Friday, October 5, 2007

Homeschooling Woes

Okay, so we had a meltdown this week...a clash of wills so to speak, between Dakota and I and after much thought and prayer the last 2 days I've decided to make some changes in our homeschooling routine. Let me first explain that the last 2-3 years of Dakota's homeschooling has consisted of mainly unschooling with some internet schooling thrown in as needed...but there has been very little "structure" to speak of. (I know this isn't proper English but I have rewritten this sentence about 4 times and frankly I am tired of rewriting it so it's staying like that! LOL) At his request to become a better speller and wanting to work on some other things he felt ready to undertake, we decided this year to add a little more structure to our homeschooling routine. Not only did I spend a lot of time this summer researching curriculum and trying to decide what to purchase for him but I also decided to enroll him with this woman who teaches small 1-hour classes (2-4 students only) on Tuesdays. I enrolled him in Grammar and Geography with her. He has been attending for 4 weeks now.

We've diligently been plugging away at his work and getting in the routine of spending 3-5 hours a day on school 4 days a week - and then Tuesdays he would go to this woman's house for 2 hours. He had his first test with her last was a Geography test where he had to know and label all the European countries on a map. He had them down pat. When I picked him up that day he was so distraught because he thought he had failed that test...he is a perfectionist to the point that he won't try so many things if he "knows" he can't get it perfect. This drives me BONKERS!! It also drives me BONKERS to sit with him while he is writing because he writes and erases, writes and erases, writes and erases...over and over and over! Ahhhh, I just want to scream! Okay, just had to get that out...I know I am getting off subject here (LOL)! So anyway, because of this one test it totally ruined his whole week last week!!!! He fought with me about school every day. He had a defeated, dejected attitude. It was horrible! He had to learn rivers and oceans in Europe for his test this week and we studied and studied and he knew them and finally by this past weekend he was so excited because he knew all of them and could spell them. He kept wanting us to call them out to him so he could spell them for us and tell us where they were located. But beginning Monday when he knew the next day was "test day" all of a sudden he had memory lapse and couldn't remember anything. Tuesday when I put him in the car to drive him to "school" he started crying - by the time we got there he was in hysterics! I couldn't believe the way he was acting! Because he didn't want to go in and take a test!!

My 11-yr-old is as tall as I am and weighs almost as much as me so there is no moving him if he doesn't want to move so he was pretty much planted in the car crying hysterically and begging me to not make him go take that I finally went and told his teacher what was going on and told her I was just going to take him back home. She pulled out his test he had taken from last week (which she had graded) and handed it to me and said "I'm not sure why he is so upset...he made a perfect score." I looked and he had a 100% written on the top!

I took his paper out to the car and showed him and I think Dakota was genuinely shocked that he had gotten a perfect score. Well anyway after having a playdate with some other homeschooling moms yesterday and talking to them and discussing it with my own mom I have decided to pull him out of that woman's classes and just continue teaching on my own at home. I think the added "newness" of structure along with "a structured teacher" is just too much for him to handle all at once and it became overwhelming for him. Boy I hate doing this too because this is one of those times when I sure don't want him to think his "temper tantrum" made me change my mind! Grrrrr


Sniz said...

Hi Elisa,
I read your post and felt it to my toes. The job of a homeschool teacher is sooo hard! I always thought being a parent was the hardest thing a person could ever do, but add homeschooling to the mix and the stress level is off the charts. Because most people don't have perfect kids...oh wait...NONE of us are perfect! Since we're a fallen people and our kids are still young and not mature, every day working with them so closely is a challenge. But you're doing the right thing. No one in this world will care about how Dakota is feeling like you. No one. He is in the best hands. You have to do what you think is right. Hang in know he's ultimately in God's hands and aren't you glad?

I Want A Home of My Own said...

Yes, I am glad! Thanks for your encouraging words!!