A question by a Homeschool Mum
We are a homeschooling family with 3 sons. Ages 13, 11 and 9. We have always homeschooled. At the moment I feel completely burnt out, as our youngest, 9, still cannot read. This year I have spent everyday, some times up to 2 hours one on one with him, to the detriment of our older sons. I feel like nothing was accomplished and am at a point of despair. School has become something nobody looks forward to, especially our youngest. Our school year ends in December and if you were to ask what they enjoyed the most of the year, they would struggle to think of something.
My answer: Reduce, Simplify, and have fun!
I can hear your frustration and disappointment at this situation you find happening in your home. Hopefully my few thoughts will bring peace back into your heart and you can begin again with some fresh vigor!
– When our focus is to get our kids to read, reading delays can cause frustration. We need to rearrange our expectations. Our goal needs to be to get them to read – without a time frame.
– My youngest, also 9yo is also not reading. Yes, I have been through some feelings of frustration with him and disappointment in myself. I had him checked for learning difficulties which has helped me greatly to understand the different pathway I have to take with him, to help him reach his maximum. Other than that I have just had to accept that this is his journey; it is vastly different than my other children but it is his journey.
– I keep lessons short, not being pressured by his age. I do 30-45minutes phonics lessons with him 4 times a week. On days that he is obviously struggling we do 20minutes and then maybe another 15 later in the day. I try and finish a lesson with something he is succeeding at.
– When lessons are short, it is more realistic for my other children to be working on something independently. My 11yo works on her typing practice, or math or writing assignment. This means she isn’t without my supervision / instruction for too long.
I would encourage you to consider the Relationship Based Activities list for the rest of the year. Get some fun back in your family – not because school should be fun but because being together should be fun, being a family is about being together, reaching the family goals. I am convinced that as you do relationship based activities, your children will be learning; discipleship style! When things are going smoothly again, when there is a little joy in your home, you could add the basics; phonics, math, writing to you day, keeping lessons short.