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I am so frustrated & thinking about quitting


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  #1  
March 29th, 2011, 12:03 PM
TaraJo29's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I wanted to homeschool since before we had kids, and I still would really like to do it ideally, but I feel like I am going to lose it. I cry all the time when attempting to get school done and we often don't make it through whatever I have planned before a) I bust into tears, b) one of the kids busts into tears, or c) I have other things I just have to do (appointments, the 2 yo needing attention, etc). I feel like a big fat failure and I would be so embarrassed to tell my family & friends that we are quitting, if we do... (I'm sure they would think I was a big fat failure, and some of them would think "told ya"). But at the same time, I want to enjoy my kids, not feel like yelling at them every day.

I think my main problems are that 1) I had my kids way too close together for planning on homeschooling. I didn't realize what a big deal that would be later... 2) I am interrupted constantly from my 2 yo and 4 yo, 3) being home and trying to have the kids learn seems hard to me when there are ALWAYS distractions... the other kids, a toy nearby, a You Tube video they can hear DH watching while I'm trying to explain something to them... It drives me MAD.

I am also really mad at my DH who has agreed literally about 10 times to take over a subject or 2, and also says he will watch the younger two kids while I am trying to teach the 6 yo & 7 yo. He said he would even work with my 4 yo daughter and read her stories, do ABC's, help her write her name, and that kind of thing while I'm working with the older boys. But he NEVER does. Today he literally was sleeping in the recliner the whole time I was trying to help both boys with different things while my 2 yo was throwing my laundry all over the floor, my 4 yo was in the freezer sneaking her 3rd ice cream sandwich, etc. I love him, but I just look at him and want to throw something at him b/c he doesn't seem to care about how hard it is for me to teach the boys AND watch what the younger 2 are doing. And, of course, I'm pregnant, and I can't wait to see my Hannah, but when I have a newborn (in a matter of a week or 2) homeschooling is going to be all the harder. I just don't see how I can do this by myself. And I'm sure my boys sense how frustrated I get trying to deal with it all at the same time (and sometimes they witness me start bawling, so that's a big tip-off)...

To boot, I have one car which DH takes to work so we can't get out and go to activities much with the kids b/c of that. So we ARE going to be (or already are) the unsocialized homeschoolers. I feel bad that my kids only have a few friends from another family who come over sometimes. They also met a couple kids next door (but they are a tad older). But I just feel like my boys would LOVE gym class with the other kids at school, and LOVE art class with the other kids, and it makes me feel bad.

I never ever thought I would say it, let alone do it, but I'm thinking about putting the kids in a public or private school. When I say it DH thinks I'm being a quitter or that I'm exaggerating, but he's the one sleeping in the recliner while I'm tearing my hair out. I just wonder if I would be more sane and the boys would be happier if they were in school. I feel like such a failure, and I feel like the freak who can't make it work b/c everyone else seems so happy with homeschooling.

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  #2  
March 29th, 2011, 03:00 PM
Frackel's Avatar DOh!
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I apologize in advance as this is going to be a very lengthy reply.

I understand your frustrations completely. Although we don't have all the same situations here, it can be overwhelming at times. I'll try to give my best advice though.

Your Dh and you need to sit down and talk, without distractions,(ie after the kids are in bed, or if you can get a night out alone-I know really hard to do). I know firsthand how hard it is to accomplish things in a household with another grown adult merely feet away who refuses to help. It's SOOO frustrating. If he's not willing to talk to you about it, then start making him more self sufficient. By that I mean, don't do things you'd normally do for him. I don't personally care if a SO works all day long 7 days a week, they *are still part of the family and hold some responsibility for keeping things going. Period. I don't hold the opinion that the stay at home parent is in charge of all things kid/household related. Granted, that's the position *I* have always been forced to be in... I don't agree it's right at all. It angers me actually, and I don't think you really want to know what I have to say about it, lol. It wouldn't be nice. But he needs to understand your needs as a mom, as his wife, as a family member, as the primary caregiver, etc.. etc.. You NEED his support, even if you have to browbeat him to get him to understand that you need it. Sometimes there just isn't a nice way to say "hey, pay attention, I NEED your help". I do think you should try all nice ways first, but if they aren't working.. resort to whatever will get his attention. That probably sounds worse than I mean for it to sound, lol. For example when my children's father started being a...not nice person, I stopped cooking for him, I stopped doing his laundry, I stopped paying him any iota of attention. It took a long while to get there, but eventually, I cracked and got to the point of doing absolutely nothing for him and barely speaking to him. Now I sometimes wonder why I didn't crack sooner, to be honest. He still couldn't care less, but then he wasn't all too interested in a relationship with any of us anyway. I doubt your hubby is the same as he was/is. So it's likely that giving him less of yourself, will open his eyes to how much you need him to give more of himself to you, and your family. I think most non-attentive(even if they think they are well meaning) parents need a swift kick in the rump from time to time, and that usually does it. So sit down with him, try to have a heart to heart, if it doesn't work, explain yourself once more, and then slowly start devoting more time and more of yourself to your kids and yourself. He'll get the hint eventually.

