21 January 2011

How It's REALLY Done

Here's what our homeschool daily schedule REALLY looks like:

I wake up Elf and Emperor at 5:30 in the morning. They sleep in the same room with Woodjie, so they are not presently learning to use an alarm clock on their own. I come in and whisper at them and they go downstairs for breakfast. I usually take the blankets from their beds in the winter when they leave the room. They are cracking at the math by about 6 am, wrapped in their blankets and snuzzly.

Math must be first or it never gets done. Patrick and G do a semi-reasonable job at being *quiet* in the morning, considering they are teenage boys. They leave the house around 6:40 after lots of shushing from me and "you should have thought of that last night when you were arranging the things you needed for this morning"s.

Somewhere around 8 or 8:15, a little fluffy-headed blonde person shuffles out yelling, "Morning! Morning! Ah morning, Mommy!" and I help him do the potty thing and we get Rose up and dressed. I bring them downstairs to the table and spray Rose's hair with detangling spray and put it up.

Little children are eating breakfast in the kitchen in my line of vision and I am next to Elf at the dining room table, nagging him to get his math done and/or helping him with problems he is having. Emperor does his math by watching a computer lesson and writing all the answers to the workbook in a notebook (so I can use the workbook for someone else later). Then we check the answers. He needs help every now and then to go over a problem, but most of the time he is pretty much completely independent.

Then it's two chapters, silent reading, in the Little House series. Somewhere in there, Woodjie and Rose are done with breakfast and wandering about the living/dining area playing with their large house and people. After a while, I bring them downstairs and set up some toys and the TV.

Then I teach English or science or history while Steve finds all three pawprints. I do some lesson that needs supervision or direct teaching, something they couldn't have otherwise done independently. When I'm done with that, I'll be available, but concentrating on littles and the things they want to do. There is also usually another lesson or two in another subject that I have determined they can do independently that day. I just look ahead a little and figure it out.

Today our English lesson was about "Linking Verbs With Predicate Adjectives" and how to diagram sentences with them. Then I set the children off to do some writing on their own. Writing is a *weak* spot. I am working very hard on the spelling and grammar and the reading, hoping that will magically translate into superb writing. It hasn't so far. Elf and Emperor have some very cute ideas and have made new blog entries today about themselves. I helped Elf with spelling and combined a couple of sentences with Emperor, but what you read on the blog is about the level they are. NOT SURE how to improve it except for practice, practice and more practice.

Lunchtime. Bagels, peanut butter and squeezy jelly. It was a half-day today for Elf and Emperor work-wise today. But about a day each week (sometimes more, sometimes less) is a half day because I have appointments that cannot be rescheduled or avoided. Today, it was time to do Rose's IEP.

It was a mortifying experience.

I do NOT know how to get everyone together, to shape them up and make them act nicely. I reminded my children not to YELL about ten times (I am under-exaggerating). Then I was juuuuust making small talk and telling the process coordinator that I was amazed to see her TURN HER BACK on her four-year-old when I met her at her son's TaeKwonDo practice (Patrick and G were in the following class). I mean, even my older children would be out the door if I ever tried -

Where's Emperor?

OH, guess where he was? You know those new school security systems? How they don't let just any old person in? Well, he decided he would run out front and let everyone who showed up in. He can tell who is bad and who is not. He only let the good people in. Oyyy. Calmed that situation down and noticed that Rose smelled like overcooked broccoli and onions. *sniff* Yep. Took her into another classroom to change her. Left Elf and Emperor with the poor process coordinator. They probably think I'm a total loooooser by now because by the time I got back, Elf and Emperor apparently had told everyone about Greek mythology, family dynamics and ohhhh about 500 other things. They had sketch pads and pens (provided by staff who were prolly just trying to shut them up) and were drawing embarrassing scenes at our house, complete with children shouting at the table and being disciplined.

