Sunday, September 02, 2012

Homeschool Diaries: In the Thick of It

Well, we've completed three weeks of school.

Lots of thoughts.

I'll try to keep it contained.

Overall, I'm loving it. I really am. I have enjoyed the structure it has brought to our home. My kids (I think ALL kids) thrive in a structured environment. So do I. Since homeschooling I've found it a bit easier to stay up on housework...though if you walked in my home you wouldn't necessarily notice it! But having a tentative schedule allows me to have mandatory housework time. I also find the structure cuts back on discipline issues. As the kids know what to expect and are kept busy through various activities, it cuts back on sibling fights and unnecessary mayhem. Yes, mayhem.

Grant wrote his name. Hooray! That should be a whole different post. His pencil grip is continuing to get better.

Math is going well. The kids love the games and hands on activities that come along with it.

Another part I've thoroughly enjoyed, moreso than the learning about the ancient times. In Classical Conversations we are on Cycle 1 which focuses on the Ancient Times in regards to geography and history. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. I love history. And then to see it in relation to the Bible as well is awesome. The kids are memorizing the location of The Fertile Crescent (as am I) and how this is the beginning of civilization. Of course this is modern day Iraq and into Iran and Turkey. We've talked about how this is where the Garden of Eden was and where Adam and Eve lived. They are memorizing the location of the Hebrew Empire where we looked at the Sea of Galilee, the Jordan River, the Dead Sea. Thanks to the internet, we've taken a "tour" of these places and talked about how Jesus was there. We also looked at amazing pictures of Iran and Iraq. What beautiful countries! Thanks to the media we simply see the "ugly" parts. But after looking at pictures I can see how the Garden of Eden was there. The kids also have to memorize a timeline from creation to modern day (thankfully they do this each year because it's a lot). One card says Babylonians to which Grant replied...King Nebuchanazzer! I love that my children are connecting general history with the Bible. I want them to see the Bible isn't separate..that it lines up with general history and fits together. I could go on and's just been fascinating to me. Now when we read in the Old Testament we can connect the Tower of Babel with the Fertile Crescent and Sumer, the Red Sea with Moses, and the Sea of Galilee with Jesus walking on the water. Okay, this is getting long.

On a different note, while there have been many great things happening, it's also been a struggle. The past four weeks all three kids have been sick. We've missed two weeks of Classical Conversations. I miss it. For me and for the kids. Thankfully we'll be there this Tuesday, Lord willing. With sickness permeating the house, bad attitudes have flared up, including my own. I've had some hard days with Hannah not wanting to learn. There have been many tears shed by her and some frustrated words shared by me, unfortunately. While homeschooling is fun (at times) it's also hard. Hard because it amps up the patience meter and again highlights my need for the Lord. I get so frustrated when Hannah whines about doing her work or says, "I can't do it," and shuts down for the rest of the lesson. There are times I just want to shake her (don't worry, I won't). I know this comes with the homeschool territory. But it's hard. Hard not to be hard on your own kid. I have high expectations for her. This isn't bad. But I also have to chill out. Slow down if need be. Listen. Take breaks. I'm not good at those things. So, like every other role (wife, teacher) I desperately need the Lord to do this. Because I can see how I can and will easily make a mess of it if I don't depend on Him in this pursuit. I want my kids to look back on this time and say, "I really enjoyed that time with Mom." Not, "wow, Mom was a real lunatic and I wish we never did that." I've heard those stories...the lunatic ones...well lunatic was never said but probably could be by my kids if I try to pursue this in my own strength.

So, that's my update...and I'll leave you with a few pictures because, well, that's probably what's more interesting!

Seriously, I need to do a post simply on why it's such a big deal he wrote his name! Bless his heart. He was so proud. And so am I.

Hannah's copy work time. She's made great improvements from day one. She's shed a few tears but has made a big progress the past couple of days we did this. This is a great lesson in perseverance for her among many others. She's got this first part of the verse down pat too!

In the midst of some of our struggles I thought it best to relax with...ART! Always a hit! I found this easy and fun lesson on Pinterest. You just make a glue design, sprinkle salt over it, and then drip water color and watch them run. The kids LOVED it and keep asking to do it again, Grant especially.


We got messy another day with paint. I realized we needed some more "fun" things to do. And, I need some artwork to hang up for Hannah's "Art Gallery" at her Art Birthday Party in a few weeks.


travelingstacey said...

I feel like you're describing my year so far! : ) We're not doing CC, but that history sounds neat...I love history, too. Hope your school year continues to go well!

Mary said...

So the lunatic stories came from my kids, right??? I KNEW IT!!!! ;)

Katy said...

I used to teach 12th grade English at a public school, and I just want to say GOOD FOR YOU FOR HOMESCHOOLING YOUR CHILDREN!!!!! When I have kids, I will certainly do the same. Maybe I'll check out your blog some then too for some creative pointers. :)