Thursday, February 13, 2014

Distractions, Motivation, & Changes

I've heard many homeschooling parents want to quit at some point in November and February.  While I did not have those feelings this fall- I have feelings of failure, discouragement, and apathy in full force the past couple of weeks.  Whether the never ending snow storms and arctic temperatures, rounds of stomach flu and colds, or never ending transitions of childhood development have anything to do with it, I am not sure.  What I do know is that I have allowed distractions and the lack of motivation to deter my desire for the "why" of homeschooling to become less important than the "how's".

We have undergone many curriculum changes over the course of 6 weeks.  I began writing our own reading/writing curriculum based on the Samantha series from American girl which has been much better than any other reading we've done and has replaced the 'bust' of a program in WriteShop.  We began All About Spelling in early January and are doing quite well with it.  Izzy seems to be better at transferring spelling knowledge to her writing and her phonics understanding and ability to 'sound words out' has dramatically improved.  We are wrapping up CLE math 205 light unit and will be working through Horizons for awhile for a change of pace.  We started cursive handwriting.

In all of this curriculum change, our schedule has been uprooted and required changes that I'm still trying to catch up with.  Lucy, 14 months, has transitioned to 1 nap a day and is quite the explorer and destroyer when awake.  Therefore, most of our teacher intensive activities have to happen between 12:30 and 3:00 pm.  This is Izzy's least favorite time to do school.  I currently work for my husband 2 afternoons a week, so this has forced school to happen in the mornings while juggling a four year old and a very busy toddler.  At the point of exhaustion and exasperation I fight to just get the 'basics' done which has led to very little in the fun department (like art, experiments, etc).  And, embarrassingly, this has led to Bible being put not he back burner.  I wanted Bible lessons to be our priority- but the girls love doing crafts to go along with each lesson and I just don't know how to fit it all in.  Liliana has had to turn to the iPad to do learning games with her as I desperately seek time to teach Izzy new concepts.

All of these distractions and changes have caused Izzy's motivation (and my own I think) to slip, stating for the first time since we started this journey that she wants to return to public school.

My confidence is gone.  My enthusiasm dwindling.  And my intention for intentional influence on the lives of my girls seems to have evaporated.  But, I am not giving up.  With God's help we will work through this bump in the road and figure out what is best for our family, for the time being.  Every season of life will change the look of how we do school- I just need to keep the "why" as the filter for each decision.

I am hoping that verbalizing these frustrations and desires will help me set goals anew and finish the year strong.  Couple that with fresh new curriculum and perhaps our motivations will change and distractions minimized.

Some days look like this....
While others play out like this.