Today was supposed to be day 3 of homeschooling with Marie. Yeah, that didn't happen. I didn't even try.
I have three very different kids who need me all at the same time it seems.
Denai is 9 months old. She needs me to survive.
Michael needs to spend time with me whether it's watching TV, playing with his trucks or reading a book. He craves attention and positive feedback.
Marie needs me to do school. Right now we are just trying to get through orientation and it. Is. Sloooowwww. Like our turtle, Shelly Sheldon Sexy. Marie, above all else, needs my patience.
Of course all my kids need so much more than the one word I just typed next to their names. It's just that one word depicts their number one need.
3 kids. Three directions. One frazzled mamma.
I haven't mentioned the messy kitchen, the unpacked bedroom and the carpet that has needed a vacuum for weeks.
Oh yeah, I'm a wife, too. So when I pick up Mr. Sexy from work I need to take a deep breath and do my best to not overrun him with my day. He has had stresses from his own day that he has to come down from.
All this to say: I'm a little nervous about where homeschooling Marie is going to take us. It's not like I can just set her in front of the computer and say, "Let me know when you're done!" Well, I could. But that wouldn't benefit her at all. I really want homeschool to be a benefit for her and I'm actually excited to learn more about how Marie thinks, learns, and processes information. This means that during the orientation video I sit next to her and guide her in filling out the notes she was given on the computer.
Surprisingly it wasn't as frustrating as I thought it would be. At least, not yet. We are only in orientation after all. But I am already seeing her struggle and not understand simple ideas as they are shown on her video. So I slowed things down. What is taking most kids probably an hour has so far taken us two hours and we are just beginning.
Does that sound crazy? I think it does. But I don't care. The whole point of this homeschool program is to be where Marie is. If she is at ABC's then that's where we go. If she is learning 5+5=10 then that's what we practice. If it takes an entire day to read a story and understand the plot, then I open a bottle of wine and sit in front of the fire while we work through it.
I'm frustrated because Marie has been pushed through the school system in a way that I don't think is helpful for her. It's great she is 12 and in 6th grade. However it's not so great that she was spoon fed the information that got her to where she is today. Let me explain:
Last semester she was coming home regularly with 6th grade homework just like the rest of her peers. Marie couldn't do it. My opinion on homework is that no matter the age or ability, the homework should be reinforcing what is learned at school. This means I shouldn't have to teach the homework. Right? The fact was she could not do her homework. I showed her and even tried to teach her. She didn't get it. Frankly, I didn't enroll her in public school so I could teach her every night when she came home.
I'm still boggled by the fact that apparently, at school, Marie did her work just fine. Yet at home she seemed confused. Perhaps there was a disconnect between the two places which was down syndrome related. Okay, I can get that. Yet, this issue had never happened before this new school in this very small town. Hmmmm... And then her teacher tells me I'm the one doing something wrong?
So here we are, beginning this homeschool program for free. Marie has her own computer and everything. She already surprises me - both good and bad.
Mr. Sexy and I have already thrown a few ideas around on how to help my days feel less insane as we begin this new journey. I'm a little worried about it but then I'm not at the same time. One way or another we will figure this out. Even if I have to hire a maid to vacuum that nasty carpet and clean the kitchen that has dishes from last week by the sink. ::wink wink::