PDA

View Full Version : Am I destined to fail at homeschooling?



Stages
02-20-2011, 08:18 PM
I'm a stay at home mom with a three year old daughter who I plan on homeschooling.

She's smart, affectionate, helpful, and all around wonderful, but by six o'clock, I just want to duct tape her mouth closed and lock her in a kennel (not, really, but as I type this, she's literally kissing my eyelids). It doesn't help that my husband typically works six days a week until at least 5:30 and she forgot how to nap.

I assume she's going to get more independent when she's older, but for now, she's driving me batty.

Is this just a trying age, or is her sweet little voice going to drive me crazy forever?

Laina
02-20-2011, 08:21 PM
Ha, as the mom of a 3yo, I can relate. It's a trying age, I promise. I think it's probably the hardest age, though I haven't experienced teenagers yet.

AddlepatedMonkeyMama
02-20-2011, 08:30 PM
Yes, it's the age! They're incredibly fussy, stubborn, and inflexable at three. She'll mellow by the time she's kindergarten age, most likely!

anywaybecause
02-20-2011, 10:14 PM
It's totally the age. For my own sanity, I hung on to that nap until my girls were about 3 1/3, but it was by the skin of my teeth. (Seriously. It was May & June, but I would gather up my caffeine & a book, put the kids in their carseats & drive, with the HEAT ON, until they fell asleep. Then I'd find a quiet place to park, and read until they woke up. By July, it didn't work anymore.) It will get better.

Laina, I routinely used the same strategies with my toddlers as I did with the teenagers I had when I taught high school! The way I see it, both toddlerhood & teenagehood are periods where the child is redefining their identity as separate from that of their parents, so why not used the same strategies in dealing with them? ;-)

MarkInMD
02-20-2011, 10:21 PM
See, unlike you, I act on that impulse to duct-tape their mouths and lock them in a kennel. :)

Kidding!

When our 5-year-old was 3, it was bloody hell. It's a good thing we weren't homeschooling our older son yet or it would've been impossible with him around constantly asking questions and demanding attention. Even at 5 he's still kind of like that, but it's much better.

I always said the terrible twos were a misnomer. It should be the terrible threes, because at two, all they can really do is complain with whining and a couple of words. By three, they've got a bigger vocabulary and rudimentary reasoning skills. A lot harder to deal with a fit with that in their arsenal.

My guess is you'll be fine. "Real" homeschooling doesn't start until 1st grade, anyway, in most cases, so you can be a little looser about your goals and approach until that point to find out what will work for her.

elkhollow
02-20-2011, 11:34 PM
"Real" homeschooling doesn't start until 1st grade, anyway,

Yes, I absolutely agree.

I also agree that much of this is age related and it will get better. I will admit that babyhood and toddlerhood were really challenging for me. I love them and have always been grateful for the miracle that they are but honestly for the most part I found that stage highly stressful and not all that fun. I used to feel terribly guilty about that, that perhaps I was just not a natural mother or something. Luckily, as the kids have gotten older it's gotten much easier. My youngest is almost five and he has started to calm down noticeably, just recently in fact. He was non stop, ADHD, into everything, and I began to wonder if I'd be able to homeschool him, mostly because it's so distracting for my 8 yo, but things have started getting better and I'm beginning to have some hope here. It's starting to get fun now. He'll actually sit and listen to me read whereas before I was lucky to get through one little golden book before he was off running around, banging his head into things and throwing stuff. The other day he sat through four little golden books and believe it or not, he's listening while I read James and the Giant Peach to his sister. He listened for two hours yesterday. So see me doing my happy dance. Hang in there. It DOES get better!

I'm remembering a post from someone awhile back that said basically the same thing-she didn't enjoy the younger years very much but by the time her child reached school age she was having a great time, so there was no way she was going to go through all that work and then let the school have all the fun. I can relate to that.

Stages
02-21-2011, 12:01 AM
You guys have no idea how comforting it is to hear that it will get better.

She has been asking questions every three minutes for the last few weeks, and I feel awful when I just want a few minutes of quiet (for example, she's taking a bath while I'm trying to read a book, and she picks up two of her bathtub letters and says in one breath: "Is this 'D?' What color is it? What sound does it start with? Do they match?") I know how important it is to answer those kinds of questions, and to talk about the letters and everything, but it's gotten to the point where it's constant.

