Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Child, you just got schooled!

This post is written by Delena, published by Sam due to technical difficulties.

Right now we have three (soon to be four this summer!) children, and our oldest is in Kindergarten.  P is five.  D is three, and E is 16 months.
This was my first year to homeschool, and I made sure I was ready.
I researched different curriculums.  I attended the Catholic Homeschooling Conference in our area.  I had the books, the supplies, the fun stuff to make school "exciting."  
I did not, however, anticipate what it would be like to homeschool one child with two other children at home.  
I know a lot of moms who start school at 8:00 on the dot.  When we started school in September, I tried this 8:00 approach.  I quickly realized that Miss E needed a little more time and attention from me than I expected.
So, we now start school at 10:00--otherwise known as "when the baby naps."  This allows the boys to eat, get dressed, and play for several hours before P starts school. 
I then realized that my three year-old, D, was NOT happy that his big brother was going to be taken away from playing with him for an hour each day.  I have tried giving him coloring books, alphabet books, and number books--he's not interested.
I have given him an entire book of stickers and a stack of paper and told him to go to town.  This worked for three days.
He went back to being unhappy, and I am now adding "stickers" to our grocery list.
I made homemade playdough for him--only to find that this distracted P while he was trying to HIS work.  This would cause me to mutter out loud, "How did people do it in one-room schools?!"
The other day, just when I thought my patience was gone because P couldn't concentrate, and D was doing everything he could to get our attention, a tiny little bit of light was shown on the situation.
D was playing with his animal figurines when I suddenly heard him say, "Tyger, tyger, burning bright.  In the forests of the night.  What immortal hand or eye could frame thy fearful symmetry?"
Yes--my three year-old can quote poetry now.
And he can write lower case letters--something I've never worked with him on at all!
While he's running around the dining room table causing my blood pressure to escalate, he's also LEARNING.  He doesn't realize he's picking up on the same stuff P is learning, but he is retaining information.
So, I quit contemplating taking my blood pressure for the moment and smiled.  There can be frustrating moments while homeschooling your children.  I think there are even MORE frustrating moments when you have one in school and two...or three...or four...who haven't reached school-age yet.
To know that your kids are still learning and retaining information just from hearing what goes on at the dining room table every morning--well, it makes it all worth it.

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