So after about 2 months break we resumed our formal homeschooling. This post is to remind myself and help others handle issues that I faced resuming work with a 5 year old after a complete break of couple of months or more. We learn from our mistakes when we are put into such situations and Alhamdulillaah we do overcome them by the grace and Mercy of Allaah through dua, learning, listening, calming and being patient. So I thought it would help me and others to write about what I went through this time.
We had a nice set up for homeschooling at our home for the last 3 years, minimum distractions, to yourself lifestyle, when the doors are closed you really do not know what is happening outside and a very routine based learning. Work Box system made things interesting as well and everything went as smooth as possible Alhamdulillaah.
Changes happened, relocation preparations were going on, and needed to have a long break due to circumstances. Except for listening to the Qur'aan Maimoonah was only engaged in play during the long break. When we started formal school she liked it, but was dragging her feet to finish work, even though she was determined to finish all the work boxes for the day, she had issues. I knew she needed help to get back to normal, but at times I too was feeling frustrated with her attitude, which was wrong really! So what was her problem.
- I realised that she has forgotten to write certain numbers and letters even though her reading was normal. She has lost touch and writing was a big issue. This has made her loose her self confidence. This was one problem.
- The next was the environment. Change of the settings were effecting her.
- Mind was occupied with play
- Even with fun activities and with topics that she usually gets excited about she was feeling so lethargic to do as the mind was not settled.
- She has plenty of other things to do here so her mind was thinking of that..and every small distraction troubled..
- Since she was not so interested in doing work she used to purposely tell me the wrong answer, something like if I ask her what is this colour pointing to black she would say blue just to annoy me.
- Makes some silly excuses like, my mind is telling not to write, something wrong with the pencil it keeps falling down, my hand is telling me cannot write.... lol
Now, I need to find solutions.
- Made lots of Duas
- I realized she is still young and I do not have to worry too much, and the curriculum I am following is such that I can continue it even next year. And we have already covered more stuff for her age So I can go slow.
- She needs help with writing. So need to go slow and help her with it. I started showing her how to write when she was taking time and reduced the writing at the beginning.
- Even though the lessons we do are usually short, I made them even shorter so that she does not feel stressed.
- I started talking a lot more than I usually do, for each lesson and explaining more and more so that she gets interested. Indeed by talking they do learn a lot.
- Gave breaks in between each lesson, just asked her to go out to the garden and have a look, play a bit or just sit and watch outside.
- Took her out to a place where she has not gone before. A multi storied book shop, she enjoyed the visit and picked up some books for herself. This refreshes the mind.
- Broke the sessions of learning into two some days morning and afternoon so that she can take sometime and the workload will look not so bad. This way she also realised if she finishes the work in the morning the whole of evening she has time to play.
- Sent her to her Abi for a pep talk on her attitude. He explained to her nicely and in a way that she gets effected that learning is something that is going to make her successful first to worship Allaah properly and then to make her an intelligent human being.
- Consistency, even if she does only one minute of work, I made it a point that we follow the routine continuously. This gives her self satisfaction and she feels good about completing and removes the feeling of failure.
- Change my attitude. Swallow up all the frustrations and anger and try to give more praise even for a tiny thing, ignore things that could be ignored and carry on with firmness but use lot of flexibility. Need a great deal of patience for this subhanallaah!
- Incentives, in other words bribe a little. We have told her if she does all the work with interest and complete then she can look forward for a trip to the zoo or some play area, etc etc
These are some of the solutions that we are implementing and the struggle is continuing still but becoming much better and easier Alhamdulillaah. With time it will be normal again Inshaa Allaah. These problems and solutions are based on Maimoonah's personality and our learning environment as I always say each child is unique and you need to deploy your tactics accordingly. The above listed are very specific for our household but I presume it could be the same to another household as well. And it could help others generally to overcome similar issues Inshaa Allaah.
Please do share your experiences by commenting so that all of us can benefit too Inshaa Allaah.