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What to do?

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  • Miah
    replied
    Re: What to do?

    I only have the one in homeschool now, but neither of us are morning people, so I figure why fight biology so hard? We start school at about 10:30 and go late. His bedtime is 10. I would happily be nocturnal given the chance, so even starting at 10:30 is sometimes hard for me. That's the beauty of homeschool to me that we can accommodate our sleep habits like that.

    My husband works crazy hours, sometimes days and gone 5:30-7:30, mostly nights and gone similar, but sleeping all day, so our school day really doesn't have to account for him. His days off are nearly random, so I did have to implement a strict school days are Mon-Fri, do the work before hanging out with dad rule.

    (You have no idea how hard it was for me to be at HLS every morning at what amounted to 6 AM to my internal clock!)

    Leave a comment:


  • jen1134
    replied
    Re: What to do?

    Originally posted by empokorski View Post
    I don’t have a lot to offer here, but I have been reading this thread and I am completely fascinated. Our lives are a bit flipped in a different direction. I struggle to get my kids into bed by 8:30-9. Some of this is due to activities that run until 7 or later! Then, I usually have to wake them up even at 7. I would love to move bedtime up so I actually have more time with my husband. It feels like I finally get them into bed and then I get downstairs and I’m running around stressed and trying to get prepared for the next day and then I end up stuck such that I’m to bed late and not able to wake up early because I’m tired, the kids are grouchy because I woke them up, I hate breakfast because there are inevitably always complaining and the kids want to play in the AM and do school has routinely started around 9AM for us. Adding another child this year who is a restless 5-yr old who has already decided he doesn’t like school because it takes too long and too much work is going to be a new challenge for me. I’m trying to figure out what schedule I’d like and then let them know before we formally start school so we can get on track with it. I need a way to keep everyone accountable and keep them from running off! Yeesh. I think some exercise in the AM is great, but I feel I get bulldozed at times because they want to play. Trying to be better prepared this year so I am not rushing in the AM to gather materials, etc...

    DS (13) - SC3
    DS (10) - SC3
    DD (8) - MP1
    DS (5) - MPK
    Yes, we've never been able to do evening activities except in summer (but even those are limited). Fatigue makes every one ten times worse in this house. The older kids don't fall asleep until 9 or 10, but I don't worry about it because all four of them share a small room so they talk to each other and/or read until they fall asleep.

    Morning exercise would completely derail us too...for the older kids we have a rule that you eat breakfast, do your chore (this can count as exercise, right? ), and then start on school. It's harder to get the younger ones into that because they don't have much in the way of independent work and so have to wait for me to start laundry, take care of the 3 year old, etc.
    Last edited by jen1134; 07-28-2018, 07:48 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • empokorski
    replied
    Re: What to do?

    I don’t have a lot to offer here, but I have been reading this thread and I am completely fascinated. Our lives are a bit flipped in a different direction. I struggle to get my kids into bed by 8:30-9. Some of this is due to activities that run until 7 or later! Then, I usually have to wake them up even at 7. I would love to move bedtime up so I actually have more time with my husband. It feels like I finally get them into bed and then I get downstairs and I’m running around stressed and trying to get prepared for the next day and then I end up stuck such that I’m to bed late and not able to wake up early because I’m tired, the kids are grouchy because I woke them up, I hate breakfast because there are inevitably always complaining and the kids want to play in the AM and do school has routinely started around 9AM for us. Adding another child this year who is a restless 5-yr old who has already decided he doesn’t like school because it takes too long and too much work is going to be a new challenge for me. I’m trying to figure out what schedule I’d like and then let them know before we formally start school so we can get on track with it. I need a way to keep everyone accountable and keep them from running off! Yeesh. I think some exercise in the AM is great, but I feel I get bulldozed at times because they want to play. Trying to be better prepared this year so I am not rushing in the AM to gather materials, etc...

    DS (13) - SC3
    DS (10) - SC3
    DD (8) - MP1
    DS (5) - MPK

    Leave a comment:


  • cherylswope
    replied
    Re: What to do?

    Yes, Michael is right. The Opening will allow for questions to be raised and discussed, as well as providing a full overview of SC existing & future levels. The Closing will attempt to be sure no one leaves with topics or questions unaddressed.

    Even so, I know what you mean, Susan. I think the best way is for those of us in any SC track to identify one another and make a point of sitting together at meals, on breaks, in the evenings, or as you and I did spontaneously last year, whenever the opportunity arises! If you wanted to coordinate an SC table at Mimi's or elsewhere, that might be reasonably easy to do.