Take a break. This is my best advice. It's not important to work at a set time every day. It's not important to have an hour, two hours, whatever of "school" everyday. It's not important *when you teach/learn, just that you do. You can do some learning here and there, and take lots of breaks. You can do learning on weekends, when littles are in bed(if your older ones don't have the same bedtime, this works out nicely). The house doesn't have to be 100% spic and span, imo. I know this is a big one for some folks, they feel as if they need to do all the cleaning, child raising, teaching and there are not enough hours in the day to do it all. So I say, if laundry has to wait a day, it waits. If the floor doesn't get swept one day, it won't kill me. I'm not saying the house gets "dirty" or anything, just saying that kids live here and you can tell the moment you walk in, lol. Everyone loves a clean house, but no one will suffer if it goes a day without being 100% white glove clean Take every opportunity to turn each and every thing you can possibly find, into a learning experience. Cooking dinner? Perfect time for language arts, math, science, health.. you get the picture. In the car on your way somewhere? Ask questions.. see who can answer.(you could easily make a game of it, and sometimes I have seen this really help when car rides get stressful-hey, with kids, you never know, lol).
But taking a day, a few days, a week or whatever off from learning can be a nice refresher for everyone. I honestly think sitting down with your kids and asking them what THEY want to learn, might help too. I know it's helped us a lot. It's really helping with Leo's math issues too. We're sort of taking a Leo-lead approach to this, because everything else I've tried, we've not been so successful with. It's working pretty well. We took a trip to the Dollar Tree recently, and I let him go a little wild down the school isle(well the girls too) and pick out some stuff they think would be helpful. He picked up some more manipulatives, few books and a bunch of other stuff. Granted we didn't *need any of it, but it made him feel pretty good and it got the gears in his head rolling. "How will I use this".."what can I do with this", you know those sort of thoughts. Now when we do math, he does one thing I want him to do, and he gets to pick anything else he does for math that day.(what I choose almost always goes with whatever it is he picked-today we did fractions so I had a worksheet for him to do and he worked with manipulatives, clay, and this toy pizza thing we have-which is what spawned this idea in his head to begin with).
Involve your younger two in the learning. This is what I do when kiddos are just...being kids, lol. Sometimes it's so hard to get stuff done with distractions. But children are never too young to start learning, imo. Even if what you are doing is not at their level. If you really need to sit down with your older one(s), sit the younger one(s) down too. Give them a page to color, some dough to work with, toys at the table, a book to "read", manipulatives to play with, rice container with various treasures hidden, arts and crafts, etc.. You can create a special box/container that has things they ONLY get to play with during "school" time. They'll quickly learn that when it's time for school they get a treat too, even kiddos with super short attention spans, or behavior issues. If you really need to stop during a lesson, it's a good time to take a break most likely, so give your child(ren) a break at that time too. You can tend to what you need to do and get back to the lesson or you could even just push the lesson back until another point in the day when things aren't hectic. I know, hard to find non hectic times some days. If your younger ones take a nap at all, that's a really great time for learning. It can be hard to chase a toddler while trying to teach the others. It would be a good time to set the older kids up with a self teaching task(seat work, silent reading, worksheets, art, music, etc..) and if the 4 yr old doesn't nap you could sit down with her and do her work for the day. Videos sometimes help distract younger ones while older ones are learning. I sometimes have my niece here during the week too and she is a lil spitfire, lol. She's 15 months and most definitely a lil wild child. She makes learning really hard. Sometimes I have to use one of the girls to help distract her while I work with the other two kiddos. And then we switch. Thankfully my oldest is pretty independent in most of her work. So I can set aside times to help her where she needs it, but for the most part she does her own thing.

