EKWP went to the Pumpkin Patch. We went on a hayride to the pumpkin field, went through a corn maze, learned about different kinds of pumpkins, and had minimal fit throwing. :) All in all it was a fun day.
I knew not all days were going to be easy when I started homeschooling. Today was a doosie. doozy? doozie? Anyway, By noon were were done with only 2 subjects and barely got started on a 3rd. I was frustrated, she was frustrated. Finally about 3, we quit. That was enough. and I took a nap. I felt better after the nap, but my attitude was definitely not what it should have been, which consequently made her have a bad attitude. The milk got spilled three times, and it was such to the point that I thought, "yah, why not?" As if I didn't have enough to deal with at that point. I guess I feel like I have fallen behind lately with everything relating to housework and it has me beyond frustrated. Why is it that I feel like a failure if I can't be 'supermom' I already know its not possible, yet I still try, in vain, to achieve the unattainable. So here I am sitting, blogging, and my super sweet husband is cleaning up. Have I mentioned that he's AWESOME. I got the best one ladies, sorry. He is forgiving of my moods (today, in particular) and helps way more than any other husband I know of. This post started out complaining and ended up being a rave about my AWESOME husband. All that to say, I guess, when I can't be supermom, I've got a great support system to get me through the TERRIBLE HORRIBLE NO GOOD VERY BAD DAYS. (one of the funniest books ever, by the way)
We were supposed to go to the Pumpkin Patch, but it was raining. So, we went to the discovery museum instead. They were kind enough to give us a slight school discount at the last minute. A very fun, although unplanned field trip.
We rearranged, and I LOVE IT! It actually looks like a school area and is way more functional. I finally got my whiteboard on the wall as well as my calendar time stuff. The artwork on the walls is all original COPYRIGHT: AW My daughter painted those right after we came home from the hospital with baby #3. And just for the record, my desk does not look that clean on a daily basis. In fact, I don't think I've seen the top of my desk since that picture was taken. So instead of blogging some more, maybe I should turn off the computer and clean my desk, or get a snack. I'm kinda hungry.
Well. We've had our ups and downs, but overall its been good. I'm learning how to be HER teacher and she is learning how to be MY student. Overall, Homeschooling was absolutely the right decision and we love it. Some of the great things so far: Watching Phineas and Ferb for recess when its rainy Finishing before noon (not everyday) Spending the extra time together Being on a schedule Being on a chores schedule! :) Being flexible and changing the schedule if we need to
Some of the challenges: Getting myself up early (I have to anyway for the baby, but I'm not much of a morning person)
on a side note: its really not that early, I get up at 630, kids are up at 700, we start at 800 Getting her to work quickly Getting her to work quickly Getting her to work quickly
not sure why: sometimes I think she's bored with the work, other times I think she doesn't understand and gets frustrated. FINDING the BALANCE--that's a little difficult. I'm learning patience, or trying to. She is very lacksadaisical in her work, but we are working on it. THE BOYS--oh my I never realized how much the baby 'bothers' me until I sat down and tried to do school. Also the preschooler--he gets LOUD and distracting. Doing School with the Preschooler: he's only 3 1/2, but I've been VERY non formally doing school with him. He likes to be silly and say the wrong answer when I know he knows it. FRUSTRATING! but all kids do it! Right?!?
So other than having to exercise patience, which I am desperately trying to get better at, things have been going well. Stay Tuned for: School Room Revisited
The first week has come and gone...I think it's going well. I can tell when she gets bored and I am trying to think of different projects to do to go along with our regular studies. I think when we get into the rhythm of things I will add in some French and Music. I don't personally know French, but I hope to learn right along with her. Speaking of not being in a rhythm--yesterday we got done at 3 in the afternoon. (We had an hour long lunch break) Today, we got done at 10:30am. We had a friend coming over so I guess that was motivation for working faster. Works for me! :) Some subjects we are breezing through--others, like Math, we need to spend more time on. She is super smart with Math, but she wasn't taught to memorize her basic + and - facts in first grade. We are working on that and slowly going through the workbook. Her reading has improved SO MUCH! I'm so excited about that. Last year in First grade, public school, it seemed like she barely progressed with reading. We are still working on balancing loud younger brothers with school, but it will get better. Repeat: It will get better. Tell yourself again: It will get better. In the meantime, I am LOVING the extra time with my girl! I missed her a lot last year.
On a more crafty note:
I did these on my computer, does that count as crafts? The other side has the party info. Sorry about the weird coloring...I should have edited before I uploaded!
In our state we can form and 'independent school' with at least one other family in order to legally homeschool. My sister and sister-in-law are both homeschooling, so there it is: EKWP Academy. We had a back to school kick off party on Saturday.
