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Discouraged!

 
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emtswife
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Joined: 05 Dec 2008
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 2:21 pm    Post subject: Discouraged! Reply with quote

Hi! I am new here, but I am at my rope's end and would appreciate some advice. First a little background, so you can have a better understanding of my problems. It will be long, and I am sorry, but I feel there is no easy explanation for the situation.

I have a 15 year old son in a private Christian school, and who is doing wonderful there. My 9 year old daughter attended the same school, but we began to notice that she was having troubles this year both academically and socially. We feel these problems came from the fact that she was the only 4th grader in the school. Because the school is small, the classes were taught with several grades in one class. I believe that my daughter was often being included in the 3rd grade class for convenience rather than being taught separately as she should have been. She is very bright and is advanced in some areas of education, but is doing math at a 3rd grade level. We decided to home school her for several different reasons; the main one being that she could work at her own pace and advance as rapidly or slowly as she needed to. We have been at it for about 1 1/2 months and everything was great for about the first 3 weeks. However, I am rapidly losing faith that we made the right choice.

One of the main problems is that I have fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue. There are days at a time when I absolutely do not feel like teaching her. My husband also has health issues and between taking care of him and trying to home school, I am beginning to feel overwhelmed. Please don't misunderstand! On my "good" days, I love having my daughter home and having the opportunity to teach her. It's just that I am afraid that she is getting shortchanged on the days that I don't feel well. I have tried to keep the curriculum simple, but it still seems like it is just "too much" at times. Last week was not a good week, and we basically only did one lesson in Abeka math and one lesson in Growing with Grammar per day . Since she struggles with math, it takes at least two hours for her just to do a lesson in that! I wish I had found some kind of curriculum that she could do on her own when I don't feel that I can handle it, but I didn't know this was going to be this big of a problem. Money is a huge issue, so I can't afford a change in curriculum right now. I am just getting so discouraged! We decided to take a break from school this week, just to relieve some of the pressure, but now I am feeling guilty about doing that.

Does anyone else have these problems? If so, how do you handle the situation? I love having her home with me, and I feel that she is making great progress in math. However, I need to find a way to make sure she is getting everything else she needs, too. Is this even going to be possible considering our situation? I really don't want to send her back to the private school (not to mention that I can't afford it!), and it would break my heart to send her back to public school, but I want to do what is best for her. Any help would be appreciated!
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Miss_Kristy
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Joined: 17 Jan 2008
Posts: 106
Location: Small town in Arkansas

PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi there, emtswife.

I'm having one of those days too. So maybe by telling you things will be okay, I will remind myself. Wink

First off, I'm sorry to hear that you suffer from fibromyalgia. I personally don't, but I know someone who does and I can tell just from being around her a little that it's not easy.

Second, I do have my own hurdles. My 3 year old is currently running my home. Today we didn't do much learning at all. Unless you count learning that mommy can yell really loud. Shocked

It is important to remember that you are doing what is best for your child. It's also important to remember that you are on your own clock now. It's okay if you don't get much done this week as far as workbooks go. If you're having a bad day, give her a book to read. Or an art project she can do on her own.

My older children are in 3rd and 4th grades. Some days ( like today ) they are kinda on there own. My 3 yr old screamed most of the day and when he wasn't doing that he was throwing things at them. So, today they read quietly in their rooms for a while, did a couple of math worksheet ( review ) practiced their spelling word by writing them 2 times each and played a multiplication game on the computer.
It wasn't exactly my idea of a full day, but they DID learn. And that's what matters.

I don't know anything about Abeka, so I can't help you there. What if you take her to the library one day and just let her go wild? Let her get the limit she's allowed on her library card. Anything and everything. And save them for days when you're just not feeling up to piles of workbook pages. I do that one a month. It really saves me sometimes.

Anyhow, I'm sure someone else will be along shortly to give more advice. I hope mine helped at least a little.

