Homeschooling Moms

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When You're Frustrated
July 13, 2013 at 8:13 AM

What do you girls do when you're frustrated?  Sometimes I feel like homeschooling is the best thing in the world and everything is going fine.  Other days I am just literally fighting my kid. :/ That was yesterday.  The timing was all wrong.  He was tired.  I was trying to get him to write out sentences.  He was bored.  My boyfriend was over playing music too loudly and playing with my 4-year-old, which distracted my 6-year-old.  Knowing that, I'm not super distressed over yesterday's lessons being a complete disaster...but I do hit frustrating points on a pretty consistent basis.  Is that normal?  I was never home schooled.  I know of only one other person IRL who currently homeschools. I get that I'm the odd man out.  So perhaps that's why I feel like I can't really vent ("If it's so hard, why not public school?" "Well, how do you even know he's on track? You must have a guideline you have to follow, right?").  

Anyway, I guess what I'm asking for is encouragement at this early stage in the game.  I love the idea of homeschooling and I'm hoping this will last all the way up until college (if he decides on college).  I also hope I really do well teaching him.  

My goal for educating him is not necessarily teaching him a certain amount of "things."  I want to establish a sense of wonder and a sense to ask questions about everything; I want him to challenge everything, including me.  

Anyway, thanks in advance. Sorry if this little rant is a little confusing. :) 


  • TJandKarasMom
    July 13, 2013 at 9:05 AM

    Are there specific guidelines and requirements in your state?

    I ask because in my state there really aren't any. We haven't started yet, but my feeling is if something is frustrating for either child or parent, then skip it. Especially at 6. You have plenty of time to teach him, he may not be ready for a certain lesson yet, and that's ok. That's the joy of homeschooling! My plan, if my kids or I get frustrated, we will save that lesson for another day and move onto a different subject....or take a break for a couple hours and come back to it....or take a field trip instead, lol. You have flexibility in homeschooling, take advantage of it!

  • jen2150
    by jen2150
    July 13, 2013 at 10:04 AM
    I completely agree with the above post. Have a back up plan for every subject. When my son got frustrated with his math lesson we stopped immediately and went and read the life of fred together instead. He did his math lesson with no problems the next day. I have books on almost every subject. If they need a break then we pick up a book and take one. Sometimes when it comes to writing we get creative. We will make word balloons and write sentences on them. After they finish they get to pop the balloons. Sometimes we even use legos to build our spelling words. It is so much fun. Field trips are a great way to relieve stress and unwind. It is ok to skip things. You will go back to them and chances they will be much more ready when you do go back to them. Sometimes kids aren't quite ready for learning certain things. Listen to your kids and they will let you know when something is not working.
  • jen2150
    by jen2150
    July 13, 2013 at 10:07 AM

    I just wanted to add when I am frustrated I will many times read a good book, go for a walk, or exercise and work on my splits.  It really helps to center me.  Make time for things you enjoy and that bring you peace.  

  • tuffymama
    July 13, 2013 at 10:07 AM
    Maybe spend some time observing your child to determine the best times for him to learn subjects, and his particular learning style? LO is four and he likes workbooks for now, but I can already tell they won't cut the mustard as he gets older, so I know I will not only be custom tailoring a curriculum for him, but exploring his learning and my teaching styles.

    When they're babies, it's easy because we just have to check a diaper or pop a boob in the mouth when they're upset, and it's a little more complicated now, but the same principle of meeting the need appropriately still applies. Does he need absolute silence or just some gentle music to learn (and at six, that can very well be the case)? Do you need to limit boyfriend visits to family time and make a no visitors policy during your schooling hours? Will your child best respond to a restructuring of the school day? Do you need a new curriculum, study space, lighting? Is he getting enough sleep and enough protein? Could he benefit from a daily nap time?

