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dbmamaz
10-29-2011, 10:46 PM
So, today I finally did the review of the Beast Academy curriculum i had a free chapter of. Of course, I had to score the pre and post tests. He got every problem wrong on the pretest, and 2 right on the post test. Out of 6 or 7. Of course, i'd forgotten the post test, so we took it about 10 days after finishing the chapter, and he had only done about half of the problems. But it was bugging me a bit.

then I was talking to his father and explaining how much Raven is struggling with the Language Smarts book. My feeling is that its a real push for him, but he IS WILLING to do it . . . which I see as a huge step forward. I THINK that he really was not ready for curriculum and worksheets in 1st grade, but finally is starting to be. But it seems like maybe we are way behind?

I felt like dh was suddenly not at all happy with what i'm doing, like he might even push me to get him back in school soon. No, he didnt say anything like that - but dh doesnt say much ever, so my mind runs wild.

Even dh pointed out that Raven is finally reading a LOT. He said Raven read for 30 minutes tonight. Dh has been sitting in Raven's room reading his own book, instead of reading to Raven. Of course, Raven is reading a comic book. But since reading on his own for pleasure is new this year, we've been excited for him to read ANYTHING.

I really dont think fighting him to do more worksheets would have been productive. I dont think I COULD have, anyways, since Orion has only this year gotten to the point where more than half of his work is independent. I worry that he could be dyslexic and wonder if I should get him evaluated, but wonder if the evaluation would be skewed because i havent been pushing him to do grade-level english work. I think he's really learning from this Language Smarts book . . . but DOUBTS!!!

Feedback? encouragement? slap me silly?

Shoe
10-29-2011, 10:55 PM
Cara, I feel for you. I've been having major doubts recently-my son, and to a lesser extent, my daughter-are struggling with math. They are battling valiantly, but losing the war at this point. The only thing that keeps me going with them is reminding myself that my son was really struggling with math when he was in public school, but at least with homeschooling, he is able to spend the time he needs to understand it. Home education enables the student to focus on what he or she needs to learn, whereas the mentality of the public schools (in my experience) is how does one keep up with the pack, even if not understanding.

If he is struggling in one area, then it is a benefit that you can spend more time with him on it in my view. Good luck.

Cheers.

EDIT: Encouragement? Definitely. Slap you silly? Don't be silly!

Stella M
10-29-2011, 11:00 PM
I wouldn't slap you silly for having a doubt-wave! God knows, I've had enough of them myself.

Raven is reading for pleasure. Awesome! Tick the hugest h/s job off then. The boy can read. Yay for you!

OK, I have no idea what Beast Academy is so I will go look up that before I come back.

Maths.

OK, half the chapter done and tested 10 days later. Even then he got a third of the questions right, after previously gotten zero correct. Doesn't seem that it would give you a very accurate view of what he is capable of, but he progressed.

Idk. Maths we are always going back over and over. Sort of like an instinctual spiral. I wouldn't really fret over that result once. I might fret about it if it was a result that kept popping up when testing the same concepts time after time.

Worksheets cannot make a child get ahead. Nor they lack of worksheets make a child fall behind. Worksheets are just a tool. Plenty of others in the box.


Seems like you are doubting yourself mainly b/c of what you sense from dh and suddenly wondering how Raven will measure up against same age schooled peers ?

Can you ask him outright if that is what he is thinking ? No sense worrying if it's not.

Otherwise just keep on keeping on. He's little. There's lots of time ahead. Time to conquer the maths hill, time to learn how to take tests, time to negotiate returns or not to school.

farrarwilliams
10-29-2011, 11:18 PM
I only saw the online samples for Beast Academy, not the whole sample sent out, but everything I read seemed to be saying how advanced it was... so I don't know that means so much.

