Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Doubts and Reassurance

All this went through my brain in one day--today! No wonder I'm tired.

First of all, I'm helping administer a standardized test for our homeschool group this week. I'm giving the test to some 1st graders. I have 3 of them, all boys. Actually one of them is officially in Kindergarten but his mom decided to give him the first grade test.

Well. (Here is where I remind you that Little Bit is in first grade as well. She is not testing.)

During the first break, one little boy whipped out a pretty thick chapter book to read. Then the Kindergarten kid broke out a Harry Potter book. Um. Really?

'Cause MY first grader can't........(you see where this is going right?) Oh dear the anxiety. I didn't freak out, but I was supremely glad she was not in that room.

We'll get back to that in a minute.

The other thing that happened is I've been all whiny and upset about NOT being done with school when we normally are. I KNEW this was going to be a concern when I chose to follow the Sabbath Schedule. I KNEW I would need reminding of the fact that we have taken 6-7 weeks off during the year so it is OK that we are not done yet.

It's really hard when all around you hear, "we only have 12 more days" or "nine more days" or whatever number of days. Everyone is counting down to the end and we have five more weeks. I am not used to this. It is my first year to not follow the normal schedule.

Remember that.

So here was my conclusion on these matters at the end of the day.

1. I realized that the Tourette's actually has affected our school progress. It isn't the only thing, but I started adding up all the times she has had to take a break, or go lay down. All the minutes spent crying and complaining about the tics. All the adjustments to the schedule I've made because she was having a bad day, how hard it is for her to concentrate sometimes.....it has affected her learning. Stupid tics.
2. What we were doing for reading just wasn't clicking along. So last week we started a whole new approach. It's too soon to see results, but I feel confident in our direction. So she isn't reading anything but emergent readers? Check back with me in a few months. Soon. Everyone walks at different times. Everyone reads at different times. In a few years, you won't be able to tell who learned first. I've said these words to parents 100 times. Today I'm listening to myself.
3. Her tics have been so much less in the last 3 days it's not even funny. So today during school when she complained and couldn't do it and her tics were bad...I let her go lay down. Not to play, mind you. Lay down or do school. She chose resting. But when that was over, she was fine and dandy.
So I decided we've gotten into some bad routines lately. A few weeks ago, she honestly couldn't make it through school. Not so today. After supper I had her come finish her work, which caused her to miss playing with her sister, which resulted in many tears. I said, "Maybe tomorrow you'll do your school work when it is school time." I think our really rough time with the Tourette's is coming to an end (for now) so it's time for Mommy to crack the whip.

And that is what I concluded about that.

The other? It was solved when I was peeling potatoes tonight and realized/remembered that in a few weeks every public place will be crowded and filled with all the public school kids who will soon be set free. And that I won't WANT to go anywhere. So we may as well still be doing school, huh? I realized that here at home with my family is where I'm happy and that we don't have to have the same schedule as anyone else. So no more stressing/feeling rushed about ending this year.
My cousin said it best on Facebook today (where I was whining):

Your pace, your space, no race.

I like it. And that is the story about how I both freaked out and talked myself down about 2 different things today.

The End.


  1. Great post Brenda! For every child that is reading a chapter book at 4 or 5, there are many more just starting chapter books at 10 or 11; no worries my friend, it comes when they are ready.
    We are out now for the summer BUT we also start 5 weeks before our public peers. We like it that way.
    Our pace, our space, & definitely no race...
    Blessings, Sheri

  2. This post was actually very encouraging for me. I really like that statement--Your pace, Your space, No race!

    And we won't be done with school until June 22nd!

  3. I'm not the on-ly ooone! I'm not the on-ly ooone!

    Reading - gads. The boys spent MONTHS stuck with C-AT and R-AT, etc. I mean, if it says /at/ here, it's going to say, /at/ there. (Insert screaming here.) I finally dropped it, and just required them to 'read' for 30 minutes a day. About 3 months after I dropped it they started actually reading short 'reader' type stuff from the library. A year later they finished the Narnia series. And yet how often have I encouraged moms saying, "They'll get it when they're ready!" Yeah - practicing/preaching!

    And yes, I too grow weary of the onslaught of "It's over!" when we're getting ready for our second break followed by starting our third quarter. But I totally agree - I love that we're home studying when it's hot and icky and all the undisciplined brats are dropped like bombs on the public at large.

    Love the quote from your cousin, brilliant!

  4. Thanks for this post! "Your pace, your space, no race", love it! My younger daughter has dyslexia, and we have started over so many times, I can't even count how many. And of course that means, we are NOT where many would expect us to be in our school work. It is hard to remember that we don't have to keep up with anybody. We only have to do what is right for us. And so, we plug away. We will be doing school all through the summer, so think of us when you are done in 5 weeks! : )


  5. okay I needed this! REALLY. the not done with school thing doesnt bother me so much-- I worry MUCH more about how behind I am in MY own schedule than who is DONE with school.. how is it that I SET MY PACE, in MY SPACE and still I am in a RACE to get caught up to my own plans? REALLY!

    BUt on the reading--- where are other kids are vs. MINE. STRUGGLING. Not in a "I don't think my kids are learning"-- I know that they are. NOT even that I feel they are behind because that doesnt really bother me. WHAT bothers me is thinking they are behind where they COULD be because I am doing something wrong or not meeting a need. I dont mind going thier pace... I will go SUPER SLOW.. but its when they dont NEED to go slow and I still feel we are behind--- that is when I feel bad because it is my fault!

    like I said struggle. Your post was VERY encouraging!

  6. Yes, yes, YES!! My Oldest didn't read for forever!! And still doesn't love chapter books. But he's excited about finishing his American History book in order to start the next one (progress!) And we've never started or finished on schedule. Ever. I was thinking of taking the summer kind of off this year, but then I got to thinking that if I do get pregnant in the next few months I want to save the more relaxed schedule for then, so I'll keep truckin' until then. And Melissa (A Familiar Path) has talked before about how she takes a really light schedule in spring and fall (when they can get outside more and not be around so many people like you said) and then hits the books hard during the cooped up winter and summer months. SO glad the tics are easing up and that you are so wise to adapt everything for your family. This is one of the many reasons you are homeschooling!!! Yay!!

  7. Hey, I am a homeschool mom and I think our middle child has touretts. I have really enjoyed reading your blog. Are there any support groups for homeschool mom's of children with Touretts?
    K. Carter (I don't have a blog)

  8. K....I really don't know about homeschool support groups. There are some TS groups but we've never been to one of their functions. But a lot of moms have found my blog and you will find support here! My e-mail is in my profile. Holla whenever!


I don't get to talk to a lot of actual grown-ups during the day, so your comments make me really happy! :)