost important and be sure to get those mostly done. Take a 3 month break from the "extras" to get caught up and refocused. Then after things settle a bit-slowly add in the others. I found I was having them do too many subjects at once. In college-you don't take every subject every semester-so why should the teens do that? I decided to let math rest last semester to focus on the history and science we were way behind on. This semester we still need to focus on those but have been able to add in more art, and some geography. Next sem (summer) we'll do much more nature study and subjects that lend themselves nicely to outdoor activities, and are somewhat lighter in workloads.

I have to re-evaluate some things so that starting in April-I can spend much more time working with my youngest to get his reading up to snuff-which means the other child needs to be more self-sufficient. But I also know that I need to give that student my time too-I cannot expect her to do everything alone-that is not fun nor stimulating. So maybe setting 2 days per week where you really work more one on one with him, then save the other 3 for your other students-will help balance out and encourage him more. You need to come to our Speaker Series we're starting in June. This subject is one of my lectures. :0)

Hugs to you-hang in there...pray and once in a while-pat yourself on the back-after all you are doing what it takes an entire school system to do!