While our official back to school date is August 25, the girls decided to start this week. I’m particularly impressed by the change in Sadie, who will be 9 in a few days.
Last year was difficult for her. She struggled with focus. It was difficult for her to pay attention for more than a few minutes at a time. History lessons were a challenge because it involved her narrating the story back to me. We made very little progress in the history curriculum. In fact, I decided to put it on hold and do it all over again this year. And this time she’s having no problems. She didn’t read much last year. She had to take a break inbetween subjects to run around. I was often chasing her around to get her to complete her school work.
Of course, she was struggling with health challenges, namely multiple food sensitivities. She’s doing much, much better on that front, by the way. For a few months I took her to a Naturopath for N.A.E.T. allergy treatments, and they really worked for her. (Expensive and out-of-pocket, but worth it.) I also had her on probiotics for a long time. (My experience with Sadie is partly why, forever into perpetuity, I will investigate a physical cause of a child’s behavioral issues first.) Her symptoms have almost totally disappeared, and she’s back to eating whatever she wants. Such a huge relief.
It’s only two days in, but I can see such a difference in her. She has no problem sitting still and comprehending her history lessons. She’s doing math almost totally on her own. She found an extra language arts workbook that she’s completing in addition to our First Language Lessons and Writing with Ease. She’s reading a LOT more… mostly aloud, to me and her little sisters. She can do her work back-to-back without taking breaks.
She’s still active and needs to jump around, but that’s a part of her basic constitution that will likely always be there.
A few months ago I listened to a wonderful, wonderful interview Tsh Oxenreider did with Susan Wise Bauer here. In fact I listened to it twice, it was so good. At one point in the interview she talks about when things aren’t going well in your homeschool. Sometimes it’s not the student that’s bad, sometimes it’s not the teacher, and there’s nothing wrong with the curriculum.
Susan Wise Bauer: “Sometimes, the earth just needs to go around the sun another time.” (Paraphrasing here.)
And this is so, so true. A child who is a year older can be a completely different animal.
I had the same experience with Julien a few years ago.
Have you ever found this to be the case, whether with homeschooling or otherwise?