Week 17?! We’ve passed a college semester in length, gaining on one in a public school – and with no weeks off, no burn out, no exams, and after a few bumps at the beginning, no resistance.
This week was a hard one for me. My son is 20 months, but he has been sleeping in our room up until recently; last Sunday we moved him downstairs and into his own bedroom. I have put this off for so long mostly because he is now downstairs all by himself, as the master bedroom and another is upstairs, where Elizabeth sleeps, since we moved in before Paul was born. But after a month of him getting up multiple times a week just to hang out, I knew that it was time, or past due, to move him into his own private quarters. What does this have to do with our homeschool? Since the move, Paul has taken a whole TWO daytime naps, and this effects us because we generally do our school while he is asleep in the afternoon. In response, I have spent nearly 3 hours everyday trying fruitlessly to get him to sleep (that is done as of today), and this cuts out a large chunk of my day. I don’t mind putting a little extra time into him when I need to, or her for that matter, and his move coincides with his top molars pushing through, which I didn’t realize, so he does need a little extra love, but a little extra can become a habit, and I’m not willing to let it become that.
Regardless of all this drama, Elizabeth and I have ignored Paul’s little sticky fingers and, well, tantrums (it’s being a fun time right now, I tell you), and have done our school work around him. She’s been excited to begin our Thanksgiving unit, so we wrapped up Unit 7 on Monday and Tuesday around her nap (though Paul would not give me the satisfaction of a few hours alone), and on Thursday, we started the Thanksgiving projects.
One thing I have been impressed with this week, between the school projects and a special Curious George program that was held at the library on Thursday, is how much she has matured since we began in July. Within only 17 weeks, she has come so far it’s amazing! For the most part I am not talking about learning specific “school material,” but rather how she is able to comprehend things differently now. I can see that we are moving toward being able to have a school day with a schedule, as in do a review, then do Activity 1, Activity 2, and Activity 3, following the parent/teacher guide, as opposed to just kind of doing whichever project seems to catch our interest that day, or fits in best around a non-napping Brother. For right now, this method is working for all three of us, but her level of concentration and ability to follow directions is maturing as she gets older and gets used to the routine, and I can see the evolution happening subtly.
Another way in which she is maturing is in her artwork. There are still lots of rainbow colored kitties and scribbling lazily out of the lines, but more and more I see Elizabeth choosing real-life colors with intention, as well as taking her time to color inside of the lines, particularly on her school projects. I have no intention of squashing her imagination and telling her that every turkey needs to be brown with orange, red and yellow tail feathers (because, actually…they don’t really look like that). I also let her tweak projects to what she comprehends and envisions, and am not nitpicky on how many feathers of each color go on the turkey body, how everything is placed, etc; it matters more that she is proud of her creation and feels a sense of ownership of creativity with it. This doesn’t mean that she never has to follow directions either, though even the our doctor calls her a mildly strong-willed child, and at times it is tough.
Overall, it was an exhausting week for me, yet a good week for me with Elizabeth. Here’s a sampling of what we accomplished:
- Dictated a ditty about her experience at the zoo
- Found items in our house that are in the shapes of circles, squares, triangles, rectangles, diamonds, ovals, and cylinders.
- Met Curious George
- Made a colorful cornucopia of thanks
- Made an extra 60 cents with her task chart
Chime in: What are some ways you have noticed your child(ren) slowly maturing? How do you fit school in around younger siblings?
Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!
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