Domestic Bliss Report

Motherhood is hard work. If we don't stick together, we'll all fall apart.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

I had a moment today.

It wasn't a good moment. I feel compelled to share so that those reading have a realistic picture, instead of dewy images of impeccably dressed children sitting in modestly skirted laps eagerly absorbing illustrated classics or calmly playing with Cuisenaire rods while Mozart plays softly in the background. Those happen too, they just last about as long as the camera flash.
Madeleine and I were sitting at the table doing math. I was starting to feel a bit frustrated that she can make sense of 3+4=7, and 4+3=7, but not 7-3. Regardless of manipulatives or fingers. I did keep my patience with only a sigh betraying me.
As I sighed, though, the Moment hit.
"Are you NUTS? You're shouldering the burden of your children's entire academic career. On top of everything else! You have dishes to wash, a floor to sweep, supper to make, housework to do so you can start to try to sell your house... and here you are, doing first grade math. You barely keep your head above water as it is, and you're taking on more voluntarily. You could just send her off to school so you'll have time to do the rest of it. Nobody will think any less of you for trying! Instead, you're planning to read most of the great works of modern civilization (since you've had so little previous experience with them) so you'll be prepared for teaching high school. You glutton for punishment!"

Then the other little voice came in, quietly explaining drop-offs and pick-ups, preparing lunches, hats and gloves and coats in winter, homework reviews, playground bullying, academic loopholes, early morning rushes, low academic standards, ecumenical indifference, peer pressure to compete socially...

The first little voice said, "Oh." And was quiet.



At 8:54 PM, Blogger The Mom With Brownies (The story of us) said...

If I may add another reason to smile. Don't forget that you have all her school career to teach subtraction. Time is on your side. Just think of the tears if you had to try to help her grasp that concept for the test tomorrow at school.

Time oh sweet time. We are so very blessed.

At 8:34 AM, Blogger Peanut Butter Kisses said...

I agree with the 'brownie mom'! Time oh sweet time! I am very familiar with this myself. I, myself, had a child that didn't want the letter 'm' to sound like mmmm...perhaps she said it should sound like 'j' today. And this went on for an entire school year. Then all of the sudden, out of the blue, things all fell into place. All I can say, thank goodness she had a patient (well...somewhat!) environment to work through that phase. I can't imagine someone else with a teaching degree and thirty other kids being able to handle that too well! And now, I have a five year old whose blood doesn't feel like saying his alphabet....(sigh). Another phase to endure. Thank goodness we have good support with other homeschooling families to keep us somewhat sane!

At 12:57 PM, Blogger Daisy said...

I saw that on Kolbe's website (yes, I'm starting to look into curricula). What the heck is a cuisenaire rod and what do you do with it? (Notice I did not as the extremely loaded "what should I do with it?" question.

I have moments like that so darned often it's scary. But I think once we (Please God someday) get things under control enough that I can go home again, they will become much fewer and farther between. And that second voice always wins with me too. :)

At 1:05 PM, Blogger Heather said...

Daisy--Cuisenaire rods are a math thing to represent numbers. I'm sure there's a specific way to use them, but I just let my kids play with them.
It works like this: "one" is a cube, about 1cm. "Two" is a different color and as as big as two ones stacked, "three" is three ones and a third color, etc. up to ten. I got them at a conference because I remembered seeing them in bins in elementary school and really wanted to play with them.

And Shelly, you're right about the subtraction. Now THAT is real pressure!
And PBK, your kids are truly unique. I'm kind of glad mine are a touch more conformist!


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