Sunday, December 18, 2011

Homeschool Journal 12/18......our Christmas Journey

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

In My Life This Week:  Today I was reminded of how much perspective changes everything. I teach in first through fifth grade at my church on Sunday. I knew the teachers in the service before me had a couple of mishaps and I made the comment about it being a rough morning to one of the teachers. He told me he never sees it that way. He sees it as opportunity for that child to grow from the behavior, choices, and decisions they make. I admit I get swallowed up in parenting and teaching. You have your walls battered day in and day out and you lose perspective. You forget that the annoying things and poor behavior kids sometimes display is a golden opportunity for us to teach. So many times I am guilty of being angry and annoyed. Rather than see it as a chance to bring about growth, I see it as annoying behavior. Sometimes, just like adults, kids have things going on in their lives and it is manifested in the way they act. So, I am glad to say it was a refreshing outlook and one I intend to put in practice at home and church.

In Homeschool This Week: We have had a pretty fun week this week. We are all ready for a break and I've been feeling it so I wanted our last full week before Christmas to be less stressful. Here are a few things we did...

working on our units of measurements.

reindeer in alphabetical order....poor Rudolph is last.

mini book: If You Give a Reindeer a Rootbeer.

the inside.

You get to park your car (or pony) if you find the right letter.

We Are Inspired by: This week we put into action our doing nice and unexpected things for those around us. My most fun was taking Starbucks to a Salvation Army guy outside Walmart when it was all rainy and nasty! My kids favorite was leaving money for other kids in the toy aisle. So much fun and a great reminder to them that Christmas is about giving!

I Love: Pinterest! I am addicted thanks to my wonderful sister in law. Love this site. There are so many great ideas for little money. My craftiness is showing its face again and I have been going crazy. I'm pretty sure it's driving my husband crazy.

Merry Christmas!!!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Spreading the Christmas Joy

   It's that wonderful time of year again......Christmas time. The time of year that we should be reminded of the biggest example of giving and sacrifice ever modeled. It's a spirit we often forget in the rush and tumble of the latest toys on " Santa's list." Instead it becomes the spirit of I want things my way......the perfect dinner, the perfect presents, the perfect memories, pictures with pefect little kids dressed in perfect little clothes. 
   I am so guilty of all of the above. I wait until the last minute to get things done, then scurry around screaming at my kids when they don't get in the car fast enough and do silly childish things. I get annoyed when my kids act goofy while I'm trying to get Christmas pictures. I try to do too many things in one day and get annoyed with all of lifes(and kids) little interruptions. 
   This year I am trying to do things differently. It doesn't mean I am going to succeed. I am sure there will be gross failures along the way. I just want Christmas to be different this year. I want my kids to have good sweet memories of Christmas, not memories of a harried mom scurrying everywhere and being impatient. Here are a few things I am doing this year.
   First, on Pinterest I found a link to a website with ways to bless other people. The ideas are printable. I printed and laminated them and put them in a jar. I spent some time talking to my kids about giving to others and how that was truly the point of Christmas. There are a wide variety of ideas, but the one my kids are wanting to start with is going to the dollar store and leaving some dollar bills on a toy with a note saying Merry Christmas. 
     I truly started worrying about this when I noticed my kids asking people what they had gotten them for Christmas. I know that is an exciting part of Christmas for kids, but I don't want them to focus on that. I really want them to be able to enjoy the spirit of giving. We don't have a lot of extra cash floating around so our ideas will be simple and small. I am looking forward to buying a bunch of flowers and handing them out to older ladies walking out of the grocery store......such a simple small thing to do.
    I am going to focus on trying to not let others stress me out. I'll do what I can do and not worry about the rest. I want things to be perfect and organized just like anyone else, but I have to know my limits too. If my kids are making goofy faces in our pictures someday that will be a sweet memory. At least I will know they are having fun. I'm not going to get worked up when they are helping me bake cookies and it takes twice as long because in a few years they won't want to help.  
He is the king of goofy faces, but that is my Bodie.
    This year for Christmas I just want to have fun! I don't know how well this will work, but that is my goal this year. It's not all about us this year, but about having fun, sharing, making lasting memories, and being an example of giving.  

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Homeschool Mother's Journal 11/27/11


In My Life This Week:  This was the week of Thanksgiving. It's normally a crazy time for us, but I was determined to relax and not stress out about things. We got a couple of days of school done and were off to Grandma Ginger's house. The kids ate too much candy and I ate too much of everything and I do not even care. Time to go on a diet again so I can lose five pounds before gaining it all back during Christmas. 

