Homeschooling

Kinesthetic

We are officially at the beginning of Spring Break and I need this break so much.  I feel a major crunch right now – totally self-imposed crunch – to finish off strong for the year yet my witty buzz cut student is not feeling the same motivation. He complies but is wearing his class clown hat tall and proud.

About a week ago, all my insecurities about homeschooling began to creep up to the surface and I wondered and prayed about the big questions of what to do next year.  Homeschool or not?  Am I really cut out for this?  What is best for Max?  For me?  Is it okay if I don’t like it somedays, what does that really mean?  What is the big picture of what God wants for our family?

My answers came in three ways, through three different people.  Nicely packaged in conversations or in listening to a cute-as-a-button 90 year old British woman speak at MOPS.  All three times were not of my own initiative.  Does that surprise anyone?  God is so merciful.  I got the message loud and clear.  Homeschooling is right for us, at least for right now.  And yes, of course it’s okay if I don’t like it somedays.

God gave me some good insight this week, as well, about written work.

Written work is our biggest challenge.  I gave Max a worksheet of easy addition problems for a game I found, thinking it would be fun.  Even though I sat next to him, it was torture for both of us and took us over an hour to finish 20 problems (with breaks).

Now, the way Max deals with frustration is to throw his body around, crash into the floor (not with a temper, just goofy), flop his head around and laugh, sit and stare into space, or make loud musical noises.  It’s an ADHD thing I’m sure so I try to be patient and think of other ways to get the work done without giving him a free pass or making my life miserable in the process.  I say try.  It’s a constant struggle and I feel ill-equipped.  Many times I have to stand on the chair and look at the situation below with humor and some creativity.  🙂  Forcing him to sit there and finish would make me miserable.  Does not work.

So I’m learning how to adapt.  The next day, we did math in the van.  I drilled him with harder addition problems this time but can you believe it, he was able to answer them with no problem or frustration at all?  He flopped around the third row seat in the van, while music was playing for Mini, who was walking and climbing around everywhere at the same time.

He just can’t do that at school, you know?

Don’t get me wrong, written work is still important.  He still has to write in his phonics and handwriting books (which is improving a lot) but I’m trying to relax my expectations and think more about what works for him, the extremely smart, class clown, otter-like, passionate, kinesthetic learner that God purposefully designed.

And after a week-long break, I’m hoping this new acceptance of his need to move will make me feel a little less crunched.

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5 thoughts on “Kinesthetic

  1. You are experiencing what every honest hsm has –“It’s so much work. I’m over it! Is my child actually learning anything? Is hs really God’s will for our family? Is our hs season over? How will I know? I’m tired! Where is my toddler…

    Have you checked out SOS by Alpha Omega? (www.aop.com) It may be a good fit for Max if he needs something different; something visually stimulating. We use SOS and it works well because my boy needs to keep his hands and mind busy at the same time. We used BJP which is all bookwork prior to finding SOS and while the curriculum is awesome, it didn’t fit his learning style; creating a lot of long homeschooling days. TORTURE! You don’t have to use SOS for all subjects, but can. Just something for you to look into.

  2. Dear Anna,

    I have to go back to your January 30 post with a picture of some excellent penmanship. Keep up the great work. And, we do have a mini bouncy castle in our living room to quickly pull out for those moments when Big Brother can’t concentrate.

    Val

  3. Oh girl! I so hear you! We have had to re-evaluate over and over our “methods”. My oldest gets fidgety like a mad woman when something is hard (typically writing) Math can take FOREVER. There are so many tiems I want to scream, “JUST DO THE PROBLEMS AND SIT!” But we persist, keeping focused on God’s design of her mind and soul as well.

    Sometimes I write the answers for her. There are days she’ll say, “Can you just write it for me?” (since I do, I blame myself that some of her numbers are still bkwrds…but it is probably not really connected) But she clearly knows the math and it takes away the speed bump.

    But something in us makes us think it has to look the way “they” do it…but it doesn’t. The beauty of homeschooling.

    All that to say, hang in there. You are doing great! And I understand 🙂

    Hope you enjoy your break!

  4. Your are such a good mom, and you are doing a great job with that Max of yours! I just love to hear you tell about how you get things done with him.

    If you had a dry erase board that you could put up high enough for him to stand (and wiggle) would that encourage him to write? just a thought

    Reading this made me wonder what God has in store/in mind for Max – what is it that Max is going to be really great at when he is older that uses all of these strengths that in the traditional school thinking look like weaknesses.

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