I'm not consistent enough - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-10-2008, 12:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I consider us to be relaxed homeschoolers. We use some curriculum, but don't have a routine at all. We might do an hour of homeschooling one day and then none for 2 or 3 days and then 2 hours for the next 3 days, etc... I'm worried that my inconsistency is affecting my son's skills. I worry about it because my son has some learning differences and I don't want to make things even harder for him. How can a free spirited homeschooling mom get disciplined and create a routine that we'll follow? I think my son likes to know what to expect and would benefit from a schedule.

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Old 10-10-2008, 02:53 PM
 
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Start small. I think that some get so wrapped up in the anti-school philosophy they throw all routine or schedule out the window (this is general statement, not directed towards anyone or anything so don't get worked up!) Having a schedulae or routine doesn't mean you can't have fun or be spontaneous too, nor does it mean you can adapt as needed. And I think children can really thrive when they know what to expect each day and only have some much free time on their hands. Again, just my rambling thoughts....so I am all for routine!

I recommend starting by picking a time that you are home at least 4 days out of the school week (for us it's 9am.) Then pick a subject that is either hardest to be consistent with or, or most important to you (we picked math.) Then set a goal to do that subject at that time for at least 4 out of 5 weekdays for two weeks in a row.

That's all for now. Start there and if things don't start falling into a better place after two weeks, I can give you another baby step if you want! lol!
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Old 10-10-2008, 05:06 PM
 
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Could your son help you to create a schedule?

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 13(homeschooled)
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Old 10-10-2008, 05:22 PM
 
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We have been like that. Last year for kindergarten/1st I wasn't too worried. This year I try to do at least 4 days a week, any days, for a couple of hours. DSs naptime from 1-3pm has worked out best for us so far.

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Old 10-10-2008, 05:39 PM
 
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How can a free spirited homeschooling mom get disciplined and create a routine that we'll follow? I think my son likes to know what to expect and would benefit from a schedule.
How about making yourself an attractive chart that divides days into general activity goals - such as Monday morning being the slot during which you visit the library, Tuesday afternoons being the time you do nature/science experiments or crafts, Thursday afternoon being support group park day, a slot every morning when you read to them, Friday morning being field trip time, etc. - regular rhythmical slots of time for math games, etc., all laid out on a chart you'll want to look at and feel inspiration from...

You could look it over once a week to make a list on a tablet for the materials you expect to need for various ideas you have. - Lillian
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Old 10-18-2008, 04:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I just started another thread about this--completely forgetting that I just started this thread a week ago! What is wrong with me?!

I make "resolutions" about homeschooling, but then I don't stick to them. Recently I decided I'd try homeschooling from 10am-12pm at least 4 days a week. I only did it one day! I know I need to be more consistent. I want to be. So what's wrong with me that I don't just do it? I worry that I'm letting my son down. Does anyone else struggle with this?

Maybe I need to make a goal AND have accountability with someone for added motivation to actually do it. So I'll post what we do on this thread for awhile (like people do in some of the financial threads.) If anyone else has a problem with homeschool consistency, feel free to post your goals and progress too!

Baby step goal #1: 1 hour of homeschool, 4 days a week for the next week. (I'd like to work up to 2 hours a day, 4-5 days a week, at a certain time of day with something fun planned for my son each day.)

10/19
10/20-2 hours of school!, going to the park and karate
10/21
10/22-1.5 hours of school and karate
10/23
10/24
10/25

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Old 10-18-2008, 09:19 AM
 
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I've been thinking a lot about this, as well, and starting this winter I plan on doing a combination of what Macrina & Lillian suggested. (DD1 is only 5 so I don't feel rushed ). I want to have a weekly routine, (we're already starting to develop this....Monday is home, Tuesday is library, Wednesday is friends, Thursday is field trip & Friday is co-op) but also incorporate a short daily learning time whether it be simply reading or drawing or trying a little MUS math. I've chosen 9am because we never leave the house before then! I've also started having tea time with the girls when my little guy is sleeping, around 2pm, and I read to them for about 20-30 minutes while we sit at the table. Eventually I would like to do something more structured with DD1 after tea time while DD2 hopefully gets involved in some independent play.

