I've got a 13yo (dd) and 8yo (ds). We've always homeschooled. We're in CA, so I started as private school affidavit, but discovered a fabulous homeschool charter that is super open to whatever I want to do, and we are now in our 3rd year there and LOVE it. It provides resources and experiences for us and support for me as well as gives me that bit of accountability I was missing doing it on my own. I need that.
I'm not against unschooling, but after years of "unintentionally unschooling" (a term I came up with because I know what a great thing unschooling can be for many families, but I never truly fully unschooled. I know I was quite half assed so I wouldn't insult unschoolers by labeling what I did with that term.)...I discovered it just didn't resonate with me and didn't work well with my children.
So I embarked on a more structured approach and tried many different curriculum. My biggest problem is that I'm pretty sure I'm ADD. I just am incapable of true consistency, I'm far too distractible. Frustrates the hell outta me! But no matter how many plans I make, I never fail to get off track eventually. Usually quickly.
But I keep trying. Not giving up here. I yearn to find our groove. But I continue to be unhappy with how things are going. The only subject I feel we've succeeded at is math. We have found a curriculum that works and I'm sticking to it. (Math Mammoth, for anyone who's interested.) my kids don't love it but they don't hate it. I'll take it, lol! And *I* love how it's structured, so I'm good with math. We're not as far along as I'd like, but we're still moving forward, so it's good.
My problem is with every other subject. I have a picture in my mind of how I want our learning to go and it NEVER works that way.
I'm not a school-at-home-r. But I do have some structured learning I'd like to see happening. I picture us sitting together, reading on different topics together and creating projects together, kids enthusiastically working on things and it pretty much never happens. I've yet to be able to light that spark in them. And I am determined to find what it takes.
I want them to love learning. That's one of my biggest reasons for homeschooling. Obviously I've not yet found the way to make that happen. I'm not giving up.
I am meeting with my ed coordinator (at our homeschool charter), tomorrow to discuss a new plan. Yet another new plan. Sigh.
I've come to the conclusion that the curriculum we currently use (I use single-subject curriculum), while I really think they are great, my kids just don't like. We do everything but math together, so their science and history is combined and we fold language arts, art, music, etc into science and history. Different levels, of course.
So I am ready to start from almost scratch again. Go back to creating my own curriculum. Maybe we're just not a curriculum family! Are any of you, non-unschoolers, I mean (because of course unschoolers do not use curriculum, usually) in the same boat? Have you found that curriculum doesn't work for you? Maybe I just haven't found the right one, but it's starting to feel like I should go back to more child-led learning...but with more structure than I had before, because I do have requirements to fulfill for our charter. They are very doable though.
Anyway I guess I'd just like to hear from people who have found that their kids just couldn't get into any of the curriculum you tried...and turn their noses up at things you think are awesome.
It's such a fine line, isn't it? Between finding things they truly enjoy and not wanting to let them just poo-poo EVERY new thing just because they reject new things. I tell me kids: "No, you can't just do whatever you want, whenever you want....it doesn't work that way in this family...but I am VERY open to what you want to do and want to find a way to build your education around that!"
I've been having a lot of discussions with them, especially my older, about how frustrating it is for me when they turn their noses up at most everything I plan. I need them to meet me halfway and actually give some of these things a try before they decide it's not for them! And I will continue to try to keep their tastes in mind.
But I've pushed our way through our current curriculum enough, I think, so I'm going to attempt to work on something new...finding cool ideas on Pinterest and great books from the library, and build a loose plan, with the kids' help. I told my dd that I'm ok with her studying what she wants to study, I just have the requirement that she has to have some assignments occasionally that fulfill things like writing. (A big source of struggle w/both my kids, getting them to write anything). She can figure out herself what those assignments are, with my approval (I'm thinking of creating a long list of acceptable examples and she can choose from that), but they have to be done. We have to have something to show each month. Even if it's photo centered blog posts and art projects!
Any other routine challenged, struggling mamas out there? Just needed to vent and know I'm not alone, thanks! I have local friends who've heard it all before repeatedly so I thought I'd give them a break for a change.
Oh my goodness! I'm right where you're at right now. I have a 13 and 11 year old and am pretty sure I'm ADD as well. I have also tried unschooling and it wasn't a good fit for us, so I do some structure and have increased it a little bit as they get older, but it'sstill very light. I'm am struggling so hard to inspire my kids - turning myself inside out to find things that will interest them. The one has lots of interests, but the second it gets hard there is huge drama .. he has a learning disability, so I get that it's hard, but I'm trying to get him to develop a work ethic - to stick with it even when it's difficult or boring --- a skill he's going to really need - he's extremely bright and capable, but his disability is going to make life a challenge. My second child just doesn't seem interested in ANYTHING. It's turning me into a crazy person.
We seem to have a reached a point where anything challenging or different or slightly boring is to be avoided at all costs. I'm just not cool with that. I'm not OK with my kids growing up without a good grounding in science and history and i'm at a loss as to how to make this child take an interest.
I'll be watching the thread to see what others have to say on the topic.
We're also in CA and home school through a charter school. Are you using curriculum that matches each child's learning style? Our son is an auditory and project based learner. He watches documentaries in addition to reading his history textbook (college textbook I got used). His literature book is also movie based (Movies as Literature; I heard of it here on this board). He hates writing and is much better at speaking and power point so we keep that to a minimum--one history paper a week (3 paragraphs minimum with research to answer the questions in some depth) and one literature paper a month. I hope that by the end of the year, he will have improved in writing but I strongly thing that he might just have to struggle with it. Math is not his strong suit so the repetitions/review that is built into Saxon works for him and Saxon doesn't throw all the information about a concept at him at once but takes it step by step over several lessons. He is doing Chemistry at the school this year. In addition to the textbook the class is using, we are doing experiments at home using TOPS and watching chemistry videos.
Also want to say that while I plan out schedule for the year at the start of each year, I do it in pencil because it will fall apart about once a month. So while I have an idea of where we are going, the path we take usually isn't the one that I planned out. I have a year calendar and a monthly planner. The year calendar is what I projected at the beginning of the year. The monthly planner is what we actually did. After about the first month, we are playing catch up and doing school work over vacation time and during the summer. But for some odd reason our ef (educational facilitator) thinks that we have our act together simply because we come prepared to our conferences.