Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Getting Started "For Real"

The move to our new house is looming over us - just two weeks away.  I was hoping to wait until after we moved to really start homeschooling in earnest, but when school started for Henry and preschool for Violet, it seemed like it was time to dig in a little with Mitchell too.  Our old school ended in May so it had already been a long summer.

I felt prepared though.  I had chosen a math curriculum and an English curriculum and decided to do more unschooling and child-led learning for the other subjects, so we got started.  It seems to me like things have been going well this last week, but there has been a certain theme that has carried through our week and continues on as we start this week.  And the theme is "That's not how my other teacher did it".  It seems like everything I try to do with Mitchell, he's comparing me to his Montessori teacher.  And let me tell you, those are quite big shoes to fill.  I feel really bad that he's had such a good educational experience and now I'm not living up to that.  I thought I would be a good teacher, and I do feel that I'm doing a decent job, but it really hurts that I can't offer him the kind of teaching he is wanting right now.  I'm doing my best, but I'm just not Montessori trained, and while I have a pretty good grasp of what goes on in a primary classroom, I'm not as familiar at all with what they do and how they do it in an elementary classroom.  He wants me to give him fewer, shorter lessons and then let him work independently, but I just don't have things set up that way here now.  Frankly, I don't have anything "set-up", we're working out of a box as everything gets packed for the move.  But even worse, I have no idea how to set up a framework for homeschool where he can be hands-on AND independent like he was at his Montessori school.  It seems like for the most part, the hands-on type of things require more parent involvement, and the independent curriculum are all on the computer or are heavy on the workbooks.

Henry too is not having a stellar start to the school year.  Already I'm communicating frequently with his teacher about his behavior.  Typical Henry stuff, nothing too dramatic, but still.  I am also not very impressed with the coursework.  They are starting out the year with their letters and numbers and shapes and friendship skills.  Henry covered all that in kindergarten (though you can never practice friendship skills too much).  It seems like they will be getting to some topics that will be new to him soon, but he too is lamenting the loss of his old school.  He misses the practical life activities and thinks it is ridiculous that they don't get to bake in kindergarten.  He vacillates between saying school is awesome and saying it is boring and he doesn't want to go.  As long as I keep getting the "awesome" answer regularly, we'll stick with it, but I'm predicting I may be homeschooling both boys much sooner than I had originally planned.

I'll keep searching for the right fit for us, educationally, whether it be finding the right curriculum or finding a way to get the kids back into their old school, but right now I'm feeling pretty discouraged.  It has not been our best "back-to-school".


  1. We seem to do things a little different every year... sometimes you just have to do what works!

  2. Yeah, I think we're doing things a little different every WEEK! But I do think we're getting closer and closer to finding a way to do this thing that works for everyone :-) There's been less screaming lately at schoolwork time :-)


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