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RUNNINGOMA's Photo RUNNINGOMA Posts: 11,127
11/24/13 10:46 A

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Chrissy,
You sound so much better! I think it is an excellent idea if you DH is willing, to take that time each week. Sometimes I felt like I was drowning in noise with my kids and got very little alone time. That really helps to be able to gain perspective and plan for the week.

I, too, am a good starter, and not a great finisher. And I relate in that way to my weight as well. Great plans, but half way through I am struggling and I lose sight of that finish line. However, in 2009 when I joined spark, I really got on board and did the hard thing and kept on. I remember one stretch of 6 weeks where I honestly stayed in my calorie range and walked 6 days a week (30 minutes) and didn't see the scale move at all. I knew I was doing what was right and the weight would have to come off eventually. And, it did.
Now, I know I am not at goal, and still have 40 pounds I would like to lose, however, my mind set changed and I keep working at this, even when I have a bad day.

Looking forward to hearing how your progress goes both with your weight and with the schooling.
Blessings!

In CHRIST I can!
Mariean
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Make NO provision for the flesh. Romans 13:14

KNOW that if you really want something you will find a way -- the person who doesn't will find an excuse.

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OLIVERFAMILY33's Photo OLIVERFAMILY33 SparkPoints: (8,853)
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11/23/13 9:40 P

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Wow, thank you SO much RUNNINGOMA and DRAWNTHISWAY for all of your feedback!

I appreciate each and every suggestion you offered up and the reminder about public school schedules.

I knew the relationship of actual "school" time versus the time in between that teachers and students go through, even when they ARE at school. A friend of mine, and many others I've met since, have all said the same thing about public school and also enlightened me to the fact that if you took out the bell ringing, changing classes and teachers, getting the class settled down, do attendance, turn in homework, have lunch, recess, etc., their actual learning time behind the desk is quite minimal. And depending on the kids in the classroom, you may or may not get much accomplished during that time slot.

It's good to be reminded of these things, and RUNNINGOMA, in MA we also have to turn in a notebook of samples of work. I'm not sure about the testing laws, but I know we'll cross that bridge when we come to it, if we're still in this state.

We're members of HSLDA, and I love that you can call them anytime about anything, so if the move comes about, they will be the first phone call I will make.

When we actually DO school, and my son gets over the idea of having to do school, he LOVES it. It's just getting him past that control factor. He has been quite ornery lately, more than usual, and tries to tell me he's in charge.

I know kids can sense when things are out of whack, and for awhile, he was having a blast with school!

I'm not sure what everyone else uses for curriculum, but we chose My Father's World because it crossed many learning styles and involved a lot of outside time, and many fun activities. I honestly think I need to just buckle down and get consistent again.

I have always struggled with consistency even when I was in school. I'd always start out strong and then peter off after a bit. I've done that with my weight, and I'm just realizing as I type this, that I've been like that since elementary school when the bullying started.

I get it now...I have such struggle because I don't think routine, outside of going to school and being bullied, became engrained in my habits because I would go home and crash on the couch and not do homework, and I just gave up trying. Now, at 36 years old, I'm trying to break that cycle, but boy is it hard to break! Especially with a baby in tow, and it's now that I get it, the true magnitude of what I'm trying to accomplish here....

I am hoping to finally tackle my weight problems, left from my response to the bullying, while also trying to homeschool the two older kids, and start my own photography business, and just having such a wide open space of uncertainty about where we will end up and how we will make ends meet.

Many have told me that I have "a lot on my plate," and I have been saying in response, "Well, everyone does in their own way," but I didn't really think it was that overwhelming, but tonight I see it. I do have a LOT on my plate and I'm realizing that might be the exact reason I've lost my motivation and drive to get on board with the homeschooling and everything else.

Tomorrow, after church, my husband is going to take the kids to his mom's house for a few hours so I can be home alone and get the lessons ready for the week to come, and get a schedule up on our board to help get us back on track, even though it's Thanksgiving week.

I'm very excited about it and think I might start something of this sort every week or so, where I can just be alone in the house and get all of my thoughts and ideas and schedule in check and be better prepared for the week or weeks ahead.