    We might place red hearts (from the SC Curriculum logo) on our nametags for easiest identification of fellow mom's whose children have suspected or diagnosed special needs. I agree that the unscheduled, spontaneous conversations are an important part of any conference! Let's look for ways to allow time and space for this to happen.

    Leave a comment:


  • Michael
    replied
    Re: What to do?

    Originally posted by SPearson View Post
    In skimming through this thread, and pondering Jen's original post, ......just curious (Jen, Christine, Cheryl).....will there be any non-structured-workshop time to brainstorm/discuss/problem-solve some of our special issues for special kids? This would be one of those things that would definitely help my SG feel more value-added. I'm thinking a special 'round table' during a meal or some other time. But something tells me that final "Q&A session" is probably not what I'm envisioning. Sorry, not being as articulate and clear as I'd like.

    TIA,

    Susan
    Susan,

    Cheryl can correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that the goal of both the first SC breakout (Introductions) and the last (Closing SC Session) is to provide a more open-ended, less-focused time for discussions and conversation. Monday's final SC breakout (Placement Help) will also be very open, as the "focus" is on whatever you need to know to decide exactly what piece(s) of our curriculum will help your child(ren).

    HTH!

    Leave a comment:


  • SPearson
    replied
    Re: What to do?

    In skimming through this thread, and pondering Jen's original post, ......just curious (Jen, Christine, Cheryl).....will there be any non-structured-workshop time to brainstorm/discuss/problem-solve some of our special issues for special kids? This would be one of those things that would definitely help my SG feel more value-added. I'm thinking a special 'round table' during a meal or some other time. But something tells me that final "Q&A session" is probably not what I'm envisioning. Sorry, not being as articulate and clear as I'd like.

    TIA,

    Susan

    Leave a comment:


  • howiecram
    replied
    Re: What to do?

    Slightly off topic, but just food for thought. In dealing with our sleep issues, I found some research that says boys actually need less sleep than girls. It makes sense that all these boys are up and at ‘em before our girls. Also, that they really crave that time with mom. We have the same predicament here.


    It is bright day light here until 10pm. (We have not been able, even with darkening shades AND curtains to get the rooms dark enough) It is so hard to keep a strict bedtime. However, my son in particular, let’s us know we have crossed the threshold by throwing pretty extreme tantrums. Pjs/teeth/meds/books all need to begin promptly at 7pm. If it is 8, it is meltdown city.


    Sarah, I too have a hard time being “on” from 6am until 8pm....it is definitely something that I need continuing prayers on!

    Leave a comment:


  • cherylswope
    replied
    Re: What to do?

    Jen, I wonder if the solution lies partially in addressing those 2-3 overnight wakings. Supplements, medical, or behavioral intervention? If you could go to bed knowing you could sleep soundly most nights till 5:30 a.m., the morning tutorials Anita & Sarah described might be possible!

    When my Michael was little, he rose early, as do I. We loved those mornings before his sister awakened. Today, twenty years later, he rises before dawn to go to work, as do I. We share a quiet breakfast and conversation before he leaves. He tells me those mornings mean a lot to him.

    As Anita says, however, it starts the night before. We have early dinner, a quick game or two, showers, and bed while the sun is still setting! Room-darkening shades, white-noise filters, no screens after dinner, and frequently declined evening invitations have become a way of life here.

    No burning the candle at both ends. This is not sustainable for anyone! Whenever we start to shift later, we just shift back. For us, the productive morning hours are well worth the effort.

    It does seem as though it might be necessary to address the overnight disturbances. Some of those can become unintentionally habitual. We sought help at a sleep clinic for my daughter years ago. The remedies have helped all the years later. In fact, she is still sleeping as I write this. ☺

    Leave a comment:


  • sarahandrew
    replied
    Re: What to do?

    Hi Jen,

    I have the same issue with my 6yo! I have done some early mornings with my kids in the past and in the last month I thought it was worth trying it with him again. So for about 3 weeks I got up at 5.30, ready to start at 6am. No breakfast, just a hot drink for the both of us, maybe a little snack if needed and we’d get lessons and therapy done before 8am (then breakfast!). It was night and day - the attention, compliance etc compared to after 8am. The last of those 3 weeks my daughter decided she wanted in on this. So after a stern talking to about the need to not interrupt the stillness, to work independently while I working with Jonny (or Jonathan as he now likes to be called), she began to join us. She started to finish her work in 3.5hrs...instead of dragging things out painfully. My nearly 3yo was happy to listen to audiobooks. It was all working well...