I may just have to institute go-to-your-room-and-don't-talk-to-mommy time in place of her nap.

Oh! I forgot to say we just started (a week and a half ago) severely limiting tv time, so I'm probably just not used to it. We were tv-in-the-background people, but my husband was recently diagnosed with ADHD and he's concerned that tv will rewire her brain.

Sorry for rambling so much, and thanks for the encouragement!

MrsLOLcat
02-21-2011, 01:18 AM
It should be the terrible threes, because at two, all they can really do is complain with whining and a couple of words. By three, they've got a bigger vocabulary and rudimentary reasoning skills. A lot harder to deal with a fit with that in their arsenal.

It's true. Of course all kids are different, but usually 3 is the age when they invent more than 50 ways to say (or act upon) the idea, "NO!" and they implement it much more often. Not to mention the incessant questioning. She may or may not calm down as she gets older (my M2 has not yet), but either way you'll get used to it and be able to handle it better. Just take it one day at a time :D

Kylie
02-21-2011, 06:16 AM
Another in agreeance here...my dd is 6.5 and is finally beginning to settle down. However now I have a 2.5 vocabulary rich articulate little boy, that whilst adorable is an absolute handful when u are tryin to school (and enjoy it) a9 and 6 year old.

Thankfully I know this will pass. I higly recommend the 'quiet time' it's important for both of you.

If she struggles with staying in her room and being quiet just start with 10 minutes a day or whatever she can comfortably cope with and then slowly increase the time.

Use this time to get out and about with others, it much less draining if she can also offload and chat to others rather than just you all day long.

Best of luck, know you aren't alone ;-)

alexdk
02-21-2011, 08:08 AM
I agree with the others that said the terrible twos are nothing compared to 3 yr old!

I also second the idea of starting a quiet time in her room. Ít is ok if she doesn't want to sleep, but it is a good habit/routine to start early. I don't do this anymore, but there were many years when we had 30mn to 1 hour of "quiet time". Everyone went to their rooms, grabbed a book or a quiet toy (dolls, legos, playmobil, etc) and read or played quietly for that time. I took that time to relax as well, instead of doing chores or catching up on laundry, I would read. We all came out of there refreshed and ready to be together again. We used to do this after lunch, but you can pick whatever time works best for you, mid afternoon to before dinner time works well too.

I hope this helps you. This board is wonderful and supportive, don't be afraid to ask questions or for advice!!

StartingOver
02-21-2011, 09:44 AM
Three year old drive me to drink, and I am on the 5th and last one, thankfully !! It gets better, my little one has to try everything. When she pushes me to the edge I get out art stuff, or take her outside. Nothing is quieter than a 3 year old with a ton of paints making a huge mess, painting herself or her brother. Then off to the bath where it gets a bit louder but no one is screaming. We do enforce 2 hours of quiet time, where they have to go to the playroom or bedroom. They may play quietly !

Emma has the highest pitch scream that can last forever, I don't think the child needs to breath when she is mad. I know it is going to be a bad day when I add a bit of Irish Cream to my coffee !!!

This too will pass ! I promise.

dottieanna29
02-21-2011, 09:52 AM
My husband keeps asking why we are still experiencing the terrible twos when she's already 3 1/2. It is an awful, awful, awful age. And I have a teenager as well. The three year old is worse. The constant chatter, the running around screaming, the complete inability to be bribed or reasoned with, the shouting for everything she wants, the random destructiveness.

My son was bad but in different ways. He also went to Early Intervention from 3 to 4 for speech therapy so he was at school a good portion of every day. He was just quirky. She's seriously annoying made so much worse by the fact that you can't turn your back on her for even a second.

Topsy
02-21-2011, 12:02 PM
Oh my goodness this thread has been a blast from the past!! My younger son has always been a bit on the "adventurous" side, but when he was three he was very nearly killed - - TWICE!! Once when we were shopping for Christmas trees and I thought the hubs was watching him and the hubs thought I was watching him and here we were at a Christmas tree lot right next to the highway when the hubs finally spotted him about three seconds from stepping into the path of an oncoming car...I've never seen that man move so fast. The second time was when the kids were playing in the back yard while I went in for "just a minute" (never again!) and the crazy kiddo decided to climb to the top of the swingset and JUMP OFF. That one required a few stitches and some very judgmental looks from our pediatrician and nurses. He was fine both times but I swear to you that I grew in my first grey hairs that year. Three was PAINFUL. Hang in there!!!

