Our first academic term is firmly behind us.
I wrote that sentence a while ago and just cannot get passed it…
I guess I really just do not want to reflect on the term’s academic fails and strengths. I did devise a new routine that is working for us at the moment. The kids prefer to spend longer periods of time on certain subjects instead of just doing one lesson each day of the week. Our new routine is to devote a two or three-hour weekly chunk to certain subjects. Monday is math day and Tuesday is devoted to the arts with no math. Wednesday afternoon is devoted to science and history on Thursday. On Friday afternoons the kids have time to work on writing projects, co-op work, or watch a documentary. Our morning routine consists
of two outside commitments per week, chores, read-alouds, language arts study and mathematics. I’ve found the new routine to be freeing. I’m not trying to rush everyone to get a lesson finished so we can move on to the next subject. The nice thing about the larger chunks of time is that I can work with all of the kids each day. Now that math has a three-hour chunk of time I can work with each child individually as needed. The same is true for the remaining subjects as well. I am sure the routine will need to be tweaked a bit as the year goes on and needs adjustments; but for now it is working for us.
Currently I am reading Benjamin West and his Cat Grimalkin to Littlest. He loves the story and has already asked me to make certain foods the book mentions. Once we finish the book we’ll have a Colonial Quaker poetry lunch date. So far scrapple and syllabubs are on the menu. He cried his little heart out at
the end of the second chapter when the little boy left his little kitten with Benjamin. He was sad for the kitten that was left with strangers, for the boy who had to leave the kitten, leave his new friend, and leave part of his childhood behind. And he was sad for Benjamin who couldn’t show his sadness. I do not remember the older three crying over this story. Littlest is just all heart sometimes…and a messy, loud, bodily function jokes loving boy.
I had a terrible flare-up last week. My IBS wrapped itself around my core, stole my strength and left me an anxiety filled mess. I managed to muddle through the day but spent most of it curled in a little ball on the couch. The nausea was so awful it made me dizzy…likely increasing the nausea’s
strength. I am hoping not to repeat that scene this week. That was last Wednesday and it was truly horrible.
The kids were pretty sweet to me while I was down. They brought me water, blankets, books, pillows and soup. Middle Boy even got the teacher’s guide and worked on math with Littlest. Sometimes I think I’m doing everything wrong because they bicker and argue so much but when it matters they always pull it together and do what is needed. My sick day wasn’t a total waste but I lament the time lost to work on my own projects. I’m always telling my daughter to rest when she feels bad. Perhaps I should take my own advice. I could feel this bad spell coming on but I just ignored the signs. I also forgot to take my medicine for the entire weekend. Working longer hours on the weekend just threw my routine. I have not forgotten my medicine since and I am trying to not let work related stress get to me.
Did you know there are only 10 Friday’s between now and Christmas? Where has this year gone? I am determined to enjoy this Christmastime. I’ve had a difficult time the past two years but I am hoping to shake the trouble off this time around. I feel like an old shoe without a sole. Sometimes I feel useless and wonder if I have a place in the Creator’s realm… a work I can perform. I’ll never do great and important things in the world. I just need to remember to be faithful and to do the small things with all my heart.
I’ve been trying to keep the importance of small moments in mind this week. To say the little things that my loved ones need to hear…and mostly not the complaining or negative words that hurt. I’ve started with the kids. Putting my phone down and listening when they talk. Asking about their games or music they are listening too. Letting them teach me something. Letting them know they are more important than some
small task or Instagram photo. I was a bit surprised at how quickly they responded and started talking to me more…laughing more. We’ve been a little wilder this week, a little more free.
I started a new book last week called The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. I’ve wanted the book for years. Last week I found it in the library store! So far the book is really good and is about getting in touch with our creative side. I started the three pages of daily stream-of-consciousness writing already. The practice has helped me to tune out the black-hole that eats me alive. In many ways the practice is far more helpful than the meditation techniques I’ve been practicing lately. The second technique is called the Artist’s Date. This one I just have no idea how I can commit to it.
The date is to spend two hours by myself doing something new or something I love. A walk or hike, museum visit or coffee shop stop. I am not sure I can spend so much time on myself with a husband, kids, home education commitment and home to tend to. Two hours of alone time a week sounds like heaven to me but I just cannot find the time at the moment. At least not the way the author intends…I’ll find a way to adapt the requirement to my needs and lifestyle. So far I am loving the book and I know it will help me to overcome my creative blocks and be a better mother, wife and home educator.
I finally got my hands on the new Around the World study guide from Beautiful Feet Books. The study is everything I dreamed it would be!!! I cannot wait to dive into this with the kids. I showed the guide to the
kids today during our poetry time and explained to them hoe we could expand it to include all of them (it is for primary grades). They were really excited about my ideas. So I will take the study and expand it to include middle and high school books. I am very excited about this and I’ve already researched some awesome books for the older kids! Our first stop is China and we plan to start our exploration next week!
We are starting our new term of the season now and the time is well spent so far!
I have been chatting with my friend while writing this post. We have both challenged each other to write our first bucket lists!!! Kinda scary and fun…what should I put on my list…hmmm.
I feel like not much has happened lately and yet…so much has changed since I last evaluated my approach to home education. Oldest and i are about to approach the high school years. So many other families have already traveled to this place. But this is my first trip through and I am sure mistakes and mishaps will happen. But I am trusting Jesus to cover my oversights and help me design the perfect high school years for my oldest son. How can my sweet first-born be ready for high-school!!!!