PS - by the way, is you're husband really an EMT? Mine is. LOL So I was just wondering.
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emtswife
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Joined: 05 Dec 2008
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks! It helps to know that I am not the only one. I just feel like I am failing at homeschooling and it is so discouraging. I think that part of the problem is that when I started, we were all so optimistic and excited about it, that I didn't think through the physical limitations. Now that reality is setting in, it is hard to keep my spirits up. I know there is bound to be a way that I can do this, I am just not sure how to go about it. I think this "project" just needs a little creative thinking, and that is not one of my strong points.

I am so glad that I found this forum! We live in a small rural town, and I haven't found any support here yet. It will be really nice to have others to turn to, who may be able to give me some pointers.....Or at least talk me through my moments ranging from sheer panic to absolute terror, with the occasional burst of guilt thrown in. Very Happy

Since you have children close to my daughters age, maybe you can help me. Have you had any trouble with learning the multiplication tables? My daughter just can't seem to get the hang of it, and it usually ends with her crying (and ME wanting to!). She is really smart, but she says that it is "too hard". She just can't seem to memorize the facts for some reason. I have tried flash cards, computer games, everything I can think of, but nothing seems to be working. Any suggestions?

Yes my husband was an EMT! Well, technically he still is, but it has been a really hard year for him because of health issues. He has been unable to work since September of last year. At this point, he probably won't be able to work in EMS again when/if he can go back to work. It has actually been a little bit of a blessing because he was a workaholic, and it is really nice to have him home for a change. I always say that things happen for a reason, even if we don't know what that reason might be. BTW, tell your husband thank you from me. I know he has to be a special person to be in EMS! Wink
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Minniewannabe
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Joined: 24 Apr 2008
Posts: 113
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Emtswife,

Even on days you don't feel well and are in pain, you should be able to lie in bed with your DD up next to you doing her lessons. We do most of our schoolwork in bed, by the way. Get a schedule, write it out, and have DD follow it everyday.

A beka math is extremely difficult. Multiplication is solidly taught at the end of 2nd grade and continued briefly into 3rd grade. After that, it is assumed multiplication tables are ingrained. Therefore, I can see why A beka math 4th grade is too hard. If you don't want to spend anymore money, switch to the review problems in the back of the book. Start easy by working just 1 or 2 rows a day. I wouldn't plow through the workbook, however, without a solid understanding of multiplication. A Beka starts long division soon into the 3rd grade and that is really too hard without already knowing multiplication. Finally, you do not have to work every problem on the page if it's a problem your DD already understands.
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Miss_Kristy
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Joined: 17 Jan 2008
Posts: 106
Location: Small town in Arkansas

PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

emtswife,

Yes, we are doing multiplication right now. My dd gets it ( 3rd grade), my ds does not ( 4th grade). Well, he gets the concept. He just has trouble memorizing, which slows him down. The last few days my son has been practicing counting by 6's, 7's, 8's and 9's because these are the ones he can't seem to remember. I have a poster with all the multiplication facts on it and he just reads from it. Over and over until it's like a chant. This seems to be working better than some of the other stuff we tried.

I agree with you about needing creative thinking. I try to take a few hours each week to just cruise different HS sites and get ideas. I am not the most creative person either. LOL

Here are some of the links I use :

http://www.besthomeschooling.org/

http://www.atozteacherstuff.com/

http://www.kaboose.com/

http://www.multiplication.com/interactive_games.htm

I'm sorry to hear about your husband's health issues. My husband has back problems due to his job. I don't know how much longer he'll be able to do it. I'm trying to talk him into going back to school to do something easier on the body.

And thank YOU. Not enough people appreciate what EMS workers do.

Hope some of those links help. Very Happy
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emtswife
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Joined: 05 Dec 2008
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Minnie. I guess maybe I am just trying too hard to be "perfect"...whatever that is! But I do like the idea of doing lessons in bed! Snuggle time and lessons...what could be better? Very Happy

About the Abeka. I didn't know until I chose it, that it was a little "advanced", but we both love the book. She is really encouraged because she feels that she is finally LEARNING math. I don't know why she has such a mental block or whatever it is, about the multiplication tables. I do know that she seemed to have some kind of problem with transposing numbers when we began working on addition. A teacher on another forum told me that that it was called discalculia(sp?). We worked through that, and she rarely does it anymore. Makes me wonder about the education she was receiving though, if NONE of her teachers ever caught the problem. That is one of the reasons that I want so badly to keep home schooling. I know we can work through all of this. I just have to figure out how to do it.
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emtswife
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Joined: 05 Dec 2008
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Memorizing is normally one of my daughter's strong points, but for some reason, she is just not able to do it with multiplication facts. She can skip count to the number but can't remember the facts that will get her to the correct answer quicker. Just when I think she has finally gotten a set conquered, she can't remember a thing by the next day. Frustrating!