Thank you so much again ladies, for your information and advice! I appreciate it so much!

There's one more thing to be thankful for, and that is amazing fellow Spark Moms who homeschool their kids and can share their experience and advice to help those of us still getting used to everything homeschool related as well as SP related. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Thank you! Blessings!
Chrissy

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RUNNINGOMA's Photo RUNNINGOMA Posts: 11,127
11/22/13 10:43 A

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I wanted to respond to your post earlier, but couldn't carve out the time to do it until now.

Just want to say up-front, I thrive on order and structure, and I realize that not all do and that some struggle with that more than others.
I homeschooled all of our 6 children, although never all of them at the same time. My youngest is 17 and in 11th grade.

Also, I live in Germany - and if you know any of the dealings here, you might understand how grateful I am that I have even been able to homeschool.

Before we lived in Germany, we homeschooled in PA. I would definitely check their laws so you know what you are going in to. Back then (16+ years ago) we had to turn in a notebook of samples of our children's work each year. They had to be interviewed each year by a certified teacher of their grade level, and had to be tested in grades 3, 5 and 8. This might have changed since we were there.

As far as needing to rest when you baby is, build that into your schedule. I often had "quiet" time where the kids would sit on the couch with books and were not allowed to talk. That allowed me that 20 minute power nap to be able to continue my day.

And really, you only need to dedicate a couple hours a day in Kindergarten. Maybe you can do an hour early, and an hour later in the day so that it doesn't seem to be overwhelming.

We didn't have TV (still don't) so that was never an option. Back then there weren't a whole lot of educational programs. However, I would recommend limiting TV even if it is educational. Again, plan it into your schedule instead of just letting it happen as a default.

When we lived in PA - we were also very limited with our finances. I just prayed and asked God to help me do the best I was able with the finances that He gave us. I did a lot of coupons and we didn't use our money for junk food or the like.

Have I ever felt like quitting home schooling - oh yeah. I think most have. But if you know that is what God wants you to do, he will give you the strength to do it. There have been times we didn't homeschool, like when we came to Germany and "had" to put them into school. After 3 years, we stepped out in faith, realizing our decision could have very serious consequences, and began homeschooling once again. I have never regretted that. Psalm 1 was what I wanted for us all - to be blessed by delighting ourselves in His law - and not standing in the way of sinners, sitting in the seat of the scornful, etc.

Don't forget to find your strength in the Lord and to bring your day before Him. I pray daily that I will accomplish what God desires for me to do. Then if I have a bump in my day that I didn't plan, I can go with it because I am trusting that God is leading throughout my day. (naturally the doesn't mean that if I am not obeying God that that is His leading...)

It is really hard to find that time to clear your brain with little ones always around. I found that if I got up 1/2 hour before my kids did, I was able to spend time in God's Word, and to do a little planning that was without little voices calling, "Mommy". My DH helped me out by bringing me a cup of coffee, so I didn't leave my bedroom until my 30 minutes were up. I found that the minute my kids saw me, their needs seemed to trump whatever I was on my way to do. I know that isn't always doable with perhaps a nursing baby, etc. But this helped me a lot. You getting alone like you have planned is a real positive way to get yourself back on board where you need to be. I pray your weekend will lead to that result.

I pray that God will continue to lead you day by day and that you will find the strength that you need to do what God has called you to do.
Blessings to you and your family.

In CHRIST I can!
Mariean
GMT +1

Make NO provision for the flesh. Romans 13:14

KNOW that if you really want something you will find a way -- the person who doesn't will find an excuse.

docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=
0ArJWI3jY7Uu-dDJOOWRBY2pFVTFPb0NIcDQ2T
zNTTVE#gid=24


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DRAWNTHISWAY's Photo DRAWNTHISWAY Posts: 3,007
11/22/13 9:36 A

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Don't despair.. Don't let worry consume you. Take the time off that you need to recover. Intermix bits of your curriculum during your daily when you are feeling well. Find interesting ways to present the information if your son is "kicking and screaming" ... I found that when I obsessed over the state standards, especially when I wasn't feeling well I felt more defeated. Consider the time breaks the public school has and acknowledge your child does not have to be on that schedule. Here the students get a fall break for 1 week, thanksgiving break for another, winter break for 2 weeks, another week off around March, then another in April, before having 2 months off for summer. That doesn't include teacher work days or national holidays, or student absences. Suddenly when I looked a how much time off the students had I felt much less guilty about needing breaks for my children when we were not well.

