Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Mom Fail

Yesterday I allowed the misbehavior of one child to colour our entire day and to discourage me and dictate my behavior. It was a total parenting fail. But it ended in the child picking himself up by the bootstraps and with apologies all around. Proving once again that God can redeem ALL things for good and for his glory.

Yesterday, during my devotional time with the littles, I found myself getting frustrated. Why was I frustrated? Because, once again, it was taking so long to 'get through' the reading! Because my beloved little ones kept interupting to make comments on, and ask questions about the things of God! As soon as I took a breath and asked myself why I was frustrated, I realized how silly it was. And how amazing their faith is, and how great their knowledge of the things of God and how deep their questions are.
What a blessing! And it was also a wonderful reminder that teaching and learning about God are not just another thing to be ticked off of my to do list. I am discipling my children, with every word and action, I am showing them God. And usually, I am doing a crappy job of it!
God, please give me patience and an abundance of love for these precious little lives you have entrusted to me!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Week 3

My littles have overcome my lethargy today and insisted on 'doing school'. Out came the Horizons math books. I love doing math with them, they are super enthusiastic and I think they really appreciate the quick lessons and the definite beginning and end of the work. My 6 year old is adorable as he has to add teeth or a pacman around every greater than and less than sign in each lesson!
This week is week three of our year and the first that my husband has been at work. I hate to admit that I have struggled with motivation already. I think that my constant of exhaustion due to being in the last few weeks of this pregnancy and not sleeping, is a definite contributing factor. The older boys have completed their assignments though, and the littles and I have done a little each day, as well as kept up with our reading.
I have made executive decisions to let them keep playing when they are getting along and to spend lots of time in the sun and pool while the weather allowed. Especially since it has been cold and wet, and the weekend looks to continue that trend. My husband and I both feel that this is one of the lovely freedoms that homeschooling allows. The freedom to take advantage of sunny weather and moments together. The freedom to take breaks in our days to play, chat or share a warm pot of tea. Yesterday, I took off for a mid-afternoon date with my husband as we did a little dream-building and planning. I love our home educating lifestyle!
My husband and I have also been a bit lax with our eldest two as their friends are still on summer vacation. They have been allowed lots of freedom to hang out with their friends and take part in activities. My eldest is headed off to do some event preparation work with some family friends who have a production company. If he does well, it could maybe turn into occasional work for him. And as a homeschooler he has the freedom to work when other kids have to be in classes, as long as he keeps up with his studies.
Anyhoo, I am feeling excited and hopeful as I look towards the coming months. It looks like my husband will be working close to home, teaching and therefore home every night. Meaning he will continue to be a large part of the school part of our lives and I am so thankful for this big change. It means that not all the responsibility falls on my shoulders. I can facilitate their learning and do most of the implementation, but he can help keep us accountable and even help with marking!
I am also enjoying doing Sonlight once again. Having everything scheduled out, without giving up my weekends to do that, is simply amazing. All the kids love checking off their work each day with the date stamp I bought. I think they get a real sense of accomplishment out of that. And my 12 year old is loving doing the 4 day a week schedule, because he knows if he keeps up with his work that he can take time off to do what he likes. He is doing a fantastic job.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Day 2

Awesome second day and much faster. The teens were both finished around lunch and the littles were soon after. I went over most of the bigger boys work while the littles had their morning break and then Dad went over math when he came home. We made the decision for our eldest to go back and review for the next month or two, before moving on to advanced Algebra and Trig. I have not been really great at keeping up with marking and keeping him accountable, and he has not wanted us to think he isn't brilliant and therefore he has some learning gaps. We had already made the decision to do that with the 13 year old and I think it will be great.
So thankful for my husbands involvement and interest. We need him to keep us accountable, be our backstop and our principle and it has been a role that time and circumstance have made him reluctant to take on. But he is willing now, and it is just in time.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Day 1

