I've been pretty silent lately on the blogosphere with auditions and general "getting into the groove" efforts at the learning center. I didn't realize until Wednesday that we were fast approaching the end of our first quarter. WOW! HAving that three week session in July really DOES make the first quarter fly by! By Friday we will have finished week 7, and that leaves only two weeks until I do the first report card. It made me start thinking about MY report card as well...
It's been a really tough quarter for me. My oldest, now almost 14 and a freshman, is having a hard time adjusting to the workload for a high schooler. She knows that were she in SCHOOL she'd have even MORE work, but going from the more laid back "two hours and then some" approach in 8th grade to what is becoming about a 4-6 hour day is a big transition. She is so used to having her day to sit and write, and while I DO consider that part of her schooling, it can't be all of it. Add to that her work load, which is by her choice up around 10 credits, and it's no wonder she's feeling overwhelmed at times. She is also dealing with a few personal issues that no doubt add to the situation. I think the biggest issue I've had to realize is that she is also just NOT a morning person, and therefore, trying to explain algebra at 10:30 in the morning is just not working. I told her we'd re-evaluate her schedule more for this quarter, and perhaps allow her to start later in the day. (My biggest fear on this was that the day would just "get away" from her). All in all, she is an EASY kid to work with, and I am blessed to have a teenager who still loves a good cuddle on the couch while watching our history DVD's or Shakespeare.
My Storm Queen -- almost 9 -- is another issue altogether. God must have a bit of a sense of humor, because he gave me an almost carbon copy of myself and my husband put together. NEver in my life have I met a more strong willed individual -- and while I recognize her great leadership potential for the future, I pray that I survive her teen years ahead! Everyday brings a battle of some sort....some days it's the frustration of not getting her math, some days it's because she doesn't WANT to go schoolwork before playing on the computer....but everyday, something. I've tried to be more consistent and hardline on the "no tv/no computer" until work is done, and then she'll have an assignment that NEEDS the computer, and the debate will begin just for debate's sake, I feel! I've doubted myself as both mom and teacher with her, almost to the point of wondering if school would be more beneficial to her. There are days when neither one of us is happy, and I look to God and ask, "why am I keeping her home for both of us to feel this way?" At the same time, I truly believe that she would be even more unhappy at school after the initial honeymoon phase wore off, and I feel in my heart that my vocation is here with them. In the end, I believe this is just a battle of the wills...sometimes mine and hers, and often, hers and God. I've decided that I need to trust her more to God at this point, because I know that by myself I can't do it. I can sense that her respect for my authority is waning, and so I pray that God will truly lead here.
I DID realize one thing that might make the schoolday easier. When I started homeschooling the Authoress in 5th grade, we did alot of unit studies, which really helped us to focus on some of the things that she loved. In the last few years I have used unit studies less and less, and I think that perhaps she would benefit from them at least for part of the year. I asked the Storm Queen to make a list of some things she'd like to learn about, and her list is quite interesting. I sat down this morning and realized that she is finishing up quizzes next week for most of her subjects, so I'm opting out of week 9 and I will plan a week or two unit study on whatever she chooses.....even incorporating her math in so she can have a break from the workbook. If it goes well, I will try to do this at least once a quarter. Perhaps a break from the everyday to learn something totally new will give us a chance to find the "fun" again. In the meantime, I keep praying!
Academically, they are both doing extremely well, with all A's and B's for test scores this far. They are bright , wonderful, and (most of the time) get along well with each other. Despite the difficulties, they have done well this first quarter with their work. Maybe Mommy needs a unit study, too!