Monday, March 12, 2012

I really should be uploading pics from my camera and chatting about some of the stuff that's been going on lately, but I'll be honest.  I don't want too.  There I said it - uh - whined it.  

I can tell Spring in Texas is almost upon us.  Don't get me wrong, I love Texas.  I think God made it sorta special, you know.  And I feel blessed to call the Lone Star State my home.  But Spring, now I don't feel quite so gushy about Spring.  Grant it - those Texas Bluebonnets take my breath away and the month or so that they bloom on the Texas roadsides and beautiful hills - well I just feel all the more blessed.  But let me tell you I think that is about the only thing I like about Spring!  I am so thankful for all this rain...but the blooming - well I could do without that part.  Sometimes I wish flowers could bloom without the pollen, you know?

Spring for me = itching and headaches.  Wow - what a pretty picture.

So I am sitting here with a headache, nursing my coffee.

But my day will go on and the allergy meds will kick in and the itching will slow and the beauty of my Texas will win out.  Thank you Lord for making Texas so pretty.  I might not be able to make it through Spring if it wasn't.  LOL  It just hit wonder Davy Crockett was so keen on coming to Texas.  ;)

So I was sitting here updating myself on the plans of the week and such and thought I would write for a moment or two.  

Soothing - you hydro-cortisone cream.  ;)

Anyway, back on track...

Going over the family calendar for the week, it looks like we have lots to accomplish and lots of fun to have.  Yeah!

I wonder if back in the pioneer days - back when towns had 30 people, a mercantile, a boarding house, a dressmaker, livery and saloon - if they had to "check their calendar".  LOL  probably not, huh?

I just remembered I had a mystery shop scheduled today, so I had to stop and submit something real quick. 

Back to my ramblings...I have to admit I am enjoying my writing this morning.

In our years of homeschooling...which have been many it seems, I have tried a lot many tons of various methods, organizational techniques, curriculum, equipment, mind sets...oh the list could go on forever.  About a year or so, well probably more than that, ago I read a blog about a homeschooling family (sorry I can't think of which one it was now,) and it really switched on the light for me.  ****Every family is different, they have their own rhythm and life goes more smoothly when you I stop worrying about what everyone else thinks and focus on what God thinks and what my family needs!****

Now, many of you know, I LOVE to plan...I mean really LOVE IT!  But sometimes my "planning" gets in the way of living!

Our family is not the get up at 5 am - 3 course breakfast at the table fully washed, dressed and bright-eyed, in the school room at attention by 8 am type of crowd.  We just don't function at that time of day that way.

Scoff if you want, but I am just being real here.  Must be the coffee kicking in.  LOL

We are night owls...I mean REALLY NIGHT OWLS.  When you have a DH that works 3rd shift and has for 1/4 of a century, well you just get into to certain routines and sleep patterns and "normalcy" of 8-5 days just throw us for a loop!  

You should have seen us a few weeks ago when DH had school for a week - oh my goodness - what a mess!  

No this is not the main reason we home school - so stop judging us!

But anyway, the kids bedtime is 10 pm. During the week I am pretty good about making sure they are in bed by then because I get a little "me time" before DH gets home.  I try to make sure the kitchen is cleaned up before he gets here.  Call me domestic!  LOL  

Me time = washing dishes, perhaps I should rethink that one.  LOL

The weekends are a different story...Friday nights are pizza and smackdown with DH home.  Saturdays DH is off again so we are known for late nights of gaming, movies and family fun.  

Maybe we have a strange rhythm, but you know what it works for us.  Most mornings we don't even start school until DH leaves for work.  It just works better.  We don't school 8 hours a day - it's just not needed.  Let me rephrase that - we don't sit in our classroom and school 8 hours a day.  I have two boys, not 30, and we just don't feel like we need to drag it out that long.  Some days take longer than others, but for the most part we get everything done in 2-3 hours.  I have to tell you though that around here school is part of life, we school all day when you get down too it...math in the kitchen, reading, life skills, science and nature study, we all love history so that comes in through reading, play and various adventures.  

Being the planner that I am, I have gone through various stages and phases of implementing my need to plan with what really works with my kids.  I have relaxed a great deal over the past several years of home schooling and man oh man am I different now in my approaches than I used to be. LOL  I look back and laugh at myself on many days.  :)

I am a list maker...I love lists...I ALWAYS have some sort of list...somewhere...for something.  I blame (commend) my Mom for teaching me this skill.  An avid list maker herself, I learned the art of "checking things off" at an early age.  Sometimes it's the little things that build self-esteem, you know?  Accomplishment comes in small packages sometimes.

In the past few weeks I attempted a new "goal planning" type of thing.  I am not really sure how to term it.  I suppose if I had a "regular" classroom it would have worked well and fine and been a great resource, but honestly, it just didn't work out so well for us me.  

I don't move the boys forward until something is mastered.  I don't have too - I do not have 20 other kids waiting for me to move on or a set of TEKS demanding I move forward and "finish" the year before June.  Does that make any sense?  We get to set our own pace.  For example - in the last two spelling units I notice there were six words that Bug has struggled with.  So this is our focus right now - mastering those six words.  We will not move on to the next unit until those are mastered.  I feel that is important.  

So knowing this - I was looking at my "goal planning" and thinking - hmmm, well we are going to "fall behind" in spelling because I am moving this unit here and this unit to here....and WHAT?  Fall behind - WHAT?  Bug is a year ahead of his "age level" and WHAT?  Am I kidding myself, really, Wendy, s-l-o-w d-o-w-n!  Okay focus...what is really important, learning to spell or finishing the curriculum at the "recommended pace".  

So I have decided to put aside my whole "goal planning".  

My "lesson plan" sheet for the the week is more open-ended, open-minded and just plain old open.  I think it will allow for more "adding in" stuff when we need to move on and for reviewing and working toward mastering when we need to stall.  (Without my feeling like a failure because I didn't get to check it off.)

So I have to say that I am looking forward to this week.  I think we will accomplish much and learn more!  Yeah!

So, ahhh...I am really enjoying this cup of coffee and my writing this morning...

In my life this week - I am going to enjoy this sunshine, praise God for his goodness, write some old fashioned letters, have fun with my GA's and get the oil changed in my car!

In our home school this week - we are going to study multiplication using thinking logs and addition using various games! We will be reading A LOT, do some science about the life cycle of a plant, master spelling words, work on sentence structure and nouns and verbs.  I also plan to learn how to draw a dog with the boys and work on our library research/finding books skills.  

Helpful home school tip - sometimes the goal planning and lesson planning and lists can take over your original thoughts and ideas.  At times they can literally undermine what you have in mind for your children.  Sometimes it's better to just sit back, put the list in a drawer (under lock and key) and just let the learning flooooowwwww.

Things I am working on - reorganizing my corner of the garage and cleaning out accumulated school/teaching "stuff".

I'm cooking - You know I haven't actually decided yet...I need to head out to the freezer and pull out some stuff for this week.  I do think I will make some more home made dog food for the babies - they love it.  And chicken and rice for us- that's always yum!

I'm grateful for - my new coffee pot and the 1 1/2 of rain we got last weekend!

I'm praying for - family members that I don't get to see very often, my boys and DH, Grace, strength and patience...

It's gonna be fun...well I had better get off here...the trampoline and the sunshine are calling our name and I do believe the books and work can be transported easily to that shiny bouncy black surface for school today.  

Until next time...hug your babies and love one another...


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