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    Dealing with stops and starts

    Does anyone else deal with constant restarts in school because of health or other challenges? We focus on essentials, stop our school day between 12 and 1, etc. but we'll get a few days in and then I'll be down for a few days (lately, it's been up to a week at a time). Then it's like the first day of school all over again. The kids are struggling with the inconsistency and it's even making me dread school days.

    Today, I have them working on some independent school-related activities (word building, copywork, etc) but just answering my Kindergartener's questions is draining me.

    I'm about to start a new treatment; but we need to be able to function in the meantime. Does anyone have tips for navigating this stop/start thing?
    Jennifer
    Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

    DS17: MP, MPOA, HSC
    DS16: MP, MPOA, HSC
    DS14: MP, MPOA
    DS12: Finishing SC 4 >> Moving on to mix of SC 5/6 & 7/8
    DD10: Finishing 3A >> Moving on to miix of 5M and SC7/8
    DD8: SC3
    DD6: MPK

    #2
    Hey Jen!
    Goodness...I wish I had some good advice for you, but I feel as though all I should do is sit in your kitchen, drink some tea, and nod along in solidarity. 🥺. The way our life has morphed into where it is now, out of necessity, is such that I try not to turn my head from the plough to look back at how things used to be. There has been so much to deal with - and to continue to deal with. We have so many specialists in our lives now, so many appointments, so many things that could legitimately be “priorities,” and yet, we still don’t have time for them all. I am constantly adjusting, feeling constantly behind, and feeling constantly outmanned, outgunned, and outsmarted by things beyond my control.

    Long ago, Dianna shared a hashtag, #wedohardthingshere, that used to resonate with me because of the beautiful caliber of education we were striving for. Now, it resonates with me so much because of how much we have to deal with IN ADDITION to school.

    Another one I still use consistently is:
    Do the Next Right Thing.

    There is so much I cannot predict from one day to the next, or even from one hour to the next, that I end up simply trying to keep one foot in front of the other, moving forward and making some kind of progress toward what each one is capable of. I have made adjustments to streamline, and plan to do so even more for next year. I have shortened our school days to be able to include more non-school things as often as we can. I resolved that we would go back to daily Mass any day that I could manage it (meaning: that I got some semblance of “enough” sleep that I can get us there without pushing myself into physical stress-mode). I say yes to cartoons more than I would like, but I also say yes to going outside to play more than I used to. I have one child on week 15, one on week 17, two on week 22, and one on week 24. I have one who is doing some school most days, but for whom we just can’t track it right now. One of our kids will be adjusting what year she is so she can slow down and have more time. School last year and this has felt very messy while we get a handle on lots of changes that have been happening. It has been so tough.

    BUT...I will say it has been teaching us how much we need each other, how to have compassion for the weakness and challenges we each are facing, and to realize that no one gets to walk through this life without experiencing the cross - even children, sadly. Your FB recently was spot-on...our crosses continue even though Lent has ended and the joy of Easter has begun.

    So as far as school advice goes - I will be reading along to get some new ideas as well; but just wanted to offer your support that I am in the trech with you, always trying to figure out how to bring more order to this daily chaos.

    AMDG,
    Sarah
    2020-2021
    16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
    DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
    DS, 17
    DD, 15
    DD, 13
    DD, 11
    DD, 9
    DD, 7
    +DS+
    DS, 2

    Comment


      #3
      Jen,
      I have sent a response, but for some reason it is unapproved. I didn’t even try to edit it. ???
      But hugs to you in the meantime, friend!
      AMDG,
      Sarah
      2020-2021
      16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
      DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
      DS, 17
      DD, 15
      DD, 13
      DD, 11
      DD, 9
      DD, 7
      +DS+
      DS, 2