Give yourself a pat on the back for even wanting to do this. It's not always easy, it can be really challenging, tiring, but in the end, very rewarding(imo anyway). It's not nearly as difficult to send your child(ren) off to someone else for a portion of the day. Not knocking it, we've done it, lol. Just saying being at home with them while teaching them is a big thing and you deserve kudos for wanting to and trying to. If things don't work out, don't beat yourself up. It happens, and not every family, child, parent is meant to homeschool. That's really just the way it is. It's not ideal for everyone. It never hurts to try. It also doesn't hurt to admit that it's just not going to work. It doesn't matter *why it doesn't work, at least I don't think so. It just doesn't sometimes.
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  #3  
March 29th, 2011, 03:03 PM
BensMom's Avatar Ephesians 4:29
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Relax.

First, why is he even home while you're trying to teach the kids? What sort of hours does he work?

Second, your hormones are wacky right now because you're preparing for a newborn, but it's going to get much worse before it gets better. You'll probably have PPD, and that will cloud your judgement. You'll be tired, irritable, and depressed soon, so prepare yourself for that. You know RIGHT NOW that you want to homeschool, right? Picture yourself 5 years from now... 10 years from now ... what sort of life do you see for yourself then? Do you see yourself out working while all of the kids are in PS? Do you see yourself at home teaching the kids? Do you see your dh on a higher rung of the ladder able to pay for 2 cars rather than just one? You have to make up your mind RIGHT NOW to plow through the next 6 months while your hormones are crazy and your body is completely exhausted. There's light at the end of the tunnel. Yes, it'll get harder for a while, but you can do it, and you'll be SO proud of yourself when you do.

Third. Take a break. Yes, that means YOU take a break, not the kids. You'll be a new mommy all over again very soon, so you need to take care of yourself. Getting stressed out over school is only going to raise your blood pressure, and that's not good for the baby. If the kids are at a point where they can stop and catch up next year, you should quit and start back in August when you've gotten into a routine and figured out the baby's sleep schedule. If they can't quit (either they're not ready or the law won't allow it), switch to something that has less mommy-time involved like Time4Learning.

I can't remember where everyone's birthdays fall. How old will everyone be in August? What grades will you be doing? Think about what you'll be able to combine, what you can't combine, and what simply isn't necessary at this point. Think about a curriculum that allows all the children to be involved, even at the preschool level. What about something like Five in a Row or Weaver?

Vent all you want. It's good to get it off your chest, and it's good to get some brainstorming from the rest of us. I know what it's like to be overwhelmed and not getting help when you need it. I know what it's like to quit everything you love because you have PPD. Done that. You'll get through it, and you'll come out stronger on the other side. You'll be that homeschooler in 10 years who's giving advice to new moms with a house full of little ones.
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  #4  
March 29th, 2011, 05:01 PM
TaraJo29's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Originally Posted by BensMom View Post
You'll get through it, and you'll come out stronger on the other side. You'll be that homeschooler in 10 years who's giving advice to new moms with a house full of little ones.
This made me cry my eyes out. I wish it were true, but I don't know anymore. I always said I would never send my kids to PS or private and I pictured that I would homeschool them throughout hs. I know people who have and I know I am perfectly capable... if I didn't have toddlers & babies in the house. I just feel like I cannot take care of the little ones and teach the older ones at the same time. I tell DH to picture a classroom in PS where everyone is sitting at their desk and waiting to learn and the teacher is explaining something on the blackboard. Meanwhile, there is a toddler crying because she fell down, or nagging for more "school work" and 2 yo standing on top of a desk pretending he's spiderman. It's pure chaos.

I appreciate the advice to try to keep the little ones occuppied during school time but it just does not work in my experience. The only time I can get anything done is if the little ones are watching a movie and I don't like to park them in front of 2 movies a day (1 in the morning while I'm teaching the other kids, and 1 when I need a nap every afternoon). Plus, it only provides an hour and a half of "babysitting."

