Tag Archive | mothers

Homeschool – Second Week Of January Overview

ImageI have had an incredibly busy last few weeks. We have been getting back into the hang of things with our homeschooling this week. It has been a very rocky start back after the holidays. Even though this is quite common with many children, especially seeing as my kids have been without a set routine for the past month or so, it isn’t any less frustrating.

At the beginning of the week I gave a small review quiz of the previous months work and they did not score a satisfactory enough mark for me. So we have taken this week to really review and revive their school routines in the process. I have also begun the Writing With Skills curriculum by Susan Bauer this week with my son. Its a bit sad that the eldest child is the one we all experiment on and practice our parenting skills with. I’m hoping if I like this writing curriculum then I shall incorporate it with my younger daughters. So far it is very good as it reminds me of the very basic skills, which I don’t think I have taught my son. I love the fact that it shows how other writers organize their work and gives practical tips on how to organize and summarize your own writing. It even includes extra tidbits that slip my mind when teaching my son about writing, such as superscripts and footnotes.

We have completed and reviewed our weather, air and water unit from last month and our nouns work. Therefore, I am happy now with their progress to begin our Solar Systems unit next week as well as learning about verbs. We are still going to be continuing our fractions work this week, as the multiplication and division of fractions has taken quite a few more lessons than I had planned. I have been reviewing different teaching methods in order to make this easier and will try a few more approaches to this next week.

I have been having a slight problem with my disciplining technique recently. I have said before that I have needed to update my techniques quite a lot as the kids have gotten used to them and end up arguing and disobeying them. Therefore, I really want to stick this one out but am at a loss as to how to approach this new development. I am currently disciplining by rewarding good behavior and ‘correcting / punishing’ bad behavior. This has been working great for a while with the kids eager to earn points and receive their rewards. However, recently they have become great negotiators. They have been asking me what the punishment is and deciding that its worth taking. As well as negotiating their rewards, saying they will obey as long as they get … I have not yet lost my temper which I am very pleased about and want to keep that way, but it ends up turning into a serious (and sometimes long) negotiation. Where I am convincing them that there is no choice in the matter you either complete what I have asked, whether schooling or chores, and as a result you will receive a reward. They are in turn attempting to convince me that the reward isn’t worthy of the task and I should therefore increase their rewards.

I am astounded by this. I honestly don’t understand what the difference was between my parenting and my parents’ parenting, however I would NEVER even consider talking back to them let alone negotiating rules. I don’t know how to overcome this current hiccup in their behavior. However, I do want to nip this in the bud before it gets worse. This technique has been working so far so I need to try to find a way to keep this reward and punishment system but perhaps include harsher punishments and sweeter rewards. This requires more studying and researching. I will need to go back and read more of Positive Discipline by Jane Nelson this week.

Please feel free to share your disciplining techniques and what has worked for you.

“One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.” 

Sigmund Freud

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Homeschool – First Week of January Overview

We have been ill this week but managed to get better by the weekend. Once our sicknesses were over we did a very well needed spring clean of the house and managed to organize all the places I always put to the bottom of my list of priorities. Therefore, we got rid of the germs and have prepared for the next weeks homeschooling. I have received the ‘Writing With Skill’ books by Susan Wise Bauer and have been preparing the lessons I need to add in our schedule this week. My kids are looking forward to beginning their schooling again, I’m sure kids secretly or in this case openly crave structure. They have been quite difficult when there is no structure and they are all free to do their own thing. This is usually when we need to expect the fights, screaming and tears. I managed to do a little shopping and get a few items I’ve been wanting to get for the house during the January sales. Its better late than never, right?

My eldest has Saturday school which gives him a chance to get the social benefits of interacting with other kids his age as well as learning through a school environment. He was very excited about his first day back after the holidays and has enjoyed himself there.

January’s homeschooling theme for us will be about the Solar System. This will be our new unit in Science and therefore we will begin learning and crafting to decorate our classroom for this theme. The kids have enjoyed school a lot more now that we have more of a visual classroom than a living room and are all around happier with homeschooling. Therefore, I am more motivated about teaching them and being innovative and creative to keep up their enthusiasm. Nobody said parenting or homeschooling is easy but its such an amazing experience which I can not even put into words. So, I am looking forward to going on this January journey of learning and teaching. I am just hoping that they appreciate this as they grow into well rounded individuals and I successfully fulfil my duties towards them as a mother!

“Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.” 

