Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Hard Pressed...

I am felling pressure... pressure to do everything.  I want to teach my children so much and in the end I feel like I am accomplishing so very little.  I envy teachers sometimes... maybe not all public school teachers but surely there is a teacher somewhere who fits into my Little vision I have for them.  They have 8 hours of the day to teach (disclaimer--- I understand that when all is said and done they DON'T have 8 hours to actually teach).  They are not doing laundry, paying bill, running errands.  They are in their room for 8 hours not counting  hours before and after school starts!  I am not saying that THEY want to be there all day... I am just commenting on the amount of time they have devoted to teaching each day.  I wonder what MY school would look like if I took 8 hours a day JUST TO TEACH.  I mean if I pretended to be a working mom and didn't do laundry or cook or clean or errands or read blogs (just keepin it real here)..... just taught my kids for 8 hours of the day.  I mean ACTUALLY did school for 8 hours!

I know we as home schoolers are so proud that we get school done so quick... we don't have to spend so much time on it.  We don't have to mess with disciplining (besides our own!), we don't have office politics (school regulation), we are always so quick to point out that we don't have to spend many hours a day on school.  I think this MIGHT be where part of the problem we all have gets started....we actually NEED to spend more hours teaching, not try to do it all in less!

We have visions of Latin, spelling, writing, great works or art and literature, french, art classes, unit studies, digging deeper into a subject, science experiments, hands on projects, movie to compliment a subject, book clubs, bible study....

UM How do we get that all done if we are TRYING so hard to get it done quicker to go onto other things?

I am thinking it doesn't work so we start cutting out stuff and we find we still don't have time!  I understand we aren't cutting out the errands, cleaning, home making... but maybe we should!

Of course that is impossible!  AND truthfully I don't want to BUT I do want to be different and teach more!

So who has ideas on how that can be accomplished?

*choosing outside activities carefully.
* choosing curriculum carefully.
*maintaining a schedule or time management
* routines
*being disciplined.
*teaching kids responsibility
*mentality of "school" hours vs. All the time learning

I don't want to "DO" school for 8 hours every day... but I KNOW I want and need to do it more than I do!
I know that I am missing "deadlines" I have given myself for accomplishing certain things and it solely lies on MY shoulders as the teacher, scheduler!

But if you go back over my blog posts you see this same basic argument in tons of my posts and even a few ways that I am going to "fix" the problem but it is NOT fixed.


* needs for schooling change with the kids age and grade levels
*outside activities change and we feel "x" is important at " x" moment
*home life needs change (for instance we are doing the one car thing which generally works out but has its draw backs of course)
*finances (might mean less convenience foods and more cooking which equals less time for other things)
*Children's abilities change--- we might be working with a child on a particular habit or attitude and it affects our day
*season (we spend more time out and about in the holiday season leaving less hours to school or whatever
*tone of the household (when mom and dad are off track for whatever reason naturally the home falls off track too)
*insert other reasons here!

So what to do... all I can do is keep trying. 

*Make another routine adjustment
* make another schedule
*try another system
*make up my own system
* give myself goals
*reset my goals again ( smile)
*determine to be different
*determine to be different longer this time
*determine to be different longer this time and the next time (smile)
*go with the general flow of life (while keeping a routine of sorts) (smile)
*keep learning to be flexible
*expect great things from myself and my family
*stop making excuses
*stop taking excuses
*rely on God first and people last

I guess I have a plan again, a plan to follow all the other plans.  A plan to just DO.  A plan to go with the flow but yet still accomplish great things.  I am sure glad that God is in on this plan because it doesn't sound like a good plan for me BUT I will leave you with this....

"But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed." 2 Corinthians 4:7-9


Shannon said...

My advice... give yourself a break! I don't mean a vacation "break". I mean we just have to realize we can not do it all. ;) I started out the year great. We were rocking on and getting it done even though I think the house always has to be a bit left undone to do the schooling. Then, a few things happened and I fell off the my great working plan. I have not gotten back into it good, yet. And with Christmas break it is not going to happen right now. So, I am just holding out some hope for the new year. I can say that the things that did help were giving it my full focus. No phone calls. No internet unless it was to use for school like to show a short video clip, etc.. No visitors although we did not turn away drop by guests. No outside activities that were not planned several days in advance. Having meal items on hand that can be prepared super quick. Following a weekly printout and checking off what we got done, x-ing out what we were skipping, circling what I want to come back and do the next week (sometimes I would realize I needed something, so we might change the order of the days around, too).

Ultimately, I think the core is what we need to do. The rest is like the side dishes in a meal. We don't have to have it all. We might have the chicken, green beans, and potatoes. We don't have to have the gravy, biscuits, cheesecake. We still had a complete meal without it. Sorry for the weird food analogy. For use I try not to let myself skip the Bible parts, but some of the activities we do skip. For my first grader I make sure we do not skip the phonics/reading portions, but we might skip math some days. For my fourth grader it is sort of the same, but I get tired and we skip more and some weeks we just skip all history, science, etc.. Should I admit that... maybe not, but really I don't remember much about history that I learned when I was in school... or Science either. More is learned from real life in those subjects or from a natural interest or need for it when we are older.

And yes, I have an art program that has sat unused for last year and now this year.. as well, as a few other artsy things that I couldn't use due to a printer issue that I hope to add in soon. The violin lessons that my kids want to do have not been available due to not being able to find a teacher... and it all stresses me out everyday... and I try to get a lot done, but I am limited... I am human. We can't do it all.

About the teacher thing... my husband teaches 7th grade English. He has those kids for an hour or so every other day and can't tell you half of their names. He has students that have handwriting like a 1st grader and some with low vocabulary... or they can't spell or read in the SEVENTH grade... there is little he can do about it. Kid's don't get it all in public school either and they don't have "choices" for their extra curricular activities. If you have a child that wants to learn violin that is, at least, an option... in public school they can choose a band instrument. And we all know that 99% of those kids will never play those instruments as adults... better off learning guitar, piano, etc. that they might actually use one day. And that is my very looooonnnnnngnggg opinion of it all... and there is more where that came from if you need it. ;) Shannon

Shannon said...

Just typed you a novel and it dissappeared.... arghghhhh!

aneisa said...

I am amazed at what you teach! I think you are an awesome teacher and Mom! I'm hoping that I have just as much creativity when my kids are older....

Vickie said...

Carrie Elizabeth we are so proud of you! We think you are doing a wonderful job.