Oh, DH is home in the a.m. b/c he works 2nd shift. ...which COULD be great b/c he is HERE while I'm trying to teach the boys so he could totally watch the younger 2 and I shouldn't have to worry a thing about what they are doing. We have had this conversation so many times and he agrees to help, but it's a different story when it comes to saying, "OK, I'm watching Noelle & Joel... go do your thing until lunch time. Don't worry about it." My problem would be SOLVED if he would do that, but I've come to the point today where I'm asking how long am I going to kid myself that he is going to do it someday? How long am I going to let myself go crazy b/c I'm trying to do EVERYTHING myself? I wonder if I just need to accept now that if I want to homeschool, DH is not helping and it's going to be 100% me.

And what's even more infuriating is that DH will complain sometimes about how the kids are doing (although sometimes it's in regard to something that they actually ARE doing well with b/c he doesn't have a clue). And he has the "homeschoolers should out-score, and out-do the public schoolers" attitude which I've pretty much abandoned. Yeah, they usually do and that's great, but I'm not into the HS pride (I'm struggling, after all!) and I will be happy if I can just get done what I want to get done every day WITHOUT crying or making one of the boys cry... or thinking I had a really productive time with the boys only to realize there is marker all over one of my walls.

I must make it sound like I have a bunch of little monsters running around, but honestly people tell me that my kids are well-behaved. We take them to church and I never take anyone out, we can't go to Denny's without someone telling me the kids are so good, etc, BUT obviously my 2 yo is still 2 and still needs to be watched like a hawk. Trying to get him to listen to a story with the other kids or color for any amount of time, etc, just isn't happening. There is no totally baby-proof room in the house b/c our house is pretty small so there is something he can get into in any room even if I gate him in there so he isn't bothering "us".

Assuming DH isn't going to help at all, the only last-ditch effort I can think of that is a dramatic change (b/c obviously one is needed) is maybe, like BensMom said, Time4Learning or something computer-based. That is not the way I wanted to homeschool; I'd rather spend uninterrupted quality time with my boys teaching them, but since apparently that can't happen right now, they still need to learn. My boys will be in 2nd & 3rd grade next year, though, and I don't know if they have that sort of thing for kids that young. I also only have 1 computer, so I don't know how that would work for 2 boys in different grades...

Anyway, thanks for listening to my sob story. I really think I could do a great job if I could think straight without getting interrupted and worrying about the little ones. I just cannot seem to manage that. I have also always been someone who hates chaos. So I can't handle just letting the little ones destroy the house while I teach the boys and then clean it up later, and I can't handle just teaching over the noise either. I need peace.

Oh, and to answer BensMom's other questions... where do I see myself later: Well, I always pictured HSing throughout hs, like I said. I didn't really plan on working (and have no desire to) b/c I figured I would be busy with that for the next 20 yrs! And THEN I am certainly taking a break, not going to work!! But now I am considering what life would be like if I sent the kids to the local Catholic school. I would only have the smallest 2 at home and I feel like I could breathe again, to be honest. I was thinking about what it would be like to just help with homework and supplement what they are learning, rather than worrying about the WHOLE shebang. I also wonder, like I said, if my kids would really like going to school with the other kids . Sometimes I feel like they are deprived of that aspect. But there are major cons, too... what the other kids might "teach" them that I never wanted my kids to hear, possibly getting picked on, feeling self-conscious about not understanding immediately when it seems everyone else gets it, peer pressure, worrying about being "cool," sex ed, bad religious / relativistic indoctrination (all the reasons I never wanted to send my kids to school!). It is definitely a mixed bag but I'm starting to wonder if I should just try to make the best of Catholic school and monitor what they are learning, etc, so that I don't feel like jumping out the window with homeschooling... AND so they don't get behind academically!

