Heritage of Sons

When the challenges are more on the Mom-side

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Heritage of Sons

I put this in the "learning challenges" forum, but I'm not sure it fits here...

Here's the background:  Those of you who have been here a while probably recognize me -- I have been on these forums close to 13 years now. And those of you who have been here for at least a year and a half may remember my accident (bicycle accident - June of '16).  The biggest thing I am still dealing with is post-concussion syndrome; its affects seep into every aspect of my life.  I am not my "pre-accident" self, and homeschooling is way more of a challenge now than before. My boys are now 17 (graduate), 12, 10 & 8. My multitasking is practically non-existent, my ability to focus on a task for longer periods is greatly diminished. Cognitive skills have been compromised, and logic is difficult. Reading aloud is more difficult (shorter bursts is ok). Typing takes longer (I make tons of spelling and typos -- if I left this post in its original form you would probably have trouble figuring it out!). Driving is harder (I avoid highway driving), so taking the boys places is more limited. I am more irritable and snap at my boys more easily (anger fuse is short). Appointments (and at-home assignment from some of those) for me cut into my parenting/teaching/housekeeping/family time.

DH is talking about putting at least our 12 yo in school -- then I fear homeschooling the two younger boys during the day and helping/overseeing homework in the evenings (I cringe at that thought -- especially because evenings are way worse for me than mornings). My 17 yo was a very independent learner at 12, my current 12 yo, not so much. I have been trying to teach him to be more independent (as well as even the 10 & 8 yos), but that's a difficult thing to "teach" -- it was easy and seemed to be a natural progression with my eldest.

I guess the thing I am asking is how can I really help my boys to become independent learners and still have the rich education that Sonlight and other similar curricula offer with less direction/teaching from me? Or any other advice to help me be able to continue to homeschool all three boys.

 

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mompotter

I had not heard about your accident. I am so sorry. It sounds really hard. What about doing online school for some subjects? I know it probably isn't what you pictured for school, but it wouldn't have to be forever and might take some of the stress off of you. The longer I homeschool the more I realize it doesn't always happen the way we plan and that isn't always a bad thing.

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slac

Aimee, I am so sorry that you are still feeling the effects of your accident.  What do the Drs say?  Will you eventually get back your stamina and return to how it was?  

I agree with Mompotter.  If you can't do a total online school, can  you outsource  for the tougher classes?  What about coop classes?   Are you in a good school district?  Could  you enroll in a B&M school and reevaluate year by year or even semester by semester?  

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4arrows

I'm so sorry you are still dealing with these effects, Aimee!  With my fatigue issues, I ran into a few of the same problems, although definitely not on the same level that you are experiencing.  It helped to get my kids a school planner, and I would write out their assignments for every day.  Everything they could do by themselves, they did.  We'd have certain times where we would work together.  For a period of time, I was only functional in the mornings, so that is when we read and I helped them with math or LA or whatever.  Dh took over the science for a while, which also helped.  My kids had certain things they could do on their own, like handwriting,  spelling, reader, Bible reading, or math (after we did any instruction they needed).  They would work independently in the afternoon, and I would rest.  This did help them develop their independence, as they had a list of things to do, and needed to complete them before they were free to do other things.  

 

If something like this wouldn't work, then I would definitely consider outside options like a co-op for some classes, or online classes, or even a regular school.  Your husband is trying to look out for your health, which he should.   Whatever you decide to do doesn't have to be forever.  As Linda and Staci pointed out, you can evaluate periodically and see if what you are doing is working, and can always go back to full time hsing when your symptoms clear up.   (((Hugs)))

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cand3js

Hi Aimee,

I can relate to some extent. I had a heart attack last summer; a heart defect and lung problems were discovered that may require surgery in the future. My guys are older but we had to get outside help because I just could not do it all, any more. They have been doing some online classes this year but the classes they are doing have been VERY EXPENSIVE (Excelsior Classes, Big River Academy, Outschool). My oldest is graduating this year but we are going to have to figure out a cheaper option for my younger son for next year. I’ve been looking into the Ron Paul curriculum but have not found many reviews, so far.

I hope you can find some good options that will work for your family. Praying for you!

 

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Mazurka
18 hours ago, Heritage of Sons said:

it was easy and seemed to be a natural progression with my eldest.

 

 

Kids are definitely different in regards to how they work independently. My two are polar opposites in this regard.  One, I could leave for days with no instructions other than to do school, and he'd make good forward progress.  The other one, if I don't check in on him several times a day, he "forgets" things, or didn't see them on his planner.  Some of it is probably a true handicap, and some of it is goofing off when mom doesn't check up on you.   That happened on Friday when I spent too much time on the boards! :girlwacko:  It got to be 8 o'clock at night, and I was trying to review his things with him, and "oops" he didn't do the practice exercises in his physics program and "oops" he skipped one of his chemistry problems and didn't memorize his words, etc.  I will say, that having a list really helps this guy, but even on a list, he'll still skip stuff.  I don't know if I crowd to do items too closely together, or if the different colors I use to help him see different assignments really doesn't help at all.  This coming week, I'm going to try to space things differently, so each item stands out clearly. And then I'll try to find yet another way to do things when that way doesn't work, lol.    Some kids just have a hard time with this.  My little guy learned at a young age that if he got his work done early, he'd have more time for his personal projects, but my older student has never yet seemed to learn that.