    Then I started to feel really flat, my husband started to get worried about me and I realised I had just added more hours of childcare to my day! Not only that, the self-care things, like time to read/sew, disappeared from my schedule, not because hours were not there in the day because I was too tired and the ‘not lesson’ time became squabbling-kids-who-make-more-messes time.

    My daughter now knows that she can get her lessons done in 3.5 hours and gets a reward if she gets them done in this time, so she’s been happy to get them done before lunch at least. But with my son...I’m getting a fraction out of him compared to 6am.

    Yesterday I had a bit of an epiphany about him that some of his challenging behaviours are due to anxiety and that solid structure will help. His raspy loud voice that I had posted about before, came back (and there is a stressor, my husband injured his back v badly and will most likely need surgery and soon), and i started to reread Simply Classical...I feel so strongly that this kid needs 6am, but I can’t let myself be that tired, I need to make sure I’ve got enough energy at the end of the day to be there for my husband and also, enough to be a sane person (I turn into emotional crazy wife when sleep deprived.) So, starting today I got up early again....it was amazing, his attention still isn’t like other kids his age, but it was 1000x better than a later time for him. And it was so good for our relationship. Then I took a nap with the baby after lunch...I’m going to try that for a while and see how it goes. (Unfortunately my 8yo decided this was the best time to try out making coffee and brought me one, pleased as punch, and woke me up mid nap so I could try it, holding it over the baby’s sleeping head...timing!!!)

    Back to topic, my mum had said to me ‘how can you recreate what is helpful about it later on in the day?’ And I just haven’t been able to crack it. At 6am he is fresh, the house is still, there is no breakfast that the 2 or 6yo has spilt on the floor, the baby is usually happy to sit in his high chair or on my lap. And to be honest, I really like it too...being able to spend time with my boy at his best, it helps me to get him when his behaviour is difficult. Also if this is all I need to do to avoid stimulants, it seems like a small price to pay. (We are trialling fish oil for 3 months, then Paed suggests trialling stimulants...I’m not opposed, but not wild about the idea either!)

    All that is to say that yes, yes, yes we have a similar issue here and I hope you manage to find a solution. I’m interested to hear how things go for you!

    Leave a comment:


  • jejegreer
    replied
    Re: What to do?

    Originally posted by jen1134 View Post
    The kids do almost all the chores here (even dinners) so I can spend my energy on the younger kids’ schooling, helping my husband with our business, etc. But most of them have to be reminded (visual charts get forgotten, including by me) and they have to be reminded to stay on task and/or checked up on when done. The older kids also do all of their schoolwork independently (lessons are on Mondays or online) and I review during lunch.

    As my talk at Sodalitas will share: 7 out of 9 of us have significant executive function deficits including both my husband and myself. It makes life interesting and hardly ever clear-cut as to how to meet everyone’s individual needs.

    Mainly, I wanted to see if anyone else has a child that functions like my 9yo and if they had found a way to keep their attention from being so time-of-day dependent. That way we won’t get derailed when life happens or his siblings need me to help them through their own struggles — any of which can happen multiple times a week causing a vicious cycle.

    I hope I don’t sound pessimistic or like we’re somehow “unique” and need special treatment; our struggles are what they are and we’re just trying to do the best we can despite all the moving/contradictory parts.
    I would love to know how to get my kids to do almost all of the chores! Mine think that they are doing the world a huge favor by walking the dog and putting the dishes away. My 6M/7A daughter will help with the laundry sometimes, and has been known to vacuum the living room after being asked multiple times a day for 5 days in a row. I think you are doing great to get your kids to do the chores. I am sorry I have no real suggestions about how to get the child to do his work if it is after 8 am. We have the same problem, but it is an after lunch problem so I get all morning to attempt to teach her. Maybe someone else will have some good advice.

    Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend Sodalitas. I had wanted to meet you and everyone and hear all the talks.

    Leave a comment:


  • jen1134
    replied
    Re: What to do?

