Tuesday, October 11, 2011

specific challenges

We really are enjoying homeschool. However there are some things that present specific challenges. One is scheduling. I really somehow thought we would have a good portion of free time.

I could not have been more wrong. There are so many things to fill up our time, good things, worthwhile things, things that contribute to his overall education. However, if I just full up our time with added in items I think he would have a very scattered education. So instead we are trying to really focus on our curriculum and only add in relevant or needed activities. This does not always work. He is taking band and to me that is part of our curriculum not just an add in, but that is our music for now. I will not be adding more for the time being.

We are taking one trip this week that is worthwhile , but does not fit into what we are learning right now. This will take one day away from our focus but it is worth it, and it will fit in nicely with General Science that we will be learning this year. We are going to a very nice aquarium.

For right now we do not have a PE class. Instead we meet a group at the park and the kids play. Yes the really play. I love that. They also play with sticks. He is developing so well and playing is still part of that. When the weather changes and it is too cold to just play outside he will be taking a homeschool PE class. This will give him some social time and he will learn the basics of many sports.

He also participates in a Lego Robotics team. This happens in the evenings and is an extra it is one night a week. Steve usually takes him and this gives me a little down time. On Fridays my parents have him in the afternoon my dad works on photography with him and my mom does Spanish. These are the things we have added to the normal curriculum that we do. Since we have these add ins we have to be careful not to fill up our daytime schedule any more than this. That means sometimes saying no to even great opportunities.

Another challenge that we have is me. I really want him to be back on grade level as far as Math goes. I yet I know that at this time he does not have the foundation he needs to move on. So we are building that foundation. I want to move faster so that I can have him in Algebra for next year. That is not going to happen. There are 4 more books before we even get to PreAlgebra. He is breezing through all the lessons now but there is no way we will get all the way through the 4 books then do PreAlgebra to be ready for Algebra next fall. I have to overcome myself and know that it is okay. He should be able to start PreAlgebra at some point next school year. My hope is then that he can do Algebra his Freshman year.

This is hard to accept. I want to get things done now. I want him to catch up right off the bat. But that would not be good for him. I need to build the foundation so that when new skills are added they do not topple him. At school they just kept adding new skills even if the understanding was not there. Things will not be that way at home. I am going to put his needs first and take the time to build the strong math foundation he needs. We will move on as he is ready. I just need to swallow my pride and say where we are is okay. Where we are going is okay. It is all okay.

I think that the way I always question myself like am I a good mom and how can I be better has carried over into homeschooling. This can be okay if I remember that success is not just what other kids are doing or where they are, instead success is helping my son reach his potential. We can take our time getting there but my goals and the questions I ask myself should be relevant to that.

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