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Wrap-Up: The Week with the Worst Day Ever & the Beauty of Homeschooling

Do you school on Fridays?  We do.   But this particular day we are getting a late start.  We both slept in (it was fabulous!)

One thing I love about homeschooling is that I can say “yes” to staying up late the night before Hubs has to go back to work.  He works an “on 4, off 2” schedule.  With a 45-55 minute drive depending on traffic, even on his earliest shift days he’s not home until 7pm.  So G gets precious little time with him those 4 days he’s at work.  So I don’t mind saying “yes” to an extra hour.

Because we don’t have to be up early in the morning to catch the bus or make it to car line.

Sleep is a beautiful thing.

I’m convinced after my years in the Early Childhood Education field and just observing my own child these past 7 years, that children are sleep deprived.  G slept 12 hours last night.  And I actually woke him up this morning – he might have slept longer if I had let him.  Even on a normal night with a normal bedtime after a normal day he’ll sleep a solid 10, maybe 11 hours.  If I had to get him up for school every morning he would have to go to bed at 7:00 to get enough sleep!  As it stands, bedtime is 8. And it works for us.  He has karate and training times can vary from 5-6pm, 6-7pm or 7-8pm.  We rarely go to the latest class because we have a 20 minute drive to get back home and class usually runs a few minutes over so we’re not getting home until after 8:30.  But there are kids his age that do the 6-7pm classes and the 7-8pm classes!  And they have to go home, get ready for bed and be up early the next morning!  I know they have to be tired!

When I was teaching preschool I had a class where 4 of the boys in my class were on the same baseball team.  They were all 4-5 years old and there were days they looked like zombies!  If I mentioned how tired the seemed in class to the parent, I would hear, “Oh the ballgame before theirs ran late so they didn’t take the field until almost 8:00.”   WHAT?!?!  What business do 4 and 5 year olds have being on the ball field at 8pm???  I get that the game before them ran over – but even if the game had started on time it was still too late for 4 & 5 year olds to be on a baseball field!  They should’ve been at home in their jammies having a bedtime story read to them!

I feel like we (as a society in general) are programming our children to be sleep-deprived.  For the non-homeschooled child though, it seems that the only way to get adequate sleep is to be un-involved.  If you participate in a team sport or take some sort of lessons/training as a group (karate, dance) then you are subject to these later times if you want to participate.  Why?  Because they have to set times around parent work schedules.  You can’t have a 4 or 5pm practice because there is no parent to get the child there at that time.  So the only other option is to cut into the time the child should be resting.

Ok, I really chased a rabbit there.  I said all that to say that I’m glad G can get the sleep he needs.   I don’t think a 7 year old is going to sleep in just for the heck of it or out of laziness.  If he sleeps until 9am it’s because that’s what his growing little body needed to rest and recover and be ready for the day ahead.

But this week, I learned and even more important lesson than how great sleep is.

GRACE. 

I learned the lesson of grace in homeschooling.

grace

You see, we had our worst day of homeschool EVER this week.  And you can read all about it here.

But I learned this week that homeschooling is all about grace.

The Grace God gives us, the grace I allow myself and the grace I give my son.

I screwed up this week.  God’s Grace was there.

At 2:30 in the afternoon I threw my hands up and said “We’re done!”  Not in a bad way but in a “the world won’t end if these last two assignments don’t get done” way.  That’s the grace I allow myself.

And I extended that to my son – calling it a day took a burden off his shoulders.  He was done.  There was nothing else productive going to come out of him that day.  Forcing him to finish would have been purely a power play on my part and the lessons would not have stuck.  So I gave my son grace.

So that was our week and my take-away from it.  Thank God for Grace!

Thanks to Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers for having a weekly wrap-up every week!

Weekly Wrap-Up

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Catching up to now | 3rd Place Ribbons, Whale Videos and Math

One of new year’s resolutions is to blog more here!  (If you didn’t know, I manage two other blogs – and while I would love to blog about Homeschool all day everyday, this blog is not paying the bills.  So I have to devote a good portion of my time to Saving Toward A Better Life.  BUT if I don’t start making THIS blog relevant and interesting, then it will never start paying the bills..so…here we go!)

I figure the best way to actually getting around to getting our Week in Review posts up on Friday is to open it in my editor on Mondays and add to it all week long.  So that’s what I’ve been doing with this post.

