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Homeschooling The Well Prepared Child: Attitude Is Everything!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Attitude Is Everything!

   People ask me all the time how homeschool is going.
"FABULOUS!" I always say. 
     Honestly, there are ups and downs to every day. Some days, my children wake up bright eyed and busy tailed, ready to learn. Some days, it is a battlefield with teeth gnashing and hair pulling. Let's get real, this is real life, and real life has it's ups and downs. Just because we are a happy, homesteading, homeschooling, gardening, prepping, working, playing, and all in all fabulous family does not mean my family is full of rainbows and glitter all of the time! 
     Life is still pretty good even with it's ups and downs. I believe your attitude is everything. It can change everything. If you are running around with an attitude about things you don't want to do, don't like or things just are not going your way, having a bad attitude makes things even worse! Having a bad day? Yell out to the world, "THAT'S IT! I'M DONE! FROM NOW ON, TODAY WILL BE THE BEST DAY EVER!" Try it, it really works.. At least for me it does. 
     When you have a child in full swing 'I'm going to be a woman soon' mode, ya... not so much. When you are homeschooling said child, things can escalate quickly when she feels she 'Can't do it' or 'It's too hard' or the phrase I get a lot, 'Really, Mom? Do I really have to do this?' Well, yes you do! ATTITUDE! 
     ~Sigh~ Sadly, I have to report this is the attitude I got today on our first day back officially homeschooling. This summer, we did a bit of a review on things we learned and/or mastered last year to help with her retention. We also did new research and activities for our homesteading side. But, today was our first official day back into the homeschool swing of things. At first, she was happy and kind of excited about what I chose for her first assignment. We got new chickens that are very cool and different from our other chickens. Since we do not know anything about them, I asked her to research them online, find out a bunch of interesting facts on them, take photos of our new chickens, write up a report on them, and then I would edit that report and she would be a 'reporter' for me on my blog. 
     This morning, she was excited about this, even told a few of my co-workers. By the time we got home, her attitude about the assignment had changed. Maybe someone said something, maybe she got tired, maybe pre-pms caught up to her.. I don't know. All I know is, suddenly my child had major attitude about the whole thing and I was not having it. The stern looks and me saying, 'Watch the attitude!" were not helping. Her slam/bouncing a crayon onto the counter top because she did not want to go get a pencil to write with, was almost enough to change my attitude. So, I decided it was time for a change in hers. 
Recently, there was a photo posted of a 
chart that looked like this... 
I have no idea who to give credit to for this photo, but this is amazing! 
     So she was sent huffing and puffing back into her room for a pencil AND a spiral notebook. I started her out by writing a few letters out and leaving space between the first line and second line, she finished the rest. Then under it we added the numbers. She was intrigued at this point. I told her we were going to find a secret message that would make everything better. And it did make everything better. Saying it was a secret code made her relax and become interested in finding out how much 'hard work' added up to. She was not happy with the extra math for the day, but her attitude had greatly improved by the time she had found out the sum of 'knowledge.' By the time she was on 'attitude' I had my rainbows and glitter girl back. 
"What is the secret code, Mom?"
"Let me ask you this first, baby. Do you know what 100% means?"
     She told me if you get 100% on your paper that means you got them all right. I smiled and explained 100% means all, everything, the total of something. 
Sometimes things are hard for us, you can work hard
and still you might fail. 
You might have all the knowledge in the world 
and still not succeed. 

 But your ATTITUDE determines EVERYTHING!

     She looked at me with a 'Okay, you got me!' half smile and turned the page in her notebook. Then, she got out her computer and typed in 'All about Jersey Giants' on the Google home page.