Friday, February 10, 2012

Time to change things up....

Since I have added "writing" to my almost-daily things to do, my time for housework and homeschooling has been challenged.

Schooling the kids five days a week, EACH week, for 36 weeks is truly wearing me out. I am depleted at the end of the day, especially if I run into any trouble with "listening." I have decided to do an official FOUR DAY week, with the fifth day either OFF or just a general "fine-art" and iPad and games day. Actually, after I mentioned this idea to Rich, he suggested I cut the homeschooing down to THREE days. he crazy? There is no way I could manage that. We'd have to do 7-8 hours, or more, of school each of those three days. Buddy could not handle the focus needed for that, but Ella would manage. Anyways, I will not do that- my brain fizzles out at about 5 hours of school! Four days is enough to do history, geography, reading, science, writing, math, and other skills. The fifth day, for example, could contain the following:

Example A: NOTHING

Example B: Art, Spanish, reading with quiet time

Example C: math iPad apps, reading with quiet time, history games

Example D: any combination of the above!

Today, for this first Friday of my new plan we did Spanish, reading with quiet time, Art, history game (Daniel Boone Bingo), and a math iPad app for facts review. Oh, and Spanish was from a book PLUS a couple very cool iPad apps I have. So, really, we did a lot, but it was a lot less teacher intensive. Art and Spanish seem to get pushed aside more often than not so this way, we make sure we are doing those more frequently AND we ALL get a change of pace.

My heart- and mind- is happy with this change. I wonder if we can keep this new schedule, or if we will have to change again. I hope not! But we will give a whirl a few times to see how manageable it all is. With the kids only being in first and third, I think we will get by with this schedule alteration pretty well. If there are things we did not get to finish, I will add them to this day- such as a writing assignment, vocabulary review, any seatwork. Hopefully, though, our "fifth" day will remain light.

So, today, I find myself able to write and edit. (insert big, huge smile!). Earlier this week, I was able to do a few loads of laundry (poor Rich, he's been doing it all lately!) and make dinners. But Wednesday night I napped from 6 pm til 9 pm. As thankful as I am for those extra hours of napping, I do not want to be so worn out that I have no other option than to nap like that. Also, I had something else the past few weeks that could have been BAD but thankfully I was not called to notice it until my chiropractor saw it...and it was on its way to healing...I praise God for that, for despite my tired days and pain filled days, that did not cause me extra pain. I am praying for my body's healing....I dream of the day I can have energetic and pain free moments! Until then, I will keep pressing on with the Lord's strength!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

A Field So Grand


I wish I had a field so grand

Open, sweet, and completely free

To lose a little of my aching heart there

And long to return someday as its queen

I would settle myself among the waves

Of grass, flowers, and deep breaths

Never wasting my gaze upon the ordinary again but

The majesty of the mountains upon my soul, at rest

If I could do so this moment

Take my solitary self away to the far off field

The moments here would be too long, too slow, and I think....

Is it like heaven, where my weary soul will yield?

Our God makes a restful place, for His children

A pleasing place to gather His daughters and sons

I imagine, I ponder, and I dream of such a land

To where this wearisome battle will be finally won.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

a work in progress

but today we actually had GREAT progress!

with school, at least! it seems we get into slumps, but as far as i know, all the other homeschoolers i know deal with the same thing we do at times. when you ponder a homeschooling family, i hope you see that we don't see everyone else as inferior. rather, that we are employing ourselves as sole instructor of our child's education. we do not accompany our children and their education in public school. no. we are choosing a different path. a path at home/field trip/class/etc. thus, we are with our children ALL THE TIME, and while that is our choice, it is not easy. Choices are not easy. Choices, however, are REWARDING.

this week, the choice was a bit more rewarding than others. and less difficult.

we have officially one week and one day left of our Daniel Boone unit in Trail Guide to Learning, but being as we will have a shortened day tomorrow due to appointments, i will have to extend are learning about habitats, and i'd rather take a longer time going over those. AND, both Ella and Philip wish to read another Daniel Boone book, so I need to find/order one. Yay! An excuse to get more books!

today, for an "official" homeschooling report:

reading- Thomas Edison biography, finished the book; BJU Reading 3 pages and worksheet;

spelling- pretest; crossword

math- Teaching Textbooks 3 lesson (we're over half-way done with the cds so i'm hoping we get to TT level 4 before the end of the year)

dictation- Daniel Boone biography selection

grammar- object pronouns worksheets/lesson

Ella & Philip:
nature study- goes along with our Trail Guide to Learning (Paths of Exploration curriculum): ant grid drawing; selected another habitat to write about/learn

science- polymer experiment using WD's little bag of powder and set of experiments with water and colored tablets (created my own seatwork PDF for the kids to use with this); to be continued over the next school days as we have a few more experiments and things to do

math- iPad apps x 2; math Extra Practice pages

spelling- review lesson, new words

grammar- contractions, lesson and seatwork

reading- Pathway Reader selection and accompanying questions/workbook, and extra reading

We did not get to geography/vocab/history but that's okay- we do those almost daily, and since i'm extending our unit, we will get through in time. we have only 2 more units of 6 weeks left of our "core" curriculum! I can't believe it! i am quite excited to say we will use this same curriculum next year. it is called Paths of Settlement. VERY anxious to begin that after a summer of fun-school. here i am, already thinking of next year's curriculum! this time of year (february) it always kicks in- the desire for "new" crazy is that. we have weeks left of school, and i'm planning NEXT year, for goodness sake's!