In August DS 1 will be 8, and DS 2 will be almost 7. My daughter can be incorporated into school soon, but she obviously has to do much different preschool stuff and requires constantly telling her "what the words say," giving her another page if she runs out, giving her the next thing to do, answering a question, etc. I try to tell her to raise her hand and that helps, but then she has her paw in the air waving it around for 2 minutes straight until I feel like saying "WHAAAAT?!" lol

And, unfortunately, we can't really take a break in NY State b/c I have to fill out quarterly reports, etc. If I did take a big break I would have to lie through my teeth about what I accomplished. I've already taken so many "breaks" (unintended) b/c I have to go to my OB twice a week now b/c I have gestational diabetes, and I quit school really early so often b/c I'm getting so upset I say "forget it." So I have probably taken too many breaks! DH also comments on this, but yet I know he must hear me in the bathroom crying sometimes and I've told him how upset I get about trying to teach the boys and being so interrupted and distracted... let alone the problems that are normally involved with teaching and getting a child to understand (keeping their attention, dealing with attitude problems, "not trying," or what have you).

Sorry that was SO windy. I am definitely willing to try to do something super drastically different that may help me get through this period of babies/toddlers in the house while HSing, but I don't really know what except the computer-based curriculum possibility. If you guys know anything about those, I could look into them for next year.

Sorry to be such a rain cloud.
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  #5  
March 29th, 2011, 07:28 PM
BensMom's Avatar Ephesians 4:29
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Have you tried "Tot Boxes" yet? If not, I would try to get something like that in place quickly (before the baby comes), so #3 will have something VERY specific to do while you're HS'ing #1 and #2 (and probably feeding the baby at the same time).

There's nothing wrong, IMHO, with TV, either. My little guy likes to watch Leapfrog, for example. If he watches one 30 minute reading DVD, one 30 minute math DVD, and one 30 minute science show on PBS (like Sid the Science Kid or Cat in the Hat), that gives me 1.5 hours of almost completely uninterrupted time to work with Ben, AND it's not any worse than using a computer based system, a DVD based system, etc. He's learning, he's entertained, he's out of the way, and he's not rotting his brain. He gets PLEEEEEEEEEEEEENTY of attention and playtime throughout the day. He gets to do science with us, he does HWT and ETC with me once in a while, he does coloring, he does lots of board books, etc., etc., but he's out of the way while I'm working with Ben.

Another thing to consider... when Ben was that age, I was working full time from home, so he was watching Disney DVDs all. day. long. He had 4-5 of them completely memorized. Know what? That didn't rot his brain, either. He's doing just fine, and in fact, I think that's the very reason he has a longer attention span than most kids his age.

A 2 year old is old enough to understand what "taking turns" means. Sometimes I have to tell Daniel it's not his turn to play with mommy right now. Sometimes I get a typical 2 year old tantrum, and sometimes I get a happy little "ok, mommy!" moment. You do what you have to do. Kids adjust.

I know exactly what would happen if I sent Ben to PS. I know, because I've seen what happened at preschool, I've seen the bad habits he picks up in monthly group science classes, and I've even seen some things he's picked up from kids in his *gasp* Bible class! It's very obvious which kids in his class have been primarily at home and which have been primarily in a group setting. I don't want that kind of behavior/attitude in my house! It took a few months to break Ben's habits after dh sent him to preschool (against my will). I can only imagine how much harder it would be the older he gets (he was 2 at the time).
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  #6  
March 29th, 2011, 10:24 PM
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I know that feeling all to well of giving up, I only have one so take my advice at face value. Can DD and DS go to early head-start, head-start? Make a schedule for everyone including what subjects DH is willing to do and at what time he's willing do it. Then let go of that subject or those subject. Simplify as much as possible with as little seat work as possible. What curriculum are you using? If you use time4learning use it to ease your stress, times when one of the kids are having an off day, ease home school requirements, and reporting. What things do you kids like to do for fun? Create a box of educational videos, matching games, mess free art supplies only to come out when the other kids are doing seat work. Try to have as many subjects read a louds as possible.