Our Fairy House
In School Lately: I word it this way because I have been simply awful about blogging and have gone through several letters since I last wrote. I'll try to highlight. Brylee continues to work on different letters every week. Some weeks she is more into it than others. Here are a few great things we did: 

We made a fairy house for the letter F. First we went on a nature walk and gathered only things made in nature. We had fun making this. Sad to say it had a mishap with the garden hose a few days later. Next time we will remember not to put it close to the path of that dreaded garden hose.

Flowers made out of cupcake liners and buttons! 

Bodie has been studying early civilisations so he tried his hand at hieroglyphics:

The tops and bottom are his.


I have been working a lot with Brylee on her colors, letters, and numbers. Here are a few fun things we did :

     We normally color these, but she has been getting tired of that so we used these colored disks instead. We used blocks for any color we did not have in the disks.      

We used the same things for her counting cards.

 Same igloo cards, but with shapes. We used her shape flashcards to match them up. You can see that cresent is not in her flashcards. This was a great way to review her colors too. 

Did I mention that I get so many of my printables from TOTSCHOOL? They have themes every week depending on the letter. I print them,laminate, and am ready to go.

Embarrassing moment this week: So you realize I don't have it all together all the time(in fact rarely) and have struggles just like any other mother here is my embarrassing moment:
Some of you on my facebook know that a couple of weeks ago Bodie decided it would be a smart thing to expose his underwear in his P.E class to the horror of many little girls and the secret joy of many little boys. Apparently, over the last week, upon speaking to parents and some of the other coaches, it has been decided that Bodie can not participate in this block of sports. So, he has been kicked out until January when I suppose we will try again. While part of me laughs, I do understand they can't have boys(or girls) pulling down their pants at will and think this is a good lesson for Bodie to learn. I am embarrassed that my child is the one which the coach will probably be talking about to the kids as an example of how not to be. Oh well life is like a box of chocolates and you never know what you're going to get.

We did crazy hats for the letter H.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

My Kids

So I started this whole blog to reach out to mommies(and dads)who have suddenly realized parenting is really hard work. Kids don't just stumble on good manners and good behavior. They learn it. There are so many angles of parenting. I found it to be the hardest job ever, emotionally, mentally, physically, and more. I love it, it is challenging. My weaknesses are exposed every day. I see my selfishness and am sometimes horrified at the things I say to my kids. This is why I keep digging, uncovering, and exposing all those dismal failures. However, even with all that I don't feel I am a bad mom. I am still striving to learn more. I am still reaching out to others who struggle with days of failure. I read others ideas and try them. I understand frustration when an idea fails. I feel elation when an idea works. Kids don't come with an instruction manual. God has given us each other,moms,not to judge,but to share each others burdens. We can build each other up, share struggles, and share success. Join me in sharing your struggles and your snuggles.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Becoming Intentional


Being intentional comes to some people know checklists and organization. For me it's like fighting up hill with a grizzly and sometimes that grizzly is me. When I decided I was going to homeschool I knew I would have to be more intentional. Some weeks are better than others. The biggest amount of planning comes from my three year old. 

If I want to be productive at all I have to have things planned out for her, otherwise she makes her own fun. Normally I use Sunday afternoon to print out worksheets and activities for her. If I am not intentional about this it can ruin our whole week. Trust me I have learned the hard way. I also keep a list of busy ideas in a spiral. The days of thinking on my toes are long gone. Anyone with multiple children understands this. Having a list of extra things to do can save the day!

What about housework? This continues to be a struggle for me. It was not my best area even before I had kids. I think all homeschoolers struggle with this some because our kids are always home. There isn't that break during the day where you can focus on nothing but cleaning. It helps me to have certain chores my kids do every day. Another thing I tend to do is start one thing, get distracted, and start another. By the end of the day I have a number of things started and not so many finished. So I am trying to remember to focus on one thing at a time. I remember one day I got the idea to dig up all the dandelions in our yard. Of course I started but never finished. When my husband got home he thought there had been an armadillo visit. Honestly he never knows what he might find when he comes home poor guy. 

Also as moms, we need to remember to let some things go. If we don't we will spend our whole life doing. This is the fast road to burnout. Any time I feel myself getting grumpy, it is usually because I have not taken some time for me. When was the last time you were intentional about  a break? I am going to be intentional about sitting down and drinking my coffee this morning before I start the day.

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