I guess I skipped a week without even realizing it. I must have replaced it with our second month recap! Anyways, things are still trucking along over here, with good days and bad days. Everything still remains in its correct perspective; however, I am still struggling with my patience and tolerance. I have definitely come to terms with the fact that I am a highly sensitive person and my nerves and senses are on major overload.
They have been for quite some time, and my few afternoons to myself each week just don’t seem to be cutting it in allowing me to decompress. I feel like we are overly busy and only getting busier. The girls are now taking an art class every Friday afternoon, which adds another trip to our day. The art class is just far enough away from our home that I can’t go home so I have to hang around with Hunter for an hour and half and find stuff to do! It’s kind of draining, but it’s worth it and I must keep telling myself that.
I have been asking myself if I am using my own quite time as best as I can, and honestly the way I use my time is to eat alone, watch my favorite recorded shows, and surf the internet. While in the moment I feel like I am able to relax, I still have to deal with the girls coming in and out of their bedroom asking to go to the bathroom or asking if they can get a drink of water, etc. etc. etc. This even happens in the evening when its bedtime. So when you get down to it, I feel like I can never have a moment to myself; never.
I recently read this article about Highly Sensitive Parents and tips on how to keep yourself sane if you homeschool your children as well, and one suggestion was to not only have a rest time set up to give yourself a break, but to also have a reading time for everyone. I think this may be a great idea to try because not only would it give me even more peace during the day (in theory), it would also give the girls their own quiet time to read. And honestly their quiet time is used to watch movies at the moment. I will try this today and report back. I am not sure how it would work out with Hunter though because he is little, so I doubt I will actually have time to read to myself, but in the long run it could instill good reading habits for him as well.
So on to some homeschooling activities that we have been doing. As of today our caterpillars have turned into chrysalises, hatched, and are now mating like crazy and laying tiny blue eggs all over the place. I have transferred some eggs to a jar in hopes they will hatch and we can repeat the process all over again. But we will see what happens. Some butterflies did not make or have since died, so it was a good opportunity to discuss death, how it is natural and normal, and how not everything born will come out perfect (some butterflies had deformed wings). It is nice to have living things quietly fluttering around in the background. It does add a peaceful life to the home, much like a fish would.
We have also continued to read Matilda, which I am looking forward to finishing. It seems like a pattern is developing with the books I am reading to the kids. I get bored with them about half way through and I just want them to end! Maybe I will switch to audio books so I don’t have to be the one reading it to them!
We have also been working on place value using a color coding system. I think the girls are grasping it but not all the way. I am struggling with the idea of either letting it come naturally to them as we move along or to stay with it and pick it apart until it’s thoroughly understood. I honestly am really bored with it and I can see the girls are as well. So maybe I just answered my own question….
The girls have also begun to journal, which at first I told myself I wouldn’t make them do because I remember them doing it in school and their books ended up being filled with scribble scrabble and no real thoughts. Much of that can be chalked up to the lack of supervision when the girls did their journaling, but nonetheless, I decided against it. But, when we are in our math blocks, I can see a huge decline in their writing time, so I thought I would give it a try and see if they liked it. Well, it has been working really well so far. I allow them to choose their own topic, and write what they want. The little books I bought allow them to draw a picture then write something below. I help them with spelling, punctuation, and overall making sense of their thoughts. Both of the girls have never protested once and we have done it a few times. I am kind of going on the notion that the more they write, the better their spelling will be. I do not, nor plan on doing any real spelling lists or testing, so hopefully their journaling will help.
The girls have also been really interested in copying words from their books in their little library in their room. It’s funny, but when I was researching homeschooling and all of the different approaches, particularly when reading about unschooling, I kept coming across parents saying that their children started to copy stories from books, and in time they learned how to read and spell while doing this. While I am not getting my hopes up too much, I like to see the girls doing this on their own, and I believe that it’s better than no writing at all!
Along with these new things, we have also kept up with the usual things of art, special sounds with reading, skip counting, poetry, Hot Dots (which has turned out to be really great; we currently have Telling Time, Fractions, and Money), First Language Lessons in which we have learned our address and how to address a letter, compare and contrast, and many more things I don’t remember off the top of my head.
My goal for the rest of this week and onward is to try and find more quiet time and work on creating more of a peaceful environment. I honestly don’t know if it’s just my kids or what but they fight all the time and whine all the time and I am at my wits end.
Anyone have any suggestions on how to deal with the constant fighting? Being a mother for 8 years, I think I would have figured something out by now…..