"This is my second year in homeschooling and I have a 6 year old, 3 1/2 year old she is already reading and a 20 month old. I get frustrated while trying to teach my oldest and having the chaos of the other two. My husband is ready to put her in school because he feels that she is not getting what she needs at home. I am just plain frustrated at this point and just am wondering is this the way things are as a homeschooler? Example: I am using the workbox system by Sue Patrick and instead of having this wonderful experience. I have the 6 year old who is spacing out looking outside another asking me what do I do next? and the baby tearing the boxes and velcro off the shelves and wanting to sit in everybodys seat! Ahhhh!!!"
Warning: Mature content shared. Not suitable for all ages.
You know, I want to give you a big hug! Absolutely everyone feels overwhelmed at times. I get overwhelmed. Caring for and educating our little ones may feel like a looming task at times~ too big and scary for us. In those times, I remind myself that Peter found when his eyes were on Christ, he could walk on water. It is a true saying that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you (Phil. 4:13). And truly, any sacrifice we offer now, I trust will be seen as a minor thing when we look back on this time. : )
It may be that even the best systems need to be put on hold, modified, or even stored in a different way until you are in a season with older children. It’s okay to say that something isn’t working right now. That’s not failure dear one~ it’s learning.
I want to give you some practical ideas that might help, but first I want to talk about the false idea that it would be somehow better to place our children in the government’s schools. While it may not be possible for all families to school at home, we need to know the truth and have our eyes wide open on this issue before we consider handing over these precious souls.
LIE- Our kids would learn more in the government school system.
TRUTH- Our government schools are among the world’s worst. Statistics show that when our schools are pitted against those in the world, we are failing miserably.
Area Rank (out of 41)
Problem Solving 29
Which means, for example, that in a total of 41 countries our students rank 28th in math. In other words, there are 27 countries ranking ahead of us (Finland, Korea, Canada, Hong Kong – China, Netherlands, Macao-China, Liechtenstein, Japan, Australia, Switzerland, Iceland, New Zealand, Denmark, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Ireland, Sweden, Austria, Slovak Republic, Norway, Germany, Luxembourg, Poland, Spain~ and more).
There is no “good school” that does better. Our method fails.
WHAT OF MORALITY?
And that doesn’t even address the more serious issue of moral failure we are seeing nationwide. You aren’t giving your children any advantage by placing them in the hands of a godless government structure. Some, in fact, make the case that it is actually poor stewardship for Christians to place their children into the government school system.
The daily wearing and beating down that godless, unsupervised interactions have on the very fiber of these young, precious souls is not measured by statistics. However:
“The headlines speak for themselves. Student-teacher sex scandals, student-student sex, immodesty, foul language, drugs, alcohol, radical homosexual agendas, teachers taking students for abortions, “sexting” leading to suicide, sexually transmitted diseases, brutal beatings, and school shootings. These are just some of the headlines that have become the norm. And that does not include things like cheating, disrespect for authority, impropriety towards the opposite sex, and other moral behaviors children learn regularly and repeatedly in school.”
Voddie Bauchan, Top Five Reasons Not to Send Your Kids Back to Gov’t. School
We must keep our eyes on the long term effects of our decisions and be real about what is at stake here.
IT BEGINS WITH US
I know you are struggling Kelly. And I don’t know you personally, so please hear this in the most loving tone you can~ could it be that your husband is considering government school to make you happy?
There is the old adage: “If Mamma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”
And conversely, if Mama is happy and content, everyone is happy and content.
I would kindly suggest that it would be better for you to study small Bible lessons, a workbook page in math and some phonics or a short reading lesson and play with the little ones, let them help you cook (while parking baby in a high chair near by) rather than be stressed out.
Baby steps are okay. Your students are not being lost in classrooms of 30 or hammered down by the world. The little bits of progress you make will add up. Keep your eyes on that goal and trust the Lord for the rest. He is able. : )
For the practical stuff:
Many homeschoolers find that a morning gathering of everyone helps to start the day out right. Some call it Morning Meeting, some people call it Circle Time, others Family Devotion time. In summary, it’s the time when everyone gathers together to:
- Read God’s Word~ keep it short and applicable. A devotion like Our 24 Family Ways or Pictures from Proverbs might work
- Sing Worship Songs~ Utilizing the Wee Sing Bible Songs CD might fit this spot
- Cover a small amount of Memory Work (Bible verse, catechism, etc.). I will share our new system soon. Again, little bits add up. Isaiah 28:10 says: “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.”
- Flash card Memory Work (You can use Phonogram Cards, Presidential cards, Math Cards, Art cards, History Cards etc. Maybe just one type of card a day.)
- Calendar/ Weather (Saxon Math includes this and flash cards with their curriculum)
Not all families cover this much material each day or in First Grade. Keep it simple, short and interactive in this season. You have short attention spans to work with. Think of the Library lady~ She sings a song, maybe uses a puppet with the song, reads three books and she’s done. Just a sweet, fun time. : )
If the 20 month old tends to run off and get into things, this might be a good time to train your little one to be in a high chair or booster seat next to you. Short times of containment can be a good thing if you are near. Chubby hands can color a paper taped to the high chair tray, eat cheerios, look at small cardboard books or play play-doh etc.
You may decide to do math, a reading lesson or read aloud during the nap time of the little ones. You will find, with prayer, what fits your family. And every homeschooling family is different, because every family is different.
Try to think of simple rewards for your memory work or other things you want to accomplish! It will give everyone something positive to look forward to. A sticker, a candy bar to eat on family night, an ice cream cone or Popsicle with daddy. You get the idea.
Are you still reading this long e-mail? If so, know that I am praying for you dear one. You truly can do all things through Christ who strengthens you (Phil. 4:13).
Photo: Hailey at 16 months~ her sweet, busy ways make her a blur in photos. Love it. : )