Later I got distracted - you know, trying to DO the stinkin' IEP already - and then figured out that Emperor had nosed in the nearby drawers, gotten a paper clip and was trying to pick the locks on the cabinets. Corrected the guy again... and while I was talking to him - WHILE I WAS SPEAKING AND LOOKING RIGHT AT HIM, he was digging in the trash and claiming to be hungry.

Yes. He was. I hate going to meetings.

8 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness, bless your heart! I only have 3 and go insane just going to the grocery store! You have such a great spirit and even though you blog about your crazy days and moments of joy you always in some way make sure people know the real story and that you love your babies! I sometimes wish you and Miss Blondee lived closer so we could go have coffee or cocoa and just talk about things related to moms! You 2 are amazing blog friends and I am so happy to follow your blogs and get a glimpse of your lives even on the worst of days! I hope afterwards maybe while you blogged that you laughed a little at the day, it always helps you see that things are sometimes a little funnier later then a the moment they happen(: Blessings!!!

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  2. Thanks, Kris! I think it's beyond rude the way Emperor acted... not that there aren't some funny aspects to it. Let's just say I'd rather not have the blog material but you might as well laugh because if you don't find the humour you'll be crying allll the time. :)

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  3. For what it's worth, I've experienced some of your adventures, and 3/4 of mine are neurotypical.

    Daniel used to steal.He stole my jewelry, he shoplifted, and took things from friends and family. We had to check his pockets after every visit anywhere (It was terribly embarrassing and I felt like a failure as a parent). He didn't seem to possess the concept of yours and mine. If he wanted it, he took it (You know how there are two crowds of Aspy kids--the ones who are great rule followers from early on and the ones who don't seem to grasp the consequences of their actions? I got the latter). By the time he was eight years old, I was tearing out my hair. We did overcome it, but not without some heavy duty, old fashioned parental psychology.

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  4. Reading this brought back not so nice memories. The girly was like this when she was younger. Taking her places was like taking a cute, short,cave woman with me. I couldn't reason with her, she needed a billion reminders about behaviour and was hard to contain. She still can be at times, but it's MUCH better than it was.

    We still have a really, really hard time taking her places. At almost 10 she gets warned up and down that we don't walk away from Mom and Dad, that we don't interrupt others, that if we are going to a store that we are only buying what is on the list and if her last minute 'needs' are not on the list, then we still aren't buying it and she will not scream and freak out in front of others. She still needs to be told at EVERY trip to the grocery store that she cannot pick up and handle every little thing that she sees, that if we aren't buying it, it's not to be touched. She used to decide when she was tired that she could sit down and refuse to get up no matter where we were, in a store, parking lot, wherever. Thankfully she's getting better about verbalizing it instead of physically just calling the squat and refusing to budge.Which is good since she's 100 pounds and almost as tall as her 13 year old brother.

    That's one thing I personally LOVE about homeschooling. No concerts, no book fairs, no conferences, no times where the girly has to go and be on display with all her quirks and have others look at me as if we just hatched this child in the last hour and have taught her nothing. It is embarrassing, it does hurt, and people don't realize how HARD you do work with a child like her and how far she has come.

    I'm with Kris. I think if we all lived nearby and an occasional get together to cry and giggle might to us all a bit of good. :)

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  5. I don't know how you do it all! As I always I remain amazed by your perseverance. I feel tired and discouraged just dealing with two kids. I know that you probably have no desire to be anyone's inspiration, but you do inspire me. Whenever I feel discouraged and exhausted I think of you and all that you do for your family. Then I say a little prayer for you and try to do whatever is next on my list. If I lived close by I would glady come watch the kids so you and Blondee and Kris could have coffee. ;-) That would be nice.

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  6. Oh the joys... you sure have busy days.
    So, did Emperor find food in the trash? lol

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  7. OMG... I would have died. I wish you didn't have to deal with the schools, you seem to be doing so good on your own!

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  8. LOL Andrea, you just read that and still think I'm doing a good job! Ha! God bless you! :)

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