Trailer Park Unschoolers

Because you don't need to be rich to unschool!

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

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Ah, another co-op week! I love co-op. It’s always so much fun. Okay, for most of us it’s always fun. We have our share of challenges, but all in all, it’s a highlight of our week.

So, let’s start with the good. We’ll be at co-op again next week! It might be tight, but we’ve been given a couple more weeks to work out our finances. I’m glad they’re willing to work with us. A part of me would be glad to ease up and be free of the co-op. Part of me would really miss it.

Better still, Luca sat through a good bit of his time in nursery without getting upset. He lasted a good portion of the first two classes. He even played with puzzles for a while, as long as I didn’t leave the room. He did really well. He even had some good Daddy time, which is something he needs. It’s strange not having him with me, but it’s good that he’s having fun with other people. He needs to spend some time without me. I love him, but sometimes I need a break!

Oz is organizing a Magic tournament for the homeschool co-op’s teen players. He’s even building a deck to use as a prize. The kids are thrilled. It should be a lot of fun. Better yet, it should be worked out as a regular thing for when Beekee is old enough. The boys are already asking to play, but I think Sander and Beekee need to learn a lot, like reading, focusing, and strategy before they can play.

The bad? My knee, ankle, and elbow are in rough shape. Yes, it’s definitely fall. The kids’ aunt’s truck broke down today. I didn’t get the cleaning done I had hoped. We were late for co-op…again. We even forgot to pack lunches. It was just not a good day for organization. I guess on that level it was the fear of having to leave the co-op. I was stressing over that instead of getting everyone ready.

And then there was the ugly. I was asked if I would let Corde drop yet another grade level in writing. She’s not thriving like I expected. Worse still, she’s starting to become disruptive in class. It’s not that she doesn’t get the concepts. She’s just very slow at writing. She gets distracted too easily. She’ll write two letters, then stop to ask a question or stare out the window at home. It can take her an hour to write one sentence. Her spelling is horrible, even when copying. She’s a bit disappointed, but she’ll get over it. It’s better to thrive and be set back than to struggle. We’ll still work on her writing program. We can just take it at her pace. If it takes her all summer, so be it. By next year she should be ready. It’s speed, focus, and spelling that holding her back, not understanding. She’ll feel better about it when she starts the new class.

I also learned just how many kids I’m likely to have in my lit class for our next book. My class has all elected to read War of the Worlds after Treasure Island. They’re combining classes with the next grade group up. That group is likely to mostly choose the same book. That class is going to be huge! We’re going to need a bigger classroom. I’m not looking forward to a class that big.

Back to Corde for a minute, her attitude today was also pretty ugly. She decided to sulk all of science. She didn’t get the prizes for doing her homework because she said she did it all during class. She’s making things hard for herself at co-op. I really need to start encouraging her and checking in with her more. Beekee and Sander are thriving at co-op, but if Corde doesn’t start rising to the challenge, I think she may not return next year. I know she can do it. I know she can thrive. I know she could have a lot of fun with it, but she needs to lose the attitude about hard work and facing challenges. I hate to pull us all out next year because she doesn’t want to do it, but it’s really all or none. I can’t just leave her home alone all day. We’re in this together or not at all. Then again, she’s still adjusting, so she may start to lobe it once she’s a little more in the swing of things.

So it’s been a bit of a mixed bag today. In the end, we had a lot of fun. Corde and Beekee are making friends. Sander is getting to do some fun stuff he wouldn’t do at home. He loves his teachers. My classes are so much fun. Oz is really loving it too. I really hope it continues to go well for us. Now we just need to figure out how to manage the finances. We have a lot to afford and not that much money to work with. I think today showed me to stay positive. They love us at the co-op, even with Corde’s struggles and moodiness. She’s just got to feel like she’s struggling less. The fairy festival is coming up. Life is looking more positive.

Oh, and there’s talk of starting a homeschool hiking and nature walk group on Wednesday morning. The family suggesting it is big into the Charlotte Mason thing. I think those nature walks and studies could be good for the kids. There’s nothing like exercise, nature studies, and socialization for my little nature-lovers! Yup, things are looking up!

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Author: Fox

With four kids in the house, who has time for much? Well, we're trying to make it work, trying to get as close to our unschooling roots as we can while state restrictions and family pressures try to stand in our way. Every day is a new adventure.

2 thoughts on “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

  1. Maybe with Corde dropping to a lower writing class – where she may begin to thrive – will be the encouragement she needs to thrive in other areas and change her attitude. Have you looked around on pinterest for some ideas to help her with writing? I am sure they have some brilliant ideas.

    • Very true! That’s my hope, that it’ll be rough for a little while because adjustment is hard, but it will give her the confidence she needs in the end to flourish. After all, it’s not that she doesn’t get it the ideas of outlining, vocabulary building, and writing an interesting paper. She just really needs to learn how to write, spell, and all that. Once she realizes it’s to help her with the basics, not because she can’t handle the concepts covered, she just needs to catch up on some skills she missed out on learning because we’ve been so non-traditional.

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