    As TJandKarasmom said above, you do have freedom in homeschooling, and that freedom primarily lies in doing what is best for your family, so go whole hog. If he learns better at five in the afternoon or seven in the morning, on a beanbag in the den or at a table in the dining room, teach him then and there. I would personally start by cutting his distractions, period.
  • Bleacheddecay
    July 13, 2013 at 11:23 AM

    I take a step back and find a way to enjoy my child and our lives together a bit more. Then go back to it another day.

  • oredeb
    by oredeb
    July 13, 2013 at 12:19 PM

     sounds like he is challenging you!! well is there a quiet place you can go to teach him in your house, and you could tell the boyfriend to keep it down when your teaching?

    another thing is to consider how he learns, is he hands on, auditory, visual?

    sometimes you just need to stop and do something else if nothings working, or go join boyfriend and 4 yr old!!

    what are you using to teach him with?

  • mdwifentraining
    July 13, 2013 at 5:54 PM

    I'm using Horizon for Math and English. We typically do worksheets twice a week or so. Sometimes more. He doesn't really like them very much. He gets excited when he gets them right and loves to show them off, but really, his attention for sitting and writing is about 15-25 minutes. He'll do any computer program for as long as I'll let him, so I really want to look into a math program online. I think he'd excel that way. Luckily, he'll sit and let me read to him for hours. We're only on the kindergarten level, because I'm following school guidelines for ages (his birthday is in December). He'll start 1st grade whenever we finish up these workbooks. 

    We do lots and lots of trips to museums and just outside. I try to make little work packets that he can fill in answers for (for example, we went on a walk and we tried to find geometric shapes in nature, etc). 

    I live in VA, so it's a little bit more "strict" than other states (we have to test every year by August starting in first grade...or at least have a teacher asses him....stresses me a bit, but I know it'l be fine.)

    I have to constantly asses myself about what I'm teaching him and how he's doing. I remind myself that last year he couldn't do half of what he does now. He knows how to sound words out, even larger ones. He knows how to correctly write most of the alphabet (minus a few....he swaps out b's and d's and writes some s's backwards, etc). He can add. He knows most of his coins. He can add small change together. He knows about clouds and how the seasons change. He knows about pollinators and how they are beneficial to us. He knows about the differences in organically and conventionally grown foods. He knows a little bit about pregnacy (I'm studying to be a midwife...comes with the territory, lol). He knows so much! 

    He doesn't know everything that VA wants him to know, though. He can count past 100, but not be 2's or 5's. We haven't gotten to subtraction yet. He doesn't quite get rhyming. I don't know...stuff like that.  

  • mdwifentraining
    July 13, 2013 at 5:57 PM

    Oh and he is a little scientist at heart. He loves any science experiment and learning about the oddest things. I guess not odd, but he'll say, "Oh, mommy, wow! Look at this water! It's all flowing down the driveway! Why does it do that? Let's watch the water! What if we put the hose over here, does it still flow down?" (I talk to him like that all the time, though, rather than answer questions...I ask for his insight). 

    I really, really wish I had more homeschooling moms around me, though. Support IRL would be awesome. :)  

  • usmom3
    by usmom3
    July 13, 2013 at 10:10 PM


    Quoting mdwifentraining:

    My goal for educating him is not necessarily teaching him a certain amount of "things."  I want to establish a sense of wonder and a sense to ask questions about everything; I want him to challenge everything, including me.

     If this is truly the goal you have in mind then you need to be child led learning with everything that you can & still be fallowing your homeschool laws.

    I want those same things for my children & I know that they are so much more interested & engaged when it is their interest they came to on their own & I didn't force it on them.

  • celticdragon77
    July 13, 2013 at 10:50 PM

    lol, I didn't learn jack in school. By looking at all the homeschool materials out there, I know my kids will have learned more than I ever did.

    The school didn't even have my kids learning history and science, and their reading level is 2yrs behind... how worse off could I make it for them?!

    I am excited because I feel like even I will learn from homeschooling them than I ever learned in public school.  

    You have to do what is right for your kids. Everyone's situation is different. If you can create what you hope to ... then it is all good. 

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