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A Melted Buttercup

Buttercup and I have survived our first month of school—and I mean that literally.

She’s still alive, and her head hasn’t lost one strand strawberry hair.

I still have all of my own hair, and I didn’t succumb to any worldly vice, so I can say, it’s been a pretty good month.

Sure we’ve had our disagreements, and I use that term lightly. Buttercup is after all, a full-fledged red-head and a hormonal 12 year old girl, so drama is expected—actually a lot of drama is expected.

I can’t blame her for all the turmoil, I must accept responsibility for my share. Truthfully I would love to say it’s all her. Every melt down, every argument, every bump in the road has been Buttercup’s fault, but I can’t. Some of those headaches I brought on myself by expecting too much.

When I look at that empty planner (Well Planned Day—my favorite), and see all those lines, I know they must be filled. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a planning-Nazi where every space must have an assignment or task, and I do know this planner is designed to be used by up to four children. So I don’t go OCD crazy and randomly add things, I just see all the amazing stuff I know she’ll enjoy.

Most of the subject choices are easy. We’ve already doing a certain curriculum that she likes, so we stick with it.  This year she moved to junior high, so I felt it was time to make her work more of a challenge.

Some of this was not the challenge I signed up for. Take for instance a workbook on Economics. It’s a tough book, but it’s short, the lessons are short, and it will only last a few more weeks. She hates it with as much passion as she hates broccoli, but she’s resigned that the book will be finished soon. There are still protest and groans, but she will finish that book. Who said we have to like everything in life and school? I’m sure you see the power struggle there I refuse to lose.

The Econ workbook aside, it’s heartbreaking to watch your child with tears of frustration sliding down her face. That’s the reason I began homeschooling. I could no longer watch my little melted Buttercup struggle with homework night after night. I knew sitting in a classroom must have been much more difficult. Nothing is worth that kind of frustration and anxiety.

So I have a fresh, new planner in one hand. It’s just so pretty and clean. The original full year planner with all its goodies is in the other. As I look at the full planner, I wonder what I was thinking. There’s no way all of that could be completed. From now on I will keep an eye on a time schedule as well.

Now I’ll merge the old with the new. We have a new science program she’ll like better to schedule in, and I’ll emphasis what she really likes without compromising the other basic subjects. September will be a much more relaxed month.

Hopefully I’ll see my Buttercup in full bloom more this month than last.

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About rcwriter

Being a freelance writer, book reviewer, dedicated mom, and popular teacher at her homeschool support group—Renewed Moms Ministry keeps Rhonda Clark extremely busy. She writes most all of her own curriculum for her classes that have varied from elementary science, to middle school history and literature, to high school computer. Her middle school history class, A Renaissance World, will be featured at SchoolhouseTeacher.com fall of 2014. When not shuttling her daughter to soccer, archery, bowling, or any other number of endless activities, she devotes time to writing homeschool curriculum and her first novel. Scrapbooking, paper crafting, and reading are downtime activities, but the one thing she enjoys most is spending time with her husband of 20 years. They have two children, a college age son, and a high school age daughter. God blessed Rhonda with a quirky and funky sense of humor. This combines with down home charm, and allows her to connect to readers as a friend. With an ability to put a fresh twist on basic thoughts and Biblical teachings she brings a new perspective to her audience.

2 responses

  1. We just finished our first week of school and I am in the midst of trying to figure out if I scheduled too much too. My oldest gets it all done no problems, but my daughter struggles, two days this week she was still working until 4pm finishing up all the reading she had to do. There seems to be so much they have to do at 12 yrs old and I don’t know what to change since it all seems needed, but I am not one to keep them working until late afternoon. It makes the week too long. I would love to see what you decide to do for a schedule change. I am at a lost.

    • First, reevaluate the reading. Does she truly need that much? Which is needed and which is enrichment? Cut the enrichment. If she’s struggling to accomplish everything, then enrichment reading is no longer enrichment, but drudgery. Also, since she’s 12, ask her. She’s old enough to tell you what she’s struggling in, what she doesn’t like and what she does. Find the way she likes to learn best and filter into that. Since Buttercup has a tendency towards hands-on learning. We do experience based science with less text reading. Take a serious look at all of the curriculum, cut what is not needed. Just because it “seems needed” doesn’t mean that it is.

      Email me if you want some one-on-one help. I’ll be happy to help you sort things out.

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