Friday, September 25, 2009

Portrait of Distraction

Portrait of Distraction
Joshua trying to get through a homeschooling lesson.

Before coming back to Ukraine, Edna and I made the decision to keep the boys home from Ukrainian public school so that they could focus on homeschooling. We were worried that they were falling behind in things like English Language and Math. We were homeschooling before (just not as intensively), but having school twice a day was overwhelming for them.

We have been starting each weekday morning on a schedule that includes breakfast, devotions, and chores before their first lesson. Dominic is a good learner and needs minimal instruction, but Joshua needs constant supervision to keep him on task and focused. This is not to say he isn't learning, he's learning quickly, but Edna and I struggle through each lesson trying to minimize his distractions.

Our day looks something like this:

9:00 A.M. I start Joshua's math lesson.

9:15 A.M. We have already suffered through several distractions including, Joshua deciding to sing about something, Joshua stopping to turn ahead in his book, Joshua chasing after a fly, Joshua playing with his eraser, Joshua accidentally launching his pencil across the room narrowly missing my eye, and many other distractions of which we are far too familiar with.

10:30 A.M. Usually by this time we have made it through the lesson and math problems with minimal threats of discipline or comments about my mental stability. At this point Edna takes over while I help Dominic with his math. We usually bounce back and forth between the two of them, focusing on mainly on Joshua.

11:30 A.M. Hopefully by this time I'm cooking up a quick snack for the boys (and lunch for later) and we haven't had too many external distractions like Joshua's friend Yaroslav calling on the phone to see what Joshua is doing, Maxime ringing our door to see if Joshua is done with school (he goes to school in the afternoon), or a hunt for an escaped hamster because Joshua forgot to close the cage during his break.

2:00 P.M. All school work is completed by this time or earlier (Homework will be done later in the evening). By this time Edna and I are mentally and physically exhausted, but this is when we have a chance to get any shopping done,work around the house or plan for ministry. There are times when I expect to find Edna curled up in a fetal position under the kitchen table rocking back and forth repeating, "In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue." Thankfully it hasn't gotten to that point, but we could really use your prayers.

I'm not writing this to rant or complain, but mainly in response to a question someone once asked me. "So if church is on Sunday, what do you do during your weekdays since you don't really work or anything?"


Erik and Marina said...

Wow, guys! Sounds like you have your hands full. At least you are in it together and are able to support each other. We don't have any kids yet, but I like it when Erik says "we are definitely homeschooling", and I think "we? but if you are working during the day it means I am definitely homeschooling":)

Greg and Edna Silva said...

Marina - Yeah, homeschooling has it's ups and downs. But I have to tell you that the rewards are greater than the difficulties. There is just something about being such a big part of their education that is really meaningful as a Mom! I really like Abeka homeschooling curriculum. It's very thorough and God-centered.


Ira said...

Ha ha ha!! I loved the "Joshua's Ultimate Distraction Plan". This is one strong character growing up!

Homeschooling sounds terrifying to me... especially somewhere in 6th grade (I am HORRIBLE at math... and I don't think that would add to my authority as a mom in the future =D

We miss you guys!

Greg and Edna Silva said...

Ira ~ I am also horrible at Math. That is why I am not teaching that subject - Greg is. :)

I so wish you were coming out here this time! Let's Skype sometime!