If your son is fighting the schooling, consider if the method you are using matches his learning style. It never hurts to throw away the lesson plans that came with a curriculum and focus on the parts that really pull your young child's interest so that you can help develop the love of learning. Find ways to include things he loves into subjects he may not enjoy. Make playdough, and talk about the similarities of a cook and a scientist then watch the Magic schoolbus episode about the subject. Then use the playdough you made another day to build things the pilgrims might have used, or the mayflower, etc. to help with communication skills play a communication game. Draw or print up a simple picture, then have him describe the picture to you. Make sure to draw what he says literally and make your drawing silly as he tells you what to draw. He will learn the importance of giving directions and using descriptive phrases. This will help later on when you want him to write creatively or in essays. If he loves Legos, have him build objects you studied that day. Ask him to tell you about his favorite stuffed animal, food, movie, etc. and he will start developing keen observation skills..... Print up copy work pages, and you have evidence of the progress of his improving handwriting skills. Create challenges with math work... How many questions can he answer correctly on a page in X minutes, does he think he can do better tomorrow?

Imo, Kindergarten is the year in which you lay a foundation for the following years. You don't want him to think he controls the state of your homeschool, but you do want him to think it is going to be fun and challenging. This is just the start of your journey. Don't let a stumble make you feel paralyzed. Everything will be fine.

Mary,
mom to 4 beautiful children that deserve a healthy and active mother



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OLIVERFAMILY33's Photo OLIVERFAMILY33 SparkPoints: (8,853)
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11/20/13 6:58 P

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I appreciate the advice so much! It definitely is an encouragement, and I didn't take it as harsh at all.

I have been meaning to get the week's plan going, but I feel like my brain is scrambled right at the moment, and trying to rein myself in to get organized again is what I'm hoping to achieve this weekend and just get it done. When I'm home with the kids alone I can't get anything done privately, so I'm going to plan a time out with my husband that I can just be alone, even home alone, to just pound out what needs to be done.

The good thing about my kids, is that although they are 2 years apart in age, my 4 year old LOVES school and even while my son is fighting me and flopping on the floor in protest, she keeps working on what I've told her to work on. I give her credit, she's a trouper!
They both are at the same level, Kindergarten, so it's really no different to work with one or both since they're both doing the same work.

We are in MA, and the law allows us to give a progress report or testing and grading. With the progress reports, they do require samples of their work at the end of the year to prove they've made progress.

We actually don't qualify for food stamps because we, apparently, make too much money. We do qualify for WIC for now, which helps, but they give too much of the things we don't need and not enough of what we do need.

So, we're hoping with the potential move to PA, with less rent, we might be able to enter into the place of being "not too far removed," but able to stay afloat on our own.

Thank you for your response and sharing your experience with me. I appreciate it very much!
Blessings!

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JSCHICKYBABE's Photo JSCHICKYBABE Posts: 220
11/20/13 5:04 P

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I'm not sure where to begin. I understand the financial stress. We've been there, and aren't too far removed from it. We've had some breathing room, but still have to watch it. Are you able to receive food stamps? Other than that, don't stress over the eating habits. I'm sure you do the best with what you have. Take comfort in that.

As far as taking a break, we've been there too. Fortunately we don't have to report our progress, which is good, because we are currently weeks behind. Actually, we usually fall behind, but do our best to catch up. I'm not familiar with how strict your laws are, but perhaps when you are able to push forward, your children will catch up to where they should be. I was recently ill, and took almost a week off. Of course the older children were able to do their work, but the younger ones didn't. It was hard getting back into the groove, but it had to be done. I know your household is getting its strength back, but the sooner you take the plunge, the better. It usually helps me to map out what i want accomplished for the week. That way we're more likely to stay on task. As with anything, the longer you stay away, the harder it is to get back.

