I think we're on week 6 or 7 with school. It took us WAY longer to find our new routine this year. New books. New house. Different family dynamic. But we've finally found a way that works for us, for now. I've been learning more and more about how struggles are used at times to shine a light on our weak areas. This year, I am learning.....
1. I am not a morning person. I stay in bed until the last possible second. And then I need "me time". I flip on a movie so they all stay quiet and still. I check emails, blogs, start laundry, wash dishes, etc. And then I'm too cold to jump in the shower, so I just change into sweats. We eat breakfast, and I lock myself and a child in the music room for 30 minutes - 1 hour. And then I switch kids. It's 11:00 before we even open a book. Shame shame. This has to change. I'm going to have to make myself into a morning person. Ugh.
(the dreaded morning when I realize we're out of granola. sorry kids. breakfast won't be ready for another hour)
(hanging laundry before the sun is completely up because now it takes an entire day to dry one load)
(did I mention it was only 49 degrees?)
2. I prefer things to stay tidy. As in, I'd rather have a child watch a movie while waiting to do a math lesson then to get the puzzles out. Because puzzles make a mess. Movies do not. Megan says "keep it put away, picked up, and quiet" but these kids will apparently learn more if we adopt the "paper, glue and board games can be readily available" mind set. I am learning :)
(I really don't mind washing it, hanging it on the line, or folding it. The "putting it away" part gets me every time)
3. Kids are way smarter than I give them credit for. I read a book recently and was immediately convicted about reading the "real" Bible to them every day. Not just their story book Bibles. Wish you could've witnessed the giggles and jaw dropping stares as I read the story of Abram lying to Pharoah about Sarai being his sister, instead of his wife. I was all "my word! they're actually listening! and comprehending!" :)
(reading Genesis during breakfast every day)
4. I am selfish. If we have an "enriching" day of school (meaning I take the time to explain things more, make enough copies to ensure all 3 being involved, etc) we aren't done before 3pm. I hate it. I know we'll get faster as the year progresses, and sure, there are things I could cut out. But I'm really starting to love our curriculum. And they are learning so dang much. Just the other day I said "I just want to read my library books. That's all. Remember when I used to have time to read library books!?!" Homeschooling is very time consuming. And very good at stripping away selfish desires. I'm learning that for now, this season of my life demands that I invest in their education.
(practice practice practice....)
("lego breaks" aka mommy needs a moment to collect her sanity)
4. I am not a patient person. "You've got to be kidding me. You just read this word on the last page and you forget already!? Come on! Turn your brain on!" :) Okay, not every day is that bad. Last night Silas said "mom, I don't like your low voice. Just your higher, nice voice." "You mean the low voice I use when I'm upset?" "Yeah, I like your higher one better." So today I purposed to use a high voice through the entire reading lesson. Patience, patience patience...
(easy readers. there are stacks everywhere. thank heavens for the library. I was recently informed that the Little Bear series is not cool. Apparently now there are easy readers with Scooby Doo, Star Wars and Lego titles. these are the "cool" ones. duh, mom)
("snuggly school": school work done on the couch during a rainy day)
5. We all need breaks! Forcing them to play outside ("you are not allowed back in for 10 minutes") works especially well!
(pirates....on their ship....watching for the enemy)
(a study on insects. the science curriculum left something to be desired on this subject, so we improvised and came up with our own study)
(times 3. can't leave anyone out!)
(still smiling by the time dinner rolls around! we survived another day!)
(note to self: you aren't allowed to start dough at 9:30pm anymore. you will be exhausted and want to go to bed)
(planning out the next day. without a plan, the people parish. smile)
(homemade, whole wheat, egg and dairy free soft pretzels. not very tasty at midnight. :) but the kids loved them the next day!)