Edited by Mazurka
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Rebecca9

Funny isn't it Aimee- my 9 year old is more independent than the almost 12 year old. Which is why mine will go to public school next year if we are in the U.S. I have no regrets in this decision. It is best for me and the DC need a different teacher. 

I am praying your family finds a solution with the most benefit. 

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Heritage of Sons

Thank you, all of you for chiming in with the encouragement, prayers and your experiences.

My eldest still in school (my 12 yo) just asked me for a schedule the other day -- one that's color coded.  We have a schedule on a whiteboard in the kitchen, but I think he needs a paper one to keep with his school stuff... and a checklist he can mark up each day. I'm going to work on that and see if it helps.

Our local public school is not one that we would put our kids in, so it's either all at home, co-ops, online school, or the local Christian school.  I'm going to continuing to look into these different options.

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daveswife

Is a private tutor an option for you? My friend, a former teacher and reading specialist, private tutors three siblings for income. In our state, a private tutor must be a certified teacher and only teach children residing in the same residence. There are required subjects, but the tutor can choose how to cover them. I know my friend charges way less than the local parochial schools do (and she doesn't assign written homework, as this is the mother's preference).  Just a thought.

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doxa

I'm so sorry you are suffering so from post concussive syndrome.  What an awful thing to be living with.  Are they giving you a favorable prognosis.

No words of wisdom here regarding schooling, but I'm hearing your concern over potentially teaching two during the day and still having to oversee homework at night.  That sounds like a lot - especially when you need to conserve your energy to recover.  I think I might either want them all in school or all at home, but not split so that you have more work.

In terms of homeschooling them all -- can you cluster the subjects that require more direct help from you (perhaps in the morning) and the subjects that they can do independently in the afternoons so that you can work at homeschooling half a day and let them work independently for the other half while you rest?

Prayers that God will heal you and guide you as you sort this out. 

 

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Heritage of Sons
On 2/5/2018 at 1:58 PM, daveswife said:

Is a private tutor an option for you? My friend, a former teacher and reading specialist, private tutors three siblings for income. In our state, a private tutor must be a certified teacher and only teach children residing in the same residence. There are required subjects, but the tutor can choose how to cover them. I know my friend charges way less than the local parochial schools do (and she doesn't assign written homework, as this is the mother's preference).  Just a thought.

i looked into private tutors a year ago -- without much success. (I thought it was a good idea, but it seems that in my area they are subject specific, so I would have needed several!! organizing that seemed as daunting as plugging away myself!)

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Heritage of Sons
12 hours ago, doxa said:

I'm so sorry you are suffering so from post concussive syndrome.  What an awful thing to be living with.  Are they giving you a favorable prognosis.

No words of wisdom here regarding schooling, but I'm hearing your concern over potentially teaching two during the day and still having to oversee homework at night.  That sounds like a lot - especially when you need to conserve your energy to recover.  I think I might either want them all in school or all at home, but not split so that you have more work.

In terms of homeschooling them all -- can you cluster the subjects that require more direct help from you (perhaps in the morning) and the subjects that they can do independently in the afternoons so that you can work at homeschooling half a day and let them work independently for the other half while you rest?

Prayers that God will heal you and guide you as you sort this out. 

 

The latest I got from my neurologist is that no one really knows much about concussions and post-concussion-syndrome... if I says I'm have trouble with XY or Z, they take my word for it. and not prognosis at all -- I may be as recovered as I am going to get or there may still be room for improvement. The unknown is as discouraging as the accident-created deficiencies I now have!  I tell myself that if I knew this was how I was going to be from now on I could come to terms with it, but I guess in reality I am not so sure!

I do try to cluster the mom-intensive part of school, and I am slowly trying to teach them to be independent learners -- which is sad because I like being involved in their schooling/learning. But then I tend to over-do it and pay for it with headaches or not being able to function/concentrate the rest of the day -- then making dinner is even stressful!

Thanks for the prayers!

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Derf

I just found this...while looking for something else.  UFFDA!

Was thinking while reading all the suggestions....yes online classes for math....or MUS DVD,  for math and even Teaching Textbooks would fix that part....

As far as history...could the oldest that is home read the SL stuff to the younger ones...and put them both in same core together to give him more breathing room....and then you could just handle the discussions. As far as the oldest...give him a daily list or even weekly list of what he is to read and do....and just do the discussions with him also say once a week or so.

As far as the LA stuff.....DVD programs such as Essentials In Writing could easily be done as they are not very teacher intensive and up until 7th  level it includes basic grammar concepts needed to write clearly....DVD works like MUS DVD lessons.

the reading stuff again for readers they can by now; read themselves with say once a week discussions and or written narrations and vocabulary looked up and written out for you ahead of time....vary which day you do that for each student or set of students so you don't have to do it all in one day...