You need some time to yourself even if it's after the kids bedtime just to decompress. I think being isolated from others is a big issue. Possibly find a home school group and let them know of your transportation issue or hopefully it's during your DH's off time. Cub scouts maybe an opinion for your boys or some activity with other home schoolers in the morning. Your kids are still young enough to go to story time at the library or have your DH take your younger kids to the library story time. So like I said take my advice at face value and I'll post anything else I can think of.
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  #7  
March 30th, 2011, 08:16 AM
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I don't have any advice because I don't have enough experience. I would encourage you though (ok, maybe this isn't *that* encouraging) but from what I've seen around on forums, there are a lot more homeschooling moms in similar circumstances with little ones than you realize. Very few people seem to be willing to just volunteer randomly that they're not getting work done and don't know what to do about it - at least not until someone else says it first. Nobody wants to appear out of control or like they're failing because they have critics all around them just like you. So, don't be thinking you're alone in this.
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  #8  
March 30th, 2011, 08:36 AM
in_mommy's Avatar I am just me
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(((HUGS))) I have so felt your frustration as well and ready to throw in the towel. I would guess a lot of us have felt that way at one time or another. DH who lays around and offers no help, the kids do want to listen and the younger one constantly wanting something in the middle of it all.
Take a deep breath and relax. Have you talked to him about how you are feeling? What about taking the younger 2 in to him where ever is at in the house and shut the door behind you and let him deal with them as long as he can before he has to leave. Then you will have some peace to do school. You can do like Chrystal suggested with some education DVD's/PBS and/or the special Tot box for school time.
How much stuff are you trying to fit into a day? Is what you are trying to do at the right level for them? Do the younger ones take naps where you could try doing some school time while they are napping or having quiet time?
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  #9  
March 30th, 2011, 09:39 AM
TaraJo29's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by in_mommy View Post
(((HUGS))) I have so felt your frustration as well and ready to throw in the towel. I would guess a lot of us have felt that way at one time or another. DH who lays around and offers no help, the kids do want to listen and the younger one constantly wanting something in the middle of it all.
Take a deep breath and relax. Have you talked to him about how you are feeling? What about taking the younger 2 in to him where ever is at in the house and shut the door behind you and let him deal with them as long as he can before he has to leave. Then you will have some peace to do school. You can do like Chrystal suggested with some education DVD's/PBS and/or the special Tot box for school time.
How much stuff are you trying to fit into a day? Is what you are trying to do at the right level for them? Do the younger ones take naps where you could try doing some school time while they are napping or having quiet time?
I've talked to him 100 times about all this. He just doesn't do anything. He said this morning, "OK, I'll take them to the library." But who wants to takes the little ones to the library every single day? That's not necessary. I told him he's always all or nothing. Either he says he will take them to the library every day (which he won't - he's said that several times and they haven't gone once), or he will do nothing. I said ALL HE HAS TO DO is sit in the living room and read books to the kids, or read a book himself and just WATCH what they are doing and make sure they don't come in the room where I am and bug me... That's ALL. But he won't do it. First of all, he doesn't get up before 10 or 11 at earliest b/c he stays up till 4:30 am (literally). Then he takes a shower, putts around, anything but watching the kids.

I'm not trying to fit that much into the day I don't think. 1 math sheet, 2 spelling pages, a few pages read-aloud of Astronomy book, 2 map skills pages (which are pretty simple), and maybe 1 section of our History book (read-aloud). I switch those up with other subjects like H.W., Bible, Grammar, writing, phonics, so we don't do a ton of stuff in one day. And I always have the kids read 1 story from a reader book themselves.

Also, the computer is in the school room where all our supplies/books are and where we usually sit and do school. We don't have a TV so we have to put movies on the computer. So that's why I can't have the little ones watch a movie at the same time I'm doing school unless I take all my books and stuff in the living room. But someone still has to be watching them in the school room b/c if the 2 yo stops watching the movie he could get into all sorts of things and get hurt (e.g. he could climb up a bookshelf). So even if I have them watch a movie they still need to be watched. We are eventually going to get a TV in our living room. I wish we had the money now and then they could sit out there and be occupied while I have the school room.