It's so hard when kids seem behind... I was having a wave of doubt this week too so I don't know how much help I'll be. At the library, I realized that BalletBoy (and probably Mushroom too, but he wasn't in this discussion) completely cannot tell time. I guess, in his defense I never taught him. Sigh. Well, that's not totally true, but we never worked on it for too long. And why did he have to do it in front of the evil librarian, the one who makes disparaging comments about homeschooling? And then at co-op on a field trip, Mushroom couldn't add 50c plus a nickel. UGH. I felt very judged. But in the middle of doing money math was when he completely broke down and he began taking his protracted math break at the end of last school year. So... again, I get why... just. Still. I guess the bright side was that then after dinner I said that he could have 10 jellybeans from the jar and he said, "I'd like 5 and 5 jellybeans. No, 3 and 3 and 3 and 1. That's better." But no one was there to see that. Blah.

Argh... off on a tangent... Anyway, it's all very well to be like, "Children should progress at their own pace and I'm just here to facilitate that and help them along," when your kids are ahead of their peers or some ps standard. Not so much when they're behind that, even though it's just as true.

And other people - even wonderful co-parents - judging just feels especially rotten.

I'm in a dreadful mood tonight.

Accidental Homeschooler
10-29-2011, 11:21 PM
So, today I finally did the review of the Beast Academy curriculum i had a free chapter of. Of course, I had to score the pre and post tests. He got every problem wrong on the pretest, and 2 right on the post test. Out of 6 or 7. Of course, i'd forgotten the post test, so we took it about 10 days after finishing the chapter, and he had only done about half of the problems. But it was bugging me a bit.

First, thanks for sending me to look at the Beast Academy as I think I am going to use it for my older dd. Second, if I am understanding you, Raven did the chapter but only half the problems and then the post-test ten days later. I think a lot of kids probably wouldn't test real well under those circumstances. And he did get two right so it is not like he did not learn anything. I just think, I don't know, math is something that a lot of us have to really practice as far as computation to get it to stick. I guess I am lucky that my dd will do worksheets just not a lot at one time. Are there games you could use with the curriculum to reinforce it to replace worksheet type work?

It is great to hear that the reading is going well! I am looking forward to seeing that here.

And I was looking at test prep books at Barnes and Noble the other day, not to use them, just to see what a first grader would be tested over. It was a bad moment as there is no way my dd could do well on them. She isn't even reading well enough to take them. It was not a happy feeling but I consoled myself that if she had stayed in ps and was there now she wouldn't be any further ahead as she would be acting out too much to learn much of anything. I know she is learning here but it is slow going.

Stella M
10-29-2011, 11:26 PM
You two!!!

Nobody is behind!!!

Remember you are homeschoolers ?! There is no behind, there is no ahead, there just is what there is. See, this is why I loathe grade levels and everything a second grader should know etc. Stupid.

Are your children loved ? Yes. Do you do your best to teach/learn/facilitate ? Yes. Do they have a roof over their head, food in their bellies, a warm bed and safety ? Yes. Do they have books in the house ? Oh yes.

Then I officially pronounce them to be doing - Raven, Farrar's kids - exactly fine, even if there are many things ahead to work on.

farrarwilliams
10-29-2011, 11:38 PM
I know. I know. :wasntme: Sigh. Did I mention that I'm having a terrible day? And it snowed? So deeply wrong. Cara, did it snow on you too? I blame snow. And global warming. And Al Gore.

Stella M
10-29-2011, 11:43 PM
Go eat some chocolate.

Or whatever your mood enhancer of choice is :)

dbmamaz
10-29-2011, 11:44 PM
I know this is just still fallout from my husband pushing that Raven has to go to school in3 years and me panicking prematurely. Esp. Cuz things could change, either for Raven or for dh, or both, in three years. But dh has been really stressing about money.

I DO believe this is what's best for him. Most of the time. But I'm terrified that well put him in school for middle school and he'll fail.

Thanks tho, even the empathetic stories of parents worrying makes me feel at least less alone.

dbmamaz
10-29-2011, 11:46 PM
Oh, and no snow. Wr had over 24 hours of cold rain, but when I walked the dog tonight it was 40 and partially clear, and lovely.

Shoe
10-29-2011, 11:46 PM
Sigh. Did I mention that I'm having a terrible day? And it snowed? So deeply wrong. Cara, did it snow on you too? I blame snow.This. I'm having a terrible day, too. Even though nothing has gone wrong in particular, I'm in a foul and lonely mood that nothing seems to shake. Snow is definitely present here in New England, and I'm not happy about ti.

