Need advice about sending my children to school, PLEASE!

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Need advice about sending my children to school, PLEASE!

Postby jblwhopper » Tue Jan 08, 2013 12:13 pm

I have recently started homeschooling my two oldest boys, ages 6 and 4. They have always been home with me, no public schooling or daycare. Last January, we had our third son. He is a blessing to our family, but has brought a lot of unexpected challenges ( what new baby doesn't right?) It has been a year since he was born, and I am still not getting more than 5-6 hrs of interrupted sleep. He takes only 15-30min naps 2x a day, then is cranky because of lack of sleep. I usually hold him so that he will sleep a little longer so that I can actually put him down when he is awake. We are planning on having him do a sleep study, since he has done this since he was 3 weeks old. I have tried every method to get him to sleep, to no avail. Add that situation plus my husband who works 24 hr shifts as an EMT and goes to Nursing school full time 3 days a week. He is so busy with work and school that it is very difficult for him to help when he is home, since he needs a lot of time to study and rest.

Our typical day is very unorganized. I usually get out of bed around 8:30 feeling like I haven't slept a wink since the baby was up about 6 times and was also in bed with me. I try to meal plan, but we usually run out of things and we have only one car which is usually being used by my husband. So breakfast is sometimes late, then the baby needs me for whatever reason until about 10. He usually naps then for about 30 mins. When he is down, we run downstairs to start school and usually only complete one lesson. At that time, we have to break, so I can get the baby. I bring him downstairs and hold him while we attempt to start a new lesson, which is usually interrupted by him screaming or getting into things. By this time, it's time to start lunch, which some days can be around 2:00! At this point the house hasn't been touched cleaning wise and the baby needs another nap. If he goes down for a nap, I try to do the dishes and get some laundry done, then figure out what is going to be for dinner. We try to do our outings at this time of day, then my hope is always to get home and finish the rest of the planned school day. So far, that plan has never worked. We may end up having dinner at 8:00 some days due to time schedules conflicting. Our boys are in bed usually by 8:30. Most days, naps are not taken, which they still need, and school has not been completed. We started in September, and so far we took off half of November and all of December due to 2 rounds of illness in the whole family.

The stress of the baby, lack of sleep and other things have made this time very hard for me to cope. I am usually not very pleasant and very impatient with the older boys. It has caused me to act harshly with them and I can't seem to find peace and happiness in my life because the stress is never ending and the help is not there. We do not have anyone else to help except for my MIL who just had chemo and back surgery.

We are not financially in a position to hire a baby sitter. Lately I am considering putting the older boys in a Montessori school that is just up the road from us. I have never considered sending my children anywhere and I have the conviction of raising them and teaching them. We have always decided to homeschool and the thought of sending them somewhere for most of the day is not at all ideal to us. BUT, at this point, I'm wondering if that would be better for them. I am just not able to keep up and give them the attention and time that they desperately need. We are starting to see signs of this in our oldest boy. He daydreams so much that he is starting to exhibit very strange behaviors because his mind need to be stimulated. I am really struggling with what to do, and my husband has more than once made the suggestion of doing it until I can manage.

Does anyone have any advice in regards to this, or have any of you been had to do this for the good of your children? Any help or encouragement would be grateful!!

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Postby hscoach » Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:50 pm

Your days sound very much like days I have had with homeschooling. You have 3 very young children. Right now, I would recommend that you focus on life and do short fun lessons focusing on the three R's. The only child who really even needs to be homeschooling is your 6 year old. Do some basic phonics and teaching him to read. Do some basic math. Have him do some handwriting for 5 minutes each day (about half a page). That's it. He will be just fine.

Other ideas: go to the public library and check out books, allow him to play online educational games for short time periods, watch educational DVD's together, go for nature walks.

I am a big believer in naps! I think all 3 of your children need a nap daily and you do too. :) I would focus on good nutrition and especially sleep. See if your baby will continue taking a morning nap and then make sure ALL of you lie down together and read a good book; then take a big afternoon nap every day. It will make such a difference. If kids this age take a nap, they sleep better at night. If you feel like your 6 year old has outgrown his nap, he can quietly look at books during that time.

Try not to think of school as "lessons". Read up on unschooling just to get some ideas. You don't have to unschool all the way but you can use some of the principles of it. Relax and enjoy your children while they are so little. They will grow up fast!

Just read, read, read books aloud to them. Take them to the library often so they will love reading and learning new things. This is the most valuable thing you can do for them. Try to choose classic books as much as possible. You can also check out books on CD. They can listen to them while they play with toys in the floor or while they eat a meal.

Do simple math lessons with hands-on materials or just a workbook. The lessons don't have to be any longer than 5-10 minutes at age 6. Keep it simple. Then your kids will get older and you will have more time for other subjects, etc.

Hope this helps some. Best wishes.

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