Anyway, just a few of my thoughts & plans. I, too, need some routine in my life & DD1 really does, too. Now DD2...she's a totally different person so it'll be interesting when she's 5/6 & I'm trying to figure out what works best for her because she likes to go about her day on her terms all the time.

Best of luck getting things going!

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Old 10-18-2008, 09:36 AM
 
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You didn't mention the age of your child? I use a pre-packaged curriculum for my youngest child (age 6). She has been the hardest to teach so far. The curriculum we use came with a 4 quarter schedule which includes all the core subjects and tells which books to use and what pages to work on each week. We still don't do it daily and sometimes will go a week without doing a particular subject on the list. We still get caught up though.

Some areas my DD goes fast in like science and social studies (already in the 3rd quarter on those) and others like math, phonics and grammar she stays a little behind or right on schedule. I still don't push a lot on her and there are 1 or 2 days each week that we will do very little to nothing on that day if we have other stuff to do outside the home with our homeschool group.

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Old 10-18-2008, 10:23 AM
 
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Oh, I can relate to you because that used to be my style too. until a mom suggested that maybe I should like make a regular time for studying. Even if you just like spare 30 mins a day until he'll get use to it. It's like teaching him to have a good study habit too.
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Old 10-18-2008, 12:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My son is 8 and in "third grade." With reading and science and history he's on target. We don't use curriculum for science or history, but those are his areas of interest, so we end up doing a lot of reading and watching movies about these subjects. And we do science projects and nature stuff. Math is where we're really behind--he's still in the first half of Alpha in Math-U-See (or at about mid-1st grade level.) So really, math is what I'm the least consistent about. According to testing, he has dyscalculia (in addition to dyslexia and dysgraphia). He does fine with math concepts, but struggles with computation. I'm not sure if I agree with the dyscalculia diagnosis though, because I haven't been consistent with math with him.

I like the idea of planning certain days for certain things. I just hope I'll actually stick to it. I tried it for housework (laundry on Mondays, bathrooms on Tuesdays, etc), but it didn't work. The reasons I like this idea so much are that we are gone too much and staying home on certain days would ensure that we have the uninterrupted time to do seatwork, and my son is always asking what we're going to do that day and I never know (and feel pressured to come up with something everyday!) So I think my son will like knowing that say, Tuesdays are errands and appointments day (no homeschool) and Fridays are homeschool and then fun pe day with the homeschool group, etc. If I actually stuck with a general schedule like this, it would reduce the pressure on me to come up with a plan every morning.

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Old 10-19-2008, 06:50 PM
 
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Subbing....I thought I was the only one w/this problem!

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Old 10-20-2008, 07:07 AM
 
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Subbing....I thought I was the only one w/this problem!

Nope, me too.
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Old 10-20-2008, 07:43 AM
 
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Nope, me too.
Me three.

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Old 10-20-2008, 10:24 AM
 
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What's the plan for today OP?

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Old 10-20-2008, 10:56 AM
 
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I had/have this same problem. One thing that I did this year that has really helped was to say that at nine o'clock, we are going to do school. Since we know that, we end up kind of planning our morning around it. The other thing that has helped is that he is in "second grade" this year and works independently on a lot of things. Knowing that I am not going to be tied down to the kitchen table for hours on end really helps.

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Old 10-20-2008, 01:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What's the plan for today OP?
Yea, I'm not alone! The plan for today is to take a 30-45 minute nature walk with the dogs, do a lesson in Math-U-See, read at least one reader, and do the first lesson in Sequential Spelling (I'm just trying this program out. Usually we'd do Explode the Code instead of the spelling program.) Oh, and tonight is karate. Thanks for asking!

What are you guys planning for today?

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Old 10-20-2008, 03:00 PM
 
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This morning my 6 yr old did quite a few pages in spelling, one page in 1st gr math (ugh, struggle), quite a bit of 1st gr social studies (studying outer space) and a few pages of her 1st gr phonics workbook. She has not done her reading yet. We also made some pictures this morning as we are working on an alphabet craft. We went outdoors for quite some time this morning and plan to go out again this afternoon. It's a chilly day today!

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Old 10-21-2008, 05:28 PM
 
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Subbing, too. I'll post our baby steps soon. Maybe start next week.

