It's Official… this year is kicking my you-know-what

We’re on our fifth wek of school, and last Wednesday may just have been our worst day of homeschooling ever.

I’m sure part of the problem is having too many "extras" on my plate right now– although I’m pretty fond of some of those extras. 

But a bigger problem is my adorable not-quite-two year-old and her gift for destruction. I know this is a very busy age, and it’s just a phase… but whew, it’s hard.

Another problem is J’s learning being out-of-sync with his age.  We all deal with this at different stages, in various ways, but right now it’s manifesting itself in this way:

J, aged 9, is now beginning Algebra (in the form of Singapore’s New Elementary Math, year 1).  This curriculum is a great fit for him in terms of content; but in style, it’s a huge step above Year 6 of the Singapore Primary series.

Singapore Primary Math is very fun, with its thin, colored textbook and a cartoony workbook with lots of space in which to show his work and write the answers.  The word problems involve children trading marbles, or buying yards of rope.  It’s utterly non-threatening.

New Elementary Math (more or less a 7th- to 10th-grade curriculum) comes with an enormous textbook and small-print workbook.  Without pictures.  Each chapter begins with a token cartoon, but they aren’t very funny.  There is nothing friendly about this curriculum, and there are a million problems squashed into a tiny space.  It’s exactly what my husband (the math major) thinks of when he thinks math curriculum

But it’s a big jump in terms of maturity, self-motivation and persistence for my little boy. 

Last week, we had some backlash.  And tears.  Not-so-SweetP used the distracton to wreak her particular brand of havoc on our house.  Then the Lego and Christmas-toy catalogs started arriving, and I had mass chaos: no one wanting to do their notebook work, an almost- two year-old  terror screaming every time I tried to be Charlotte Mason-y and read aloud, and a house full of unwashed vegetables, dirt, and no one volunteering to get off the couch and clean.

So we’re regrouping, reevaluating the speed at which we’re taking our math and Latin curricula.

I may even have to readjust my expectation to have the house picked-up by the end of the day.

Pardon the dust– we’re under contruction.

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6 thoughts on “It's Official… this year is kicking my you-know-what

  1. I can relate to trying to occupy little ones during homeschooling! I just can't imagine trying to do Algebra at the same time; Gracie is just in Kindergarten! So good to hear how you're navigating it all. Thanks for sharing!
    Amy from Splendor in the Ordinary

  2. lost my temper…had to apologize to the kids…general yuck.

    But algebra was not a part of it. B is allowed to do the algebra part of key to math when he has finished the regular arithmetic parts of other key to workbooks – the abstract parts are much easier and fun than the calculation bits for him. The print is unintimidating, and it does include illustrations, though no cartoons, and key to algebra is techincaly an introduction to algebra, not a complete course (although once you get over the what are letters doing in my equations, the rest is not so bad) I've heard LIfe of Fred does have cartoons and Jacob's algebra is supposed to have cartoons, although I haven't read it yet.

    I hope you get to be Charlotte Masony tomorrow and read.

    I just hope I keep my cool, we all have colds now.

    -Chris

  3. sarah hoskins here–(anna's sister)…i've been lurking for a long time now, but had to write b/c this helped me so much! i love your blog and am (trying) to homeschool Charlotte Mason-style as well (9, 7, 4, 1)…but have had a bunch of bad days myself only in 3 weeks! i would love to chat sometime. i would love to know how you do it (and how your 9 yr old is doing algebra? my 9 yr old is still having a hard time with simple addition (Singapore 3B!)) anyways…thanks for the honesty and grace in your writing. peace!

  4. This post was so encouraging to me! I especially liked how you ended it "pardon the dust…" I think this is such a grace-filled and truthful way to view your days. I struggle with the voices (lies) yelling in my head complaining about all the dust…both literal and figurative. I believe Christ longs for us to pardon the dust, focus on the construction.

    Thank you, thank you. This was the Word of God to me tonight.

    Beth Stipp

  5. Phew, Miss Annie! Bless you sister!!

    I'm glad to hear you are re-evaluating the speed at which you are moving along with your learning. It's certainly not imperative to move quick. It's sometimes just us ( or the 'they's ) that tell us we must. But I know you can understand, I certainly do, have been there done that too many times to count — the fruit of all that is chaos! YUCK!
    Keep it all in prayer, use His wisdom as you move along and know that all is well, your kids are just fine — even in the dusty house, the unwashed veggies, the 2 year old that sounds like my 2 year old……you are teaching your blessings about the character of Christ and how to have a relationship with Him, first and foremost, and He will supernaturally do the rest. Hugs, friend.Edited by kimalita on Sep. 24, 2009 at 4:05 PM

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