    Originally posted by jejegreer View Post
    Your 8M son (and maybe even your 6M son) should be old enough that they can help in a few ways. First, they are certainly old enough to make breakfast and do the dishes. Second, I really think that they can be taught to put a load of laundry in the wash with soap. Separating it the night before would help. Third, they should be able to start their own schoolwork. Maybe having them do something easier like spelling or history is not your favorite idea, but it would get them going and then perhaps math and Latin need to happen later when you are done with the littler ones. As part of a family that does not even get up until 8 am I feel really bad for you. I am exhausted just thinking about all you have to do.
    The kids do almost all the chores here (even dinners) so I can spend my energy on the younger kids’ schooling, helping my husband with our business, etc. But most of them have to be reminded (visual charts get forgotten, including by me) and they have to be reminded to stay on task and/or checked up on when done. The older kids also do all of their schoolwork independently (lessons are on Mondays or online) and I review during lunch.

    As my talk at Sodalitas will share: 7 out of 9 of us have significant executive function deficits including both my husband and myself. It makes life interesting and hardly ever clear-cut as to how to meet everyone’s individual needs.

    Mainly, I wanted to see if anyone else has a child that functions like my 9yo and if they had found a way to keep their attention from being so time-of-day dependent. That way we won’t get derailed when life happens or his siblings need me to help them through their own struggles — any of which can happen multiple times a week causing a vicious cycle.

    I hope I don’t sound pessimistic or like we’re somehow “unique” and need special treatment; our struggles are what they are and we’re just trying to do the best we can despite all the moving/contradictory parts.
    Last edited by jen1134; 06-26-2018, 02:42 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • jejegreer
    replied
    Re: What to do?

    Originally posted by jen1134 View Post
    My 9yo and 6yo are both very sensitive to when in the day we start school, but especially my 9yo son. If we start after 8am, it’s a fight to get and keep his attention, regardless of what he was doing before we started. I basically need to make sure everyone eats, take my medicine, pour my cereal and then eat at the desk while I start school with him otherwise we’ll sit there for hours while he complains about the work. Start before 8 and he’s a joy to work with and we’re done in an hour. But it means that I can’t get everyone else going on chores, no laundry gets started, and my other kids have to wait for my help on stuff. He doesn’t watch the clock or anything— it’s like there’s some internal trigger that goes off after 8am. Has anyone else run into this? What did you do?
    Your 8M son (and maybe even your 6M son) should be old enough that they can help in a few ways. First, they are certainly old enough to make breakfast and do the dishes. Second, I really think that they can be taught to put a load of laundry in the wash with soap. Separating it the night before would help. Third, they should be able to start their own schoolwork. Maybe having them do something easier like spelling or history is not your favorite idea, but it would get them going and then perhaps math and Latin need to happen later when you are done with the littler ones. As part of a family that does not even get up until 8 am I feel really bad for you. I am exhausted just thinking about all you have to do.

    Leave a comment:


  • jen1134
    replied
    Re: What to do?

    Originally posted by Anita View Post
    Durn, girl. That’s valuable extra information for someone wiser than I.

    So... do what you’re doing, except push everything else off while you school the early-schoolers? I mean, really — that’s your trade off. If school isn’t getting done with your early-schooler unless you start before 8AM, start schooling him before 8AM. Everything else gets put off until you’re done.

    There are only so many hours in the day and you have a gaggle of kids, a slew of special needs, medical issues, and a ton of extra work outside of schooling and momming and wifeing. Cut out some work, outsource as much as you can onto your kids and do what you can with what’s left. Other than moving into your garage or putting your kids in school away from home, I think that’s it.

    What are your expectations for your day?
    How are those being met or not being met?
    Are your expectations realistic, reasonable, doable and in line with your famiy’s core values and abilities?

    A lot of my own dissatisfaction with how our day runs boils down to one of two usual causes:
    1) Not being on the ball myself (because I’m tired or not asking for help often enough)
    2) Trying to cram too much into my day and forgetting that I am limited, my kids are limited and my husband is limited as far as how much we can reasonably accomplish without crashing and burning.

    No idea if this is at all helpful. It if you need a break, take one. If you need to ramp it up, ramp it up, if you need to take a moment so you can plan a reset, plan a reset. Get out, get a coffee and brain vomit everything you need to figure out onto a piece or two of paper. Sometimes that’s all it takes to get some clarity.
    It's a conundrum for sure, lol. I've been dropping everything to get to him on time but it's causing chaos elsewhere, hence my question. My husband and I are doing alot of soul searching about things around here so I'm definitely open to ideas. It's nice to know that C isn't the only kid who works this way, though!