As far as having a baby to deal with, we've been there too. Our's just turned one. He was a very difficult and temperamental infant, so he demanded much of my attention. Again, the older kids could work on their own, I just had to make time for the younger ones, specifically the 7 year old. I didn't work with the 4 year old as much. I knew his time would come, and, yes, he watched a lot of tv. But not having to work with him took off some of the pressure. Maybe you could just focus on the 6 year old for now, and when you find spare time you can spend a few with the 4 year old.

I don't know if this helps, and I HOPE this doesn't come across as harsh or a criticism of some sort, because it isn't intended that way. Many of us have been there, and I hope you find your way through.

OLIVERFAMILY33's Photo OLIVERFAMILY33 SparkPoints: (8,853)
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11/20/13 1:18 P

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It's been about 2 weeks now since we've done any school work. We've all been hit with this wonderful cold that lingers for weeks and although we're still stuffy, we are good to go for getting some school accomplished, but I am feeling especially worn out and just plainly put, I want to sleep when our 6-month old naps, and I find myself letting the kids watch tv more and more, to where it's becoming a dependent relationship for them. Granted, it's educational tv that I make sure is okay for them to watch and learn about classical music, spelling, reading, etc., and also use the computer playing educational games, but I haven't opened my curriculum in over a week, and I know I need to get back on the ball.

I'm feeling incredibly guilty about it, and the thought of sending them to school comes to mind, followed by that sick to my stomach feeling because I know that's not what the Lord wants for our children. They are 6 and 4 years old and are doing great when we DO have school, but most of the time it's an effort to get them on board, especially where we've not been in a set routine for long at all this entire semester so far.

Our family is in a state of HUGE transition. We are a one-income family and the struggle has intensified for us as living in our state (MA) is getting more and more expensive.

We believe we are being led to move to PA, to the Williamsport area, and have applied for some jobs and are now on a waiting list for an apartment down there, but it is getting pretty critical, financially, and even if we didn't have 3 children, we would still be in a pinch with just one child.

It is important for us to have me home and we know it was the Lord's plan to homeschool, so we want to see it through and moving to PA would alleviate a lot of the stress because the cost of living is so much less than it is in MA.

So, with so much so up in the air, and stressful, added to the colds and the upcoming holidays, we are just worn out.

I've just started back on SP to start taking care of myself and am a participant in a Weight Loss program at our local hospital, and I just can't seem to get out of my own way in my mind. Buying food is difficult because we buy whatever is in the clearance bins or on sale, and even have had to go to the local food pantry for help. My food choices are limited and we still can't seem to keep up.

With all that is going on, I know we're not the only ones struggling. A friend actually just moved her family to Idaho so her husband can work in the oil fields to earn more money so she too can be home and homeschool their daughters. They went with nothing but their most needed necessities, and the clothes on their back, taking a HUGE leap of faith.

So, I wanted to ask if any of you might have some advice if you've been here before or been tempted to NOT homeschool, even though you know it's the right decision. Have you ever taken a "break" from homeschooling and been able to catch up quick enough?

Mainly, am I hurting my kids by not having school and letting them watch too much tv? We have to work around the baby's schedule and other appointments and activities, so I'm just trying to figure out how to balance everything.

One mom told me (she has 4 kids) that she would take almost a year off of schooling her children when a new baby would arrive and she said she didn't sweat it because once the baby was about a year and was in a good routine, the older children could catch up and would often find that even though she didn't do school, their advancement was still going on. Her son, in particular, moved from a 1st grade reading level to 4th grade in the year she stopped school because of their new baby. She told me not to worry about it, but I need to report to the school district too, to which she said she "fakes" it.

I would love advice from anyone here and I apologize for such a lengthy post! I just feel like I'm getting lost here and am trying to pull myself back into the swing of things.

Thank you for listening/reading. :-)

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