KristinK
02-21-2011, 12:50 PM
SO nice to read this reminder that all 3yr olds are insane.

it does get better ;) my 7yr old was a total terror, and now is quite a smart, reasonable, patient creature. most of the time ;)

bovinesituation
02-21-2011, 02:34 PM
OMG. Totally the age. I have a 3.5 year old and am 2 weeks away from having a 2 year old to add to the mix (the terrible twos began months ago). I am so glad real homeschooling is years off because it takes the entire morning just to make a quick trip to the store. I don't even dare try to teach them anything from a curriculum because I would have to start drinking.

farrarwilliams
02-21-2011, 02:44 PM
In my experience so far, children only get better as they age... Clearly, we haven't hit adolescence yet. ;)

My kids are in first grade. I don't know if I would say "real" homeschooling starts in first grade - I see it as a continuum where we've very slowly eased into doing more that looks like "school." But we started that easing in around age 4 or so by my listening to them, doing projects, reading more books, etc. But, yeah, think how different your kids were a year ago, they'll be that different again in another year or two...

MarkInMD
02-21-2011, 03:49 PM
When I say "real," I mean as far as most states are concerned, that's when you have to start educating them. Certainly it can happen before then, and if you're an involved parent, it does in a million little ways.

bovinesituation
02-21-2011, 03:50 PM
When I say "real," I mean as far as most states are concerned, that's when you have to start educating them. Certainly it can happen before then, and if you're an involved parent, it does in a million little ways.

This. They pick up a ton of stuff during everyday tasks and reading stories. :) But actually sitting down with a workbook or curriculum? Not yet!

elkhollow
02-21-2011, 05:41 PM
Oh and going from being used to TV to limiting TV time can be hard, for both of you. She's accustomed to having it entertain her rather than entertaining herself and of course it frees you up to do so many things without having her tag along saying "Mo-om" every three seconds.

My oldest stopped napping at 18 months and I had to do something. I put a CD player in her room. She listened to Winnie the Pooh, etc...and when she got older she would listen to things like Magic Tree House audiobooks. It absolutely preserved my sanity.

Yes I also meant real school starting in first grade more from an accountability/state standards/pressure standpoint.

Stages
02-21-2011, 06:13 PM
We've been listening to the Pandora toddler station quite a bit, as well as the classical solo piano and classical Indian station, which has been fun. She's finally stopped running downstairs and turning on the tv, so that's a win, at least. But the days seem much much longer without tv timing them.

Kylie
02-21-2011, 07:05 PM
And can I just say I am soo glad that I feel normal and obviously have normal kids with all of the posts here in this thread...sometimes we think it's only us that has kids like ours lol!

KristinK
02-21-2011, 08:47 PM
And can I just say I am soo glad that I feel normal and obviously have normal kids with all of the posts here in this thread...sometimes we think it's only us that has kids like ours lol!

this is SO true. My husband has often said "should we consult a psychologist?" with regards to one of our children at this age, LOL.

here's an article someone linked to me today. good read for those of us with 3yr olds :D

http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/02/21/toddlers.temper.tantrums.parenting/index.html

Sam
02-22-2011, 03:08 PM
I may just have to institute go-to-your-room-and-don't-talk-to-mommy time in place of her nap.

Quiet time is a wonderful thing! In my house, quiet time is everyday, no matter the age. Obviously if there's school work, my 8 yr old will be working, but if she's done, silence for an hour. She can read a book, do some crafts, play, whatever, as long as I get an hour's peace. I've done this since my oldest was little. Lovely sanity keeper :)

ondreeuh
02-23-2011, 02:46 PM
She's finally stopped running downstairs and turning on the tv, so that's a win, at least. But the days seem much much longer without tv timing them.

We keep talking about cutting TV service, but this is what scares me. I know that in the long run, it will help my kids learn to entertain themselves, but what about the meantime?! Hours and hours of time to fill. My 9 y/o can get absorbed in Legos but the 3 y/o won't play in his room alone, or play by himself at all, actually. Even when he's piling all the couch cushions into heaps and making cars and forts out of them, he wants me involved every step of the way. I am SO grateful that he still takes long naps!