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Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Midweek Meltdown...

...came a bit early this week. Tuesday was the day that I seriously considered packing it in.

Wink. Sometimes we need to blow off some steam, re-evaluate what we are doing, get a second opinion.

And sometimes we just need to blow our collective top. Think pressure cooker, ready to explode, in real need of a safety valve.

And yes, I did call my hubby, my rock, and bawled my eyes out.

Hubby is a man of action, so we have taken action.

Don't worry, I didn't call the local school and enroll them, lol.

But we have put a few changes into place.
  1. We've decided that the children need more structure and a better idea about how our day is going to go. I tend to be very anti-schedule---call me a rebel! I think that stems from my perfectionism, actually. If it's on a schedule and I don't get it done, ack! If I don't have a schedule and I don't get everything done, not such a big deal. Not that I don't have a schedule of sorts, I actually do. But it's all contained in my pea brain. My pea brain that's developing holes from trying to remember everything, that is. So, I've started making a chart each morning that shows what subjects we need to cover before we are "done" for the day and they can do their own thing. Having strict time blocks doesn't seem like it will work with an adventurous toddler in the mix, but it may come to that.
  2. We are working out a "point" system. I'm not usually much for reward systems, I tend to think it sets a bad precedent. But hubby came up with this, and well, I do think I tend to point out the kiddos gaffs more than their successes...I'm hopeful we can make this a positive reinforcement, rather than a way to ding them for misbehavior. I'll keep you posted on what we come up with. The kiddos are wary but enthusiastic.
  3. I'm planning to try workboxes again. I just have to find the time to get them set up (ahem).
  4. I've decided that we were trying to pack too much into each day. Sometimes less is more. With fewer subjects in a day, you can spend more time and do a more in-depth study. My grand experiment, for now, is to do math and language arts each day, but beyond that to delegate each week to a particular subject. This week, it was science/engineering. We are studying bridges (more on that later). We may continue this topic next week. Some upcoming topics (that the kiddos have requested): penguins and forests (and the plants and animals that live there). The irony is that we are actually getting more done! And the kiddos are having more free time. And they've been spending that free time pretty productively: Mary is reading the Chronicles of Narnia and typing prayers from a prayer book. David is studying Macbeth with his Dad. And they are all drawing through reams of paper. Who said homeschooling was cheap?

6 comments:

  1. I hear you! I've been trying to do the same thing (have my schedule in my head because I beat myself up if I don't accomplish all on my list.) I look forward to you 'point' system. We have one - sort of, but it needs some work. I also have been trying to make a schedule so that each child would know exactly what was expected of them. I also didn't realize our children were so very close in age.

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  2. Oh dear! I know exactly what you mean about meltdowns. I'm sure ours are coming, now that I've got more time to fuss about homeschooling, with the garden in and all that.

    A focus on the 3R's does seem to work for us. And a strict 'schoolwork only before lunch until you're done' rule. Otherwise I have escape artists and bookworms and surfers and dreamers and NOTHING gets done.

    As for myself, I'm off the computer between breakfast and lunch... unless I feel a meltdown coming on. :)

    Hang in there!

    Blessings,

    Annie Kate

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  3. Kelly,
    I'll try to post updates on the point system, but I warn you, I am notoriously bad about remembering actually post updates at all;-)

    Annie Kate,
    Are you sure you don't have my kids? {wink}

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  4. Sending a hug~I've been there...I had to remember progress not perfection...and time outs...;-))

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  5. for ideas on a points system..i have foudn it best to think up your own anyway.. because we all know how our kdis run best. be creative. i always have a plan.. and I am always changing it. I'm a tweaker. I love a new system :) I don't even do workboxes like they are intended. shhhhh....don't tell anyone :)

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  6. I suspect that no one does workboxes the way they were intended...proof, I think that they are a very flexible/usable tool.

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