Monday, November 12, 2012


Hurricane Sandy and then a subsequent snowstorm kind of threw a wrench in my perfectly mapped out curriculum schedule.  We lost power for 6 days, but that is nothing compared to what some others had to endure (some still have no power; some lost their homes entirely).  While we were able to do a bit more school than most (the schools were closed; ours is never closed), we did not get done as much as I had originally wanted to.

Then, we were hit with a snowstorm.  And while this really shouldn't have affected our school day at all, I just had to let the kids play in the snow.  And play they did, all day.  I wish I had taken a picture or two.  But I think I was still catching up on all the laundry that had piled up during the power outage...

One of the best lessons of homeschooling so far is flexibility and learning to manage interruptions.  When you school at home, you are not in the same cocoon-like environment offered by a school building.  The phone rings, the delivery guy shows up, the dog throws up; life is just all around us.  We have to just bend with it and redirect.

When Olivia was born, I simply had no tools for dealing with interruptions.  I was so angry when things did not go as I planned.  Olivia was a horrible sleeper.  She did not sleep through the night until she was 16 months old, and she simply did not nap unless I was holding her.  Even when desperation lead me to the Ferber method (i.e. I let her cry it out), she would cry for 30 minutes, nap for 15 minutes, and then wake crying again.  This would send any new mother into crazy-land, but I was beyond crazy.  I was just so utterly frustrated that I could not clean the house, or read, or work out during her naps as I had planned.

So I stopped planning.  I just gave up.  it was my way or the highway. I stopped working out, stopped reading, stopped cleaning the house (sorry John).

This was not the answer.

If I had applied this way of thinking to homeschooling, I would have quit long ago.  Every day, something doesn't quite work out the way I planned.  But, I've learned that when one child is resisting reading on one day, often she is quite willing to do double on another day.  If one child struggles with a new math concept and I simply cannot push him any longer, when he gets it, he can zip throw a worksheet. I find that if I look at the whole week, rather than at what I wanted to do each day, I am much more encouraged.  We usually catch up by Friday.

This cannot be said for last week.  We got a week behind.  Instead of panicking, as I am prone to do, I just will try to look at the month instead of the week. We'll add a little more in each day -- or on most days -- and hopefully we'll be where we should by Christmas.

I continue to keep learning alongside my kids.

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