Rumi

Homeschooling, Errands and Chores

I have felt pretty dead on my feet today as I am overcoming a cold. Today has been one of those days where I would do anything for a nap. We have still somehow managed to complete everything I set out to complete in my planner, so its been pretty good. We have been continuing our Nouns and Fractions studies. Been working through textbooks and worksheets today. It’s pretty boring work but I want the kids to have that practice of classical teaching as well. We, as homeschoolers need to always be prepared for any tests or observations and for this the kids need to be capable of understanding and answering worksheets as well as the fun stuff.
We have been learning about Clouds today with our weather unit and have done the ‘cloud in a bottle’ experiment, teaching the kids about water vapor, hot and cold air. The kids also made a display using cotton wool to depict the different types of clouds and which height you would find them in the sky. I am hoping to reinforce the many vocabulary they learnt today throughout the week and see if they can remember the cloud names. We have also been completing the lapbook book reports. It has been a pretty productive day!
I was up pretty late last night tidying up the house, as my kids need all the supervision they can get during the day so I leave it for the evening. We do not watch T.V. except for pre selected documentaries, shows or movies (and that is just during the weekends). Which means I really don’t like to leave them to their own devices during the week, so I make sure that they are always occupied and I am usually with them. However, this leaves me with a whole bunch of chores I didn’t get done in the day, to be completed at night when the kids are in bed. I would like to have an early night but I have laundry, ironing, dishes, trash to take out, food to prepare for tomorrow’s dinner and lesson plans to tweak, yet all I can seem to do is dream of my bed.
I have given the kids some chores during the week, for example vacuum the stairs (as that’s the only carpeted area of my house), tidy their rooms, make their beds, set, clear and clean the table. With this they have reached their limit, anything more I add to this will disrupt the day with moaning and disciplining. These chores along with personal hygiene has worked far better for the week days, allowing more time for the kids to focus on their school work.  Although they have added chores on weekends I cannot seem to keep up with the day to day chores during the week, whilst getting enough sleep.
I would like to know if any mothers have a better solution to the household chores. How do you handle homeschooling as well as cleaning? Do you leave it for the evening like me or do you manage to fit it in and how?
“When you know better you do better.” 
Maya Angelou

Reflection On Character

ImageI’ve been working on character today with the kids and we were discussing about confidence and not to become someone we wouldn’t want to befriend. I have had a system this year of my kids earning rewards and receiving corrections for misbehaviour. Well today my son refused to complete one of his chores (cleaning his room – as usual) and I sat down with him and asked him how he felt at that moment, having had to sit in his room and lose his chance to earn a reward. Did he feel happy? Was he having fun? My usual approach would be to confiscate his most prized toy of the moment until the chore is complete (as we discuss and allocate chores in advance – so there’s no surprise) and in a raised voice reprimand him for his disobedience. However, this method of speaking and discussing was effective as he seemed to be reflecting on whether or not his misbehaviour was worth it. It got me thinking, is our behaviour as parents worth the results?

I am currently reading Positive Discipline by Jane Nelson. When I complete it I will write a review here, but I cannot read books such as these unless I have a pen and paper to take notes (and plenty of them), so you’ll need to be a little patient with me. However, I wanted to share with you that in the book Nelson puts a lot of emphasis on setting an example for your child. She speaks about how society has changed drastically, where the mother now no longer listens to or at least pretends to be obedient to the father. This in turn has caused children to see their mothers disrespect their fathers, and as a result the children lose respect for others and themselves. I have seen that some kids I know who have respect for others, usually have a mother who is subservient in some degree, towards their father and vice versa. I have always been a people pleaser so when I got married I got a lot of fulfilment and enjoyment from pleasing my husband regardless. I can see that my relationship towards my husband does have a positive effect on my kids. They know that there is a bit of a hierarchy with a ‘King and Queen’ of the Castle as well as them being respected and important as they are the ‘princes and princesses’.

It seems like a lot of responsibility to not only rear your child in a certain way but to always be that way yourself. We are constantly teaching as well as learning. I love Albert Einstein’s quote that ‘any fool can know. The point is to understand’. We need to embody the characters we are trying to instil in our children. I have realised that all of life is based on perception. Even if we do not have that character trait we are teaching within ourselves, we must perceive to have it. I don’t mean try to be someone you’re not but instead act as if you do have that certain quality and you will bring that improvement into your life. You are probably thinking to yourself that in theory it sounds simple yet in practice you couldn’t possibly pass this off. Well if you believe that this is such a monumental feat, so it shall be. However, if we learnt to accept and believe that we are blessed enough in our body and soul to be even given this opportunity, we wouldn’t squander it with worry or stress, rather embrace the challenge and enjoy the ride.

‘We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit’

Aristotle

The Versatile Blogger. Me?

ImageWell today has been a very blessed day. I have actually been pretty busy the last couple of days with the house, kids and studying for my driving theory test.  It’s a bit late but about time, I PASSED. (YAY!) Now I’ve just got to figure out a way to fit in some lessons and pass my practical test.

Anyway, I was having a good day when I saw that I received a nomination for a ‘Versatile Blogger Award’ on here. I’m really humbled and honored that donnasbookshelf actually even read my page let alone liked it enough to nominate me. Thank You! I’m very new to this whole thing and honestly didn’t even know there were blogging awards. I think it’s a great idea and pretty good incentive to continue, even though I already love this ‘blogging community’ and hope to continue blogging for a long time yet.