There was an obstacle course, designed by my awesome husband; and a put some freckles on your partner game, and a blindolded play-dough game. Lots of fun. The kids had a blast. I think the favorite thing was the obstacle course. It went around the house, involved a swing, a slide, a trampoline, a laser field (the sprinklers), and a see-saw amoung other things. Perfect way to end summer, cause guess what we started school TODAY! It went well. We started at 8 and got done at 11:20. I loved it!
We hit one rough patch when my 2nd grader started working REALLY slow. I realized it was because she alredy knew the stuff on that page, so I quizzed her on it (verbally), we skipped that page and moved on. Then her mood perked up. Another wonderful benefit of homeschooling: She doesn't have to wait for everyone else in the class to learn it or if she needs more time on something then we can take more time.
The Preschooler: This was a different story. We are starting the Letter of the Week curriculum from Confessions of a Homeschooler (no, I'm not getting paid to mention her, I just really like her stuff) To get him to sit down and work is a challenge, but I think at this point, casually learning letters and fine motor skills is fine. He's only 3 1/2, after all. :) Not worried.
He took a LONG morning nap today as a 'First Day of School' Present to me. By long, I mean over an hour. Lately his morning naps have been only 20 to 30 minutes. YEAH!!!!
After school, the kids did their chorse, cleaned their rooms--well one of them did; the other room was already clean. Now I'm enjoying a rainstorm while the kids are chilaxing in front of the TV. (no, they don't watch it all day, so stop freaking out) I'm kinda in the mood for some cookies now, but if I bake them, then I'll eat them, and that will negate the exercising I'm planning on doing this afternoon. :)
Laminated--you have to say that with Isabella Rossellini's accent. If you know what I'm talking about then you get the "I think you are AWESOME!" prize today. Are you ready for your prize? Here it is: I THINK YOU ARE AWESOME!! Anyway, a couple weeks ago I bought this:
It was few days after I received it before I got to play with it. (stinking family in town) (okay, just kidding, it was great having them here) So, I turned it on and laminated a couple things and realized --I was not prepared, so I had to turn it off and get everything else ready before I could laminate it. After a couple hours of cutting, I was ready.... I was laminating stuff from:
It's great! She's got some really great stuff on her site---a few downloadable curriculums for purchase and some freebies as well. She has been such a blessing to me. So, back to the laminating: I feel like a real teacher now. It's so cool to have my stuff all slick and shiny! Now when my preschooler looks up at me and says, "I don't want to do this.", I can say, "But, it's laminated!" (again with the accent)
I'm starting our school year in a little less than two weeks. I've never done this before; so, NO, I can't say if I'm ready or not. I've got most of my supplies. I've written down lesson plans in my fancy planner. I have kept the illusion that the two little boys won't bother us when we are doing school. :) I'm not expecting it to be the easiest thing I've ever done. I am expecting it to be the most rewarding. The more I think about it, the more thankful I am to God for giving me the opportunity to teach my children at home. I am so excited to be able to spend all that time with them and impart Godly principles into them. We may not have everything we could have if I had a 'real' job, but I wouldn't trade this life for anything. It's just stuff. My kids are forever. I think I still need to get a few things for Science and make some things for Math. I need to figure out the back to school party--then a couple days later, ready or not, I'm going to start homeschooling. AHHHHH! or YEAHHHH! or WOO HOO!
This is the school room/myoffice/livingroom. The pink desk is for my 2nd grader. The little one in front of the window is for my preschooler. The baby doesn't get a desk yet.
This cabinet houses all our supplies, workbooks, teacher guides, etc. The green cabinet on the right holds library books, the diaper bag, motorcycle/fourwheeler helmets... It's a mutifunctional room, but I'm so thankful we have the space that we do.
My girl decorated her desk with dolls, piggy banks, and a notepad. I'm not sure that this stuff will stay once we start, but she is so good at making a space her own, I didn't want to squelch that at all. The finger paintings on the wall are some 'homemade artwork' I thought that would look better than anything I could think to put up there, plus it makes me smile when I look at it, and think about their cute paint covered hands, feet, legs, faces....
When my daughter was in Kindergarten and 1st grade in public school, she got a letter and a supply list from the teacher about a month before school started. I thought that was pretty cool, so I decided to carry on the tradition. Just a little something to send her in the mail to make her feel special. She loves getting things in the mail.
Oh how I love them. When I was little I couldn't wait until the lists came out and I'd get to go to the store and get all the things on my list. I loved walking down the aisles and seeing the countless boxes of crayons and markers and papers and folders and pencils..... Well they are out at our local supercenter, they really are, I saw them today and walked down the aisles--all three kids in tow. I bought a couple notebooks; one for my daughter and one for my son. Soon, I will make a supply list and a 'letter from the teacher' (me)(mom) and mail it to my daughter. Then she and I can go to the store and get all the supplies she will need for this year of homeschooling. Not much, but it still should be a fun day. I kinda wish I was shopping for supplies for me. I loved picking out a new lunchbox and backpack---both of which she won't really need. :( I get to buy some cool teacher-ish stuff for myself this year though. When we go shopping for supplies and are meandering the tools for school, I might, just might, pick up a box of markers for just me and maybe a folder or two.