Monday is our co-op day.  This week was our second co-op day of the spring term.  We LOVE our co-op.  I plan on writing soon about what makes a co-op great.  I truly think ours is the greatest.  I can’t think of anything that would make it better.  We have over 80 families totaling nearly 250 people.  We have great classes (BigG is taking Spanish this term!  Yes we have a Spanish class for 1st & 2nd graders!)  Two weeks of Spanish and he already knows all the colors, numbers to 10 and about a half a dozen animals.  Foreign Language is not my strong suit so I’m excited!

While I’m talking about co-op, just before Christmas break our co-op had a Literature Fair.  I was nervous about signing up for this because BigG hates writing and I knew this would require a lot of it.  But we had plenty of time to work on it so we could break it up into manageable chunks and I knew it would be good for him.

titanicproject3

I don’t want to make this post insanely long so if you want to read about the Literature Fair Project on the Titanic – you can do so over here in a separate post.  But as you can see, it was very good for him!  I was SUPER proud of his 3rd place ribbon – he was the youngest kid to submit a project AND there were some good ones he was up against!  (He even placed ahead of the kid who did a project on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and actually made homemade chocolate candies for the judges!)

It’s been so long since I’ve written about what we’re up too.  We’re still using Sonlight and are a little over halfway through Core A.  (We started week 18 on Wednesday of this week.)

We started Apologia Swimming Creatures after Christmas (after finishing up an abbreviated run-through of Flying Creatures (which is the Zoology 1 course).  We started Zoology 1 this time last year and scratched the surface of it – BigG was only 6 so I pared it down to what was interesting and appropriate for him.  But since he LOVES ocean animals I plan to stretch Zoology 2 over the next year and a half by taking it slow (sometimes what they have listed to do in a day in the plan is a little much for him) and adding lots of extras.

I’ve made a YouTube playlist of Swimming Creature videos where I’ve been adding videos that go along with our lessons.  We’ve only been through wales and dolphins so far but I will keep adding to it so far.  We have thoroughly enjoyed using YouTube to watch these amazing creatures!

We also just started Singapore Math 2A.  Last year for 1st grade we used BJU Math 1.  We didn’t get all the way through it (the last chapter and some of the optional “going further” lessons scattered through the book).  So we spent to first part of this year doing that.  And then did Singapore Math 1B just to make sure he was on par to switch to Singapore.  He’s doing great in math.  I like how Singapore tries to keep it uncomplicated.  It seems to be just right for him at the moment.  I have 2B, 3A and 3B (I scored BIG at a book sale last summer!) so I plan to work through all those and then have him take a placement test for Teaching Textbooks.  Math is not my favorite so I know we will reach a point where I’m going to need help teaching him (and I know that point will come well before high school!) so Teaching Textbooks is definitely on my radar for that!

I think that catches us up!  Thanks to Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers for having a weekly wrap-up every week!

Weekly Wrap-Up

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LEGO Tour, Art Museum, Co-Op Trains and more | September Recap

I can’t believe I haven’t updated in a MONTH!  It’s been so BUSY around here.  I barely know where to begin.  We did a lot of field trippin’ because that’s what we do.  I love field trips.  We also took our scheduled week off.  That was nice, but starting back was HARD.

So here’s a portion of what our last month has been all about.

fieldtrip

We made another trip to our local art museum.  We love it!  The picture in the top right corner is of BigG with his favorite painting at the museum – a Monet.  I love that he has such an appreciation for art for such a young boy.

We got to see the LEGO Americana Tour.  I found out about it almost too late but we made it.  It was fun, awesome, amazing, and some other great adjectives.  I mean, look at this.  This is the Capitol Building built out of (an insane amount) of LEGOs!  BigG is in front of it for scale (he’s 4 feet tall).

legocapital

Co-op started back.  We love our co-op!  It’s moved into a bigger space this year too because enrollment has really exploded.  BigG is taking some great classes.  He’s in building projects for the second time.  (Think like woodshop but for little kids).  This has been a fantastic class for him.  He LOVES building.  He’s also in Geography and a Magic Tree House Book Club class.  In the spring I plan on us staying after lunch for more classes.  We did four classes last fall and it was just too long of a day for him.  So spring we cut down to 3.  So when fall came around again I chose 3.  He hasn’t taken afternoon naps since he was 3 but busy days tend to put him in a slump in the afternoons.  But he’s grown out of that afternoon slump he used to get in so I think 4 classes will be fine in the spring. Continue reading