Monday, January 16, 2012


I feel like all I've been writing about lately are the hard days. But honestly, when things go smoothly, there's not a lot to write about. I like the big A-ha! moments, but a normal day is just that... normal, and not particularly blogworthy.

I use this blog more as a tool for me. It is something to keep me busy here in the schoolroom while she's working, it keeps me quiet, but mostly, it allows me to vent when we *are* having a bad day. Like today, and we've only been at it for (technically) 15 minutes.

Shannon had a sleepover last night for a friend's birthday. They scheduled it for a Sunday since everyone has today off of school. Well, everyone but Shannon. My plan was to take a few minutes to talk about Dr. King, but because we will have a short week next week (I have surgery scheduled) it simply made more sense to treat this like a normal week. That, of course, was before the snow hit.  So, already, my plans have gone out the window. Instead of picking her up by 10AM, instead Sean had to go get her after a tough morning at work... so she didn't even get home until 12:30 or so. I wanted to allow her to wind down from her party, so I told her she could go sledding for a while until we had lunch. Then, we'd start in with school. The whining began, why do we have to do school today, it's late, I don't wanna....  I reminded her that she knew before she went to the party that I'd be picking her up early so we could get some schoolwork done. I told her I had plenty of reason for it, mostly the surgery coming up next week, she may have a few days off because of it, and I really don't want to get any further behind. I persisted mostly out of stubbornness... I didn't tell her that if she hadn't made a big deal out of whining about it, I might have considered skipping today, but I didn't want her to think that her whining can influence me. (it CAN influence me, just not in the way she wants)

We then attacked schoolwork at about 2:20. Today we started with a math review worksheet. It's a nice summary of the math we've been doing all year, with an emphasis over the past 20 lessons. So the first question she rolls her eyes at me at how easy it is.  The second question she has to think for a moment, but answers confidently once again. The third question? Totally shut her down into tears. I had the nerve to ask her what half of 13 was. This was something we only covered for about one day directly, though we'd dealt with fractions for about a week. The problem was that due to vacation and Christmas, it's been about 6 weeks since we covered it. Oops. I calmly explained that there was no stress or pressure, it's simply a review to show *me* what I need to cover in more depth the next time around. This is not a test, it's a review.

The tears and frustration continue. I've been writing this on and off for the past half hour, she's currently in her room trying to gather herself up. I'm trying to balance my approach between "I don't care, we have to get it done, crying isn't going to help matters," and "It's clear we're not accomplishing anything here today other than building great big frustration blockades, so let's come back to this later."  Someday I'll find the magic solution. If I do, I promise to share. :)

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