Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wiggly's new (again) dresser

So we finally got Wiggly moved into his new room this past weekend in preparation for the new baby.  And I have to say, he really has the coolest room in the house.  I'm jealous.  We're waiting on the finishing touches for decorations, so there'll be more pictures to come once everything is finished.  But here's a before and after pic of the dresser. 

 The walls are a little bare yet, but it's a start.  And Wiggly is really enjoying it! :0)

Monday, July 22, 2013

Handing in the homeschool forms

Well, I officially handed in the homeschooling forms to the board of education office this morning.  For one reason or another, I'm having some mixed emotions about making this official.  Even though I shouldn't, I feel like we failed the system instead of the system failing us.  My train of thought is that we tried public school and it didn't work out, so there must be something wrong with us as a family or me as a parent.  As I'm typing this, I know my rational is ridiculous.  And I shall account my feelings as pregnancy hormonally driven, but I feel like a reject.  I must not have done something right.  Public school works for everyone else, so why didn't it work for us?  However, I don't feel like my son is a failure or a reject by ANY means; I really, truly feel like he's a typical boy despite his first grade teacher. And it is for this reason that I know my decision is the correct one. 

But at the same token, I feel a little guilty withdrawing him from school.  I know all the teachers in his school; some of them I had when I was in school or substitute taught with them.  The secretary I handed the papers this morning to was the elementary school secretary in my building when I was growing up. Heck, my aunt is currently the physical education teacher at Wiggly's school!  By homeschooling, I feel like I'm saying that the school is not good enough for my son.  It's not that the teachers aren't good at their jobs, or that it's not a good school district, but it's just not a good fit for Wiggly at this time. See? I keep needing to validate my decision.  But to whom? Apparently myself.  And I also keep wondering whether or not to email the principal explaining why we decided to pull him.  I know I'm going to see her again; our community is MUCH too small to hide in... So, do I owe her an explanation?  I feel like I do, but maybe I don't.

Aaahh, like all things parenting related, there just doesn't seem to be one clear, easy decision.  Is anyone really certain if they're doing right by their children?  We just do the best we can.  Has anyone else had these mixed feelings of self-doubt in your decision to homeschool?  I just wish all these feelings of doubt and guilt would go away.   

Monday, July 1, 2013

The chaos that has become my everyday

Sitting here this morning after preparing the school week until 10:00 last night, and I'm still a bit tired.  This homeschooling adventure, while is going to be great for the whole family, has taken a little bit of freedom from my previously SAHM "only" status. (I put that in quotes because as if being a SAHM in itself isn't enough of a job, I've also just volunteered to become a full time, year around educator as well...what was I thinking?!?) 

Anyways, here is my reflection on the past two weeks since we started school.  First of all, I chose to start our school year the same week as our community swimming lessons everyday for two weeks, and Wiggly's had five baseball games in the evenings that had brought us to what felt like rushing from one activity to another for quite a few days in a row... But now swimming and baseball is done with for the summer, so hopefully our schooling schedule will feel a little more relaxed and less "crammed" into the section of time we have to work with that particular day. 

I think Sunday is going to be my major school planning day for the week.  It's one of the few days that hubby is home and I get to share the responsibility of putting out fires between my kiddoes.  It's so nice not having to drag my feet to the scene of the crime whenever someone yells "MOM!?!" in that unique yell only reserved for tattling.  (Or does anyone ever feel like just turning out the lights and locking yourself in whatever room you happen to be in whenever that particular tone rings through the house?  Is that just me?)

I will say that I do like that when it IS time for school, my kids don't groan and whine.  They genuinely don't seem to mind it, and my guess is that Wiggly enjoys the one on one time.  Right now, it takes him about 2 1/2 hours to complete his 10 boxes if we don't have any science or craft projects going on.  This week, I've decided to reserve his daily box 10 for practicing his piano.  Since we've begun this endeavor, he's maybe practiced twice, and it's usually the night before his lessons.  I know we're supposed to have MORE time for things like this, but it just hasn't made it in to our new routine yet. I'd like to make a cute little card to put in his workbox for practicing piano, but I'm relatively inexperienced with the new word programs. If I make one that's worth while though, I'll be sure to share! 

Although I had planned on starting school in the morning, taking a break for lunch, and then finishing after, it is working to knock out the hours while Peanut is napping after lunch.  Love her to death and her enthusiasm for wanting to do school along with her siblings is great, but chasing her down every 5 minutes because she's running around with markers isn't my idea of fun when we're trying to accomplish something.  And like Wiggly needs any additional distractions... he's a distraction all to himself.  I totally get why he and his teacher had had enough of each other by the end of the school year.  His wiggliness is fine at home; if he wants to roll around on the floor while spelling his words that's fine by me, but man, does he move. I saw these on pinterest and thought of him.  I may have to get one for home just because... I'd probably use it too! :0)

The only major adjustment for me is putting MYSELF on more of a schedule.  I can't just go to Target (it's a 40 minute drive) whenever I feel the need or grocery shop (all the decent stores are at least 25 minutes away) on a whim because I now have a new responsibility to provide an education on a regular basis to my children.  Oh the days when I could drop off 2/3 of my children for hours on end to be educated by someone else... But the easiest way isn't always the best way, so I will suck it up and figure out the balance. 

For those of you who giggled over my attempt at a housekeeping schedule, for the record, that has been blown to smithereens for the time being.   The only thing I've maintained on that list is sweeping the living room on Monday, grocery shopping on Friday, and laundry on Saturday. And that's only because I set up a chore chart for the kids to coincide with my master housekeeping schedule. And it works...when I enforce it.  But if I'm not reminding them, it doesn't get done.  (As I'm attempting to finish this post, I'm trying to manage the kids with their chores; the chart is not four feet from this computer.  Now what was I about to say? Oh, yeah...) I really like Erica's Chore chart from Confessions of a Homeschooler, but I need to add the chores that are specific to our house. Like, organizing the shoe rack in the garage. 

It's in a constant state of disarray, and do you notice how many pairs of shoes are actually ON the rack???

Gah! I need to go.  I have to manage the new crisis in the living room.  Wiggly is threatening to sweep up Miss A's American girl stuff without giving her time to ACTUALLY pick it up before he plows her over with his "chore".  And of course, she's screaming like someone is trying to stab her...