Stella M
10-29-2011, 11:49 PM
I guess that scenario - middle school/fail - comes under the category of bridges to cross when you come to them.

Look, my seven year old can hardly write a sentence. In fact, I do believe he never has written a sentence. My 12 year old needs to sit down and learn the states before she goes to high school. Apparently, she has never heard of the Berlin Wall. And dd14 is still slogging her way through last years maths book.

It will be OK. Or it won't, and you'll deal with it then.

Hope the money stresses ease up and stop casting a shadow over other things.

Stella M
10-29-2011, 11:51 PM
This. I'm having a terrible day, too. Even though nothing has gone wrong in particular, I'm in a foul and lonely mood that nothing seems to shake. Snow is definitely present here in New England, and I'm not happy about ti.

You guys!!! Life is good!!! New babies are gurgling!!!

Maybe you need to get yourselves a light to sit under. You all sound a bit SAD.

I'm sending heat and the scent of lillies and sunshine to the three of you.

And go eat cookies. That helps.

Shoe
10-29-2011, 11:55 PM
You guys!!! Life is good!!! New babies are gurgling!!!

Maybe you need to get yourselves a light to sit under. You all sound a bit SAD.

I'm sending heat and the scent of lillies and sunshine to the three of you.

And go eat cookies. That helps.

Thanks. Reluctant smile cracking my face. :)

Stella M
10-29-2011, 11:59 PM
Yeah, I am on no sleep baby buzz, which is why I have positivity and optimism to share...today...

Ooh, I could do you all a guided meditation! The beach ? The harbour ? A spring meadow ?

It really will be OK Cara. It will be what it will be and you will have the inner resources to deal with it. Just keep a picture in your head of your boy and his comic :) That's a happy picture.

Shoe
10-30-2011, 12:02 AM
Yeah, I am on no sleep baby buzz, which is why I have positivity and optimism to share...today...

Ooh, I could do you all a guided meditation! The beach ? The harbour ? A spring meadow ?

It really will be OK Cara. It will be what it will be and you will have the inner resources to deal with it. Just keep a picture in your head of your boy and his comic :)Several beer in the pub?

farrarwilliams
10-30-2011, 12:03 AM
I wish I had a new nephew to gurgle at. Actually... I do have one! Well, he's still under a year. He's very chubby and has that little old man baby thing down pat. But he's several hundred miles away. There's probably a lot more snow on him than us.

I don't like Saturdays in general. Not even Thanksgiving practice cooking cheered me up.

Cara, whenever I get all freaked out about the future, I think about how different my kids were in the past. Like, oh, no, they're almost ___ age and they can't ____ yet! But then I think how different they were just a year ago or two years ago. Raven may go to school in three years. Think how different he must have been three years ago!

OrganicFrmGrl
10-30-2011, 09:01 AM
Ok so Saturday was just a crappy day for most all around. I'm going to blame the snow! I was canning in the kitchen talking with DS 8 and realized he couldn't say his months!?! Really? I wanted to scream "you are doing long division and can't say the months of the year!" But, I didn't. I was sad, I thought, I have failed! But, I have to realize I am not perfect. Anyway, DS as of last night could say the months. Lets hope he still can today ugh.

Cara, realize that your not alone! We all have our crazy homeshooling issues. One thing I have noticed with my DS is that testing also depends on mood and so does all of his work for that matter. Congrats that Raven is reading, I am pretty jealous! I hope everything works out, good vibes your way.

dbmamaz
10-30-2011, 09:41 AM
Thanks everyone!

my2monkeys
10-30-2011, 06:04 PM
Popping in to say that I was speaking with some friends who are public school teachers about reading. They indicated that they are not allowed to hold a student back because he or she is not progressing (in anything I think). They just shunt them along to the next grade with notes about the level they are working at. This means that some children will graduate being unable to read or do math etc. And they felt this was ok. It was more important to keep them up with their peers socially.

