I knew that I would have to allow time to adjust. I did not think the emotions that we are feeling would swing so suddenly, completely without warning, from pleasure and peacefullness to anger and hostility.
Lilah is dealing with the adjustment from a one child schoolhouse to a two child one. Lilah asked to come home and her adjustment to homeschooling was smooth. We had some bad days for sure. She complained about math every single day for three months. Dispite her aversion to math, she loved being home. She loved the freedom it gave her, the ability to spend time on things she loves and the quality time we were able to share. When we spoke of the possibility of Grace coming home she was excited. Having only one child at home can be lonely at times. Despite the fact that my girls very rarely play together, she wanted her sister to share her days with.
I think she may have learned early to be careful what you wish for! Now I have my wish, both girls are home learning together. But Lilah’s wish is not working out the way I think she had planned. Lilah cried out today that she wished she never came home so that Grace would never have been curious about the opportunity to come home and maybe it would be better in school. Mind you, Lilah will be someone you see someday accepting a Tony or an Oscar (most likely a daytime emmy) for best female performance in a drama. Nevertheless, it broke my heart.
Grace is struggling a bit with adjusting to lessons at home. This summer we spent most of our learning centered around projects. She loved it. Now we are back to the basics with spelling, writing, math and history. She is not so sure about my style. She feels math is too easy. I struggled deeply over placing her in a math curriculum. She did very well in school and scored very high on her Mastery Tests. What she is doing now is easy for her - it is a review of addition and subtraction. But the terms they use are new (subtrahand, difference, addend, zero property, etc). She is not familiar with them. Today I learned that she excels in computation, but give her a problem like a 3x3 grid with the rows and columns having the same sum and numbers are missing and she drew a complete blank. She said she does not like “thinking” problems! What??!! So I am glad she is having this review, with many quick “thinking problems” thrown in. What Lilah objects to is the rolling of the eyes, the comments that “this is so easy” or “we don’t do this in school” and “I used to love math, now I think I hate it”. These are some of the same things Lilah used to say about math but now she has no patience for her sister’s journey of discovery. Ironically, Lilah now loves math, does not complain and is grasping the concepts she struggled with in the spring. I do not want Grace to lose her love for math so I have purchased a Singapore Daily Math Problem book to challenge her, even though these are some pretty tough “thinking problems”.
We lost an hour today to the argument that insued after math. Lilah stomped off to her cool down place in the attic and stayed there for all of writing. Grace clung close to me while I tried to explain Lilah’s frustrations. I told both girls that we need to allow time to adjust and if we want this to work out, it will. I asked for Grace to trust me with math and enjoy the review. I promised her it gets hard quick. I reminded her that when we tried Life of Fred earlier this summer it was a disaster because she did not have a firm understanding of the key concepts. She will get these soon, units of measurement including metric, which she has never had (or claims to never have had) is the next chapter.
Once Lilah calmed down she said she did not want to return to school but she does want things to go back the way they were when it was just the two of us. I explained that this is not possible right now. We will figure this out. We will come up with a way to learn together and try to celebrate each other’s strengths, not point out our weaknesses. We will treat each other with kindness and respect. We will help each other when asked and not intrude on each other when not asked. We will understand we learn differently and figure out how to accomplish our lessons honoring our differences. We will realize that there are some things we just have to do because the teacher says so but the teacher will always help her students learn what they want to. We will figure this out because we each want it in our own way, for our own reasons.
This will be a journey. Not always an easy one but certainly an unforgettable one.
|began a collage for our biography unit: Zlata's Diary|
|played Harry Potter Wii with a friend|
|making bath bombs|
|worked on collage for biography of Jeff Corwin|