Monday, September 8, 2014

School is in the House! We're Back for 2014.

We are back-to-school!  And can I say, take no offense please, that I kinda don't like the "Not Back-to-School" phrase.   I get it, I do, us buck-the-system homeschoolers.  But truthfully, we are back!  Back from lazy days of summer when the TV got to go on early and stay on late.  Back from being off schedule. Back to the books daily. I like it. Mostly.

My eighth year of home teaching, ALL by God's grace!

First of all, let me say I am so proud of my children! We have had a great first week. Transition is never easy, school only holds so many delights, and we are definitely expecting more of them this year.  Especially when it comes to  helping out with household work.  Mister has been mowing the lawn all summer. He's helping to put in the wood for winter.  Each child has a daily checklist to get them in the habit of accomplishing certain tasks by the time we start school around 8:30, and with daily chores as well.  I am no longer the resident dishwasher unloader, I no longer do my children's laundry (except Petite's), and I am no longer relied on to make every breakfast and lunch.  Dinner is still my department.

But we are growing.  And it is good.  For all of us.

You can't gauge how the year is going to go by the first day, or week, but it's gone so much better than I anticipated.  Maybe because...

I am trying, really hard, to be more relaxed.  To leave more margin in our day.  To undo the noose I put around my own neck, the one that squeezed tighter and tighter when we didn't do spelling and grammar every day.  Or check off all the other boxes every day.  I am trying to take the time to really look at my children, see what their needs are, and their desires, and let those things determine more of what we do each day.
Petite is in kindergarten!  We are using My Father's World for this very special year.

I'll be honest.  I've got a slow-to-warm-up reader.  I've tried everything, but we make very slow progress. But this is my number one focus this year for this child.  So I invested in the new Rosetta Stone reading program (Lexia 5).  Because when I prayed about it, I just didn't feel I was giving consistent and effective enough teaching.  It hurts my pride to say this, but it's true.

I've also got my son doing a computerized math program, Teaching Textbooks. Not what I had originally planned for the year, but what is working for this year.  I am having him use the JUMP Math ( my favorite math ever!!!) to reinforce his TT lessons. But this hurts my pride too. I want to be able to do it all.

Be a dynamic math teacher.

Have readers far above grade level.

Brown-Eyed Girl is in fourth grade.  She loves to draw, sew, and, most recently, talk on the phone!
Do art, music, PE consistently.

But why? And for who?  Yes, for them, but often I make it more about me.  My need to feel like a good teacher and a good mom who is doing it all and doing it all just right.


It feels good to relax.  It's such fun to be teaching kindergarten again.  It's a relief to take a deep breath and let contractions wait til tomorrow because today Daddy is home and it's a great day to go fishing.

It's wonderful to have hope that this year will be better than last year.  And that, by God's grace, I can keep on doing this.

Mister is in the fifth grade this year.  He has the makings of a great writer, and his current passions are fishing and gearing up for deer hunting season.  So, he's a little bit of me and a little bit of Daddy.
The older kids are studying MFW's  Rome to the Reformation and Apologia Astronomy.

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