When I first chose our schooling curriculum, I had no idea what to look for. I did some research and decided all we really needed somethings that complied with state and federal standards (in case we needed or wanted Tyke 1 to return to a standard school). We also needed something affordable.
So far, the basic Spectrum curriculum has been great for us. We’ve had some real victories. Josiah is reading, recognizing around 45 sight words, and writing better each day.
But Monday, we hit our first snag. Grammar is becoming a real struggle. First, Tyke 1 had significant trouble telling common nouns from proper nouns. Then came adjectives.
This is where I feel like a more detailed curriculum would be so helpful. There isn’t a teacher’s guide with this plan, so when we run into trouble, it’s up to me to figure out how to help him understand. That’s a little nerve-wrecking.
After a brief introduction, and writing some helpful hints on the board, I could see Tyke 1 getting very flustered because he wasn’t really understanding. Six times, I asked him to read to me what an adjective is from the board or his book, with decreasing patience at each request.
He freaked out. Kept saying he couldn’t remember.
When I explained that he didn’t have to remember, just read it, he started to cry.
I was so angry. I couldn’t understand.
At this point, I lost my temper. I yelled at him, which I regret deeply, and I had us both get up and take a break. We walked around. He went to chill out in his room. I read to the baby.
It was not a proud moment.
Even when we returned, he was not listening. He was not cooperating. We trudged through the lesson together, and I planned to review like crazy the next day. I still don’t really understand what happened.
I have no idea how to avoid pitfalls like this in the future.
I suppose the lesson is this: One of the drawbacks of homeschooling, is also one of the perks. We have the freedom and ability to move at my son’s pace through the lessons. Some things he already has a grasp of. Some things, he picks up on very quickly and retains with minimal work. The drawback is that I never know what will be challenging for him, and I didn’t choose a curriculum package that could really help me with that.
Of course, I can always backtrack and teach or plan activities or print extra worksheets, but that won’t really help days like Monday.
I suppose another skill we need to work on is one that took me years to get a handle on-Knowing that not everything will come easily, and panicking only makes it worse.
I guess I still need to do some work on that myself.
A good thing actually did come from this experience. I found some worksheets online that are really helpful. Check it out here.
Here’s to next time.