Friday, January 05, 2007

Emotional Overload

Seems that everyone at the park today was on emotional overload. Several of the families that usually stay and play all day left early due to mental breakdown, lol. K was being mean to her sister. A was having tantrum after tantrum - HUGE emotional outbursts - over simple miscommunications and misunderstandings. J kept getting a talking to which is a very rare sight. Cassia kept wanting "to be alone." Cameron wasn't too bad except for doing that exact thing that J got reprimanded for RIGHT AFTER it was said.

J: starts dumping a bottle of water into the grass
J's Dad: What are you doing son? Don't waste water. You know better than that.
Cameron: (even before the above sentence is finished) picks up half empty bottle and continues dumping it into the grass
Me: OK, time to go now.

I continued on with my School Regardless plan today. I'm not sure that it worked quite as well as it did yesterday, but we got done what I wanted to get done with a minimum of fuss. They did watch tv with their breakfast this morning, but I had them turn it off after one Little Einsteins and one Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Cameron had already wandered away to play LEGOs but Cassia had a bit of a fit. She eventually got over it. Around noon, I pulled out all their schoolbooks and announced that it was "time for school" and guess what they did... THEY CAME RUNNING! That was pretty cool to see.

First I set Cassia up with HWT's Letters and Numbers for Me and a slate board so that she could practice her letters. She's just started writing her name and she can get the CA just perfect. The ss'es have a few too many loops and she "doesn't want to" write the rest, lol, but it's all good. Today, with the help of the book, she wrote F, E, D, P, B, R, N, M, U, V, W, X, Y, Z, C, O, Q, and G. She tried S, but realized that she wasn't getting it and then was suddenly "done." I was pretty impressed though. That was the first time she'd written most of those. I can't say enough good things about that slate board. I swear by it 100%.

Meanwhile, I started Cameron with Science. I read a very, very short chapter on flowering and non-flowering plants. He played with LEGOs. I took the LEGOs away and tried to do one of the accompanying workbook pages on the characteristics of plants. He kept talking about LEGOs. Granted, he was telling me some pretty ingenious things about the ship he had designed - it had a splash guard on the front! - but it was obvious that he was NOT thinking about science (at least not botany, lol). I've read all these things about how really active kinesthetic learners need to be doing something with their hands to help them concentrate, but with him he just concentrates on whatever is in his hands. Luckily, it was a short workbook page. Then we moved on to math. The lesson was adding and subtracting by 1s or 10s. He did great when he was paying attention. So the first few problems were perfect and then he started using his pencil as a rocket ship and the entire middle section of problems had to be redone at least once because of silly mistakes (like he would tell me the right answer and then write down the wrong answer), and then after I snapped at him a few times and the rocket pencil was grounded, the last couple problems were done right. We finished up with a quick lesson on short vowel -ck/long vowel -ke pairs (back/bake, duck/Duke, snack/snake) and he did mediocre on that. Again, I think it was just a matter of his heart not being in it.

So back to the usual quandary: do it because you have to or do it because you want to?


G said...

Your schooling yesterday (Friday) sounds exactly like ours. C.O. has been a bit frustrating with this lately - he does a fantastic job when he pays attention, but his attention wanders so easily, and then he gets stuff wrong, I get angry/upset, etc. Dh recommended I give him little breaks when this starts happening, but I can see that escalating into longer and longer breaks... and schoolwork for hours on end. I don't know.

Maybe the next park day will be less traumatizing.

G said...

They actually had a pretty good time - I think they just got cold and didn't want to admit it. I pointed out the face painting as a highlight because they both talked about it afterwards for quite a while.

I do give him *little* breaks - dh is suggesting longer ones. I don't know... every time things seem to start going smoothly, it seems they change - I guess it's all just part of the homeschooling process! I will try the moving thing though - no reason we can't do reading on the couch.

I'm probably just making everything sound worse than it is. My cold seems to be returning, and I will admit it's making me a bit grumpy!