Monday, December 22, 2003

December 22, 2003

I think continuing with school definitely gives me a break in my day. If I can get Reagan busy with an assignment, then I at least have a few uninterrupted minutes with which to do a household chore or two.

To combat our homeschool "fatigue" we're taking this week and changing everything. Our theme this week is Winter. After our opening prayer and daily business we started in. We can work Winter into every subject. We talked about how God made the Earth and the Seasons, what is special about Winter, and the meaning of Christmas for Religious Ed. For Language Arts I gave him 3 dictation sentences having to do with Winter. I made up 8 Spelling words dealing with Winter. I'm having him do Math from his workbook, but I can throw in some word problems with mittens or presents. For Science we read about polar bears as they're wintry and he wants to know more about them. And for History we're talking about how Christmas has been celebrated through the centuries. I'm trying to do at least a craft a day. Today we made snowflakes with white paper and mounted them on colored paper writing things like "Merry Christmas" and "Happy Holidays" along the top. We've definitely had a lot of fun deviating from the set lesson plans.

I really have to remind myself that I'm in charge of this school. There is no administrator that's going to have some kind of seizure if I throw out the weeks lesson plans. Heck, no one will even notice. And there is still plenty of learning going on for the both of us. I didn't know polar bears gave birth to twins, or that their fur isn't really white but clear. Surprise!

He's still frustrated with Math, and I totally understand. I was always frustrated by Math too. Frustration often gives way to tears, and I wish I had the words to explain that he will get it, and that it's not worth this much stress. But he's just like his mother, and I don't know what I could have told myself at the same age. In the meantime I just keep reinforcing that he's doing just fine and that we'll keep working on it. The number line is helping, but he often doesn't trust that he's gotten the right answer.

One more thing to be grateful to homeschooling for: I was always so embarrassed in school when I would cry from frustration. I think the ridicule must be worse for boys. Reagan doesn't know. He's not in that situation. And his teacher can sit with him, work on the problem directly, and give him a comfort that he just couldn't get from someone other than his Mother. I also realized the other day that I have absolutely no idea what the "must have" toy of the season is for a six-year-old boy. Since R. doesn't spend every day in a class full of them, we don't have that kind of pressure. We were free to buy him things that will stimulate him, and that we think he'll enjoy for longer than a few days.

It seems like everyone in the family is finally healthy again. No more digestive bugs, no more coughing, and I haven't wiped a nose in days! Pray for no more illness through the rest of the Winter!

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