Thursday, October 04, 2012

Week 2 update on homeschooling

First off, I should say that the more we work through the girls language arts programs (from Sonlight) the more I'm impressed with it.  The pacing is perfect and it's consistent without being boring because they change it up just enough.  It was "mix it up" day for the spelling words for the 6 year old and so rather than having her write on paper we went outside and she wrote them on the sidewalk with chalk!
She's wearing my glasses that are for a slight stigmatizm and they actually DO seem to help her.  We really should take her in to get her eyes checked.
My 4 year old is having so much fun with her school that she begged me to do just "one more page" about 4 times!  "Developing the Early Learner"-- is her favorite and I just got the last three books for it (I'd only gotten the first one because I didn't know if she'd like them or need them, but they are amazing!)  I wish I'd known about these for my oldest.  The language arts for the 4 year old is a bit easy for her at this point, but I don't know if I want to skip ahead since she's not even 5 yet.  She heard me doing spelling words with her older sister and got up to the table and sounded out and spelled and WROTE the word "Cat" legibly! 
An advantage of homeschooling is that the kids can roast marshmallows while I read to them.  Wouldn't you have loved this?  The 4 year old is just smashing and eating hers, but still.. totally awesome perk of schooling at home.
So, all that to say there's some really great moments in our school time.  I feel like we are making great progress and having My Father's World as well is helpful and the girls like to learn new songs and Bible verses and other projects that comes from that curriculum.

Going to the grocery store offers learning and training time for the girls, but it's far from "relaxing"..

BUT ...

The little one is insisting on joining in now.  It's so much more stressful than it was with just one.
Truth time.  While I love homeschooling.  I love having my kids with me and teaching them and I'm excited about what we are doing and I wouldn't have it any other way ...  I have to say.. it's such a drag sometimes.  Often I just want some time alone.  I usually don't feel like starting school (but this is partly just me because I don't *feel* like starting most things.  I'm good at continuing and finishing something, but not so great at starting it.)  I'd love to do all the school in the mornings so that the baby's nap time could be time for me, but how often can I get it all done when the baby is fussing?
I'm not sure how many times the library is going to let me renew this Muppet show.  We might have to buy it to save my sanity.  It's pretty amazingly great to take a 15 minute shower and not have the baby fussing at the door for me near the end of it.  The other girls like it too and the song "I've got everything that I need, right in front of me" is encouraging.

Then I put on the Muppet show and the Baby will sit quietly and watch it and actually give me a break (note: this is the only show she will actually sit and watch-- clearly she has impeccable taste) still I feel like there's not enough of me to go around and I should spend more time reading or playing or cleaning or something, and what do I want to do?  Eat chocolate, drink tea, read a book, or do a project, ALONE.  Yes, I don't get enough alone time.  I'm introverted.. I admit it.  Energy is always in short supply for me.  I want to homeschool my kids and then hire a baby-sitter!  I wish I could drop them all off and Gramma's house at least once a week, but the travel expenses would kill me.  I'm so thankful for our church that has "parents night out" and other things for the older two to go to.  I wish it happened during the day though so I could use it to truly be alone.
The hallway at our church is so kid friendly!
I feel like I'm constantly in need of encouragement.  Just the "keep it up, you are doing great!" is always good to hear.  When I've felt overwhelmed and tired my husband has often said that we could put them in a school instead of homeschooling.. which is only depressing to me at this point and wouldn't help any of my troubles... it would just be hard in other ways.  Yes, I'd get alone time, but to do what?  Oh, clean.. yeah, that's my dream.  My brilliant idea was to hire someone to clean our house really well once a month or something!  Wouldn't THAT be great!   I often wish we could just order pizza for some nights, but ordering gluten free stuff would be too expensive.
I love reading to my kids and going to special art events and having a malleable schedule to take advantage of unbusy times of the day and great weather.
Okay, anyway.. enough complaining.  I really do love what we are doing with school.  I'm thankful for my husbands job that allows us enough food money and a schooling budget.  I feel like I have practically everything that I wanted when I was young except the energy to enjoy it.

There is always something to enjoy and something to be thankful for but do we look for those things?  Do we actually take the time to enjoy them?  I'm thankful for cartoons and the fact that my girls have fun doing projects on their own.  I need to enjoy THOSE quiet times to do my own stuff instead of wasting that precious time with dishes.  (Utilizing paper plates more often is my next plan.)

I know that if I work harder at planning my own projects and making my own space and time (all the "self care" that we are told we all need) that I will enjoy being with my kids more and truly enjoying the time with them.  Often I think too far ahead and what is coming up that I don't want to do.  And what does Jesus say?  "Don't worry about tomorrow.."

Lets enjoy the moment even when it's interrupted with crying and fussing and fighting between the siblings, because in between that is laughing and smiles and sweet hugs and moments of reflection and quiet.

I think I'll go make some more cotton candy before dinner.  :]

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