Thursday, May 24, 2012

May 24, 2012

What is happening? The year is nearly half over!

Looking forward to some lake time this weekend. I miss being on/near the water. Haha. I do not necessarily miss being IN the water. Lakes have fish poop, duck poop, all the nasty hot dog water people dump out while making their lunch... you name it, the lake has it. And there's no salt in there to help kill the funk. So... yeah. I like to be near the water, I am not crazy about being in it.

This week has been challenging. I recently did two things that have forced me to re-examine the way I interact with and educate my children.

The first thing was reading "Bringing Up Bébé" by Pamela Druckerman. I knew that America has a unique child-rearing culture but I had no idea the differences were so fundamental, not to mention that those differences begin even before birth. Convicting! I, too, am guilty of celebrating my kids' basic skills as if they were amazing accomplishments (what a good jumper you are!), narrating their play (as if they can't "wheeee!" on their own!), and allowing them to monopolize not only my time and attention, but that of my friends, parents, and the general public. I don't want them to be self-centered or praise oriented or incapable of accepting defeat and criticism but they are well on their way already. So, as foreign (har har) as it seems, I'm 'tightening the screw' that should never have been allowed to be so loose. Enforcing manners, respect, patience, obedience, and self-reliance: setting up the cadre. This establishment of framework fits right in with the schooling style that I believe will be ours for the duration so I feel comfortable that this is the right path.

The second thing I did was attending the Home School Book Fair. I admit, I went in hopes of this year finding a magic curriculum that would somehow fit all of our needs. Something that would cover all the basics and not assume that only Christians care about offering an education that encompasses the whole person, spirit and mind. Alas, I did NOT find this magical curriculum. I found things to like and things to stay away from and things that I didn't quite understand (the Richest Christian boardgame? uh...). So I came home and researched and made lists and pondered... and it's back to square one. Living books, lots of copy-work, hands-on activities, and hoping that what I miss one semester, we make up in the next. I will either become organized or die trying. haha

Moving on to other things...

Dance class is nearly over. Next Tuesday is the last 'regular' class and then the following week we have the RECITAL! I wasn't going to push Izzy to participate in the recital but it seems that her teacher thinks she's ready so it didn't seem right to just exclude her myself. The moms have been allowed to sit-in during some practices and most of the girls seem ready to perform. There are still some giggles and stumbles going on but they are actually pretty intent on mastering the skills they're being taught. I'm already looking forward to next year's class.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

May 3, 2012

Sunday school has only two classes left and then half of each weekend will be 'free' for the Summer. I'm not sure how I feel about that. I'd almost rather it were a year round affair, just to be able to stay in the routine easier.

This brings me to a different quandary tho... do we home-school year-round so as not to lose any academic ground or do we follow the public school model and take a break? I feel like public school students miss out by having a forced break... the beginning of the next year seems to involve a lot of review, at least from what we gather from Ben. Home school has the advantage of a mindset of incorporating learning at every possible opportunity so even with a Summer 'break', there's a good chance of being right on target or even ahead by the time the next school year begins. 

I'm considering just instituting a relaxed schedule for the Summer... picking a book to read each week, regular zoo/arboretum/aquarium trips, letting Izzy set a goal of some sort at the beginning, things like that. I don't want to slip out of the routine so much that when Autumn comes around again, we all dread it. 

The Home School Book Fair is back in town next weekend. I am EXCITED! There are a few workshops I'd like to sit in on but mostly, I just want to see if there's anything new/improved to work into our day. 


Furniture refinishing has kind of taken over my free time. I feel like housework is definitely suffering. But it's just more fun to restore a table than to put away dishes, mop the floor, or organize the pantry. Which really needs it, by the way. The pantry was sort of tidied up before Passover but now it's just... amok. Madness in there, lemme tell you. 


Too many people I know are having babies. Flashbacks to the colicky months aren't even enough to make me totally fine with being done. Darn babies and their cuteness.