What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Looking toward the light

It's been an unusually B.A.D. day here today.

The kids aren't particularly naughty.
The house is actually cleaner than it has been in months.
And believe it or not, my to-do list isn't all THAT unmanageable.

Sound like a bad day to you? Well-it HAS been. For me.

The B.A.D. comes in the form of a girl who takes two hours to complete very simple math work that, if focused could be done in twenty minutes flat.

The bad comes in having grocery day come and go WITHOUT buying groceries for four days now~after a week of entertaining THREE times (which means using more food than normal). Today was supposed to be the day to restock. I didn't want to sacrifice schooling so I opted for after rest...but since MATH took so long to complete this morning, after rest will have to be devoted to reading. One MORE opportunity to get groceries bites the dust. And dust is what we will be biting soon too, if a grocery trip doesn't happen ONE of these days.

The BAD comes while a Mama walks away from the scene, frustrated beyond belief after spitting sharp words meant to draw the child into focus. Frustrated with her own impatience. Frustrated with the childs' lack of focus. Frustrated at the impossible feelings of inadequacy.

Today is just NOT my day.

Corynn's problem is not that it is too hard. It is that her head is in the clouds and I am truly at a loss as to HOW to teach a child FOCUS. Isn't that something that a person just has...naturally? I know children don't have attention spans as long as adults. I don't expect her to.

Oftentimes on this blog I share my own revelations and by some of the comments I've received, the sharing of them has helped others out too. But today, I come here with no revelations at all. Only my own sheer inadequacy and desperation. Today is one of those "I can't do it" days.

If I can't teach ONE kindergartener without her and I both being frustrated to tears-how will I school ALL my children...especially at the same time?

If I can't finish school in time enough to get necessary household tasks done (like grocery shopping) for just a few simple subjects like math and reading, how will I cope when I am teaching history, science, latin, grammar, art, etc?

No. I have nothing profound to say. Nothing of note to encourage myself or others with. In fact, I am kinda sorta hoping you all will help me out~ I sure could use some.

While I am at an utter loss and frustrated beyond belief I will do what I often do when I don't know WHAT ELSE to do (say that five times fast) and that is:

Find some good. SOMEWHERE. Look for it. Seek it out. HUNT it. Acknowledge it. Be thankful for it. Find contentment in it.

Call it a diversionary tactic. It is. But it helps.

So~ while I wait for all the pearls of wisdom to find their way to the comments section....here goes....

At lunch time Corynn petitioned God in an interesting way: " Lord, please help me not to become a ragamuffin." I assume by that, she was praying not become poor? Because the only time I have used the term ragamuffin was when her clothing was all mismatched and her hair unkempt. I have no idea what her thought process was, but I nearly laughed outloud when I heard it.


Day three of big boy undies. Day TWO of keeping them dry.

And YES. Chocolate chip rewards ARE helping.


Andrew praying for our house in GREAT detail: "Dank you for da doors. Da updairs badwoom. Da downdairs badwoom. Dank you for da wooddove. The wood for da wooddove. The updairs woodstove (I assume he meant the oven...). My woom. For da barns and da cows for da barns and da hay." The prayer lasted a GOOD five minutes.


While making cookies the other day a "funny" occurred:

To set the scene: Corynn was plopping cookie dough on the cookie sheets while Andrew waited his turn.

Me: "Corynn, you have to space the cookies out a bit more so they don't run into each other as they bake."

Andrew, in his funny "arguing voice": "MAMA! Cookies don't WUN~ dey don't have wegs!"


After watching the move DEEP BLUE, a library trip that provided lots of books on whales, sea creatures, and-the latest obsession-jellyfish. Corynn saying, after finishing perusing the tower-like pile of library books outside the kitchen doorway while I was cooking dinner: "Mama! Why didn't you get MORE books about the ocean for us from the library?"


An itty-bitty who MIGHT be the one to share my blue eyes? Maybe, maybe?!? The verdict is still out...

THERE. There is light at the end of the tunnel. I just had to look for it.
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Tracy said...

