Sunday, February 24, 2013

Let them eat cake.

Some weeks are just good weeks.  And boy are they nice to have!  Last week was a little hectic for us (because Daddy was away for work) so that always stresses me out thinking that school is going to be hectic as well.  But it was so good! (It's ridiculous how giddy I am over a week!)

Adisson did a lot of learning.  We're reviewing the use of a dictionary, thesaurus, and glossary.  He learned more about facts versus opinions.  We got started in a new Science unit (more on that later) and really got involved in learning about rocks.  We were both especially excited because there is a geology belt loop, academic pin, and activity badge (those are all Cub Scout words, by the way) so while we were learning for school, we did a few extra assignments and he earned a lot of Cub Scout achievements as well.  That's always a great day for him!  In Social Studies, we're finally to learning about his most favorite stuff ever (his words)....early American history.  It just felt like so much information was discussed and learned.  So it made me very happy.

Zander is moving along with his reading.  We're still taking it pretty slow because that's just what works for him and I'm fine with that.  He learned more about shapes last week and had fun with his lessons.  He's been doing really well with math and that's exciting to me.  Adisson struggles with math and it's always been hard for both of us to accept that.  Zander seems to get it a little easier than Adisson does.  Math has always been difficult for me, too, so I'm hopeful that it naturally comes easier to Zander.  Adi and I will just keep figuring it out together.  :)

Jax is learning to repeat everything everyone says.  And it's a bit annoying.  :)  But he's still my ornery, loud, emotional three year old and everyday I get to be blessed to have him so I'll take it.  

So in Science, many times the phrase "millions of years ago" is mentioned.  And that's always a rough phrase for me to say.  I don't exactly know how we associate ourselves.  Is our school more Christian homeschooling or are we more of a secular homeschool?  I guess we're a little bit of both.  We believe in creation not evolution, but we don't have daily Bible lessons.  The timeline I suppose I relate to isn't from "millions of years ago" so I read that as "a very long time ago" when doing school with Adisson.  For his benefit and for that of his brothers, I probably should have a more definite stand on what we believe, but right now, this works.  And I still love our curriculum. :)

Tonight was our Cub Scout Blue and Gold Banquet.  If you don't know, it's the biggest party of the year for Scouts.  We celebrate the birthday of the founder of Boy Scouts, Baden-Powell.  I was on the Blue and Gold Committee for tonight's event.  And we have worked and worked and worked on it.  And it finally came and it's finally over.  And it was so much fun.  But I'm very tired and need to sleep.  Excited about our upcoming week...and I guess also excited because my birthday is Tuesday.  :)  I may not like getting older, but I've always been super excited about my birthday.  I think it's mostly because it means there will be cake.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Still waiting.

Did you know that it's legal to homeschool in every state in the United States of America?  Laws governing homeschools vary from state to state, but in each state, you are "permitted" to homeschool your children.  In other countries, however, homeschooling is illegal.  And I have such a hard time wrapping my head around that.  Illegal?  To educate your own children?  What?!

But here, in this country, my country, it's allowed.  It's my right to choose my children's education.  We could send them to public school, to a private school, or to homeschool.  And I gladly choose homeschooling.  Sometimes, I feel like there are no other options because I couldn't fathom choosing something other than what we're doing.  Sometimes, I want to flag the bus down and put the kids on it...though, those days are often days filled with screaming, fussy kids and a tired, fussy mama...because it's never something I've ever really *wanted* to do.

And yet, I fall short.  I know what a privilege it is to homeschool my sons.  I know how grateful I am to live in a country that is still trying to protect some freedoms (I won't get started, I promise!).  And in spite of all that, some days, some weeks, I'm a perfectly crappy homeschool mom.  Lessons get rushed through, some get forgotten, some started but not finished.  Some days, I feel like I've failed.  Ok, to be honest, lots of days I feel like that.

But....(take a deep breath)....that's ok.

I'm ok.

I'm a good mom.  I'm a good homeschool mom.  There is no one on this planet that loves my sons like I do. No one on this earth sees them like I do, knows their strengths and weaknesses, where they struggle, where they one sees what I see.  Every time Adisson learns something new about America and gets excited about it, I'm there.  Every time Zander reads a new book, I'm there.  Every time Jaxon recognizes another number, I'm there.  And every time, I get excited.  :)

Learning is an adventure.  Homeschooling is a wild ride.  It's not an easy task, it's not a simple choice.  But everyday I get up and decide to do it all again.  Because it's so worth it to me.  I'm still waiting to be that Awesome Homeschool Mom.  You'd think after so many years, I'd have it down...but I'm still learning.  And I'll forever be learning how to homeschool.

But I am a pro at loving my guys.  <3

Monday, February 11, 2013

Another week I got to spend with my guys!