      Comment


        #4
        Jen,

        I am so sorry for your struggles. I will keep you in my prayers. In the meantime, I recently just realized that on our "non school days" after 1 day of "total freedom" by the second day there is a lot of yelling and screaming and fighting and not even remembering to do the basics. (brush teeth, hair, get dressed, put away dishes, etc). My kids need a predictable schedule, even if there is some variety in the schedule. This way, when school "resumes" the only thing that is different is the school itself. I created a checklist for school days and non school days. The day starts with ETWN mass at 8am. "work/chores/school" happens until the Angelus (Regina Caeli right now). Then it is time for a break/free time. Then different things happen until the Divine Mercy (reading for 30 min (or listening audio book), quiet time, etc at 3. Then, it is break/free time..until 6pm Angelus (Regina Caeli). At this point we are eating dinner. After dinner is still a bit of a free for all. It is dark so late now, that they pretty much just go back outside. I need to find a better winter after dinner structure/non taxing activity. The school day is similar in routine, but we do school work/finish morning chores from after Mass until the Angelus. The break stays and then we have until Divine Mercy to finish. We stop, regardless of "being done" or not then. If they finish before Divine Mercy, it's quiet time in their rooms.

        This has been helpful, so far, though we are only a week into it. 😉.
        Christine

        2020/2021)
        DD1 8/23/09 - MP4 (Math 5)
        DS2 9/1/11 - SC 5/6 2 year pace
        DD3 2/9/13 -SC2/Storytime Treasures/AAR

        Previous Years
        DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3, SC4, SC 5/6
        DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK, SC2/AAR/Storytime Treasures), Traditional Spelling 1
        DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others, MPK, AAR)

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by howiecram View Post
          Jen,

          I am so sorry for your struggles. I will keep you in my prayers. In the meantime, I recently just realized that on our "non school days" after 1 day of "total freedom" by the second day there is a lot of yelling and screaming and fighting and not even remembering to do the basics. (brush teeth, hair, get dressed, put away dishes, etc). My kids need a predictable schedule, even if there is some variety in the schedule. This way, when school "resumes" the only thing that is different is the school itself. I created a checklist for school days and non school days. The day starts with ETWN mass at 8am. "work/chores/school" happens until the Angelus (Regina Caeli right now). Then it is time for a break/free time. Then different things happen until the Divine Mercy (reading for 30 min (or listening audio book), quiet time, etc at 3. Then, it is break/free time..until 6pm Angelus (Regina Caeli). At this point we are eating dinner. After dinner is still a bit of a free for all. It is dark so late now, that they pretty much just go back outside. I need to find a better winter after dinner structure/non taxing activity. The school day is similar in routine, but we do school work/finish morning chores from after Mass until the Angelus. The break stays and then we have until Divine Mercy to finish. We stop, regardless of "being done" or not then. If they finish before Divine Mercy, it's quiet time in their rooms.

          This has been helpful, so far, though we are only a week into it. 😉.
          This is a much-needed reminder. We've followed a block system like this for many years but I haven't been keeping to it on non-school days like I used to (my kids would be millionaires if they had a penny for every time I've said, "Morning is for constructive activities only!"). I loosened up when free time no longer led to disaster, but I think you're right. We should still do this.

          I LOVE how you've used prayer as your milestones between blocks.
          Jennifer
          Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

          DS17: MP, MPOA, HSC
          DS16: MP, MPOA, HSC
          DS14: MP, MPOA
          DS12: Finishing SC 4 >> Moving on to mix of SC 5/6 & 7/8
          DD10: Finishing 3A >> Moving on to miix of 5M and SC7/8
          DD8: SC3
          DD6: MPK

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by KF2000 View Post
            Jen,
            I have sent a response, but for some reason it is unapproved. I didn’t even try to edit it. ???
            But hugs to you in the meantime, friend!
            AMDG,
            Sarah
            Thank you, Sarah <3

            Tagging tanya for approval.
            Jennifer
            Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

            DS17: MP, MPOA, HSC
            DS16: MP, MPOA, HSC
            DS14: MP, MPOA
            DS12: Finishing SC 4 >> Moving on to mix of SC 5/6 & 7/8
            DD10: Finishing 3A >> Moving on to miix of 5M and SC7/8
            DD8: SC3
            DD6: MPK

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by jen1134 View Post
              Does anyone else deal with constant restarts in school because of health or other challenges? We focus on essentials, stop our school day between 12 and 1, etc. but we'll get a few days in and then I'll be down for a few days (lately, it's been up to a week at a time). Then it's like the first day of school all over again. The kids are struggling with the inconsistency and it's even making me dread school days.

