If you follow me on Facebook, you probably read about a homeschool crisis we were having this week. I promised to post about it and share our struggles. Honestly, I thought about not posting because I hate admitting that we have struggles with homeschooling. However, I think it needs to be shared because I would really love to see some other blogs that show the nitty gritty of homeschooling, not just the wonderful learning and happy children. I'm not trying to say that I don't enjoy seeing that, it is very inspiring, and I do not know if these families struggle as we do, but sometimes it is disheartening to read how other children the same age as my son, get up and happily start working on their school work all on their own. They get excited about schoolwork, they even do schoolwork on the weekends sometimes. I would LOVE if that were how our homeschool worked, but we are far from that. We struggle almost every day and we cannot wait for the weekend so we can stay out of the classroom altogether.
I will give you a little background on our situation. My son was an only child for 5.5 years of his life. He went to a church preschool at age 3 because we did not think we could afford Montessori school. We then decided that Montessori was worth the investment and he attended a true AMI Montessori school for age 4 and 5. The school was having some issues which led us to homeschooling at age 6. I understood the concept of Montessori while my son attended the primary 3-6 program at a true Montessori school. I did not know how all of the materials worked exactly but I learned about most of them. I knew the basics of how the classroom worked in terms of the children choosing their works. Our biggest challenge was the fact that we switched to homeschool between primary 3-6 and lower school 6-9. I had not even observed a lower school classroom. I did not really know the materials or how the classroom worked. I did not know how to get my child to choose work on his own because he did not show interest in any work.
We have been homeschooling for a year and a half and we still struggle. I struggle with planning, making materials and buying materials at the correct time. Recently, I purchased a large order of materials only to have them arrive unusable. I have been fighting to get my money back for that order for months. The stress was just too much last week and I closely considered quitting homeschooling and sending him back to a Montessori school. My husband and I had a few long talks about the situation and we have decided to try some techniques before giving up. We are going to try having a schedule that is a bit more strict. I have been trying to follow the child for a very long time but the child won't choose appropriate works. I have decided that he needs me to choose for him more because he gets stuck when its time to pick something. We also need to get our materials in order so they are here when we need them. I'm struggling with this a bit because I am still waiting for my refund so that I can order new materials from a different company.
We are still considering sending T to a Montessori school in the Fall. We will be visiting two local schools in the next few weeks for their open houses. I plan on comparing them to see if either would be a good fit, but also, I am going to ask some questions about how the elementary class runs that maybe I could apply at home. For now we are sticking with homeschool and hoping that our changes bring us a more pleasant homeschool environment. Please share any resources you think might help us. We would be very appreciative.