Be of good cheer, Rebecca. I can't begin to tell you how many times I've left the scene, and cried. Hard. At my own impatience. At the task that seemed too difficult. But God is good. Each day is not like this one. (Though, truthfully, many are.) He'll never give you more than you cane handle.

A. said...

I'm a homeschooler, too. We had one of those mornings and though I don't do it all the time, this time we just closed the book and went to the grocery store.

After the fresh air and the complete feeling of a stocked kitchen, we tackled that reading work with cheerfulness. We didn't get to some of the math but homeschooling means flexibility and we'll make it up tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I teach 1st grade in a public school and I find that setting a timer sometimes helps those students that poke along. As long as the work is not too difficult...try the timer. It might help.

Crystal in Pahrump

Kris said...

I agree with Crystal. Set the timer for short sets - 10-15 minutes max. Make it a game! How many problems can she get done (and done CORRECTLY!) before the timer goes off? If the work isn't done, take a 5-10 minute break to either work on another subject or a real break with no work involved. Then come back to the work that was not finished yet. As a parent of a child with ADHD, this is the only way I got through the day! Also, children this age needs lots of physical activity and so sometimes it helps to have the child get physical while doing their work. Have her run some items up and down the stairs :-)

Look around the Internet for methods of teaching ADHD children (not that Corynn is) and you'll get lots of good ideas! Young children have a hard time focusing - she's completely normal!

Love ya!

Beth said...

I was going to suggest using a timer too. My kids are grown now but when they were small, a timer was the only way to get things accomplished some days. Matter of fact, I sometimes have to use a timer for myself to get things accomplished!!!

Chris said...

It's okay to bag school for the grocery store. Think of all the math and reading opportunities that present themselves at the store. It is, after all, just kindergarten.

Anonymous said...

not to bag on you while you're having a shitty time of it but homeschooling is kind of neglectful, no? all the wonderful life lessons and memories and enrichment that comes from children socializing in the school system, is it really worse than sheltering your children and having them grow up with no social skills whatsoever? your education is questionable as it is - shame on you for yelling at a CHILD for not knowing what you do not have the competence to teach her.

Leah said...

Shame on the anonymous commenter who wasn't even brave enough to add their name to their rude and unnecessary comment!

We had a day of school like that, too, this week. We made it through and John did VERY well the next day! :)

I think Esther may actually be the first of ours to take after me and have blue eyes, too! :)

Matt said...

I wonder where the anonymous commenter learned his/her 'socializing' skills?
I think monkeys treat each other better.

Peggy in Alaska said...

Shame on the anonymous commenter! Having worked in the public school realm with both high schoolers and pre-kindergarteners (K4) as a young person I became disallusioned with the "system." Public school teachers have their bad days just like homeschoolers, of which I am one! Our own children have gone the route of public school (1 year for the eldest), Christian school, and homeschooling. Even though the homeschooling was not our initial choice and would not have been if we hadn't moved we do not plan to change back. Yes, there may come a time if we move back to the lower 48 and my husband is able to work in the previous school our children attended but at this time such is not the case! Yes, we did love our little school as it had a total of 26 students from K-12. Parents were very involved and there was much one on one interaction between the students and teachers! However as homeschoolers our children are now learning skills they would otherwise lack until adulthood. They are learning to be productive young men!! All in all, we have our good days and our bad days but such is the case with everyone regardless of their occupation and/or position in life! You have taken the step that so many neglect and it is admitting you have faults and accepting the responsiblity! May you continue to grow in the Lord! You are a blessing in our lives daily!!

abigail said...

Count us in. Annie loves it, but with Millie, it's been worse than pulling teeth lately, even though she knows the content, and it should be so easy.

And you know what? I graduated with an Education Concentration!

Goodness, I certainly hope that doesn't mean that the effectiveness of a teacher is determined by something other than empty credentials. Unless Millie's reticence is due to the fact that my major was English and not math... I guess I should only teach her English from now on because of my questionable education in the realm of mathematics.

YEEHAW, problem solved!

(Ach, Mister Gatto, where are you when we most need you?)