Ingredients: Straw Wreath, Floral Pins, and Balloons,
lots and lots of balloons
I got this idea from How Does She . It was easy to make, and turned out really cute. It's for my son't 1st birthday--which isn't for about 3 more months, but I wanted to get started early! :)
All you have to do is start pinning balloons to the wreath. Put the pin (which is like a large staple) across the middle of the balloon. I found it worked better to pin one balloon at a time. Finished product: Lovely Yes?
It's awesome, I'm just saying. No, seriously. It's great, exactly what I needed to plan this next year. I highly recommend it. (No, I'm not getting paid for this. The 'Well Planned Day' people have no idea who I am.)
Okay, So I found something that really works for me: A Laundry Schedule! Yes, I know this is not a new idea for some of you. Here's how it works:
Monday: The Boys (ages 3 and 9 months)
Tuesday: The Girl (age 7, and goes through a few outfits a day) On a side note, I really do try to tell her to hang her clothes back up when she only wears them for a few hours. She's getting better about it, and I
'm doing less laundry!
Wednesday: Hubby's work clothes and socks
Thursday: Sheets, Towels
Friday: My Clothes and Hubby's 'nice' clothes
It goes really well for me, as long as no one messes it up. Now, since we manage (and clean) some daily rental cabins, more laundry goes into the mix on some days. This schedule is not adhered to perfectly, but when it is, the stress of laundry dissapears almost entirely! So next step: A cleaning schedule...HaHaHa! We'll see.
Today I am thankful that my daughter is excited about homeschooling. One of our concerns with pulling her out of public school was that she would miss that time with her friends. It helps that her cousins are being homeschooled too and they live nearby. That was our biggest reservation with regard to the decision to homeschool: Missing out on the whole 'school' experience. While some of public school can be downright AWFUL, there are some good things that she will miss out on. The benefits of homeschooling, for our family, far outweighs any of these experiences. She only has 18 more days of public school left, then summer. We are going to do a little bit of school stuff this summer, and we'll officially start in the fall.
I've got a desk in mind for her that I'm going to paint, and we've got an antique cabinet that used to be in my Grandparents' house to hold our homeschool stuff. The 'school room' is in our living room. I'll post pictures when we get things set up.
I think my 3yo son will love having 'Sissy' home. He asks about her during the day and absolutely adores spending time with her. (I'm not sure the feeling is always mutual though :)
I've got my core curriculum and have a few things in mind for extras if we feel we have time. I'll take it easy to start with though. There is so much that I WANT to do. I'm trying to be VERY realistic in my estimations of how much time this is going to consume. Once we get into the swing of things we'll try adding things like music and a foreign language. There is going to be an art class at my church next fall that I'll take her to. Little Man is a little young for it. That's all for now. More thoughts to come later.
It was a pretty easy decision to make. For the longest time I dismissed the idea. Always in the back of my head I thought, I wish I could do that. I thought my daughter (the oldest) was too social to pull out of public school. We pray every night for wisdom in raising our kids, disciplining them, teaching them, etc. For awhile she would come home from school and do her homework (reading a short book) and it would take her an hour. There would be lots of tears and frustration, from both of us. I felt like she wasn't progressing like she should or could. She was bored of it and wanted to just be done with the school day. One day in the middle of all this I had the thought: What if I just homeschooled her? Peace. Peace about the idea of it, peace about my abilities to do it, just peace. I started researching and got really excited. Now it's obviously exciting when you start looking at curriculum and school supplies and teacher supplies, but this was different. The more I looked, researched, read blogs of other homeschoolers, the more excited I got.
I decided that too much time everyday was spent with school and that my kids need a chance to be kids. I don't want their whole childhood to be consumed by school. I want the opportunity to see my kids grow up. I want to impart Godly principles into them on a daily basis. I want to give them the foundation of a life based on God and spent with family. I love the idea of my kids being able to learn at their own pace; to learn about things they wouldn't normally learn in public school.
As of right now, my oldest (7) is still in first grade. We are letting her finish out the year. I haven't purchased any curriculum, but I know what I'm going to get. (pretty much :) Everyday I look at something on the Internet related to homeschooling. I'm trying to get as much info as I can right now cause I figure next year in the middle of it, I won't really have time to be doing research. While it makes me nervous about finishing housework, raising my other two boys (both not old enough for school yet), making sure she gets out and spends time with friends, and teaching, all at the same time; I know God is with me and it is not my abilities but His help that will make all this possible.
And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. (2 Corinthians 9:8) For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. (Philippians 2:13)
I can do all things through Christwho strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)