I kind of lost it as a mom that day.
I just couldn't do it anymore. I usually just find my grit, and get through the lesson or whatever we're doing, but I couldn't even do that that day. I went into my room, locked the door, and cried.
I said on a Dyslexia Facebook group that I hated homeschool but I felt like I had no choice, and I meant it.
Some moms responded and said I needed a break. Of course, I've already had a break....during the worst-week-of-my-life when I didn't do any school. How much more behind was I supposed to get?
But we didn't do anymore school that day. We went to a magic show instead.
I've often thought how wonderful it would be if Hyrum got into magic because he's always wanting to entertain others and make them laugh.
I continued to cry all that day. Not sure what was wrong with me, honestly. But there was a couple ladies that replied to my post telling me about their dyslexic kids with their shattered self-esteems in public school, and it gave me more grit. It's worth it. It's all worth it.
The rest of the week was actually pretty low key. I knew I needed to take it nice and slow, so we did. It was a blessing because all their extra classes were cancelled for the week. It was just me and the essentials.
We even started to do a bit of social studies. We talked about culture and what it meant. This isn't the first time I've talked about culture with a group of kids, and usually it's kind of hard for them to come up with a list of what culture is, but my kids, having lived in Vanuatu for so long, knew exactly what I was asking, and quickly made a list.
We focused on Government, and we will continue to do so. We started with Monarchy.
I always thought of Canada as a democratic republic that recognizes a monarchy. But no! We are a constitutional monarchy. Weird. Maybe that means we're democratic as well, but I just don't think of "The Queen of Canada" (which truly is one of her titles) very often. I guess I was learning right along with my kids.
Did you know that the Duke of Luxembourg refused to sign a law for euthanasia in 2015, and lost his veto "power." That a man stood up for what he knew was right knowing he could loose it all, makes me proud.
We made crowns to celebrate Monarchs.
Yeah, I took a lot of pictures. I was proud we were actually doing it.
We also studied Dictators. I didn't preview a youtube video we watched, and there was this one titled something like "Ten Dictatorships of Today." It was VERY graphic. It not only talked about torture and killings, it SHOWED tortures and killings. I didn't get through the entire video. I think I scarred my kids for life.
William ran to Papa and said "You don't mess with a dictator. They will kill you and your family!" Well, I guess he got the point.
We played a game to "celebrate" dictators. You start out with a certain number of treats. If you roll a 2 or 5 you are giving the dictator an advantage, and the dictator gets another candy. If you roll a 1 or 4 you are a rebellion, and the dictator takes away one of your candies. If you roll a 3 or 6 you cooperate and no one gets candies.
I think it was pretty clear that in a dictatorship, only the dictator wins.
Also for social studies, we watched a little olympics. I think it's pretty cool that the year I teach geography is always the year they do Winter Olympics. Serendipity strikes again.
For science that week, we learned about rocks. we talked about how to identify rocks, including scratch testing, seeing how it marks things, what kind of cleavage it has, and what kind of crystal formations it has. The crystal part encouraged us to take out our microscope to look at good ol' salt and sugar.
This last week in science we continued to learn about rocks. We learned about igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary. We even made our own sedimentary rocks from layered plaster mixed with coloured sand in styrofoam cups that we took off when it was dry.
And as for essentials:
Hyrum's math just gets harder and harder. He is doing pre-algebra stuff like (4+6)m=20 and he's actually doing pretty good at it.
He's also doing long division. Rightstart had them start off with 2s. As in 2 divided into 253,743. And instead of Hyrum putting r1 when there was a remainder, he would put .5. I was really proud of him for his understanding of division and decimals to have the skill to do that.
But once he started doing bigger numbers than 2, the division was just too difficult for him. He would have 3 divided into 48272 and it was way too hard because he can't remember his simple division facts. Times Tales had worked like magic for him for multiplication, but for division, it didn't.
He always had some anxiety when doing division problems. He got there, but often with a word or two from me to help him remember the story from Times Tales, or after a really long fretful time.
Finally I figured I would help him out. I gave him this sheet:
It quickly did the trick. If he can look at this, he can do all his long division problems perfectly.
He got the concept quickly, but that doesn't mean that he always did his work quickly. I figured out a way to help him go a bit faster and focused: Video tape him! I "hyper lapsed" him finding the area of non-right triangles. (The book said he could use a calculator for his measurements that were things like 4.3 by 8.6. He knows how to do it without a calculator too.)
And yes I have more kids than Hyrum in my family. Check out William's favourite way of doing math:
Yes, that is him under our glass school table looking up. He would do ALL his school like this ALL the time if I let him. Upside-down for him.
And as for English, I'm getting better at doing Barton regularly.
Maxwell's writing isn't where it should be.
And I don't mean that it's on the board instead of on paper. It's spelling, punctuation, and everything. Dyslexia streaming out of every word I feel like.
I'm going to try a new program. IEW Institute for Excellence in Writing. (And continue on spelling....which we DO do.....believe it or not.) This program is the one Barton suggested all along (quietly suggested, I can't remember when I found out that she suggested it, but it was in the last year or so. Why doesn't she broadcast this more?!?)