31 August 2010

There was Bach... and it was better

The second day of school went MUCH better than the first. The kids knew what to expect, the waffles were not black, the three-year old kept it together -for the most part, and all went smoothly.

We still finished quickly -- about an hour or so. We're starting with Bible and memory verses during breakfast, then on to handwriting for Annalivia and letter-learning for Daniel. Then math and reading practice for Annalivia followed by read-alouds for everyone. Right now math is simplified -- just practicing writing numbers; tomorrow I'll add the full program, which I hope will be a little interesting to Daniel, too, so I expect it will get a little longer. Once I become more familiar with our spelling program, I'll add it to the mix, too. And our read-alouds may get longer, too, though right now we are reading ahead due to popular demand, so it may not add much time. Art is in the afternoon. I'm hoping to add piano after Christmas.

I was kind of concerned by how quickly everything goes, but if Annalivia was going to kindergarten, she'd be there for about 3 hours and couldn't possibly be doing academics all of that time. Things will get a little more intense, I guess, but for now the schedule is nice and easy. If we start by 8ish, we are finishing up by 9:30 or so which means my niece, who comes to visit in the mornings, gets in on some read-alouds and then we are done.

I like it.

30 August 2010

The first day of school

My facebook post of 11 a.m.

The first day of school involved a 2 am wakeup by the 1 yr old, a 25 minute cry by the 3 yr old upon waking, burned waffles and an early recess called by Mommy @ 9:15. Other than that, it was great! :)

Yeah. I had a sneaking suspicion that today was going to be a little tough. I'm blog-friends with enough homeschoolers to know that, behind the cute pictures of children studiously parsing Latin verbs or reciting the third chapter of Leviticus while holding hands, things can be a little rocky on the first day of the new routine.

Still. I will admit -- I might have let myself dream of clean children with smiling faces, gathered around the table, eagerly looking to the mater familias to spark their little imaginations and fuel their fledgling educational desires. And in this vision, there may have been some Bach cello partitas floating in the background. Maybe.

But, ummm, yeah... not so much. I tried to be in bed by 9:30. Got there about 10 and Dennis and I finally stopped talking about 10:45. Then my head started to hurt. Sinuses? I don't know. As I wrote on fb... Emmeliese was up in the middle of the night which is very rare (thank you, Jesus, for that). She was awake and fussy for about an hour and Dennis and I were groggy enough to not choose the simple thing and just change her diaper, feed her and put her back down and hence stretched the treatment out far too long. I set an alarm to get up before the kids, who usually sleep until about 7:30. But Annalivia was awake before 7 wanting her school dress to be buttoned up by her sleeping mother. Emmeliese woke up 10 minutes after that. As we all headed downstairs, Daniel started crying and maintained his wail for about 25 minutes. And he continued to lament off and on for the half-hour after that as he laid on the bathroom floor.

In what I regarded as a sign from God, Eggo waffles are on sale this week at our grocery store, so I got some chocolate chip waffles, which we never have, as a special treat. I burned the first few. And, turns out, the kids don't like treats like that. After finally getting edible chocolate chip waffles on the plates of three hungry kids, I heard, "Mommy, can I please have just regular waffles?"

Annalivia and I did Bible study and began learning our memory verse for the week while Daniel was on the bathroom floor. This greatly upset him when he came to the table. Annalivia had, meanwhile, moved on to handwriting. Then Daniel got upset that he didn't have handwriting practice to do. Finally, I got him dressed and sat on the couch and kissed him until he stopped fussing andn then we did our read-alouds for the day with all three kids leaning up against me. That actually worked well.

After that as we only had one more thing to do and I was loaded with realizations of what worked and what OBVIOUSLY did not and what I can do differently, so I called a recess, turned on Kipper and laid down on the couch. And moaned a little.

Oddly, I would say it really WAS a successful morning. We got everything done we needed to do and Annalivia was excited by everything and the execution of everything worked pretty much like I thought it would... with burned breakfast and crying preschoolers thrown in.

But, tomorrow WILL be better...

02 August 2010

Another end-of-one-month-beginning-of-the-next update

:: We found out that the balance in the family is being righted. Our new little one is Peter John and he's doing very well, growing just fine, and not raising his momma's blood pressure at all.

:: Upon hearing the news, I immediately broke out my crochet hook. I started making him a green and brown striped blankie. And I had to buy some blue yarn the next day. HAD TO.

:: Good friends of my sister moved next door to us. The dad of the family is doing some work on the new house for us, which has been very helpful. The house is progressing in leaps and bounds. Dennis and my dad have been working their tails off. Right now, we have drywallers installing drywall on all the ceilings. A friend from church has just formed his own custom cabinetry shop, so we are hiring him to do the kitchen, for not much more than a kitchen from Menards. Then floors need to be sanded and painted or stained and walls need to be painted. Then the whole thing needs to be cleaned. Then we can move in! It's so exciting to see it finally coming together.

:: Far more exciting for Annalivia and Daniel than hired-help living right next door has been that the family has two children near their ages. They spend hours -- literally -- outside playing with them and by themselves hoping the neighbors will come out and join them. We had to do some basic neighbor education, including "no going into another person's house uninvited" ;) but they are getting the hang of it now. I think.

:: Annalivia has had a summer of dental appointments involving a silver crown and culminating in the same tooth being pulled. Poor bug. She got her first visit from the tooth fairy who paid extra for a silver tooth that had been pulled, unexpectedly. The $2.50 sort of made up for the trauma of the visit.

:: Daniel is very 3-years-old this summer. He is so much fun in so many ways, and also testing lots of limits/ learning not to be a baby anymore. It's a neat time. Most of the time.

:: Emmeliese went through a very fussy phase at the beginning of the summer and is now settling down into lots of sweetness. She likes to make us laugh and likes to play with her siblings, especially with whatever they are currently using to play. Her hair is full of curls in the back and constantly in her eyes in the front, since she always pulls out her rubberbands and I'm a lackadaisical mother who no longer cares about disciplining for those things.

:: I'm ready for fall. It's been bloody hot here this year. So far we've made it, but only thanks to air conditioning, ice cream and McDonald's smoothies. Bring on the 70 degree temps and sweaters. That's what I'm ready to experience.

Hope all is well with everyone out there!