Well, we got the school year off to a great start. Daddy joined us this morning for Bible and he said a prayer and blessing for each child and me and for our school year. I can't think of another year when he has been with us for the first day, what a positive beginning!
With A(5) and J(6), we just did our reading this morning while E(2) climbed on us. I thought that it would be easiest to save the bookwork for E's naptime, at least for my sanity. After our reading, the littles went outside to play in the pool for a couple of hours and the big boys joined them for a break after lunch. By 1:30 we were back at the table for the bookwork portion of our day. Having Daddy home was such a blessing, he put E down while I got started on math with J. Then he came and did math with A, while I finished math with J and we got started on Language Arts. I think it is going to be difficult to balance working with the 2 of them at the same time because they both need my complete attention throughout their math and LA work. At least today, J had copywork, so I was able to start A on her LA while he laboured with the printing. We didn't make it to handwriting skills today, but that is okay, they did get some practice during LA.
The last thing I did with the littles today was science, we did some reading about animals. Good thing that was all, because they were both done.

My older boys worked mostly independently today. B(15) worked his way through all his Bible, Literature, History, Chemistry and Math alone. It took him from 9 until after 4, so I think this year will be quite labour intensive for him. R(13) worked until 4:30, but he did take a long bathroom break and he is easily distracted by what everyone else is doing and saying. We may need to set him up with a desk away from his siblings. And maybe some noise dampening headphones! He did most of his Bible and reading this morning and this afternoon he did Math and then we worked through his LA together. I think we will do about half of what the curriculum asks, at least at the beginning. Like one dictation a week as opposed to 2. He did work fairly diligently today though and I am proud of his effort. We do need to work Science into our day, but today was a good start.

As of today, we still have not decided what R will be doing this year. Will he home educate or will he go to Junior High? If he stays home, will we continue with a more traditional approach, like the Sonlight etc., or will we do cyber-school as he has requested? I really don't know. And I am not sure of where God is leading us on this issue. We only applied at one junior high and he was told they had no space for him. There are plenty of other schools, but I am really not sure where to even begin to look. We also have the opportunity to reapply at our first choice school, but I don't know if we should. We prayed that God would close the doors that were not His best for R. I kind of feel like God already closed that door, so do we really need to reopen it? More praying and investigation are needed to make this choice, I guess. I would really just like it to be done! I do know that I don't want to spend another year fighting with my beautiful son every day about school.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Happy New Year!

We are starting a new school year tomorrow! I am sure that my teenagers are not that excited, but my kindergartener and grade 2-er have been begging me ever since our Sonlight boxes arrived to 'do school'. I usually don't get myself and the kids really going until the end of September, but this year I want us to have a head start. We have a baby due on October 6, so I would really love to get us into a good rhythm before then. Especially so that the teens can keep themselves going when I am babymooning. I would imagine that the littles and I will do a bunch of reading and games during that period but the math and writing may get a little break.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Apparently I can no longer call myself a blogger! But I feel like writing today, so I thought I would do a little catch up here as we near the end of our year.
I have been feeling discouraged and frankly sick of homeschooling throughout the past few months. More to the point, tired of fighting with the kids about school, tired of poor attitude and tired of the endless demands that home educating and parenting 5 kids puts on me. That may have a lot to do with my husband working 100+ hours a week for the last 3 months and basically doing this all by myself. And being physically exhausted and therefore having little emotional or physical energy to put into anything. Maybe.
Regardless, we will be making changes in the fall. We may be putting one or both of our teenagers in school in the fall. At the very least, my 'soon to be' grade 8 student will be cyberschooling. I need him to be responsible to someone else for the schooling. I don't want to keep fighting with him about school every day, we have other stuff to work on and I want to keep a relationship with him!
My eldest can be quite self-reliant and I know we can successfully keep home educating through graduation, though there are many things to be said for him going to high school for a while. A different idea was presented to me today and I am really thinking that it would be a fantastic one for us. We continue to traditional home educate and he registers in a local university as an undeclared student taking one course at a time while he finishes high school! We have a couple of really home education friendly college options here in our city. I am leaning towards this option, especially since I just ordered him a Sonlight core! I ordered a ton of stuff from them this week and I am expecting delivery on Monday. Woohoo! I can't wait for 'box day'!