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.