CD(DONA), Wife to Jason, Momma to Xander (7), Hayden (5), & Hanna (4)
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Old 10-22-2008, 01:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Great, Sara Ann! What is everyone planning for today?

Yesterday was busy with an appointment, karate and Cub Scouts, so we didn't do any school. I've decided to set Tuesdays aside for appointments and errands. Today we will do some spelling, math, and reading and study the history of theater for a new drama class my son is starting this Friday.

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Old 10-22-2008, 02:10 PM
 
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Today we're watching a video about fire safety. Ds1 is starting to write a story. He'll be doing some Singapore Math and Explode the Code. Dd will do two pages in Rod & Staff kindergarten. Tonight we'll go to take ds1 to taekwondo. Hopefully, we'll read a chapter in Story of the World. Before bed, dh will read them something from The Goldren Children's Bible.

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Old 10-22-2008, 07:29 PM
 
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I am so like you. I have big ambitions but never stick to a schedule for more then a few days. I've been slowly getting more consistent but still no where near where I want to be. I'm going to start assigning days to certain things. Mondays are Free days. I'm going to type up a list of easy things the kids can pick from. Mondays are my breaks from weekends so no heavy thinking. Tuesday is library and playgroup day, Wednesday is math, Thursday is park day (we are there for 3 hours usually and veg out the rest of the day), Friday is science. We run errands as a family on Saturdays and Sunday's is DH's shot at teaching the boys. He agreed to take on history because he's SO much better at that stuff then I am.

Let's see if this works.
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Old 10-23-2008, 01:54 AM
 
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I've been thinking a lot about this, as well, and starting this winter I plan on doing a combination of what Macrina & Lillian suggested. (DD1 is only 5 so I don't feel rushed ). I want to have a weekly routine, (we're already starting to develop this....Monday is home, Tuesday is library, Wednesday is friends, Thursday is field trip & Friday is co-op) but also incorporate a short daily learning time whether it be simply reading or drawing or trying a little MUS math. I've chosen 9am because we never leave the house before then! I've also started having tea time with the girls when my little guy is sleeping, around 2pm, and I read to them for about 20-30 minutes while we sit at the table. Eventually I would like to do something more structured with DD1 after tea time while DD2 hopefully gets involved in some independent play.

Anyway, just a few of my thoughts & plans. I, too, need some routine in my life & DD1 really does, too. Now DD2...she's a totally different person so it'll be interesting when she's 5/6 & I'm trying to figure out what works best for her because she likes to go about her day on her terms all the time.

Best of luck getting things going!
Koru - do you use the Charlotte Mason method? If not, it sounds like you do.

For the OP - oh please don't shoot me for this, as I mean it in no disrespect...but if you aren't able to be consistent and do lessons with your child on a more frequent basis, maybe homeschooling isn't for you. : As I said, I mean this in no disrespect, but if you are concerned that your lack of consistency of doing lessons at all is affecting your child, it likely is. I would suggest you write down a consequence of your inaction and stick to it. So if you don't do lessons for 1 hour a day/4 days a week for the rest of the year, you child goes to public or private school...or you pay a tutor to do it. If you have no consequence for your inaction, you may not be motivated to do what you should be doing, and your son would suffer the consequences, which you know that is not what you want.

I say this more because you skip a lot of days for schooling. It's not just having a set routine during the day that you are struggling with. Skipping days is what concerns me.

I wish you all the luck in being more consistent and sticking to a routine.

Vicki
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Old 10-23-2008, 02:59 PM
 
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I have been homeschooling on and off for 3years now (homeschooled twins for kinder, public school for twins 1st and 6yrold kinder, now back to homeschool). Not sticking to it was my problem. I found a website that helped me a lot, not just with homeschool, but with life. Before I was living in complete CHAOS (can't have anyone over syndrom), no routines, stressed to the max, and depressed. A friend recomended that I check the site out. All it is, is a premade plan on organization, but what a difference it has made. It tells you the basics and then gets you to adjust the program for yourself!

If your interested check out flylady.net

With baby steps and time, you can learn to FLY (finally loving yourself).
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Old 10-23-2008, 03:26 PM
 
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I have been homeschooling on and off for 3years now (homeschooled twins for kinder, public school for twins 1st and 6yrold kinder, now back to homeschool). Not sticking to it was my problem. I found a website that helped me a lot, not just with homeschool, but with life. Before I was living in complete CHAOS (can't have anyone over syndrom), no routines, stressed to the max, and depressed. A friend recomended that I check the site out. All it is, is a premade plan on organization, but what a difference it has made. It tells you the basics and then gets you to adjust the program for yourself!

