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TJandKarasMom
One step forward...two steps back
May 26 at 6:19 AM
My mil did not agree with our decision to HS initially. She was very vocal about it for about a day, twice last summer. She seemed to have gotten over it a bit and I posted recently about her winning an Art Museum membership for us from her work auction, which I thought was her way of being a bit supportive.

Well the other night...she asked me if I think we will do this again next year, when I said yes, I could tell she didn't approve. So, me and my big mouth asked what it was, did she think they weren't learning enough? Not necessarily. Basically she is concerned for DD10.5 (who is biologically not mine, but I have been in her life since she was a baby and her mother no longer has anything to do with her whatsoever...she calls me mom, and for all intents and purposes, I am her mom). I also have a DS11.5. DS is advanced, DD is not. She is just on grade level, and she is getting really tough as a child. She is angry a lot and really just has a lot of mood swings. I can't deal with her sassiness (which I take as disrespectfulness) so I end up yelling. She is really pushing the limits and testing the boundaries. There are plenty of days where I vow not to yell and I give her about 800 calm warnings about her tone of voice, etc..and by the 800th warning I raise my voice.

Mil thinks DDs anger is only because of hsing and we should send her back to school. She didn't see the little girl coming home crying every day after school, having to be re taught everything to do her homework, and spending days being bullied and anxious and uncomfortable. DD says repeatedly she wants to stay home again. When I said all of this, mil basically said its too hard for DD to be the one kid that's not smart in our group of two...but how about not being the smartest kid in a group of 25? How is that better? Then she countered with private school...well, that's really not in our budget, I would work just to pay for private school....mil offered to help pay for private school....are you kidding me?!

Luckily when I told DH all of this, he rolled his eyes and suggested that counseling for DD (and the anger) would be a better option than any kind of school....which says a lot because he does not believe in counseling (which is ironic since I have a degree in behavioral science, lol...but he just thinks if you can keep your business at home, you should...but he also believes in what's best for our kids, so if counseling is needed, he will do it).


Sorry for my venting, I am just so frustrated. When I vented to my parents they just rubbed it in my face that they are so much better than mil because they let my brother and his gf do whatever they want and basically don't require them to be responsible for anything ever. I like that DH and I can say we are responsible for ourselves and our family, but it's really frustrating to see my brothers gf refuse to work, get to sah and see my parents basically pay all their bills and laugh when I can't pay mine. Sorry, different vent. Ugh I am just so frustrated.

Replies

  • hwblyf
    by hwblyf
    May 26 at 7:25 AM

    You've got a lot of frustrations right now, I'm so sorry.  :(  Anger/overwhelming emotions are common as you approach puberty.  Our oldest is a VERY intense child, and we've been working on calming techniques since before he was 2.  With her sass and attitude, I'd have her go to a calming place (of her choice, so it's not a punishment but a way for her to regain control) until she can work with you in an acceptable way.  As for MIL, she has somewhat valid concerns, and clearly she's very protective.  It is hard being the slower.  But she'll have this relationship her whole life, and it's not as if she won't notice the differences if she goes to ps.  Maybe think about how to separate them a bit more, or give different ways of showing work (artistic work for one, writing for another, or whatever their strengths are), just so comparisons aren't always there.  As for your parents being proud of not requiring their son to be responsible....you're an adult and living like one.  Far preferable.  Don't compare, we all have different journeys, and you're doing just fine.  :)

  • TJandKarasMom
    May 26 at 7:16 PM

    Thanks for being honest and considerate.  I really needed that today.  I do want to give DD some calming techniques and maybe we can make a little comfy area in her room that can be her calming area.  I actually really like that idea.  At the same time, I don't want her to be rewarded for bad behavior.  So any ideas on how to make sure she's not getting out of control just so she can go have a break in her comfy area?

    Next year I am going to separate them a lot more.  DS will be in 7th grade and doing real jr high kind of work and I'll keep DD more of an elementary or beginner middle schooler.  It's going to be a lot more work for me, but I think it will be worth it.  I also think I'm going to invest in some curriculum that's a bit more planned for me so I don't have that always on my mind (DH will actually work OT just so we can have extra money to spend on curriculum because we really don't have much..and I will just buy it slowly throughout the summer).  And DD seems to do better when things are somewhat routine and planned and already prepared ahead of time for her.  Hopefully I will be able to just set aside time for each of them and do school with each seperately.  I like the idea of doing stuff together as a family, but maybe that just needs to be fun things like science experiments and field trips.

    Thank you for the reassurance.  I really appreciate it.  Sometimes I just need a reminder that I'm doing ok.

    Quoting hwblyf:

    You've got a lot of frustrations right now, I'm so sorry.  :(  Anger/overwhelming emotions are common as you approach puberty.  Our oldest is a VERY intense child, and we've been working on calming techniques since before he was 2.  With her sass and attitude, I'd have her go to a calming place (of her choice, so it's not a punishment but a way for her to regain control) until she can work with you in an acceptable way.  As for MIL, she has somewhat valid concerns, and clearly she's very protective.  It is hard being the slower.  But she'll have this relationship her whole life, and it's not as if she won't notice the differences if she goes to ps.  Maybe think about how to separate them a bit more, or give different ways of showing work (artistic work for one, writing for another, or whatever their strengths are), just so comparisons aren't always there.  As for your parents being proud of not requiring their son to be responsible....you're an adult and living like one.  Far preferable.  Don't compare, we all have different journeys, and you're doing just fine.  :)


