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gidamom
01-27-2012, 08:03 AM
I haven't been here in a while....mosstly because I've tried to keep of the computer and focus on the hs...but I totally feel like I'm failing. It's not that the kids aren't learning. It's just that they aren't motivated much, not excited about learning, and there are constant struggles. So far from what I've wanted this journey to be.

Also, they don't seem to be much into hs. I honestly feel like they are considering going back to a brick and mortar school next year :(

Wher did I fail?!? I wish I could make this better, but just have no clue how to...

Gabriela
01-27-2012, 09:00 AM
Did you feel the same way before the end-of-year break?
I remember it being really hard to get back into the flow when we came back from our first break last summer.

Have you talked openly about it with them?
When I have felt that way, I've had a heart to heart with ds, not only for him to tell me what he would like to change about the way we hs,
but also to tell him about how it makes me feel when he doesn't put his all into what he's doing, because I do (give my all - most of the time).
It's made such a difference that he knows how much work I put into hs, and that my motivation greatly depends on his (and vice versa).

Is it possible to sit them down and ask them what they would like to see change?
(I know it might not be an option for some people, if they work with an expensive program that's already been paid for.)
Maybe if they feel like they have some control over how hs happens...
You would have the leverage to say - hey, we decided on this together, so let's all put on our happy faces and do our work with joy and pride.
It's about teamwork - we all do our part and try to keep the team spirit high (yes, like cheerleaders).
Maybe you've already tried all this, but I know I've been surprised by what ds has to say about hs when we've talked like this, and it made all the difference to have it out.

MrsLOLcat
01-27-2012, 09:20 AM
We have rough days here, but when I ask DS what he wants to change or whether he would be interested in going back to a public school, he tells me no. I don't think it matters how much they love it - sometimes you just don't want to do it. DH loves his job, but that doesn't mean he bounces out of bed every morning excited to go to work. DD loves playing violin, but there are sometimes weeks where getting her to practice is nearly impossible. I think HS is the same way. I'd do what Gabriela suggested and have a talk with them - lay out what HAS to happen and ask how they suggest you reach those goals together. I've done that with DS, too, and he is usually quite insightful. Just this week I discovered that he has begun to hate writing again... so I threw out all our plans and have made new ones. He's getting work done faster and with more enthusiasm (not necessarily being HAPPY about it, but not throwing fits) already. Take it one day at a time and know that we're here for ya! (((HUGS)))

Accidental Homeschooler
01-27-2012, 10:21 AM
I am sorry you are feeling so bad Gidamom. I think for us, and we have some very difficult days for sure, is that I didn't have a lot of expectations about hsing and how it was going to look or be. I think expectations can really just mess you up. I have taken it more as a journey, so I can have a day that is a fail for sure, or even a week, but as long as we keep moving forward (as you say you are) hsing isn't a fail. Maybe a curriculum is a fail, or an approach or activity.... but not hsing. Are you sure the expectations you had were realistic? My lack of expectations is just because of the way we started with hs (ps rescue mission vs some ideal hsing vision). I am just saying that maybe you had some unrealistic expectations as far as how it was going be or how long it would take to work well... or whatever it is you are beating yourself up over not making happen. I hope you are feeling better soon!

dbmamaz
01-27-2012, 10:36 AM
I think Julie has a good point about expectations. The first year is really hard - its a hard adjustment for everyone. I'm not sure what you expected out of homeschooling, or what curriculum or approach you are using, but i do agree that you should talk with your kids about it. Tell them you dont feel like homeschooling is as fun as you thought it would be. Ask them what they think. Ask them what they do and dont like about homeschooling. Brainstorm together for ideas to improve things. Talk honestly about the option of going back to school without thinking of it as a failure. Its an experiment. If its better than school, ok. If its not, you all still learned a lot. There is no right and wrong, there's only what works for you and yours and what doesnt work for you and yours.

