I’m so sorry, but I must take 5 minutes to vent and whine.
Victoria is not adjusting to the start of school well. To be clear, Violet is starting school and I am trying valiantly to engage Victoria however she desires — want a “math workbook” (basically connect-the-dots Kumon style)? fine! play legos? great! draw? sounds good!
Mostly, however, she wants to mope. She tries to read words and she can’t. She doesn’t hold her pencil well enough to draw the way she’d like. By mid-morning everything is “too hard” or “boring” or just “I hate that.” Bascially, she is not Violet, and it depresses the hell out of her. I don’t think this is a gifted thing (i.e., that Violet may be “more gifted”) but an age thing, and I really don’t know how to deal with it beyond separate schooling for them. But surely other homeschoolers deal with this?!
Violet loves having Victoria here all day, however. I send them out for “recess” and she is thrilled to have a companion that is not an adult. I’ve been keeping Violet’s lessons fairly short (except for a disasterously long “review quiz” on Tuesday to see what she was retaining in math), so that has helped the transition back to full-on school.
Anyway, it is depressing as hell for me to have a mopey 4yo slumping around. My mind immediately goes into “prophecy mode” as I start panicking about how we’ll get through this year, whether I should send her to school (the friends who generally understood why we started homeschool with Violet are getting a little firmer with the “but Victoria would do great in school” stuff this year), whether I am competent to homeschool at all — I still maintain that homeschooling Violet pretty much consists of paying for materials and being in the same house so that the authorities don’t arrest us for neglect, since she pretty much teaches herself. I’m predicting our homeschooling future based on these last few days, and it looks grim.
The thing about sending Little V to school is that the differences are still there. Kind of like pulling Big V from school did not make her any less different from many of her peers. Homeschooling doesn’t change those realities, it just gives you a little more direct involvement in working with them.
My best solution for now is to let Victoria be bored and mopey if she chooses. (I’ve also sent her to her room to play when the mopey-ness becomes flat-out surliness.) I hope that she’ll find a way to spend her time doing something that she likes. My offer to do “math” with her is simply a response to her desire to do math when Violet does her math. Believe me, if she doesn’t want to do anything resembling school, that’s fine with me–she’s 4!
At least right now I can hear the squeals and giggles out my office window as they play in the backyard — dear God, please let them be doing something acceptable!