Trailer Park Unschoolers

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

Luca’s Math Day and Homeschool Sadness

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Today Luca and I had a productive day.  We were working with Math U See Primer, which was the curriculum I bought to get Luca started with.  Sad reality, Luca’s not up to it.  We need an intro to our intro.

It never really occurred to me that Luca and I don’t do terribly much counting.  We don’t do much in the way of letters either.  I guess you could say I’ve really been lax about that.  The older kids learned to count when they learned to count and that was just it.  They picked it up by daily language.  I guess you could say I was a bad unschooling mom back in the day and have been with Luca to this point.  I don’t engage enough with Luca, and when I do it’s all play.  We don’t worry about things like counting and letters.  Why should we?  Luca’s only four!

Well, now I’m starting to feel the pressure.  Kids Luca’s age can already count to ten.  I’ve got to admit, I’ve been trying to work with Luca on this all year but it doesn’t seem to want to stick.  We’ve got one to five down, but the rest of the numbers are a bit of a mix.  Luca doesn’t recognize written numbers either.  I have a feeling this is going to be a long road ahead of us.

So today we just worked with the Math U See blocks.  I pulled out nine of the little units (because Math U See focuses on zero through nine, not one through ten) and we went to work.  I started out with putting out blocks and having Luca count them.  Then when it got to the point where I was making no progress, Luca would line them up or stack them and we would count as we went, starting with zero blocks and I would pick up the slack for the numbers after five.  We went on like this for about twenty minutes, then Luca started to get distracted and we moved on to something else.  We may not get into the Primer workbook until the end of the year, but I’m determined to get Luca through counting to nine, and then we’ll go from there.  If I have to pull out those blocks every day to count with, so be it.  We’re going to do this.  I might have to start picking up with counting other things around the house too.

Man, this makes me realize how bad at this I really am.  I’m really starting to get nervous about pulling the boys from school because I’m obviously not making that much progress with Luca.  I’m getting there slowly now, but I feel like I was somehow failing before and now I’m working much to hard to make the progress I should have made before.  I mean, what am I even doing?  I must be insane!

But then I take a deep breath and realize I’m doing things differently this time.  I’m more engaged with the learning this time.  I have a math curriculum.  I’m going to do more read aloud books (even though the kids glaze over and space when I read aloud, it’s worth a shot, right?)  I’ve got my mind set to work on a lot of things that we’ve neglected before.

Then there comes the homeschool regrets.  While A.J. is fine with homeschooling, Sander suddenly doesn’t want to do it anymore.  Earlier in the week he was all excited and wanted to quit early.  Now he’s thinking about leaving his best friend and he’s all upset about it.  He doesn’t want to homeschool anymore, at least not until summer.  He wants more time with his friend.

That’s when Oz did something that surprised me.  He told me to stick to my guns.  I made the decision to do this.  Sander wanted to do it.  Yes, it’s going to be hard for him to leave his friend behind, but that’s something he can and will get over.  It’s not something we’re going to regret.  Taxes will get done.  We’ll find a car.  We’ll start going to homeschool play dates, and Sander will forget all about missing his friend from school.

Or there’s the possibility he won’t have to miss his friend at all.  He was sent to school today with a letter for his friend’s mom with my phone number and email address.  He was told to give it to his friend so hopefully his mom will call and we can set up play dates.  A.J. brought letters for three of his friends too.  Hopefully we’ll see them, but if not, it’s no big deal.  I’ve done everything in my power, and that’s all that can be asked of me.

Still, I feel guilty taking them away from their friends.  I guess that’s the hardest part of all of this.  It’s sad to leave your friends and start over somewhere else.  We faced this every time we moved and I really hoped the kids wouldn’t face it again, but I know this is the right choice for them.  I also know they’ll make other friends.  Once we have a car again (taxes could not come back to quickly!) we’ll be going to homeschool play dates again.  We can look into a homeschool co-op.  I’ve called about martial arts classes for the kids and I’m waiting to hear back on a price for that.  We’ve looked into the local YMCA.  We plan to go to the LEGO days at the library, and there are plenty of parks to go to when the weather turns nice.  The kids will not lack for opportunities to make new friends.

Just keep your fingers crossed.  I’m looking forward to this, but it’s also crazy nerve wracking and intimidating.  I have to admit, it’s times like these that I miss the trailer park, where there were always kids around to make friends with.  Keep your fingers crossed that the kids can stay in touch with their friends, and here’s hoping they make many more along the way.

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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.

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