It’s been a rough week. We have entered the last 3 months of homeschooling and I’m feeling like I have a hit a wall. I’m not sure if I need a break, nicer weather, or that this is entirely normal. I’m presuming it’s normal.
Ellie and Simon are independent in their learning, I’ve mentioned this in previous posts. Of course I check in with them and make sure they are on track and we read a lot aloud together. I really love this kind of learning. It’s building their confidence, a huge motivator, and they are encouraged to digest new information on their own without a lot of busy work. I’m amazed with what they have achieved.
Penny, on the other hand is a different story. She is my 1st grader. I know for some people, they are fine with kids at that age playing, creating and exploring the world around them. It’s tough for her. She has 2 older siblings working on their own and a mother that is a bit of a “task master” (ahem). This week I have honestly felt like a failure. I have asked myself “what am I doing wrong?!?!”. Penny is getting a lot of concepts, reading fairly well and eager to learn. BUT, all of the things she is not “getting” seems more amplified than usual. That’s when I began to question myself.
Not question our decision to homeschool, but sort of checking in to make sure that I’m doing the best for my child. And that’s what I realized, I wasn’t doing the best. Sure, if she were in a classroom environment my demands and expectations would be acceptable. But when I began to hear her say words like “I am dumb…stupid…failure”, I had the sobering realization that I contributed to this attitude. I was bent on getting lessons DONE. COMPLETE. FINISHED. I was still living in the classroom environment and not fully embracing our home school with Penny. There’s a lot of pressure to teach your kid to read, write, and math. But the pressure I NEED to feel is that my girl has confidence, feels love and taps into her creative heart.
So after our third day of tears and grief, I shut the school books and told her we were finished for the day. She was very disheartened by this, which made me realize that I had her trained to check off her list. After I suggested she help me with making homemade pasta sauce and meatballs, she was my eager and happy student again.
She learned that onions, garlic and butter smell heavenly when cooked together. The addition of tomatoes and balsamic vinegar makes the whole project irresistible!
Her hand on the hip cracked me up. She was working hard!
She also learned that waiting for sauce to simmer is not a bad time to finish up math work. Penny also is diligent in sending me love messages on her work every day. I swear should would do this if she were enrolled in a school too, this girl is full of love!
Another important lesson we learned during our project is that rosemary smells like pine needles and oregano has a questionable fragrance. She learned that blending meat, herbs, crackers and egg is the job of a little a girl for only a bit…then mom needs to take over and squish everything together with her hands!
And at the end of the day, when we work together a beautiful thing will happen…lessons learned and this mother is humbled by her sweet daughter.