Thursday, September 1, 2011

Weeping and Wailing

I awoke this morning to the sound of Hope's warning to her sister, "Hurry up! Mama will be awake at any minute!" First of all, where did she learn to talk like that? And second, what in the world are they up to? Hope also came into our room to tell me that her sister had just called her "foolish". I had a feeling it would be a long day. Since it is only 10:45am as I write this, we still have much of the day to live out, but let me tell you...It has been way too long already.
Today is our phonics/ letter writing practice day. The girls, at this very moment are weeping and wailing in their beds. I sent them there after trying to patiently calm them down after introducing something new. For Grace, it was the "an" sound followed by "man, can, fan, tan". We never got farther than "man". Since we have been doing "at" words, she was convinced she knew how to read and wouldn't have to learn any more. Introducing a new letter grouping did not go over well. She wants to just guess at everything and not have to sound it out. This would be SO much easier if every word we ever said ended in "at".
While I was working on phonics with her sister, I had Hope at the chalkboard (her favorite place to be during school) working on what we call "swoops". Basically practising the motion she will need to use to write B's, P's, C's and so on and so forth. Anyways, though she can do this perfectly well on her own, she keeps pretending she can't so I'll come work with her. Instead of doing the swoops I asked her to, she was writing perfect S's. Like I said, she really shouldn't have a problem with this assignment. Also, have I mentioned that she is a Perfectionist? Notice I said that with a very capital P. Oh. My. Word. That little girl falls apart if the lines she draws do not connect in EXACTLY the right way. Oi.
There is seriously never a dull moment in this house. I have two extremes in my children. The oldest just wants to do her schoolwork as fast as she can, with as little effort as she can, and just know everything without really trying. The youngest, on the other hand, would spend all day long doing one thing so she could get it just right. She's the one who, when she saw me smiling about a facebook post today, asked me to tell her the letters in each word, so she could sound them out and find out what made me smile.
Okay, the kids have calmed down and we will try this again. I'm thinking play dough and a good book (with me reading to the kids, of course) would be a good stress reliever this afternoon. Pray for us, friends, we've got quite a bit of the day ahead of us yet.


  1. you are such a good writer. I will pray your day goes better. We started homeschooling this week too. (Just my boys.) and things are going... interestingly. When they get a little "Crazy" I have them ride their bikes or take a bath.

  2. Have you tried taking them for a walk or jog before school starts?

    I'll admit this is my first time to read your blog, so I don't know much about the girls- but when I read your post my heart went out to you.

    I am a homeschool mom and have also taught in a private school. I've taught kids with all kinds of learning issues and I'm very experienced with the bright precocious ones (anxious learners) who know it all :). My trick is to always make sure we get about 30 mins. of physical exercise before learning time really begins. Exercise orders the brain and brings down the anxiety levels which allows kids to learn best.
    Sounds like you have some girls with busy minds who are hoping to impress you! When my son came home he had decided that the alphabet song was the sum and total of all he ever needed to know. Ugh!
    Breathing exercises would be good too. All of these things can be done without making a big production. Just make them part of the transition between subjects.

    Also, you might try putting a lump of playdough in their hands as you read to them and introduce new letters. After they've squished and rolled it for a while, then gently encourage them to roll it into "worms"- (which they might make into the new letters or sounds you are introducing). Don't prompt them to make the letters. Wait for them to do it on their own. When/if they do, become dramatic and very impressed by their creative genius!!! Make a fuss and praise them for being SO smart!!! :)
    The playdough gives them something to control and do while you introduce new things -making "new" non threatening and fun.

    Good luck! I can't wait check back in and see how you guys are holding up!