Busy Beginning

What a week – what a past couple of weeks – what a summer! Good, very good. Busy, yet not too busy, so that I can savor the weather, the green, the garden, the kids. It’s only August, so we still have two months left of nice, out-doorsy weather. (The voice in the back of my mind also says, “It’s all ready August?! The year is more than half over! Only two months left until the cold autumn weather…then…winter.” But I try to push that one away as it doesn’t have anything good to say.)

I decided to start school this past week, prepared, yet on a whim. Elizabeth and I have been doing workbooks each morning, as a prep, and I started the Spanish curriculum on Monday, but by Wednesday, she seemed a little disinterested, so to keep the ball going, I suggested we do the English curriculum and she was game. Though I think the parent guide and my big planner unguarded her a little, she was able to get into it each day. I know that teaching takes practice, I know that I’ve got to find my groove too.

So, we started on Monday and by Friday, I was contemplating skipping a day, but we didn’t. Afterward, I had a number of deep thoughts on our homeschool.

Setting the scene, I didn’t have any caffeine on Friday, so felt sluggish to begin with. I also had the pressure of preparing for the ‘Bring Your Own Squirt Gun Party’ that we were going to host on Saturday. After doing Elizabeth’s work, I noted that I had kind of gone into it just trudging forth – and it’s only our first week. It occurred to me that though the units are set in five days/lessons, I don’t need to do five consecutive days (as I all ready messed up the perfect week by beginning on a Wednesday anyhow). Also, this past year Elizabeth went to nursery school only one day a week, is it necessary to go from one to five? No. We are starting a 30-week curriculum during the summer, which means that we have LOTS of time to get it done. Additionally, we are homeschooling pre-k, which isn’t obligatory for (most of) New York State, so we are ahead of the game, in my book. Lastly, we could start out at three days and work up to more. Isn’t that the joy of homeschooling – working at your child’s pace?

So, I was having good thoughts, looking at things from different perspectives, of which I am the queen. I also like patterns, so my next deep thought appeared at 3pm, as it had appeared before on previous days. My son was asleep, and I had done our normal nap time routine with Elizabeth because I thought she might be tired enough for a nap. She wasn’t, yet I needed some quiet time to write and think. On my other blog, Seedling, I recently wrote on Forcing Dropping The Nap, and though it was my idea,  am finding it exhausting to become accustomed to not having my daughter sleep in the afternoon. (As my computer is very sick and I am writing this on the iPad which doesn’t let me highlight to put in links, I will correct the link at my first opportunity. Until then, please look under the ‘Recent Posts From My Other Blog: Seedling’ at the right of the screen to be directed.) Tied in with dropping the nap, you see, is also the issue of pushing tv time back for school time. By Friday, I was feeling like school, then tv, then lunch, then Paul’s nap didn’t leave any time for play, especially out doors. And at 3pm Friday afternoon, when Elizabeth and all of her energy interrupted my quiet time, I felt that THAT was the chunk of the day that should be reserved for tv time so that I can do my own thing if she doesn’t sleep. Having at least made the decision that’s been brewing in the back if my mind, I’ve got to implement the rule and encourage her to be patient enough to wait until that hour to watch it.

On a different note, today, we hosted a successful ‘Bring Your Own Squirt Gun Party’. 🙂 It was a small party, purposefully. We actually had more adults than children, because I had asked my mom and sister to help chaperone so that parents could choose to leave their child (and take a break), but only one did (out of three.) (Maybe it had something to do with the fact that auto spelling now tells me that I spelled chaperone wrong, so they may not have understood…). It was nice and low-key, and I tried to not stress about the state of the house (which rarely seems to get beyond ‘disaster’ no matter how much house work I do), especially as we were all outside. I also kept the treats and activities simple. We let the kids just free-played, then we all had snacks, after which, they went off on the bikes. Just when they were getting tired of that, my cousin showed up with her little girl and BUBBLES! Overall, I was pleased with the outcome of our little party. My mind even contemplates more get-togethers… A potluck in the park?… Hmmmm….



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