If your interested check out flylady.netthe

With baby steps and time, you can learn to FLY (finally loving yourself).
I swear without fly lady I would NOT live in a CLEAN happy home where homeschooling peacefully was possible! It's all about flying!
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Old 10-24-2008, 10:14 AM
 
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I agree with homeschoolak that this sounds like a deeper issue somewhere...does your home itself feel chaotic or do you feel depressed? It's hard to think clearly and be focused with either or both of those going on around us.

I would do some self evaluation with a journal in a quiet place when you can. Sit with yourself and write down your obstacles to reaching where you want to be. Set tiny goals and small steps.

Each Sunday evening sit down and write down how you want your week to go and which days you are going to stay home. And then figure out why you self-sabatoge those goals.
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Old 10-24-2008, 01:06 PM
 
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I use FlyLady too! I also started a Home Management Binder. Blogged about it here. I'm still working on it but already it's been a huge help getting life organized.
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Old 10-25-2008, 03:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, I updated what we did this week on the first page of the thread. I met my goal of at least 1 hour 4 days a week. It wasn't as hard as I thought. It was good to have a goal and to have accountability.

I don't feel depressed, but I am grieving. My grandparents moved in with us at the beginning of last month and my grandpa passed away 2 weeks after they moved in. We knew he was sick, but he had been given a 6-12 months time frame. It's been hard on the whole family. He was a wonderful man. Half of August was spent in Texas taking my grandpa to doctor appointments and tests and September was so hard, so we basically didn't start 3rd grade until this month.

As far as skipping days goes, I haven't had a solid schedule for homeschooling the entire time we've been homeschooling. My plan has been to school year round and get the 180 days that the state requires. With having school an average of 3 days a week and taking breaks for holidays, it takes about a year to get those days. And I think that was OK for 1st grade. He had some healing to do from public school kindergarten experiences and I wanted him to rediscover the joy of learning. He wasn't ready for structure and lots of seatwork. In 2nd grade we really focused on phonics and reading. He progressed 2 grade levels in reading last year and is now reading at grade level. Now that we've found what works for reading, we'll continue with that and focus more on previously neglected subjects (math and spelling.)

I think my choice to have a really relaxed homeschool was based on my own preferences. But it's not all about me, right?! This week has shown me that even though I'm not a schedule person, I CAN stick to a goal for my son's benefit. I've realized that having a little more routine is a good thing for my son even if it's not my preferred way of doing things.

So my goal for next week is to homeschool for 1.5 hours a day at least 4 days of the week and to consistently do reading/phonics, spelling, and math each homeschool day. It will be a challenge because we've added karate twice a week and a drama class on Fridays.

Book-lovin', relaxed homeschoolin', dog snugglin' mom of the best kid EVER!  AND...waiting for baby #2, due 5/9/14!  stork-boy.gif

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Old 10-28-2008, 09:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Progress for this week:

10/26-
10/27- and karate and Cub Scouts
10/28-errands/appts/karate
10/29-karate
10/30-
10/31-

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Old 10-28-2008, 10:38 PM
 
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It sounds like you are making great progress- both with getting in the days and with understanding what was making it more difficult for you.
Keep up the great work!

To my husband I am wife, to my kids I am mother, but for myself I am just me.
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Old 10-31-2008, 09:21 AM
 
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I have found a time to do it!!! It is pretty difficult right now since I have an almost 13 week baby in my care now. He's a fussier baby, so it seems when he is finally taking a nap, I need to get lunch around or am able to clean up from lunch, etc.

The mom comes here at lunch to nurse him, so I have an hour to actually sit down and do some work! We are working on time right now and we are going to get into money. This is where he is lacking. He is doing 2nd-3rd grade level reading, and reads at least once a day to the kids.

My goal this weekend is to set up what I want to accomplish each day.

Keep up the good work, ReadingMama!

CD(DONA), Wife to Jason, Momma to Xander (7), Hayden (5), & Hanna (4)
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