So we were able to finish up our third week of homeschool on Friday! We usually won’t do school on Fridays, but Monday had us away from home for ophthalmologist’s appointments, so we had a make-up day yesterday. The flexibility that homeschool affords is so nice. But I will say that the structure it creates is amazing as well. This is just what we needed. Less time is wasted, more time is spent together. There is an incredible level of intentional parenting going on. I am learning to play and interact more. We are connecting better. Attitudes are seeming to be better at times ( although one child is coming to terms with all the changes, and that’s been dicey a few moments). I know that everybody has their own opinions, and different things work for different families. But this homeschool business seems to really be for us so far.
I have had to make a few changes. I was using The Big Picture Bible Timeline for L&S, but it seems to work better for us, if they follow the same schedule as Andi, sans worksheets. They can still do some of the activities that Andi does (like make a Creation mural), but I found that TBPBT just wasn’t necessary for us. Also, I had prepared to use Apologia Zoology 1 for our science curriculum. It didn’t work for us at all. I was a bit bummed about it, because it is a great curriculum, and I was pretty excited to use it, but it was too much. I don’t think my four and five year old can grasp lift and drag, or binomial nomenclature. So we quit. And now I am so super excited! I decided to conduct an insect unit with the kids instead. My kids love finding critters of all sorts. We can’t walk from the door to the van without somebody looking for roly poly bugs. So a friend has lent me some Abeka insect cards, another has allowed me to borrow a few insect books, I have pinned like a crazy person on Pinterest, I will get some more books, and I am putting together my own insect study. I want to do a general insect study for a week or two, then break it down into ants (ANT FARM!), butterflies, grasshoppers, something that I haven’t decided on yet, and spiders (and why they’re NOT insects). The kids are stoked!
On another note: The weather was gorgeous today. Today gave us a fall preview. I know it will get hot again soon, but today was fall. It was windy, cool, and overcast. Perfect. We spent all day outside doing yard work and catching critters. All in all, we caught an estimated gazillion millipedes, 3 frogs, one very well camouflaged caterpillar (that somehow escaped….unless his camouflage is better than I think), a giant grasshopper, a mysterious bug, three snails, a small grasshopper, and a cricket. Then we bought crickets for the frogs to eat.
Watching the joy in my kids today brought tears to my eyes. I am so grateful for all that I have. The lawn mower and a thousand other things are broken, but none of that matters. What matters is seeing my son throw handfuls of grass into the air exclaiming, “This is the best day ever!” and making clipped grass angels in the backyard. What matters, is seeing my other son walk in the grass by himself, walk on the trampoline, and walk across the rough patch of cement…none of which he could do before today. What matters is hearing my daughter read to me about the United States presidents’ pets. What matters is hearing my other daughter squeal and giggle about the 3 inch long caterpillar inch-worming his way up her arm.
Before Sawyer, Caleb and I went back into the house later in the evening, we stopped to play just a little more. We have a persimmon tree. Only thing is–persimmons are nasty. So what do we do with them? Hit them with a baseball bat, of course! Actually Caleb has a thing with hitting stuff with a baseball bat. He let me have a turn, and now I understand why. Nothing is more therapeutic or satisfying then when you connect your bat to a piece of fruit, and it is utterly obliterated! And what’s even better….according to Sawyer, every time I hit one, I got a hundred points! At one point I had a few hundred points, and Caleb only had a couple of points. Then Sawyer started deducting Caleb’s for various reasons! When Caleb protested Sawyer replied, “Tough luck, kid.” He also said that each time someone missed the ball….well, fruit actually. He tried to hit a persimmon a few times, but the bat is way too big for him. But he pitched quite a few. He did well. Sawyer always amazes me at how well he can throw. Maybe baseball is in his future. I tried to enroll him into “soccer ball”, as he calls it, but we missed sign ups by 3 days. I was worried he would be upset, but he said it was OK, because he really wanted to play basketball instead.
I enjoy my kids so stinkin’ much. Even when I drag them to the grocery store at bedtime for groceries. Each time I put an item in the buggy, Lilly scanned it and told me how much I owed her. At one point, I had to give her three dollars, and I received $100 back in change. I really like doing business with her. And from an education stand point, she pretend counted my change each time.
I am amazed at my kids’ progress in the past three weeks. We have emerging readers in the house! And the two youngest are also doing so well with their other subjects. Andi is impressively remembering things, and she is breezing through most of her curriculum because it is review for her at this point. I can’t wait to move past that stage and give her a little challenge.