Monday, January 7, 2013

Happy New Year

I'm sitting at my computer, with Ernie reading about Paul Revere and Abigail Adams next to me.  School is going well, finally.  What we've been doing is school Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday.  Maybe Friday, but often not.  It wasn't going well- she wanted to play with her siblings, and doing so many subjects a day was completely overwhelming for her (even if they'd only take 10 or 15 minutes if she would just SIT DOWN AND DO THEM.  See how frustrated I am?  Caps means frustrated.)

We've moved to a block schedule- I write out everything she needs to get done to get through five lessons.  When she's done with our list, she's done for the week- she loves it!  Last week she finished everything in two days, with no frustration or tears.  They were long days (still shorter than her friends' school days), but the promise of freedom made it easier for her to swallow.  Also, choosing what she does next is fun for her, and less pushing from me.  This is perfect- I want to invite my kids to learn, instead of pushing facts down their throats.  (So long as they continue to WANT to learn, this is perfect.  They're going to learn their prescribed lessons whether they want to or not, so finding a way to make sure they keep WANTING to....)

She starts a P.E. class this week at our YMCA- one hour of games in the gym, one hour of swim lessons/free swim.  I hope this is a good thing- I'm a little nervous, because I can't be with her.  There is no child care available during the class hours, so I'm expected to drop her off and come back when class is over.  She's never been in a locker room before, never used a lock before, and I don't know how closely these kids will be supervised.  In my worst nightmare, she gets completely lost in the building, which is baloney- no one would let that happen.  But still.  The staff hasn't been getting back to me to answer questions, and the sign up system is a complete joke (between patrons AND staff.)  Just nervous.  As of right now, I've paid for the class through the next three months, and they can't find any record of her.  We're off to a good start!

It feels good to be starting a new year.  We've delivered a truck load to the dump and another truck load to the donation trailer in the next town over.  My goal this year is to simplify and take care of what's important.  Health is a big one.  We need more activity, less sitting.  (Guess what family is moving to a weekly Kinect-and-Pizza night, instead of Pizza-and-Movie night???)  More doing for others, less moping.  More fruits and vegetables, less toast.  (I'm looking at YOU, Ernie!)  More promise keeping, less excuses.  We need to rely more on what we know is true, and less on what others think.

We have house goals- get the yard cleaned up, get our house projects finished.  I want to get all the spackling and touch-up painting done, and then start budgeting and finding art and furniture that fits the space and makes this home feel complete.  All of our marriage has been use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.  I'm feeling materialistic, and want to start finding some things that are functional for our space.  Oh, and get rid of EVERYTHING that is not either useful or beautiful.  We're doing pretty good, in some spaces.  There's a catch-all room downstairs that...catches everything :)  However, I got rid of 95% of my fabric last week, and we're slowly making our way through.  It WILL be a proper guest room.  One that people would be happy to sleep in.  So far there's a comfortable bed and an empty dresser.  And a lot of stuff.

However, last week I set a list of 7 extra tasks to accomplish by the end of the week...and they happened!  Let's see if this week can be a repeat.

1)  Plant fall bulbs.   (Yes, really.  It will totally work, because this is the Pacific Northwest.  And if it doesn't, I will reach my dream of having potted bulbs in my yard.  Ones that I can drag to the side of the house when they start to look bad.)
2)  Clean up spare bedroom- deliver donations and garbage to proper places.

And...I think that's enough for one week!  Add in school activities, normal cleaning and cooking, and wiping bottoms...pretty full week.  


Arwyn said...

That's how we did it, when I was younger. My mother would sit down with us to come up with a list of all the lessons that we needed to do in the week (e.g., 5 math units, 3 spelling pages, 1 science chapter, etc.) and then let us free to get them done. I definitely appreciated the freedom to do my lessons when and how I chose, and didn't often think of them as a chore -- except maybe spelling...

Bobbi Lewin said...

I'm getting frustrated with you over the ymca thing! arrrgg!

Another fall went by without any bulbs getting planted in my yard. I'm going to have tulip envy again this year when my neighbors' yards start blooming:)

J. said...

You've reminded me that I need to start now to plan out what to do for a garden. We have to start all over again in our new house. Ah well.

Alexandra said...

Ernie sounds like my son...I had to do te same with him. He's now mostly self-teach in high school. I just give him the materials and he goes for it on his own schedule.

My youngest is better when we "share" formal schoooling...I literally have to do it with her. She needs lots of unschooly unstructured activities. She plays a lot! The house is always a wreck. I clean often, but with her active multi-tasking play, it quickly becomes a patchwork of half started activities. AHHH. ;) I'm always glad when she does computer school so I can get a rest!