  • hwblyf
    by hwblyf
    May 26 at 8:10 PM

    Ya know, my son takes himself to his room now and sometimes I do feel as though it's a bit of escapism.  But for him, I know his behavior isn't a ploy, he really does have that amount of difficulty.  There are times I won't let him just run out because he needs to work on his communication and he still has to be responsible for his actions, but I'm pleased he takes action to calm himself down.  It's definitely a journey, but I can see soooooo much progress.  The last school he was in, there was supposed to be a place he could go to calm down, but it was a common area that a bunch of other students also used, so it wasn't a place he could go to get away.  I'm a big fan of the book Lost at School.  In there he talks about kids doing the best they can.  No one wants to be in trouble or be "that" kid.  If they could do better, they would.  And so I keep reminding myself of that.  If she could be in the room with you, she would.  If she needs time and space from people, she needs time and space.  But remind her that work has to get done, and let her be in charge of when and such.  Clearly you're only available at certain times, so she misses out on your assistance/guidance when she goons around.  But you might find she's not gooning, she needs something.

    I have 5 that I need to work with separately on a larger basis next year.  :(  OH MY.  I'm going to work more with technology.  I love the Kids Discover apps.  I've also looked at Rebecca Rupp's book, Home Learning Year by Year, to see what they each need to learn.  So now I know where their commonalities are, and I understand the different levels of expectations to have for each kiddo.  We'll be doing most of our science and history together, but they'll have different projects and research and reading to accompany.  I'm very blessed with readers, so I can hand them different things and they'll get out of it what they need.  My dd needs/wants grades and tests and such.  So not what I'm into, but I need to do that for her to fulfill her need for success.  Also, read alouds.  Holy cow, my kids love read alouds.  It will help bring your dd up to a level she can't read on her own, and you can practice with your ds getting more insight from books.  We're reading the 100 Cupboards series right now.  My guy who starts K soon isn't really into it, but my others are.  The hard part for me is keeping my oldest from reading it.  So he usually reads without me, suffers my wrath, and has to sit through the read aloud anyway.

    Oh, and don't neglect your ds because you feel bad that dd is slower.  I was the fast one in my family, and I realized towards the end of elementary that no one cared that I knew something, and I felt I wasn't really allowed to outshine my sister, who is older than I am.  :(  Let his star shine, too.  They can each achieve and be allowed to shine without one being better, one being more.

    Quoting TJandKarasMom:

    Thanks for being honest and considerate.  I really needed that today.  I do want to give DD some calming techniques and maybe we can make a little comfy area in her room that can be her calming area.  I actually really like that idea.  At the same time, I don't want her to be rewarded for bad behavior.  So any ideas on how to make sure she's not getting out of control just so she can go have a break in her comfy area?

    Next year I am going to separate them a lot more.  DS will be in 7th grade and doing real jr high kind of work and I'll keep DD more of an elementary or beginner middle schooler.  It's going to be a lot more work for me, but I think it will be worth it.  I also think I'm going to invest in some curriculum that's a bit more planned for me so I don't have that always on my mind (DH will actually work OT just so we can have extra money to spend on curriculum because we really don't have much..and I will just buy it slowly throughout the summer).  And DD seems to do better when things are somewhat routine and planned and already prepared ahead of time for her.  Hopefully I will be able to just set aside time for each of them and do school with each seperately.  I like the idea of doing stuff together as a family, but maybe that just needs to be fun things like science experiments and field trips.

    Thank you for the reassurance.  I really appreciate it.  Sometimes I just need a reminder that I'm doing ok.

    Quoting hwblyf:

    You've got a lot of frustrations right now, I'm so sorry.  :(  Anger/overwhelming emotions are common as you approach puberty.  Our oldest is a VERY intense child, and we've been working on calming techniques since before he was 2.  With her sass and attitude, I'd have her go to a calming place (of her choice, so it's not a punishment but a way for her to regain control) until she can work with you in an acceptable way.  As for MIL, she has somewhat valid concerns, and clearly she's very protective.  It is hard being the slower.  But she'll have this relationship her whole life, and it's not as if she won't notice the differences if she goes to ps.  Maybe think about how to separate them a bit more, or give different ways of showing work (artistic work for one, writing for another, or whatever their strengths are), just so comparisons aren't always there.  As for your parents being proud of not requiring their son to be responsible....you're an adult and living like one.  Far preferable.  Don't compare, we all have different journeys, and you're doing just fine.  :)



  • debramommyof4
    May 26 at 11:19 PM
    One thing I do because my girls are a year apart is at the end of the year they share one thing they learn.

    I am having to separate them more next year because it would be a disservice to my 7 year old if I did not. I move to fast for her in language arts which they were doing together.

    But so they do not feel like one is smarter ( my oldest tends to pick things up quickly while it takes a minute with my 7 year old) we celebrate things they do that is helpful, or that they worked really hard to accomplish even if it was not a hard thing for their sibling.

    Your miles and your mother each have things that will be hard on their relationships with the kids and you later on if they do not be careful. I say just keep working you sound like you are doing well homeschooling.
  • bcogoli
    by bcogoli
    May 27 at 6:46 AM

    My kids are about par with each other but my son is autistic and it takes him alot longer to catch on. One thing I have started doing is I am having my son help teach the subjects he excels in and my daughter do the same. I don't know if this would work for you guys but it has been a great confidence booster for both my kids. They have also learned that everyone has their strengths and weaknesses.

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