Thursday, September 23, 2010

Week 4 in Review

My friend who is a seasoned homeschool mom of three, one graduated said to me this week--"You never get it figured out, Kelly."
Me--"That is NOT what I wanted to hear."

I have not figured this thing out yet, I know that for sure, but this week I think that I rested just a bit in the fact that I will not ever get it all just right.  By setting goals for the week and simply relaxing, allowing myself to be imperfect and by working more in a moment by moment manner, I found that we actually did quite a lot of school.  Not all that I would have liked, but a lot nonetheless. 

The main task at hand this week is to retool the reading lessons for Molly.  With our small infrastructure breakdown in which we both discovered that our reading curriculum had to go, I have been trying a few new things.  I borrowed some Pathway readers from a friend, and she seems to like these so far.  I also just pulled out Bob books and Hop on Pop and silly things like that, and worked together on phonics and sounds.  Hang it all--do I really need a curriculum to teach my kid to read??? I'm not so sure I do, but I couldn't help but feel a bit out of sorts without a guaranteed-to-make-your-kid-a-genius reader.  Okay, I admit, it was worse than a bit...

When I was a kid I carried around this old blanket that I called my "godden." I loved this blanket, and remember the trauma I felt when it was once left behind in the grocery store, and then another time when I forgot it for the weekend at my father's house and returned to find that my mother had hidden it away so that I couldn't carry it anymore.  It was devastating.  I TRULY relate to Linus in Peanuts when he is separated from his blanket.

I think some of us moms start to feel that way when we are separated from the crutch of curriculum.  Upon ditching the book that we both really hated, I immediately had a feeling not unlike the D.T.'s (or at least what I imagine they'd be like!)  Then today I found myself with my dear little girl, making up a story on the white board about a brown cow who walked into town wearing a gown.  We were both giggling and picturing this scene...and she learned what ow stands for in these cases.  I had no guidebook, no teacher's resource, no reader in front of us...and we were both thrilled.  So, I'm not actually sure if I am going to replace that blasted book.  I think I may just trust my instincts and go with the flow on this one.  She's five for pity's sake.  I need to lighten up.

Don't get me wrong...there are many really, really good curricula out there, and I have benefited from many.  However, Mom's lesson this week is that I really need to learn to trust my instincts and be responsive to how my child learns best.

12 comments:

  1. What great revelations you had this week! I don't think we ever figure it all out, but isn't it nice when we figure *something* out? :-) I love the weeks I feel like I learn more than the kids did! Way to go, Mom!

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  2. I know how you feel. Sometimes we DO need to just throw away the book and go with what works. I appreciate your thoughts.

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  3. I know what you mean by the "cruch of curriculum." However, sometimes I'm just so tired & overwhelmed that I NEED someone to hold my hand! :-)

    Thanks so much for your words about not ever having it figured out. This is so true and something I NEED to accept.

    Blessings on your weekend!

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  4. Oh, and that should be "crutch," not "cruch." :-)

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  5. Can I just say that I am blessed each and every time I land here?! Thank you for your honesty and keeping it real!

    Kudos to you for getting rid of what wasn't working!! I think making up stories on the dry erase board is a fantastic idea!! Not only will she remember "ow" words, but she'll remember her mother taking the time to make school relevant to her and the laughing!! For me, homeschooling is so much about the relationships! Thanks for the gentle reminder!

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  6. Amen! I totally agree. Trust your instincts, Mom. Our favorite times when learning to read where making up our own crazy stories. Wonderful post!

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  7. Can I just say that I am smiling all over right now? I so appreciate your comments, your encouragement, and for letting me know that you are encouraged by what I have posted. Thank you so much for taking the time to post a comment...all of you lovely ladies. Keep up the good work!

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  8. Boy, what your friend said is so true. Love the pictures. Linus was too funny!

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  9. I so get this! I do! My oldest (now a Senior in high school) learned to read without any curriculum, as did I. But for some reason I HAD to have a curriculum for my preschooler. As soon as he started showing readiness signs I HAD to have a program! And when our chosen curriculum wasn't exactly fitting, well I freaked out. I finally gave myself permission (isn't that ridiculous?!?!) to relax. I tweaked here and there, incorporated other things, and just started going with the flow. We're much happier for it. I'm hoping this need for a crutch goes away the longer I stick with homeschooling.

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  10. Tiffany, could this be because we are actually learning what we teach our own kids? How to be a learner? How to find the answers for ourselves? That often experience and intuition are the best teachers / guides? It's as if I am willing to check my brain at the door and let someone else do the the thinking for me...wait...i feel another blog post coming... :-)

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  11. When i thanked everyone and said, "keep up the good work!" i didn't mean in posting comments. (HAHA! I just read that and thought it sounded funny) I meant keep up the good work with your own kids in your own homes. blessings to all of you!

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  12. A post full of wisdom! Thanks from this first-year homeschooler (of a 10yo would already reads, thank goodness. I don't have a problem teaching algebra and science, but teaching someone how to read would send ME looking for a blanket!)

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