Well, last week didn't go quite as planned.  But what did happen is my boys got to see how important it is to be there when someone needs you.  That's pretty important.

Over the weekend, we finally got Adisson's mattress purchased and got his room set up.  In the shuffle of moving and him sharing a room with his brother (temporarily), I forgot how much he loves to have his own space.  Exhausted from a weekend of sleepovers (two back to back!) and overwhelmed by little brothers, my oldest kiddo thankfully retreated to his room.  He fell asleep before he could get all the kitty stuff set up in there as he's hopeful they will use his room as theirs.  :)

Last week, we did get school stuff done.  Zander finally got some extra time with his online Kindergarten lessons and was excited to be allowed to complete as many as he wanted. We've been doing some fun "circle time" activities in the morning the past few weeks and it really helps get the little boys excited to get their day started.  Plus, it gives Adisson some uninterrupted time for his lessons.  I can't seem to keep the younger boys preoccupied for his entire school day but I try to keep them busiest in the beginning when he's working on math and language arts.

I sometimes wonder how this is all going to work out when these little guys get bigger and bigger.  I've already decided that our plan is to homeschool through high school and sometimes I get a little nervous about being enough Mom/Teacher to go around.  Thankfully, I know there's assistance available from online homework help to SAT writing.  It helps to keep my anxiety down when I start to panic thinking about the time when Zander's the same as as Adisson is now and I have 8th grader, a 4th grader, and 1st grader!

I still haven't managed to get the boys' school desks picked up.  Ugh.  I keep meaning to and I've seriously annoyed the guy on craigslist.  I hope I get something figured out this week.  We've been working on the floor and while that's ok, it's usually a little hairy down there (yay for pets!).  But I know it will help them (and me!) so I need to make it a priority.  Perhaps tomorrow night before Adam leaves for a business trip.  (That's a funny thing to call something when you're married to the Army...but it's about right.)

Things are going pretty well with the house.  I try not to stress that the upstairs isn't getting decorated yet, but I'm only human and can do just what I can do and nothing more.  We've definitely put a priority on the downstairs because that's where we "entertain" people (that's funny because we have yet to actually do that!) so I'm trying to just be at peace about doing things in phases.  The funny thing about that is that I don't want everything done at once because I like to have projects to work on.  So even if we could, I wouldn't want to have everything done at once! :)  I'm so finicky and indecisive.

In the meantime, I suppose it would be a good idea to get to bed.  Tomorrow is my day at the hospital and I need the rest.  I've also got to find a book to read on my Nook while I'm getting my treatment as it takes HOURS and I get a teensy bit bored.  AND....who doesn't like a few quiet hours to read alone?!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Two speeds...busy and busier.

Finally!  A week of school!  It was nice!  Not much grumbling, reasonably cooperative all worked out.  :)

We're still in the middle of getting the house put together.  I feel like there's never enough hours in the day to get everything done.  I spent hours today making curtains for the living room and kitchen.  Only to come upstairs to see a master bedroom that still a huge mess and a school room that looks like a paper factory exploded in it.  The boys bathroom needs organized.  Adisson needs a bed.  It's like the list only ever gets longer.

But, last week, we got back to school.  So everything else kinda pales in comparison for me. :)  Adisson did pretty good getting started back up.  We started learning about early American history which is his FAVORITE thing to read about so that's been super fun.  He's getting better each day in math....VERY SLOWLY, but progress is progress.  I'll take it!  :)

He's been working on a few Cub Scout things during school also.  So much of what we're working on in Scouts and what we're doing in school goes hand in hand so it's easy to blend the two together.  Last week, we learned about internet safety for kids which doubled as something I already planned on discussing with him and also as a Scout achievement.  He earned his Cyber Chip during our monthly pack meeting, of the very first Scouts in our Pack to do so.  :)

Zander has been doing so well with his reading.  We're still taking it pretty slow and building on what he's learned each week.  I know he'd like to go a *little* faster but each time I try that with him, we end up having to stop, slow down, and review.  In learning from my mistakes, we're just going to continue taking it slow!  He enjoys working on an activity in a book or online and then following up with a printable worksheet.  Plus, he really likes to have something to show Dad when he gets home.

Jaxon and Zander are spending time with me each day discussing the calendar, the alphabet, the map, etc.  Some days it goes well, other days Jaxon covers his ears and yells.  He can be rather testy.  :)  But I just keep on trying with him...because honestly...what other option is there?

This week will be a good one.  Because on top of all our other excitement over the past several weeks, last Wednesday we adopted two kittens.  :)  Their (new) names are The Dowager Countess of Grantham (but we call her Tessa) and The Earl of Grantham (and we call him Earl).  They are super cute and fun and quite the handful.

Tessa is the calico kitty and Earl is her brother. :)

So, school, house, kids, looks to be another batch of chaos for us!