Gabriela
01-27-2012, 11:14 AM
I am sorry you are feeling so bad Gidamom. I think for us, and we have some very difficult days for sure, is that I didn't have a lot of expectations about hsing and how it was going to look or be. I think expectations can really just mess you up. I have taken it more as a journey, so I can have a day that is a fail for sure, or even a week, but as long as we keep moving forward (as you say you are) hsing isn't a fail. Maybe a curriculum is a fail, or an approach or activity.... but not hsing. Are you sure the expectations you had were realistic? My lack of expectations is just because of the way we started with hs (ps rescue mission vs some ideal hsing vision). I am just saying that maybe you had some unrealistic expectations as far as how it was going be or how long it would take to work well... or whatever it is you are beating yourself up over not making happen. I hope you are feeling better soon!

Yes! Very insightful.
We were also a ps. rescue mission and also started with no expectations, mostly because there was no time to even think about it.
And Gidamom, you've been crossing your fingers for an amazing year (since I've known you).
Maybe a more realistic goal is to have at least one amazing day every couple of weeks, and work up from there.

I'm really grateful that it wasn't until we'd been homeschooling for a couple of weeks that I started finding homeschoolers' blogs.
Had I seen them before we started, I would have had unrealistic expectations too.
The only thing I was envisioning at the beginning was ds and me sweating and crying over long division. That was my expectation.

lakshmi
01-27-2012, 01:32 PM
Chin up Chin up!

Also your kids are older and it may be less about homeschooling and just about life in general. Good luck I have no advice, just wishing it felt better. I hve felt like that and I'd say posting is a good place to start.

cupcakes0104
01-27-2012, 04:06 PM
Maybe a more realistic goal is to have at least one amazing day every couple of weeks, and work up from there.


Love this advice!

How much time did you take to de-tox? My oldest was in 2nd grade when we started and I felt like we didn't have any groove at all till January and it wasn't really till the second year that I felt like we were having more good days than less-than-stellar days.

Definitely talk to them since they are older. Maybe just do some field trips, group activities, and try for one day of school a week. Build it up to 2 or 3 days.

I have my kids talk about the pros and cons every so often as they sometimes talk about what it would be like to go back and recently had my oldest write them out.

Hang in there!!

cupcakes0104
01-27-2012, 04:10 PM
Oh, and depending on where you live, winter can be BLAH. One hs how-to book I read before I started said that even teachers in ps will tell you the endless gray days of winter and being trapped indoors because of the cold can make their jobs tougher! The only strategy I have found that helps is to start new studies in January. My girls like starting new things so it gives us a morale boost. It gets us back into the swing of things after the holidays and it helps with the winter blahs.

Kateroo
01-27-2012, 04:26 PM
I agree with everyone else that having a talk about it with them seems like a good place to start. I think it's also about managing their expectations as well as your own. What did they think it would be like? What would like to do differently? Maybe you back off from the direct instruction for a bit and do interest-led Fridays where they can pick and choose their own project to work on (in my experience, when I find myself using the word "struggle" with my son, I know I can't win - I have to back off and go a different route). Wishing you the best. Don't give up. From what everyone says, you are perfectly normal if it takes you a couple of years to find your groove.

Avalon
01-27-2012, 04:52 PM
I imagine you had reasons for pulling them out of school. Hopefully, those issues are taken care of now, or at least you're able to work on them more easily. Maybe that is enough of a positive to focus on for right now. Some of the benefits of homeschooling take a while to show up (like being closer, understanding each other better, developing personal interests, finding a passion, etc...).

gidamom
01-30-2012, 11:55 AM
Thanks to all of you for your support! I do think expectations have something to do with it. I think the three of us thought it would be more fun??

I know for my dd, she MISSES, big time, being around friends all day. There is just no way I can mimic that in the hs setting.

For me, I guess I thought there would be more activities, more things that would spark their eagerness or at least willingness to learn. I feel like this is a failure on MY part, as I just have not found a way to do that.

Truth is that there are things, subjects, assignments that HAVE to get done, and that accounts to little fun. :(

We have had conversations, several of them. It's hard for them to verbalize how they would want hs to be different. I want to make this more fun for all of us, but am having a tough time figuring out exactly HOW to do that and come up with a plan. When we do talk about the situation, there seems to be more cooperation for a couple of days, and then back to the struggle.

I guess figuring out HOW we've deviated from what we wanted is making this a challenge