So According to the rules I must nominate 15 bloggers and say 7 things about myself.

I nominate the following bloggers:

I have really loved the ideas and inspiration I have found from the bloggers above. It is really comforting to know that we are all in the same boat and there are people generous enough to share their ideas and struggles through this life in order to help and encourage others. Keep up the great work!

Here are the seven things about myself:

I am an avid reader and somehow find time to either read self help, household, organizational or homeschooling books, and perhaps sneak in a historical romance or two.

I was a very active child. So my parents put me in Rainbows then Brownies then Girl Guides and I ended up in the Royal Air Force Cadets.

I was a member of a softball team for 5 years and Basketball team for 3.

I dream of backpacking across ANYWHERE and using all my survival skills and some.

I secretly dream of having loads more kids to rival the Duggars, buy my own island and live self sufficiently.

I am an enthusiastic DIY-er. I will try anything before hiring anyone.

My hobbies include sewing, crocheting and knitting but I never have much time to complete anything larger than a bag.

So I have had a really good day and so have my kids as I had to leave them with babysitters and have a day off of the homeschool. It’s been a fun day for them, playing games and making crafts all day.

‘Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift from God, which is why we call it the present’

Bil Keane

If My Children Were Not Homeschooled…

I came across this post http://thehomeschoolrevolution.wordpress.com/2013/12/04/join-the-homeschool-revolution/ and love the idea of and am eagerly awaiting Mr. Austin Pruitt’s book. I have never contemplated this ‘What if I never homeschooled my children’ scenario, so it has forced me to really contemplate the way my children’s lives could have gone. First of all I would just like to say that I hope when my son is older he will look back fondly on his homeschooling years just like Mr. Pruitt instead of hating me for not giving him the ‘normal’ childhood of others. I have seen other children of my son and daughters ages who do go to public school so I do have some way of comparing their lives, as the school those children go to would have been where I’d have sent mine.

The first drastic change I believe is my childrens’ innocence would be lost. I think its amazing that in this day and age I have somehow managed to keep my 10 year old son oblivious to ‘the birds and the bees’ whilst other kids his age are spreading immoral videos and pictures amongst each other. I do believe most of the people who are arguing against homeschool only think about the curriculum and education being taught at school and they forget that there are other kids there who their child is forced to be around for nearly half of every day. We don’t know exactly what is being taught or from whom. What I remember most from my school days are the trends, games, stories and useless facts shared between us students. Especially in todays world where every Tom, Dick and Harry has a phone or other internet device where ANYTHING is accessible.

Another main change would be that my child would probably become more materialistic. I’ve seen a number of kids complaining that they don’t have this video game or that gadget or even famously branded socks! My children still get excited using their pocket money at the local thrift store or charity shop. Another change would be that from my observations of my kids as they play with others at parks, I do believe that bullying could be a very realistic problem. I know many of the kids their age believe its normal to even talk to their own friends in a degrading manner or use profanity. Many public school children have the mentality instilled in them to ‘bully or be bullied’. I truly hope that my kids do not have to learn that lesson in life, especially at such a young age. I also believe that had my children attended public school, they would be very disobedient and disrespectful to their elders. I regularly take them to visit their grandparents and great-grandmother as well as doctors and dentists and am always commented on how well they behave with their elders, as it is not the norm for children their age nowadays. I’m sure this is due to the morals and values taught at home which they seem to neglect in public schools’ curriculum.

I have just highlighted a few changes that I can think of at the moment. However, this is a difficult thing to imagine as they could turn out to be the exception. The other kids that I have seen which attend public school may be better writers or mathematicians than my kids but I do believe that a persons character is more important. I feel confident in saying that regardless of how my children turn out, I have made the right decision for me and my family from what I know and have experienced. I just hope to do the best I can.

I would just like to point out that I can only comment on what I see around me and what I have experienced in my life. I was raised with a loving yet strict family and attended a private school. It was an exceptional school in todays standard as I never once witnessed or was involved in any bullying case. And respect, honor and integrity were a main part of our lives as students. The decision to homeschool was from my experiences of schools here in the country I later moved to. I spent a couple years in an all girls public school and was beyond appalled. I couldn’t believe that on my first day of public school a 15 year old girl was telling me that she had sex with a boy the night before and because he wasn’t any good she was going to dump him today. I was considered very odd to hold the view that we should abstain until marriage. To say that I was shocked is an understatement because in the first year I was there, there were three abortions of girls aged between 13 and 15 (and was equally astounded that according to the laws here they could hide this from their parents) as well as a girl on girl rape case involving 15 year old students. Therefore, I can only judge and make decisions for my family from where I live and what I believe is best.

“The home is the first and most effective place to learn the lessons of life: truth, honor, virtue, self control, the value of education, honest work, and the purpose and privilege of life. Nothing can take the place of home in rearing and teaching children, and no other success can compensate for failure in the home.” 

David O. McKay