Yesterday I actually called the local Catholic school and left a message for her to call me back about tuition, etc. I told her we were just in the "curiosity stage." Well, she called back today and my husband answered the phone and had some looks for me while he handed me the phone. I asked her a ton of questions and she was very nice and answered them all, then some. Tuition is more doable than I thought. It would be about 8,000 total per year to send both my boys there (which is nothing to sneeze at) but then since we will eventually have 5 kids in school, she said that we would only pay 2 tuitions and the rest would be free except for the registration fee which is only a few hundred bucks!! So we would get 3 free tuitions! Not too shabby. Anyway, DH was shocked that I called them and was apparently that serious about possibly sending them to school. I told him about the info for the school and I told him again that if he would watch the kids or help me figure out something so I have uninterrupted time with the boys to teach them, the problem would be solved. I told him again that ALL he has to do is watch Noelle & Joel and not fall asleep, but I said that he just won't do it so this is the last year I'm dealing with this madness. I said either he has to watch them so I can have peace, or the boys need to go to school. He said he is leery about the kids picking up other people's morals. I understand that, but I also don't want them to have great morals and not know how to freakin read well.

And my boys are constantly whining like babies about doing their school work, for a while now. So I have to deal with that, too. They ask to go out and play at 10 am or "have a break" after we did ONE math sheet, and think it's terrible injustice when I say no. Then when I try to have them read something, if they are in that whiny mood, they read terribly b/c they are upset/distracted/not trying real hard. That's when I just feel like it's all pointless and I'm going to lose it.

Today we got done map skills, math, and they each read 1 reader before I started crying. And you should have seen what an effort it was to get that done btw the 2 yo crawling in my lap (my hs room isn't really usable for school right now b/c we are having work done on the house), telling one of the boys to "get back here" (one of them will just take off and raid the fridge while I'm distracted with listening to the other read, or what have you), etc... I wish I had a video tape of it so you could see what I'm talking about.

Anyway, we'll have to see what DH says later about either sending the kids to school or what's going to change around here. It's just so absurd to me b/c usually he's home and all he has to do is watch his own kids for a while to give me a big break. I feel like he doesn't care about ME enough to do it.

BTW, my 2 yo doesn't usually take a nap until maybe after dinner, if then. So that's pretty late for me to get doing school b/c usually I'm pooped by then. My 4 yo doesn't really need a nap anymore.
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  #10  
March 30th, 2011, 10:09 AM
BensMom's Avatar Ephesians 4:29
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What does "2nd shift" mean? When exactly is he gone? This will take some time, frustration, and planning, but I think the entire family should shift their sleep schedules to match his. Everyone should get up at 10-11 a.m., and then the school work should be done in the "shifted afternoon" (which means evening) while the little ones are napping. Everyone should go to bed much later than they are now.

I'm not sure where you live exactly... do you have the option of using public transportation? I remember not having anything at all like that as a kid in a small town, but I've gotten spoiled living in a big city. Around here, not having a car isn't really much of an excuse. In a small town, though, it's debilitating.
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  #11  
March 30th, 2011, 12:01 PM
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I don't want to say exactly when he works b/c I'm paranoid like that, this being a public forum and all. But he is home in time that he could go to bed when I do and get up at a normal hour. The reason he sleeps so late is b/c he is up surfing the net or playing video games until 4 a.m. He could totally just go to bed earlier (and should - I think it's a little juvenile to stay up super late every night and sleep in really late, personally). The whole family has less time with him before he goes to work b/c of this, too, which I also find annoying. He is a "night person" which I understand but, come on. You have to draw the line somewhere and say, "It's 1 a.m... or 2 a.m. and I don't want to sleep half the day tomorrow, so I better get to bed."

I don't know that there is public transportation here. We live in a small town.

We'll see what dh says tomorrow about the private school vs. him helping/something changing. I am also looking at other curriculum that maybe the boys won't whine about as much and/or will take less "mommy time." There is SO much out there it's hard to know where to start, though.
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  #12  
March 31st, 2011, 09:33 AM
Tofu Bacon
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What about a family-based curriculum that is designed to teach different age groups at the same time, like Weaver or Konos, for example? This way the little one is actively-involved as much as possible and you're not constantly having to stop and find ways to occupy him.
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  #13  
March 31st, 2011, 04:30 PM
TaraJo29's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Originally Posted by Tofu Bacon View Post
What about a family-based curriculum that is designed to teach different age groups at the same time, like Weaver or Konos, for example? This way the little one is actively-involved as much as possible and you're not constantly having to stop and find ways to occupy him.
That seems like a good idea, though I don't really get how it would work. Not sure how I would work on reading with the boys and include all of the kids... or math... or spelling... or writing? I will look it up and see what I think, though.
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  #14  
April 3rd, 2011, 02:44 PM
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I just wanted to add that we also use T4L and my kids love it! and honestly if I hadn't found it we might not have made it this far in our homeschooling journey...
BTW we are now again a one computer family with 2 age levels.. What I do is have the youngest do his in the a.m and my oldest in the afternoon
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  #15  
April 4th, 2011, 05:05 PM
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I can say I have been in your shoes.. I have 4 kids, three of whom are very close in age ( 3 in 3.5 years).. my husband worked 2nd shift for 2 years of our homeschooling.