I have heard of something called SPELLING CITY...that you put their spelling lists in it and then they work on them thru that......  Things like that......  BUT don't dispair because that won't fix anything...think out of the box...you CAN do it...just differently and prayerfully......you maybe surprised how HE will guide you to the right way to do what is on your heart for your family!

Time is a great healer......... It has taken 2 years after i broke my arm right below the shoulder and after they said to use it I could only reach to the middle of the back of my head.....now I can reach almost past my ear on the opposite side of my head from behind.....something that at 1st I thought would never be done again. BUT I I cut my hair short as I was tired of asking someone else to put in the hair binder.....  something I might never have done and found I like it better this way. So you might find even better ways to guide your kids in learning.....just ask and look.....and maybe it will be even better?

By the way...i have that problem typing anything all the time without having a concussion......your not alone!;)   Marne

 

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kolamum

This may sound whacky, but.. My boys & I use Irlen Tints. The statistics & science behind them is pretty jaw dropping if you were to read up on it, but here's the reason I'm mentioning this. Head injuries, especially ones that cause brain trauma can be helped along in their healing process with Irlen Lenses. I know it sounds a wee bit whacky, I thought that the first time I heard about it too, but I have to be honest once you try them & see the huge huge difference they make the scepticism goes away. The catch is not to be lured in by an optometrist who claims they can test you for Irlen on the cheap. They can't. Only a certified Irlen Diagnostician can do it. To compare, my kids & I just had our annual appointment {it's like a check-up for the brain} & it took 5.5 hours with my eldest taking the longest, my younger the shortest, & myself at the midpoint. A local optometrist offered to "help" a local lady we know & it took her all of 5 minutes.

You can read more about Irlen here. The impact of Irlen and brain trauma here.

FWIW, we all need our tints updated. 2 of us are very short tempered & we've noticed that it's been slowly getting worse over the course of the past 6 months. One who is not more short tempered than normal has had a huge rise in anxiety. All 3 of us are easily overwhelmed. Night driving in the darkest part of the winter was exhausting for me & impossible for my husband to understand just how much it drained me. There are actual brain scans to show you what a "normal" brain looks like at work compared to a brain that is in need of a pair of visual spectral filters, & the photo is really eye opening. Anyway, perhaps none of this is any help for you, but I'd hate to NOT mention it when maybe it could be.

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Countrymom9

I have done probably every homeschooling option and having one (or some) in school and others at home was draining exactly because of homework and also because their extra activities were not in the same places. I know it works for some people, and I guess it worked for me, but I found it difficult, and I had no health problems.

For encouraging independence: I have always used a grid with days of the week across the top, subjects down the side, and typed in the assignments for the week. I know it's box-checky, but we all function well this way. I note some things as "with Mom" and some to be done independently (not that I refuse to help with those, but it's not the plan). They have usually edged into independence on the ones I think they should be independent on by sixth grade.  

A couple more ideas: Khan Academy where you can, for math. Use educational videos and audible or the like where you can. Libraries often have classic books on CD. Easy Peasy for math for younger grades, maybe? Teaching Textbooks is good for the younger grades, though I don't like it after pre-algebra because it encourages guessing, which is not a good idea on higher math.

I will be praying for good solutions and most of all, for your recovery.

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Heritage of Sons

Thanks, ladies, for jumping in and posting on this thread even though it's older. I am still having trouble and really appreciate the comments and suggestions that help give ideas and perspective.

My boys are signed up for a once-a-week drop-off co-op that starts this coming Monday.  My eldest school age son is taking three classes there and the other two just one each.  This is with the hope that it will lessen the strain on me and enable us to keep them at home the rest of the week and for the remaining subjects.

I have been going to vision therapy, which was beginning to help (I need to get back to being more consistent in doing my exercises at home -- summer was crazy.) And I have heard you, Kendra, mention the Irlen tints before, I wonder if my vision therapist also deals with them. 

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wjminwi

Just checking in to send you a HUG, Aimee.....:friends:.......you are on my mind A LOT and now that I've read this I understand even better how to pray for you.  Hope this new school year works out way better and you also get the help you need to recover.  You can join me and Mark Twain in this club: 

“Out of all the things I have lost, I miss my mind the most.”  :girlwink:


Mark Twain

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Heritage of Sons
On 8/27/2018 at 3:18 PM, wjminwi said:

Just checking in to send you a HUG, Aimee.....:friends:.......you are on my mind A LOT and now that I've read this I understand even better how to pray for you.  Hope this new school year works out way better and you also get the help you need to recover.  You can join me and Mark Twain in this club: 

“Out of all the things I have lost, I miss my mind the most.”  :girlwink:


Mark Twain

Thanks, Wendy!

I needed this hug today... I am not sure how I missed this post for 8 weeks!!

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