              Today, I have them working on some independent school-related activities (word building, copywork, etc) but just answering my Kindergartener's questions is draining me.

              I'm about to start a new treatment; but we need to be able to function in the meantime. Does anyone have tips for navigating this stop/start thing?
              Getting into a routine that works for all of us is a constant battle in my house. I told Brett the other day that I feel like there's 5 little planets here, and they're all in different orbits.

              Managing health issues are ROUGH, and I think it's important to get everyone on the same page. It's the oxygen mask in the airplane scenario. You have to take care of your needs first, before you can help anyone else. Once you've done that, then I think it's prudent to sit down and have a family meeting, to sift through priorities and triage. One of my mantras is "Do we need this? Can we handle the workload? Can we do this WELL?" Even though we've been an MP family for years, I can't and don't get everything covered. I wave the white flag, and put blinders on to what other families are doing. We're all unique and we all have different challenges. Situations change year to year, and even month to month.

              Coming at this from an outsider's perspective ....... your big 3 (and maybe 4) SHOULD be able to be independent for many things. (I'm not saying, here, you do this on your own --- but they should be able to follow a checklist and move on to other things if you can't work with them.) Personally, I would feel like those older kids, especially those who would be graduating soon, need a big chunk of my energy and time, because there are outside pressures there that you can't control. (outsourced classes with schedules you don't control, moving on to college or trade schools, etc) With the younger crew, if things get delayed, shifted, or dropped all together, I think you have more wiggle room than with the older crew. You may have to look at the day child by child --- which kid needs the most help from me? Which one is going to create the most havoc if they're not kept busy? Which one dawdles if I'm not right beside them? In a year that you're dealing with health concerns, I'm wondering if MVD (minimum viable days) are the answer for your younger crew.

              Another thing that stood out to me in your post was stopping school at 12 or 1. Is this for everyone? What time are you getting started? That sounds like a dream world in my house --- we often don't get started until 9 or later, so there's no way we could get everything finished by then.

              Something occurred to me the other day, and I'm still turning it over in my brain. This fall will be my eleventh year of homeschooling. Out of all of those years, there's only been ONE that didn't involve some sort of obstacle to manage. Sometimes the challenges are known ahead of time (babies and toddlers), sometimes they come out of the blue (caring for aging parents, health issues for me). Sometimes the challenge is short, and sometimes it drags on all year and knocks the wind out of your sails. All that to say --- maybe we need to plan to pivot at some point.

              Sending you hugs --- you're certainly not alone in this boat.
              Plans for 2020-21

              Year 10 of homeschooling with MP

              DD1 - 25 - Small Business owner with a STOREFRONT
              DD2 - 14 - 9th grade - HLS Cottage School/MPOA - equestrian
              DS3 - 12 - 5A Cottage School - soccer
              DS4 - 12 - 5A Cottage School -soccer
              DD5 - 8 - 3A, Cottage School -equestrian and Irish dance
              DS6 - 6 - MP K - home with Momma

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by DiannaKennedy View Post

                Getting into a routine that works for all of us is a constant battle in my house. I told Brett the other day that I feel like there's 5 little planets here, and they're all in different orbits.

                Managing health issues are ROUGH, and I think it's important to get everyone on the same page. It's the oxygen mask in the airplane scenario. You have to take care of your needs first, before you can help anyone else. Once you've done that, then I think it's prudent to sit down and have a family meeting, to sift through priorities and triage. One of my mantras is "Do we need this? Can we handle the workload? Can we do this WELL?" Even though we've been an MP family for years, I can't and don't get everything covered. I wave the white flag, and put blinders on to what other families are doing. We're all unique and we all have different challenges. Situations change year to year, and even month to month.