Personally i think you have made up your mind.,.your done homeschooling. It's ok to be done..your more of a failure if you continue when you don't want to.

There have been some great suggestions here.. most of which you say you can't do.. hence why I say your mind is already made up.

My youngest child is a hand full and he lovessss to interupt school.. it's a challenge no doubt. I have had to change things up, start sooner, do night school whatever to stay on the path I know we are supposed to be on.

When my DH was on 2ns shift I gave him little choice.. he kept the younger kids out of our hair..period.. he worked til 11pm and there was zero reason for him to be absent from our lives all day.Some days he would sway from this and I would have to remind hm that these kids were HIS to and we made this decision to HS an dhe had to be useful..it's NOT help.. it's parenting.

Now he's on days and is gone all day.. so I am on my own.. but we tweaked,and it works.. once it doesn't work then my kids will go to school..

Homeschooling is wicked hard.. parenting is hard. It sounds like your in both pretty much alone.
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  #16  
April 4th, 2011, 06:27 PM
BensMom's Avatar Ephesians 4:29
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Originally Posted by JustAKrazymom View Post
.. most of which you say you can't do.. hence why I say your mind is already made up.
I was thinking the same thing. It's not a forever choice, so if you decide to send them to school, you can always change your mind later. The older they get, the easier it'll be to keep everyone rounded up. Two is a very difficult age no matter what you have going on ... phone calls, home schooling, or even going to the bathroom uninterrupted.
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  #17  
April 6th, 2011, 07:26 AM
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Yeah I am seriously considering sending them to catholic school, but my mind is not made up for sure. I just know that I am serious that if a few last ditch efforts don't help my sanity and if I feel like I'm still not doing a great job with homeschooling, especially by the end of next year, then I will even more seriously consider sending them to school. However, practically speaking, we may not be able to. We have already pretty much ruled out sending them to school this upcoming fall (Catholic private school, but PS I will not do) based on the fact that we can't afford it. We just bought a new house and in addition to our new mortgage and all that, we would have to have a $700 per month payment just to send them to school. Wowzer. After this coming year we could possibly use our tax refund toward their schooling, but this year the tax refund is gone from other stuff (baby delivery, car repairs, etc).

So we are still thinking about it but I may have to HS for the next year, like it or not, b/c we can't afford private school yet, and I'm not willing to send them to public school.

So even though this coming year may be pretty hard, it will force me to either make it work, or it will break me and they will be going to school the next year. It will be a confirmation year of sorts, one way or the other.

BTW, I'm not just being a "I can't"-er when people suggest keeping the 2 yr old occupied with activities and all. I've tried it and it literally just does not work. He would be totally occupied and happy if I did the activities WITH him, but he won't sit there for any amount of time and entertain himself reliably enough for me to teach without being interrupted.

Just b/c I'm saying it won't work doesn't mean it isn't true. Sometimes it just will not work. Maybe by "working" some people think that 10 minutes at a time is great and a success, but I don't...
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  #18  
April 6th, 2011, 10:16 AM
BensMom's Avatar Ephesians 4:29
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I'm not saying you're an "I can't" kind of person at all! I know exactly what you're talking about. ... and you're adding 3 more kids to the mix than what I have, so of course it's hard!
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  #19  
April 6th, 2011, 11:58 AM
mamma_anna's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I don't have anything helpful to contribute here. Sorry. It sounds like you've already gotten some great advice and you're doing your absolute best to work things out for your family. I just wanted to say that I'm praying for you. You've certainly got A LOT on your plate. I'd be overwhelmed too. I hope things get easier for you.
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