Need to Move Again

I have run out of space on this blog, probably due to the high resolution photos I’ve been uploading. So I will have to make a DOOL 3 now. In terms of what Ive been doing with Z, it has mostly been recovering his long period of not reading his IQRA and surah. I  had to get him back in the routine and now alhamdulillah, at least he’s not resisting it. One technique did work though, in getting him not to dawdle, though doing this on a daily basis proves to be quite challenging. I was so frustrated because he was taking so long to read just 1 line when reading his IQRA that I decided to use a timer and see if having him beat the timer would make him go faster. Yes it did!

In fact, I timed him and gave him worksheets to do which had addition problems and even some spelling and short vowels exercises, and he did them quite quickly! But, this wore off after about a week. Now, I have trouble getting him to do work again. I  have to be honest and say that this is the thing I hate about homeschooling, that you have a lot of other things to do too, and you have to deal with individual personality issues such as these. If I sit with him and coax him to write his copywork nicely, it works, but after a while, I lose the patience to do this subhanallah. There are just some days where I really do not want to do this anymore. Really. Sigh.

With him, we’ve done Verb, Adjective, and Nouns and I had a hard time teaching him this because he resisted. He seems to resist when things get hard. S was like this too, and oh my god, it’s so frustrating and aggravating! So I had to devise other ways of doing it so that he would participate and this basically involved a lot of sense of humor. I read him a book, A Big Boy Now by Megan Spinelli, and I asked him to pick verbs and nouns from it. Initially, of course he didn’t want to do it, but I coaxed him again and we went page by page. What I did was I wrote the words on a small whiteboard on my lap as he said them in two separate columns. Then, I asked him to pick 3 favorite verbs and 3 favorite nouns. Then we practiced making sentences with them. We took turns and I modeled for him how to make sentences. He doesn’t like to do this and I feel it’s because he doesn’t know how to. So this technique worked alhamdulillah. We even had a lot of fun with it.

By this time, he is almost an expert on verbs and nouns and I found that even on his own, he would pick out verbs and nouns and would come to me,

“okay…____ is it a verb or a noun?”

I’d ask him back “What do you think?”

and he would answer. Like this, it went back and forth, but alhamdulillah, I’m happy he has taken to verb, noun and adjectives. This propelled me to look for other activities on TPT and I printed some on narrative comprehension. I started him doing some very simple book reports too from the TPT, and this has practice in making sentences, noting Beginning, Middle and End, knowing simple terms such as author, illustrator, character, problem, resolution. In fact, this morning, I did the Problem and Solution activity with him, which he did pretty well in. We also talked about the story of the Three Little Pigs (he loves this story) and we tried to figure out the problems and solutions in this story. He needed some prompting and so I think this was a good introduction to the Problem-Solution lesson.

We read Franklin is Bossy and as we read, I asked him comprehension questions. I find that I had to reread the page again in order for him to get the answer because it seems that he wasn’t paying attention to those details as I was reading, but once I repeated it, or pointed out the parts in that page and asked him to read it, he knew the answer. I realized then that I needed to model it a lot before expecting him to answer. I also sensed that asking him comprehensive questions too  much like that was hindering enjoyment of the reading itself, so I reverted back to the style where I would pause every now and then and just relate the text to his experience or my own. For example, I asked him,

“So, did you ever feel lonely playing by yourself?”

“Did you ever fight with H?”

“Wow, that’s like you! He played with his sword and cape! Wow! He draws pictures! That’s like you too!”

“Would you rather play baseball or play in the river like they are?”

“If you get to choose, what would you be, the catcher, pitcher, batter?”

And it seemed to engage him in a way that is not too intrusive to the enjoyment of the reading. So I think this is what I have to keep doing whenever I read to him.

For math, we have gone into fact families. I introduced it by using this Fact Family Puzzle from TPT. Initially he resisted but as soon as he saw the pattern, he was on a roll alhamdulillah. I also did this activity with him for reinforcement and had to point out that for the minus sentence, the biggest number has to be at the very front. And showing him how it switches also helps a lot for the addends. Since he loves playing with the Monster Making 10 game, I also used it to show fact families by selecting 3 number and making a family of it. He loved it when I personalized the monsters especially as ‘Poop’. I think he’s ok with that now, though he did get a bit lost when I gave him a worksheet on fact family.

We also played his file folder game on Contractions, and just now, as he is filling in his simple book report form, I reminded him,

“Remember that hot air balloon folder game, ‘he is’ becomes…?”

and a look of recognition flashed on his face and he wrote ‘he’s’ all by himself. I had pointed out the differences between apostrophes and commas when we were doing the contraction activities.

We also did Place Value by using this activity from TPT.

He’s also been doing Arabic writing now on a daily basis. We use the cards that I received for free, it’s vocab cards. And so we choose one word per day and I demonstrate how to write the word and he completes the page in his writing book. For copywork, I have him do sentences from Talibideen Jr’s website (can’t find the exact link).

For tajweed, I’ve been a bit harder on him and my Quran teacher also advised me to keep correcting him and to constantly do this, even if I think he can’t do it. So, this has been something I’ve been doing too and alhamdulillah it works!

As for the older kids, I’m having a lot of trouble with N. Her therapist said that she has to go for therapy for narrative again and exposition. When I was talking to her supervisor, she told me,

“This is really hard on you. You’re the mother, teacher, special ed educator…”

I am feeling the burden too…subhanallah..and with N, since I’ve been dealing with her all these years, I have a really short fuse when she comes with attitude problems. And this is a problem for me and for her. Sigh. May Allah help us. Ameen.

S received her PSAT scores. She did better than last time but not enough to get the merit scholarship. Alhamdulillah ala kulli 7aal.

H is doing a MOOC class on computer science now. He insists on wanting to use MUS for Algebra 2 and I really want them all to use Teaching Textbook because in the case that they don’t know how to do something, TT comes with solution CDs; something  that makes my job so much easier. So I told him to look on vegsource everyday and by January 2014, if he can’t find it, he will use TT. I am tired of having to do so many things. I’m putting the responsibility on him.

I’m feeling really overwhelmed, really overwhelmed subhanallah. The thing is, I don’t feel like I want to do this anymore, this homeschooling business even though I believe in it….especially seeing as how taxing it is to work with Z and N, and thinking that I have to do this for how many more years….I don’t know if I can do it.




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