    Leave a comment:


  • Anita
    replied
    Re: What to do?

    Originally posted by jen1134 View Post
    My girls climb into bed with us at 5:30. I used to stay up as soon as they woke up but it was killing me health-wise (despite going to bed between 9 and 9:30 — part of a chronic health condition plus I’m often up 2-3 times a night with the girls; sensory-related nightwaking, bathroom help, etc) so my husband said I needed to stop getting up that early. I’ve also got three kids who occasionally wake with low blood sugar, despite me being a dinner Nazi when it comes to the blend of protein/fats/carbs they’re getting. If I’m doing household stuff when they wake up, I can miss the subtle, early warning signs of trouble. So the glorious get-up-and-do-what-needs-to-be-done thing doesn’t work here.
    Durn, girl. That’s valuable extra information for someone wiser than I.

    So... do what you’re doing, except push everything else off while you school the early-schoolers? I mean, really — that’s your trade off. If school isn’t getting done with your early-schooler unless you start before 8AM, start schooling him before 8AM. Everything else gets put off until you’re done.

    There are only so many hours in the day and you have a gaggle of kids, a slew of special needs, medical issues, and a ton of extra work outside of schooling and momming and wifeing. Cut out some work, outsource as much as you can onto your kids and do what you can with what’s left. Other than moving into your garage or putting your kids in school away from home, I think that’s it.

    What are your expectations for your day?
    How are those being met or not being met?
    Are your expectations realistic, reasonable, doable and in line with your famiy’s core values and abilities?

    A lot of my own dissatisfaction with how our day runs boils down to one of two usual causes:
    1) Not being on the ball myself (because I’m tired or not asking for help often enough)
    2) Trying to cram too much into my day and forgetting that I am limited, my kids are limited and my husband is limited as far as how much we can reasonably accomplish without crashing and burning.

    No idea if this is at all helpful. It if you need a break, take one. If you need to ramp it up, ramp it up, if you need to take a moment so you can plan a reset, plan a reset. Get out, get a coffee and brain vomit everything you need to figure out onto a piece or two of paper. Sometimes that’s all it takes to get some clarity.

    Leave a comment:


  • jen1134
    replied
    Re: What to do?

    Originally posted by Anita View Post
    YEP! It’s basically 8AM — 9 o’clock at the very latest! — or nothing substantial is happening for the day. To be blunt, I get up early (5-530), get my coffee, have a few minutes of quiet time, unload the dishwasher, feed the animals, put breakfast on the table, give vitamins, make everyone do dishes, clean their rooms, make their beds, get dressed and brush their teeth and hair, pull out desks and chairs and we roll. It’s pretty much the only way it’s going to happen. Sometimes we start at 7 or 730 if we’re feeling squirrelly.

    ETA:
    This routine starts the night before. The floors are swept, I almost never leave dirty dishes in the sink, the coffee maker is almost always programmed the night before and I even sometimes set the table for breakfast before I go to bed. The kids have a strict bedtime of no later than 8PM and they are required to help with the dishes. They also are required to clean their rooms and lay out their pajamas and clean underpants on their beds before dinner. Once dinner is over, all they have to do is clear the dishes, my daughter sweeps the floor, my son feeds the dog, and they all potty-brush-teeth-pjs. We say prayers-and-kisses-and-hugs, I close their doors and then I’m usually up 30-45 minutes later doing my nighttime routine before I retire with Hubby. This is basically our daily routine (unless you wake up — like I did today — with the house covered in cat pee. FELINE UTI IS FROM THE DEVIL.)

    This may or may not be helpful. It’s just how we’ve managed it.

    My girls climb into bed with us at 5:30. I used to stay up as soon as they woke up but it was killing me health-wise (despite going to bed between 9 and 9:30 — part of a chronic health condition plus I’m often up 2-3 times a night with the girls; sensory-related nightwaking, bathroom help, etc) so my husband said I needed to stop getting up that early. I’ve also got three kids who occasionally wake with low blood sugar, despite me being a dinner Nazi when it comes to the blend of protein/fats/carbs they’re getting. If I’m doing household stuff when they wake up, I can miss the subtle, early warning signs of trouble. So the glorious get-up-and-do-what-needs-to-be-done thing doesn’t work here.
    Last edited by jen1134; 06-26-2018, 11:22 AM.

    Leave a comment:

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