Sunday, September 15, 2013

Homeschool and Mother's Journal, 9/15

In my life this week:

This week entailed a field trip, our regular Wednesday night AWANA, the beginning of the fall clothing switch, and on Friday night a homeschooling social at a dear family's house for game night.

I also worked to finalize our fall homeschool daily schedule. School officially starts on Monday, but on Friday morning we tested our morning schedule to see what changes would be required. 

The DVD player broke in our older, master-bedroom computer, meaning we now have to do the Teaching Textbooks math CD ROM on the playroom computer, which is off the kitchen and can also be heard in the dining room. One part of our morning called for Teaching Textbooks math going on during the same time as the song CD for the girls' Sing, Spell, Read & Write program. That got a little interesting and needs to be tweaked, but otherwise the schedule worked fine.

On Monday we'll test out the morning changes and see how the afternoon works, but we're finishing early so I can get the clothing switch finished before my four-year-old daughter tries on all the clothes and makes me crazy wondering where my tidy pile of give-away clothes just went.

Did I tell you our air conditioner went out and Monday through Thursday were blazing hot, with the house reaching 82 degrees and us owning only one small fan plus a couple air cleaners that hardly qualify as fans?

Not fun, so when we woke up on Saturday morning to a 67-degree house, Momma was doing the happy dance and I even made cornbread to go with our chili and chocolate chip cookie bars for the preschooler church snack tomorrow morning.

I love me some fall weather and I will earnestly pray summer doesn't reappear (much to my husband's dismay). He's a summer creature you know and I don't know how we ended up together, feeling so strongly about our seasons and all. It's a war around here sometimes, with husband praying for summer and me praying for fall.

Our bi-weekly Jesus Storybook Bible children's ministry occurred on the first cold day of the year, so I had to frantically go through storage boxes to find suitable clothes for the children, while trying not to create a laundry and clutter nightmare on the same day as our Bible Study. It's always slightly frantic getting the house tidy and clean before 4 PM on Saturdays, especially since Daddy works on Saturdays until 1:00 PM and can't run much interference with the kids.

I delegated well today, though, with the boys doing all the vacuuming and the girls dusting and tidying up the playroom, getting it ready for a vacuuming. The 4 year old is a lousy housekeeper and needs to be frequently reminded of her "duties". Why is it that 2 year olds are thrilled to help but when age 4 arrives, cleaning becomes the bane of their existence, unless it involves the duster or the windex bottle?

Anyone out there nodding their heads? At least at the four year old trying on clothes incessantly and leaving a trail everywhere of shoes, play handbags, and dresses and shirts?

I would get mad, except she's so darn cute when she tries on clothes and dances around me. "Do I look enchantingly beautiful, Mommy?"

To which the 6-year-old, frog-toting tomboy sister replies, "Beth! There's more to life than just clothes!"

In Our Homeschool this week:

See notes above. I guess I'm poor at sticking to categories.

The only other homeschool note is that taking a break from school should maybe not include taking a break from math. Fractions and percents are hard and the procedures get fuzzy in the brain during periods of un-use. There was much groaning on the first math day back. Too many fractions and percents for their liking.

Helpful Homeschooling Tips to Share:

Try to do the fall and spring clothing switches on a school break. Pretty obvious and what's wrong with me, anyway?

Places We're Going and People We're Seeing:

The Friday night game night was a fantastic stress reliever. We all had a wonderful time and one of the families in attendance also has a child with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. That's amazing because the frequency of this disease is 1 in a 1000! The mother and I couldn't stop saying how amazing it was that we ended up at the same homeschool party. God is simply amazing.

She's a dear woman and I will see her once a month at this Homeschooler Game Night. Next month she's bringing her recipe for crockpot lasagna. She promises us you don't have to precook the noodles. Sound fascinating?

She also has an autistic daughter of 15 who functions like a 9 year old, and she has a son with ADHD. Autism is one of several things that can pair with ADHD either in the same child, or in a sibling of an ADHD child.

I will be praying for this woman, and she for me. Her sweet son with the arthritis patted my Beth on the head before they left, and told her he would pray for her joints and her joy. That about sent me into tearful convulsions.

He's ten and was diagnosed at 18 months old. He has it in fingers and other smaller joints (a different type than my Beth has).

Our field trip was to a working farm to learn how to make our own bar soap and other household supplies. The woman who taught it lives and dresses like a woman from 150 years ago, and she has the lofty goal of teaching sustainable-living classes to as many adults and homeschoolers as she can, so that these valuable skills will not disappear from our culture.

We took home many recipes to try.

Lye, used to make soap, is a poison, though, so I won't be trying my own soaps until my youngest is a bit older.

They are working on building up their farm to include original buildings with working equipment you would have seen in a town 150 years ago. A real working village.  It was a fascinating place with many buildings already in place!

My Favorite Thing This Week:

We went to a large rummage sale at the church my husband works at, and my Beth, upon leaving, gave all the volunteer senior citizens a hug. They were thrilled and I felt so blessed to be her mother.

She made out like a bandit, finding a beautiful porcelain doll for $2 and other little trinkets for cheap.

My other favorite thing was getting some neighborhood evangelism done, and praying about the outcome. May it be a glorious one, Father!

My Children's Favorite Thing This Week:

The game night and the church rummage sale. The boys found the Battleship Game in perfect shape at the rummage sale and brought it to game night.

The family that hosted game night had a beautiful bunny they let run around the house like a cat or dog. It goes to a cage to do its business though (it potty-trained itself!). My Mary was thrilled with it and didn't even make time to play a board game. Bunnies are very timid though and this one, at two months old, wasn't tamed yet and mostly hid from all the kids under the couch.

I'm Grateful For:

~ The Lord and his faithfulness and provision

~ Four precious kids who keep me young and happy

~ My husband's gentleness with me

~ Good Christian friends

~ Fall temperatures

~ Online friends and e-mail friends from afar

~ Children's books

~ The teaching of reading

~ A wonderful letter from our Compassion child Nelson from El Salvador

~ Expecting a letter from India soon, from our precious Divya, and from Raphael in Burkina Faso (all the Compassion letters seem to come in chunks).

Verse or Quote to Share:

Giving thanks for this wonderful verse:

Psalm 86:15 But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.

Thank you for reading and how was your week?

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Beth said...

I agree on no maths breaks. J was at lesson 25 but said he couldn't remember things so back to 1 and a review. I will agree with you. I love fall. Game night sounds like fun. I love playing games. Have a great week back. It is nice knowing we are not the only ones starting now.

Lisa said...

Love this newsy post, my friend. And my husband is a "summer creature", too. When I complain about the heat and humidity of summer, he tells me, "Dear, I'd rather sweat than shiver." :)

Tesha Papik said...

Amen to four year old's!!!:) Mine is exactly the same lots of clothes all around the house all the time. I am also so ready fro fall the soaring temps here have made me pretty miserable but we have just hit a cooling trend Praise Jesus!