Saturday, August 09, 2014

First Week

So - I survived the first week of homeschool. Or I should say, " WE" survived. There were rough spots, as I anticipated, but there were also some surprisingly good moments. Like when I buried some little flotsam and jetsam of household items in the little sandy patch in the backyard and we simulated being archaologists on a dig. It was one of the lamest things I've EVER DONE...and yet Aiden was very entertained by it. Same thing with pretending to be nomads and constructing a "shelter" with dead branches and a couple of trees. in the backyard. He said with enthusiasm, " This is fun!" Oh my goodness - it was LAME CITY. But he loved it! I think part of this success was due to the fact that, with a new baby in the house this summer, the bar was set VERY LOW in the fun department. It doesn't take much to entertain or impress my kids these days.

This is not to say it was all rainbows and lollipops. By no means. A and I are figuring each other out as teacher and pupil and that is not always a smooth experience. I was impressed when, at one point, he was able to articulate the problem: "You're going too fast for me!" I was grateful he had the emotional intelligence and wit enough to express that. To me, he was just zoning out, becoming disengaged with the process ( which I now realize was a result of me going too fast, but at the time, I was clueless. It's so funny how we take for granted things that seem so basic to us as adults, and think that this is all review for THEM TOO. It's not. Even if some of it was covered in kindergarten, it's still Very New.) So I was getting frustrated. And more intense. Which freaked him out, I think. Blaggh. Anyway. Whatever. Live and learn. I think part of it - and this was in Phonics - was that he CAN do and already DOES these things - blending consonants and vowels - but having them couched in new ways intimidates him and he loses confidence. He actually reads pretty well for a first grader, but we're backtracking a I think that has thrown him a little.

And Math. Oh my heart sinks. He is so like me - NOT a math person. It's going to be a long, harrrrd slog, I'm afraid. Oh well. At least he has a teacher who can sympathize.

But there is a plus side to his being like me! My heart was happy when he said, as I pulled out S. Wise Bauer's "Story of the World" for Social Studies, "This is my favorite part." YES! MINE TOO! A history major in the making, perhaps?!

In other news this week, W started preschool, and just today, completely unprompted, she attempted to write her own name. She got everything except the L's - and in an odd order, but it was pretty exciting stuff for me.

And in other news, J found his thumb this week. He has been sucking it assiduously.


Gretchen said...

Hurray! For a glorious beginning, and especially every single moment of enthusiasm!!!

And AH YES how I remember (with a horrified shudder) how I pushed and pressured in those CRITICAL days of the beginning of First Grade, when (as everyone knows) a child's ability to perform well at this tender age and stage will determine every detail of his ENTIRE ACADEMIC FUTURE (including even what college he gets into), and if he balks over today's handwriting assignment, we must deal with it as a huge moral issue IMMEDIATELY because he has to learn to WORK!

Hahahahaha...Or not, as the case may be : )

But anyway, may you have grace to laugh at the trials, and laugh at yourself, and be able to enjoy what you otherwise might be dismayed over : )

Love you!!!

KJ said...

Yes, indeed! Oh the pressure that comes on them and us as teachers when we forget that this is NOT review to them. Everything is new and they won't get it the first time, or the second time, and maybe not even the third time. Slow and steady wins the race. And thanks for the reminder for me to slow down for my boys, too, and remember my frustration just shuts them down.
Love that he is like you - especially the history part. Enjoy the fun times, and be blessed in the hard times - I love that you can be a sympathetic teacher.