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Old 10-08-2012, 05:47 PM   #1
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What to do when you feel like you're falling behind?

I'm so torn on what to do. My oldest is only in 2nd grade, but we've bounced him back and forth between public, charter, and homeschool partially since we've moved several times. Now just when our year should be getting into a good groove, I feel like we're falling behind. I'm not good at making lesson plan or a schedule and sticking to it, and we've gone back and forth between a complete workbook curriculum and Time4Learning/online. Lately between appointments, errands and distractions we've been doing very little school, and we still haven't even started science or history for the year. I'm leaning towards considering public school, but we're very particular with schools. I'm not sure about our local public schools, really, and know very little about them since we've lived here just over a year. I lived in this area my teen years, but I attended a private Christian school. I just don't know what to do. My husband won't give me much input and just says he doesn't know how to help since he's not here during the day. HELP!!!!

BTW, I have a 2nd grade boys, kindergarten boy, 4yr old girl and 2yr old girl, so PS would put 2 of them in school and only 2 here with me. Add to that the fact we are in the process of starting foster care, and things are only going to get busier.

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Old 10-09-2012, 06:11 AM   #2
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Re: What to do when you feel like you're falling behind?

Have you done foster care before? I have found that foster care requires a lot of time. You will be taking kids to parental visits, counseling and doctor appointments. It doesn't seem like it will add a lot but it does. The foster kids also need a lot of attention so you will have less time for the children currently in you home.
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:00 AM   #3
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Re: What to do when you feel like you're falling behind?

Time4Learning has worked well for us here. We do it 4 days a week and then a co-op with all the kids one day a week. It helped me b/c I'm not very good with lesson plans and sticking to what is planning everyday. This helped me to do that b/c there's not much planning (as you know ). LessonPathways.com is another option, but it took a lot of planning on my part I thought - so it was harder for us to use - but you might look into it - it's free so not much to loose.

Did you not like the online schools/charter schools?

What's the main reason you are considering putting the older two in PS? Is it simply b/c you feel like the kids are falling behind? I would say if that's the ONLY reason that every season in life is different - some are busier than others. If it's just a busy season - give yourself a break and don't worry about missing school a little and feeling like the kids are getting a little behind. Can you take cheap workbooks to the dr.'s apt.'s for the kids to work on while you are waiting? We do this sometimes with the dry erase workbooks so they can trade them in the office or do them more than once? Do they listen to online books? Maybe you could invest in a really cheap MP3 player and they could listen to some online stories while your at different appointments? If you tried to think of things that made school more portable would that make you feel better about HS'ing? If there are other reasons you are considering PS then I guess you would have to address those and figure out what is best for your family. We tried PS here and we've tried HS'ing here and to be honest I don't ever plan to go back to PS'ing for our family - even if there was a season where we got behind...I know we'd catch up...do you feel the same way? Or completely different?
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:59 AM   #4
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Re: What to do when you feel like you're falling behind?

Amberrose, I haven't done foster care before, but I do know that a ton of extra time and effort are going to be involved. That's why I want to get things flowing and stay on track now before we add in a bunch more craziness sometime probably just after the first of the year.

Cowangel, I think you're right that it's just a busy season. For a little over 2 weeks straight, we've had some sort of appointment almost every single day that pulled us away for the whole morning. Then today, things went smoothly and most of his work (T4L) was completed before 10:00am. It's really more or a focus problem on my end than his. I get distracted worse than he does. I think we'll be fine at home now that things are slowly starting to calm down. I'm also realizing part of my problem is aiming to go too deep into science and history for even my oldest's age meaning I never accomplish it. If instead we do basic, grade level subjects for him and let him go more in depth later on it may help, too. My oldest does have a (cheap, hand-me-down from me) MP3 player, but it still works well. Where can I find audiobooks for free or cheap?

ETA: Our local charter school was too far away, so we couldn't continue to afford gas, and NC doesn't offer the virtual school, yet. K12 attempted to get approved for this school year and didn't quite make it. Next year may be a possibility, still, though.
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:30 AM   #5
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Re: What to do when you feel like you're falling behind?

I wanted to respond to this and never got the time.

I feel behind sometimes. But, this is the biggest reason we choose to school year round. We have more time to have things get in the way of school. I have 5 kids who are 6 and under and I'm due any day with my 6th. Life gets crazy. Schooling year round allows for a lot more of that.

The other things is for the younger years, we do mostly focus on reading/phonics and math. We do science but it's more of unschooling science so far. We have a science curriculum and when we get to it, we do it. Otherwise, he gets a lot of books from the library, watches documentaries, and learns through play outside and such. I try to focus it on what the unit we should be doing is, but I don't worry too much if it's not the same. (I don't worry about history. It's built into his reading/phonics and he's only in 1st.) To make my life easier, I do have a boxed curriculum, almost completely open and go.

If I were you, I'd find ways to simplify and just keep doing the best you can. Renew your efforts and just keep going.

I get distracted too. Right now, we should be doing school, but I'm very tired. So, I'm sitting at the computer and the kids are watching TV, not educational. I have a few other things I have to do, like pay bills. I'm more focused right now on staying on top of everything that needs to be done around the house so that when I go into labor it's done. (Of course, it's taking so long that this is the hundredth time I've paid the bills and cleaned the bathrooms and on and on to make sure it is all done before I deliver. *sigh*) We haven't consitantly done school in about a month now, but I'm not that worried even though I'm not very happy with it either. When we do get back to our regular routine, we'll just pick up and keep going till we are done with 1st.

Hopefully, you are just going through a busy time and it will slow down for you.
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