So basically, if Raven was in school he would continue to move through the grades but his math may not be improving. While you are homeschooling you are able to sit on the issue and actually work on it, without the concept of a grade to keep up with. You are able to look at the issue from many sides, use many approaches and take breaks when required. What you are doing is great and please don't doubt yourself. The same thing would be happening at school and you would be unable to do anything about it.

dbmamaz
10-30-2011, 08:39 PM
Sara, THANK YOU!! This is I think what I saw when I was taking my kids out of school, but its been a while and i forget. My youngest was behind in so many things, and it was SO frustrating for him, but he wasnt learning that much either. he was way ahead of where they were in math, and I think he would still be doing fine in math, but he just doesnt like repeated drills. His handwriting may well be better if he was in school, but he would HATE school . .. so what's the good of that?

Sometimes we forget that the school doesnt have any magic way to change your kid in to an 'average' kid. I think part of my frustration is I see SOOO much talent in him. I want to get him past his immature, akward stage in to the place where I know he will eventually want to take control of his learning and really blossom. I"m afraid I'll have to put him back in school before that point, and he'll regress and resent it. I need to stop confounding my worry for the future with my frustrations in the moment. The momentary issues should point me to my next step, the long term worry should NOT push me towards my next step!

Pefa
10-30-2011, 09:08 PM
Certainly for me the hardest thing about hs'ing is that I feel like everything is my responsibility. And it's scary when I feel like I'm not living up to that responsibility. Add in the "mama's imagination" which always goes to the worst case scenario (a couple of years ago BOO built a lego stunt skateboarding park, he included a minifigure whose head could either be smiling or screaming. "That's the mom, freaking out at the amazing tricks because she doesn't want her baby to get hurt.") and it's a recipe for disaster.

It will work out. My guys didn't know time - clock time, the order of the days of the week, the months, heck even the date of their b'days - until very recently. I don't remember which boy responded to some adult disbelief with a paragraph on the relatively modern development of clocks and watches, ending with the rather philosophical question of how important is it to measure the passing of time?

The other day I went to a store bought two items, both unit priced and was able to hand the clerk exact change as I put the items on the counter. The sweet young thing behind the cash register was amazed "Wow, how did you know how much it was going to be?" (I doubt it's relevant but it was a health food store). So lots of grown ups have trouble with math.

Hope today was better than yesterday.

Halcyon
10-31-2011, 09:19 AM
Oh, my I feel the same way, fairly often too. I think it's the fact that it's all on our shoulders, as the homeschooling parent. I am trying to remember that I am trying to produce a whole person here, not just a student who knows his prime numbers by heart. I try to focus on the big picture (very hard for me!). Last night, my older son (9) was at his cousin's (public schooled) who was working on a math problem, and he didn't get the right answer and I was actually surprised--it was a sort of brain teaser question that he likes. But then I remembered that it was 9 at night and his bed time is 8 and he was exhausted and just because he missed one question doesn't imply that his ENTIRE MATH EDUCATION is lacking. Yes, that thought ran through my head ;)

Breathe and trust.

mamakaty
10-31-2011, 12:38 PM
I have my moments, and we've only been doing this for about 8 months. Every time he doesn't know something, even if it's not "age or grade appropriate", like he called the great barrier reef something wacky, and he hasn't even studied anything remotely close to that, I feel like all eyes are on me, judging, you know? I get it from dh sometimes too, even if he doesn't realize he's doing it. The hubby is worried that the kiddo is going to want to go back to school in a few years, and be behind. We'll cross that bridge when we get there!! I also think that my hubby's view of what we are/should be doing during the day is vastly different than reality and what will work. Anyway, ((hugs)). I also like what Halcyon said here:


Oh, my I feel the same way, fairly often too. I think it's the fact that it's all on our shoulders, as the homeschooling parent. I am trying to remember that I am trying to produce a whole person here, not just a student who knows his prime numbers by heart. I try to focus on the big picture (very hard for me!). .

dbmamaz
10-31-2011, 07:26 PM
Raven reads because we told him he could stay up later if he was reading. Orion reads because i tell him he has to every day, but he hasnt been timing it (nor have I) and i think he's been reading about 5 minutes most day. dont get far that way, kwim.