Thursday, September 8, 2011

Today is one of those days ....

... when I question my decision to homeschool, especially a high school student.

I'm just being transparent here.

The easy subjects are, well, easy. It's those subjects and concepts that Dawson doesn't get that makes me wonder what the heck I am doing.

His two weak areas, science and math, are smacking me in the face this week. We are still stuck on that most-basic Algebra concept. And it doesn't appear that we've made any progress.

Dawson has the personality, with everything in life, that if he is not instantly perfect at it, he doesn't want to try it at all. And if he does try, and doesn't get it immediately, then he is frustrated and angry. I get that. I'm exactly the same way. But the difference between us is that I get mad and determined to figure it out and succeed. He wants to just quit. Or he will wallow so deep in his frustration that he can't see the forest for the trees. And then that's when I get frustrated.

I understand there are concepts that are difficult. What I don't get is a quitting attitude.

And it wears me down.

I feel like, today, that I just want to chuck school and go to bed. I'm not sure what to do to help, so I feel defeated. (That sounds like him, doesn't it?) But I am one stubborn gal, so I have to keep searching until I find the answer to help! I just really don't know what to do.

I think I am also just, generally, teenager-weary. Young kids are difficult in their own ways. Teenagers are difficult in others. Kyndal and Dawson are leaving for the weekend for their annual trip with their dad. I think I just need a break.

I would appreciate your prayers for a re-energized spirit and an extra dose of wisdom.

12 comments:

  1. We're challenged everyday, aren't we? Challenged to teach ourselves as much as teach our kids.

    We're on Day 4 and my daughter (4th grade) cried. Why? Because I asked her to write 3 sentences answering What is Astronomy? using the book (and I corrected the Spelling and Grammar). I'm confused as to how 3 sentences produces tears while 45 Math problems doesn't? (I'd cry over the Math! LOL)

    Always things to figure out and tweak!

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  2. Praying for you. We were in the same situation about two weeks ago with Gage. After much prayer and a "come to Jesus" meeting with Gage, this week has been an absolute blessing. Pray, Pray, Pray ... because that's really all that changed things here.

    It'll get better. Hang in there!
    (And I have a funny feeling now that I've said that, G is gonna push my buttons again real soon)

    It's day-to-day!

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  3. My 15 yo is the same way! If he doesn't understand something he gets ticked and wants to dump it. He says things like, "Why do I need to know this?"

    I farmed out math because I am incapable of giving my child what he needs. Perhaps you can hire a tutor or put him in a co-op math class or dual enroll him at a community college.

    Take a deep breath and put those two subjects away for today.

    Also, check out Khan Academy. They have AWESOME instructional videos that may be helpful to both of you.

    You CAN homeschool high school, don't buy the lie that it is too hard. It's OK to take a breather when you feel overwhelmed :)

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  4. Hang in there! Your son is very lucky to have a mom who is so dedicated to him. All of your hard work will pay off.

    By the way, I love your blog...you have provided me with so many resources. This is my first year homeschooling my 8th grader and I work full time..So we have lots of challenges. Sending prayers your way.

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  5. Sending you prayers!!

    I spent 3 years in algebra in high school because I couldn't "get it" and kept failing. That 3rd year I had an amazing teacher and I made 100's. It was finally explained to me in a way I could understand.

    I wish I had magic advice for a frustrated teen...I hope it gets better, for the both of you!

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  6. You're using Teaching Textbooks right? Doesn't it explain how every problem is done on the cds? Doesn't that help? I'm just asking because it's what I plan on using for my math-challenged son next year and if you're having trouble with that curriculum then I really need to re-think my choice! I thought that TT would be just the ticket for my son but now I fret.

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  7. @Anonymous ~ YES we are using TT. It gives a video teaching on the cd, then even shows you a step-by-step of any problems you have missed twice. He is hung up on Lesson 6, Simple equations. If he can't get this, he will be lost the rest of Algebra. For whatever reason, he is not understanding with the instructions given. He has watched the video twice and watched step-by-steps.

    I am actually thinking very strongly about order Life of Fred Algebra. We did Decimals and Percents, Fractions and Pre-Algebra with Biology. He really like it, but said there weren't enough practice problems. That's why I switched to TT. I want him to get the concept rather than for him to have tons of problems to work, so I think I will get LOF and then MAYBE go back to TT when he completes it.

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  8. You are in my thoughts. Those snaggy nasty days in homeschooling are never fun. We all have them, thank you for being transparent enough to share yours!

    We also use TT. We love it, but its not exactly the "leave your kid at the computer and the cd will teach it for you" that it was sold to me as. If they don't understand the explanation, you are stuck. My oldest is the same as Dawson. He wants to get it right away, if he doesn't he totally clams up and is DONE. Drives me nuts, because, like you, I want to figure it out and will work until its done. I don't get giving up! I have heard that Life of Fred is a fabulous choice, and its nice to have options!

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  9. Well, I have no advice on the whole teenager thing -- we are still three years away from that here! BUT, I do know that I have had many days when I feel like you are feeling today, and I know that God's promises are new each morning and a good night's rest does wonders.

    I'm praying for you!

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  10. Ah, teenagers.

    I was going to suggest Khan Academy as well. I love his videos.

    Good luck!

    Sarah

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  11. So do you think Life of Fred would be easier to understand than Math-U-See? We've always used Math-U-See and I was going to switch to TT for Algebra but now I'm wondering if we should stick with MUS. Has anyone used MUS for Algebra with a math challenged boy?

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  12. Hi! I jumped over here from MamaTea's post about awful days, she linked both you and I! :-)

    My eldest sounds a lot like your Dawson--if the concept isn't understood and perfectly demonstrated the first time, she's melting down. And she's 10, I can only hope that I will get selective amnesia by the time she's in her teens. Egad.

    We also love Khan academy, for the express purpose that he doesn't get frustrated (like mom does) and will re-explain something until the cows come home (and then for awhile after that, even). It has helped us immensely.

    Good luck!

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We all know that in this crazy world of homeschooling, we need all the (adult) support we can get. Please leave a comment if you so wish!