Thursday, September 13, 2012

I spoke too soon

So, after I decided to report to the world that we are loving homeschooling, and it's been so great for Ada and me, and so on and so forth, we have had an incredibly frustrating week of school.  I must say, it's mostly (entirely?) my fault because I am so hormonal and scary to be around, really, and I have been so frustrated when Ada dares not pay attention for even one second.

Ada has a hard time paying attention to anything for very long, and I know that this is a discipline issue, but I can't quite put my finger on how to handle it exactly.  We have worked on it a bit when we read chapter books at night, because we might be reading a chapter, and out of the blue, Ada spouts out a question that has absolutely nothing to do with what we are reading.  So, I gently remind her each time we read, only ask questions about this book.  And I can tell that she is trying really hard to do that, so this doesn't seem like a disobedience issue or a "rebellious heart" issue, but more of a training issue...if that makes sense.  But it carries over into school at home and at CC, and it just drives me nuts.  She gets distracted by everything, and this week, she has stumbled over her reading, and I get so frustrated because I don't know if she's really struggling with reading, or if it's just an attention issue.  Plus, I think much of the frustration that I direct at her is really a fear that I am failing as the teacher.  Because, if I can't teach her to read, well, that's a bit essential, you know?  In fact, today I had to apologize to her and tell her that really I wasn't frustrated with her, I was frustrated with myself.  She is still getting i's and e's mixed up and b's and d's mixed up, and lots of times y's and w's, and I start to lose my patience.  (I mean that she gets the sounds of i's and e's and y's and w's mixed up, but she actually gets the letters b's and d's mixed up, so any elementary teachers feel free to offer advice for this!!)  And it is such a mother as the teacher thing, because I don't get frustrated with my tutoring student who also stumbles over reading...because it doesn't affect me.  My tutoring student's success or failure isn't nearly as connected to me as Ada's success or failure.  And I don't want to put this pressure on my child!!!  So, as you can see, I have been such a joy to be around this week ;) 

Plus, I have sort of been an emotional mess this week.  Changes are inevitably on the horizon as Scott is working an hour away from home (and we continue to praise the Lord for that job.  It is such an answer to prayer, and we pray that it is a long term thing, which is why change is most likely on the horizon), and for whatever reason, life as I know it is feeling very unstable this week.  There is just much unknown, and I don't like that, and I want to figure it all out in my own way, instead of trusting in a God whose character has been proven over and over again.  I read to Ada about the Israelites, and no matter how many times God provided for them, they still doubted him and doubted him and doubted him and then built idols to worship those instead.  Except I'm not like the Israelites because I have God's word and the New Testament, which tells the rest of the story, and the Israelites did not have that, so I am without excuse--other than my sinful, mess of a heart.  I am so thankful that God knows what a mess we are--it's no surprise to Him, and that is why we have the gospel.  Anyway, my mess is magnified more than ever this week, and that is what I get for daring to say that homeschooling is going great ;)  Ask me again in a week, and it will probably be great again, and maybe Ada will have even mastered the difference between b and d.  For now, she has to ask me every. single. time. 

So, after a hard and frustrating morning (week!!) of school, we all went outside for some fresh air, and then Ada spent some time painting on the front porch "like a real artist," she said.

(she continues to love math.  here she is graphing the teddy bear counters)


Michelle said...

You don't know me, but I've been reading your blog for a while now. i don't even remember how I came across it.

I wouldn't stress about the mixing up of those letters and sounds. It's quite common. Kids mix up the sounds of y and w because y begins with the w sound. i and E sounds are commonly mixed up also, as is identifying b and d. Practice, practice, practice and remember....b looks at d :)

Hope this helps.
P.S. I've taught 1st grade for 19 years.

Katherine said...

Hi Laura Beth! I just wanted to encourage you with your teaching. It sounds like you're doing wonderfully. I totally agree with the previous post. I saw the same thing happen with some of my kindergarteners. I don't know how it happens that they know something so seemingly well and then get confused out of no where...but I saw it a lot. I even had some of my best readers all of the sudden write their name backwards (as in backward order and letters backwards) at the end of the year. I was taught it was a developmental issue and I just needed to remind them how to write it. Amazing!

I know that you already know this...but just keep up the consistency. I appreciate your honesty about the impatience issues. I struggle the same way for the same reasons. We do so need the Gospel...and so do our children. I pray we'll keep pointing them to Christ in our weaknesses.

Honestly, it sounds like Ada is doing great! Don't give up! You are a such a good teacher for her. I learn from your posts.