                Coming at this from an outsider's perspective ....... your big 3 (and maybe 4) SHOULD be able to be independent for many things. (I'm not saying, here, you do this on your own --- but they should be able to follow a checklist and move on to other things if you can't work with them.) Personally, I would feel like those older kids, especially those who would be graduating soon, need a big chunk of my energy and time, because there are outside pressures there that you can't control. (outsourced classes with schedules you don't control, moving on to college or trade schools, etc) With the younger crew, if things get delayed, shifted, or dropped all together, I think you have more wiggle room than with the older crew. You may have to look at the day child by child --- which kid needs the most help from me? Which one is going to create the most havoc if they're not kept busy? Which one dawdles if I'm not right beside them? In a year that you're dealing with health concerns, I'm wondering if MVD (minimum viable days) are the answer for your younger crew.

                Another thing that stood out to me in your post was stopping school at 12 or 1. Is this for everyone? What time are you getting started? That sounds like a dream world in my house --- we often don't get started until 9 or later, so there's no way we could get everything finished by then.

                Something occurred to me the other day, and I'm still turning it over in my brain. This fall will be my eleventh year of homeschooling. Out of all of those years, there's only been ONE that didn't involve some sort of obstacle to manage. Sometimes the challenges are known ahead of time (babies and toddlers), sometimes they come out of the blue (caring for aging parents, health issues for me). Sometimes the challenge is short, and sometimes it drags on all year and knocks the wind out of your sails. All that to say --- maybe we need to plan to pivot at some point.

                Sending you hugs --- you're certainly not alone in this boat.
                So...my older two are completely independent. Everything is either MPOA, Homeschool Connections, or MP's streaming videos. They literally don't need me for anything other than the occasional pep talk. They work an average of 4-6 hours a day on non-job days.

                Number three (8th grade) is a wildcard right now due to some of his own challenges. He works independently but I have to check in every day to make sure he's doing it. He has two MPOA classes which he handles on his own (except for my needing to buy lab supplies), we dropped Latin until next year, and he's in his last literature book (we only did two this year). He's supposed to be doing Famous Men of Greece but he always forgets.

                For the rest, I spend 30 minutes to an hour with each and that's it. We start sometime between 9 and 10. Their daily workload is essentials only: Latin or phonics, literature, spelling, and their math is online. My 10yo does everything independently but we try to have a daily check in to review her work. We all (younger crew) read/discuss mammals and have fun with states/capitals on Wednesdays and we don't do their other subjects on that day. I'm hoping to start reading/discussing Famous Men of Rome on Wednesdays.

                All that to say we've streamlined and outsourced to the umpteenth degree. And we're still in this situation.

                I don't know. Maybe I'm just not pushing through enough anymore. Maybe Plan B for bad days should be "school upstairs in mom's room"? I'd still be pushing but at least I'd be physically resting....?
                Last edited by jen1134; 04-06-2021, 06:05 PM.
                Jennifer
                Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

                DS17: MP, MPOA, HSC
                DS16: MP, MPOA, HSC
                DS14: MP, MPOA
                DS12: Finishing SC 4 >> Moving on to mix of SC 5/6 & 7/8
                DD10: Finishing 3A >> Moving on to miix of 5M and SC7/8
                DD8: SC3
                DD6: MPK

                Comment


                  #9
                  I like the idea of minimum viable days. And perhaps that is different for each child? I know that for us, math and spelling are critical to keep up with so even on doctor appointment days, or days I don’t feel good, I strive to make those happen.

                  I also wanted to share our morning “chore” system. It isn’t perfect BUT the kids know it, and know it has to happen before the walk on school days and before playtime on weekends. So it has become a very consistent thing for us. I hate nagging so we use a bucket with clothes pins for the younger two (I am neurotic and each of has a family color and has for the past seven years so the pins are color coded).

                  My eldest and I use a chore chart that I put in a frame on the wall, and we use a wet erase marker to check of our chores as we do them. The younger two find the sound of pins dropping to be very satisfying. I’ve toyed with the idea of making a “schoolwork” bucket but haven’t done that. We also have afternoon buckets/lists but we fell of the wagon with those and I’m working right now on morning buckets being completed with minimal whining before adding on more. I have found, though, that if we keep with set wake up and bedtimes and buckets, they “roll” better with the changing school schedules.
                  Attached Files
                  Ora et Labora!
                  Emily

                  Beech Tree Boarding School, 2020-2021
                  DD (age 9): 4NU
                  DD (age 7): MP 1
                  DS (age 4): MP Jr. K
                  "I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time, I rest in the grace of the world, and am free." Wendell Berry

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Sorry for all the typos!

