Ads

I want to say that I am sorry to anyone who may have been offended by any ad on this blog. I had totally forgotten that WordPress said there would be intermittent advertising on the blog, and then my husband told me he had seen an inappropriate ad on the blog.

My apologies.

It won’t happen again. I’ve upgraded to the ad free version. Advertising these days can be so horrible and most certainly does not convey the message(s) I wish to express here.

Once again, my apologies…

Kindergarten

One thing I have learned during our relatively short journey into home schooling is that no matter what THE PLAN is, I must be open to the fact that not only might the plan change, but it will change.

So we started Kindergarten with Buddy and Blondie in August, shortly before Baby was due. THE PLAN was to do the A Beka book K5 curriculum, continue where we left off and finish “Teach Your Kids To Read In 100 Easy Lessons”, as well as incorporate some narration, copy work, dictation and memorization this year. Both boys are taking violin again this year and will be trying out some piano as well. Buddy is signed up for his second season of rec hockey and has been asking when it starts.

Now that I’ve written that all down it sure sounds like alot, and sure enough, it wasn’t long into the year that I realized THE PLAN would be changing.

Maybe I’ve read too many books, but lately I’ve felt alot of pressure to get this whole homeschooling thing right. There’s this feeling that if my kids aren’t in university level classes by 12 I’ve failed them as a teacher.  Well, even though I know that that is unreasonable, I still feel driven to push the kids harden than I should.

Compared to those involved with the grassroots home school movement there are SO many resources available, and whenever I talk to anyone just starting or interested in home schooling, they are quite simply overwhelmed by philosophies, methods and approaches (as I was, and still am for that matter). And to be completely honest, there are way too many “printables” available online, and I’m rather sick of hearing about sensory activities (mostly because I apparently don’t do enough of them). It is so easy to feel flooded by information and completely inadequate to home school.

Just when I start feeling confident about one of our curriculum choices, I read another blog, get an email about some curriculum or hear from another mom about what is working so wonderfully for her children. Now I’m confused and am convinced my kids can’t possibly be learning anything, which is completely ridiculous, but still, how do I know I’m doing this right?

I keep finding myself in this place, and I keep coming to the same conclusion. When I take an objective look at how the kids are doing, not only are they learning they are doing excellent. So things aren’t nearly as dire as I think they are.

So THE PLAN changes and that’s ok. Instead of being, THE PLAN, it should simply be, the plan, and should be very flexible. Focusing on the kids is way more important than how many lessons we finish. Even though I personally really like teacher guides and school times that go precisely according to plan, life rarely goes according to the book and if I’m not okay with that, we are all going to be stressed out.

So ya, there’s been a few changes to the plan this year so far, and there will most certainly be more on the horizon…

So Moms, whether you home school or not, please don’t be so hard on yourselves. God has blessed you with your children, and has a specific purpose and plan for you and your family. It’s not going to look like mine or another families. Seek Him and His will for you and your family.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2:10 (ESV)

First Snow

So I was told it was supposed to snow last night, but I didn’t say a word to the kids about it ’cause I really wanted to see their reactions in the morning. This morning when the discovery was made, there was an eruption of joy and shouts of “Winter is here!” followed by desperate attempts to locate and put on their snow gear. Dawn had hardly broke when Buddy, Blondie and Happy burst through the doors and into what they consider glorious snow (I’m not so inclined to agree). They ran around like excited little puppies to every corner of the yard. Happy, however, didn’t fully realize the important of her mittens. After a while she came crying back to the house, holding her mittens in her cold little fingers not understanding why they hurt. We had a little chat about that and now we’ll have to wait and see if the lesson took.

Welcome, Winter. In years past we haven’t been the best of friends. This year I am going to attempt to remain on speaking terms with you. My kids love you, and it’s because of that I will do my best to get along with you, but please, please could we skip the whole -50 degrees temperatures we had to endure last winter???

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October

Buddy. It seems like you are growing up so fast. If feels like just yesterday you were my little baby, and now you are such a mature little man, so helpful and caring. You ask fantastic questions and love learning. And you are so social. Most everyday you ask, “Mom, who are we going to see today?” You challenge me to love people like God commands us to love others.

Blondie. This month you had your first bleed. I thought it would be easier to go through than it was, but God is good and you recovered quickly. You really haven’t skipped a beat and you remain the most active little boy that I know (and according to everyone who knows you, the most active boy they know).

Happy. You are the most joyful little person. You also keep us on our toes. The energy levels are through the roof, and when I hear you get up in the morning, I ask God for the ability to keep up with you. Most days you win. Your laugh is the best. Lately you absolutely love reading books and singing. You have mastered “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” and “Jesus Loves Me” along with many other turns and rhythms from your brothers’ music lessons (which we all go to and she is clearly picking up a whole bunch). You are also learning lots from listening to the boys in school, and I discovered the other day that you can count to 11.

Baby. You, my little dear, are very alert and awake alot more during the day. This month you had a bit of a cold, but it didn’t last long and didn’t bother you that much. On the 20th you starting “talking”  and making lots of cooing sounds. One night I was up with you in the middle of the night. I was exhausted, but when I looked down at you, you were smiling up at me and started making sweet little baby sounds. I almost laughed out loud, and thouroughly enjoyed that sweet, sweet moment. You are also doing your best to laugh, and it’s the cutest thing. You are almost 2 months old and 11 lbs 1 oz. My little newborn is growing so fast! Oh how I love babies!

Dear God,

I feel somewhat overwhelmed, not quite drowning, but just treading water. I want to enjoy being a mom and wife. I do love it, but the laundry pile is massive, I’m not patient enough, my to-do list is only getting longer with no hope in sight of anything getting finished, all I want to do is sit down and read and play with the kids all day, but stuff is always getting in the way. I love schedules and order, but there seems to be nothing but chaos and disorder. How do I just let go of the “stuff” that doesn’t matter and focus on what does? How do I not let bad attitudes steal our joy? How do I keep a good perspective when everything seems to be going wrong? How do I spend time with You, exercise AND respond to my husband well when at the end of the day all I want to do is hide in my room with a book? I LOVE my family, we want more kids, but I simply don’t know how to do this, AND we are homeschooling – am I crazy??? I certainly feel crazy…

I feel so lame for not being able to handle this, I mean I’ve got it pretty good. I have a warm house, we are healthy, and have plenty of food, while there are people being killed for their faith all over the world, people struggling with depression, mental illness, and health issues, rampant poverty, and millions of orphans in deplorable conditions, and here I am gripping.

Forgive me, Lord. I so quickly loose sight of You and Your plan. Please give me the strength I need for each day, and Your grace for all my short comings. This is where You have me and what You have for me right now. Your plan is perfect and You will give me the strength not just to survive, but to overcome and bring You glory.

I know there are no easy solutions to my questions and that I’ll ask these questions again (most likely before this day is over), but I do know You aren’t leaving me to do this on my own.

Thank You for Your faithfulness. Thank you that your mercies are new each morning – what a blessing that is…

Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23 (NKJV)