I will check out the sites. I need all the help I can get! I let her use multiplication.com some this week, since I didn't feel like doing much. She liked it, but I didn't want to push her too hard. I think we both just needed a break.

Thanks for concern for hubby's health. Also, tell your husband (from someone who knows!), that he does need to have a back-up plan "just in case". My husband had back problems for several years and just pushed through it. It got progressively worse, and now he has already had one surgery, and will probably need another one before it is over. By the time you need another plan, it could be too late to get one! Hubby LIVED for EMS. I think he honestly thought he would be doing it until he was 100!
Just know there are those of us out here that know and understand how important the work is!

Miss_Kristy wrote:
emtswife,

Yes, we are doing multiplication right now. My dd gets it ( 3rd grade), my ds does not ( 4th grade). Well, he gets the concept. He just has trouble memorizing, which slows him down. The last few days my son has been practicing counting by 6's, 7's, 8's and 9's because these are the ones he can't seem to remember. I have a poster with all the multiplication facts on it and he just reads from it. Over and over until it's like a chant. This seems to be working better than some of the other stuff we tried.

I agree with you about needing creative thinking. I try to take a few hours each week to just cruise different HS sites and get ideas. I am not the most creative person either. LOL

Here are some of the links I use :

http://www.besthomeschooling.org/

http://www.atozteacherstuff.com/

http://www.kaboose.com/

http://www.multiplication.com/interactive_games.htm

I'm sorry to hear about your husband's health issues. My husband has back problems due to his job. I don't know how much longer he'll be able to do it. I'm trying to talk him into going back to school to do something easier on the body.

And thank YOU. Not enough people appreciate what EMS workers do.

Hope some of those links help. Very Happy
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mommyto2gr8ones
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Joined: 02 Dec 2008
Posts: 32
Location: Concord, NC

PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2008 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to say I think you are stressing about something not worth stressing over. As long as you meet your states standards (blah days of school a year, ect.), it really doesn't matter that you didn't get a certain thing done on a certain day. We have a hectic household at times, having a 2yo to chase down, so there are days when she just pulls all of my time away from "doing school". I don't let it get me down. I have my son read or watch something that is considered learning and leave that day at that. Even cleaning the house can be considered a school day if you think about it (home ecomomics). You brought her home so that she could learn at her own pace, not so that you could stress over getting this particular thing done by a certain time of the year or what not. I have heard that A Beka is a hard curriculum to have for a child struggling in math too so it might help to switch math curriculums. GL to you and many prayers to your family. Hope that helped some.
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emtswife
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Joined: 05 Dec 2008
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2008 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree that I am probably stressing too much. It is just what I do. My name is Sam....and I am a stresser (said in my best 12 step program voice). Very Happy

Luckily, our state is pretty easy in its requirements. As a matter of fact, the only requirement I have found is that they have to test once a year for state standards. I started out determined that I was only going to teach her what she needed for life. You know, basically Readin', Rightin', and Rithmetic, then let her follow her interests from there. But of course I eventually started stressing (go figure!), and started thinking about the "what ifs". What if she grew up and couldn't point out her home state on the map? What if she doesn't know that Africa is a continent (not a country)? What if she doesn't know who Queen Elizabeth was? You know? I just do not want her to grow up and be on Jay Leno's "Jaywalking", or something like that.

I know I just need to settle down and figure out something that will work for us. I am looking into finding things that she can do on her own when I am having "bad days". I also realize that I need to understand that "education" is not just doing pages of math, grammar, and science. I guess that is just ingrained in my mind from all of my years of public school. All I know is that it is really nice to have a place to come where I am not alone, and where people can tell me to "settle down" if I need to. Wink Thanks!
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