Pulled this beautiful pic of my studious daughter from a few weeks ago.
Parenting is hard. With home school I have no idea where the parenting and teaching line is. One thing I know is that motivating my kids and getting them to work is WAY harder than actually teaching them concepts. I am sure this is the way (traditional in-school) teachers feel as well. I can’t imagine a room full of 20+ of my kids trying to get them to do anything beyond standing in a line. Truly, teachers have all my sympathy. Just having two should be simple right?
I write about the struggles of home school more than I would like. Sorry. There are lots of good blogs that paint rosy pictures and have lots of printables and kids dressed in costumes. I like those sites, and I wish my house was more like it. We do have our days. This week we learned about Jane Goodall, painted African birds, are going on another ‘African Field Trip’ and learned how steel is made. But lots of days just don’t work at all.
I have been struggling a bunch this week with my daughter’s attention span. I would love to say it was just this week but it isn’t. She spent from 12:00 noon until 8:00 pm (plus her 30 minute class time in the morning , and not including supper time) working on Math last Wednesday. Total of 17 problems! By 6:00pm she had gotten about 4 done. It wasn’t the issue of her not knowing what to do, or having any questions to ask, or being distracted, or being upset, or being hungry/thirsty, or being tired, or being sick, or feeling un-loved, or anything else I could figure out. When she did finally finish just before 8 she had gotten almost half of them wrong (8 of the 17). Just silly mistakes, like copying down the wrong number or forgetting the final step or counting wrong. There was no understanding issue. Often I get upset (I shouldn’t) because I just want her to work and I don’t why it takes her so long. This time I was patient and helped her have a undistracting environment and everything she needed. I can’t deliver focus on a platter. Wednesday night was date night and because she didn’t get her work done she couldn’t go anywhere, and neither could I.
It’s not just last Wednesday, it’s not just Math, it’s not just school. (a few years ago she held a fork full of corn in her mouth for 7 whole hours …. through her well child doctors appointment… without swallowing it …. because she didn’t like it and I told her she couldn’t spit it out).
It kills me because she is so smart. She can learn things very quickly and reads (and understands) way faster than me! As a parent I want so much for her to succeed and she just seems to have this switch i her head that moves between Einstein and checked out.
So this week I found Dr. Hallowell through a Facebook post and have requested a bunch of his books from the library. He does a bunch of writing on ADD/ADHD and sees it as asset instead of a ‘disorder’. (which I love. This isn’t brain cancer so lets not label it negatively).
I don’t know if my daughter has ADD, she doesn’t have all the symptoms listed, nor do I know want her labeled as such. She is a kid and most kids have trouble focusing. She just seems to have so much trouble sometimes, is incredibly distracted and struggles with some of the other areas. I don’t want a perfect kid. I don’t think there are any. Maybe I just want to make sure it isn’t me, something in how I parent or don’t parent. Maybe that is selfish and self-centered of me to think that way. I am just a perfectionist, this is my most important role in life and want to do the best job possible. I want some new ideas to try because the positive/negative reinforcement, encouraging, soul fever techniques, consistency, one-on-one aren’t working that well.
I don’t want to be the hypochondriac parent, don’t want labels but I want my child to succeed and achieve her dreams in life. I just want to make sure that I am doing everything as a parent I can to help that.