                    Also, I really hope that your new treatment will be a good solution that minimizes your days in bed!
                    Ora et Labora!
                    Emily

                    Beech Tree Boarding School, 2020-2021
                    DD (age 9): 4NU
                    DD (age 7): MP 1
                    DS (age 4): MP Jr. K
                    "I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time, I rest in the grace of the world, and am free." Wendell Berry

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Jen,
                      Oh *for sure* we have had school-while-mom-is-resting-in-bed. During flares? There’s no other way to do it. We used to have to do that because of morning sickness, so it is not a total shocker to them to have to do it that way. And for us, because they can’t be left out, many of the older kids end up in the room too just for camaraderie!

                      AMDG,
                      Sarah
                      Last edited by KF2000; 04-07-2021, 07:29 AM. Reason: Internet glitchiness
                      2020-2021
                      16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
                      DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
                      DS, 17
                      DD, 15
                      DD, 13
                      DD, 11
                      DD, 9
                      DD, 7
                      +DS+
                      DS, 2

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Jen,
                        Oh *for sure* we have had school-while-mom-is-resting-in-bed. During flares? There’s no other way to do it. We used to have to do that because of morning sickness, so it is not a total shocker to them to have to do it that way. And for us, because they can’t be left out, many of the older kids end up in the room too just for camaraderie!

                        But the amount of energy is still so low that yes, even small bits of back-and-forth can be so draining. What Dianna shared above is something I keep in mind too...that the kids who really need the most help right now, are also the youngest. So if I tell my 7 year old thar she can have a break if she reads books to the 3 year old so I can close my eyes for a bit, that’s a win for all three of us. I try to think in those terms...how do I create a “win” in this moment for as many of us as possible.

                        AMDG,
                        Sarah
                        2020-2021
                        16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
                        DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
                        DS, 17
                        DD, 15
                        DD, 13
                        DD, 11
                        DD, 9
                        DD, 7
                        +DS+
                        DS, 2

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I’ve had to start sleeping more, and that has been good for me but deleterious for our morning routine. At this point, I can get out of bed most days, for which i am very thankful, but even making this small accommodation for my body and disease has been very disheartening. I am not in your shoes but I have a sense of the frustration. ❤️
                          Ora et Labora!
                          Emily

                          Beech Tree Boarding School, 2020-2021
                          DD (age 9): 4NU
                          DD (age 7): MP 1
                          DS (age 4): MP Jr. K
                          "I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time, I rest in the grace of the world, and am free." Wendell Berry

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Sorry for the double post...My internet was being glitchy so I did not know the first one went through and now I can’t seem to edit it.

                            AMDG,
                            Sarah
                            2020-2021
                            16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
                            DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
                            DS, 17
                            DD, 15
                            DD, 13
                            DD, 11
                            DD, 9
                            DD, 7
                            +DS+
                            DS, 2

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Fireweed Prep View Post
                              I’ve had to start sleeping more, and that has been good for me but deleterious for our morning routine. At this point, I can get out of bed most days, for which i am very thankful, but even making this small accommodation for my body and disease has been very disheartening. I am not in your shoes but I have a sense of the frustration. ❤️
                              YES! Doing what is needed for my health leads to everything else getting derailed. I think our shoes are more similar than you realize ❤️
                              Jennifer
                              Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

                              DS17: MP, MPOA, HSC
                              DS16: MP, MPOA, HSC
                              DS14: MP, MPOA
                              DS12: Finishing SC 4 >> Moving on to mix of SC 5/6 & 7/8
                              DD10: Finishing 3A >> Moving on to miix of 5M and SC7/8
                              DD8: SC3
                              DD6: MPK

                              Comment

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