Saturday, September 29

What? I Part-Time Homeschool?

We are in full swing with our new schooling adventure with Parker. We have left the comforts of an all-day... five-day a week school to only going to school 2 1/2 days a week while we homeschool the other 2.
Side note... I was not the mom at kindergarten drop crying. I was the mom high five-ing everyone and giggling ecstatically followed by a little happy dance because I had ME time. Well...maybe not high five-ing anyone but I could have!
This type of school has NEVER crossed my mind.
It. Is. So. Much. Work.
The night of the parent orientation meeting, a friend of mine leaned over and asked all giddy-ish if I was excited. She was grinning ear to ear with excited.
I NEARLY burst into tears.
I sheepishly smiled and said "I don't know yet!"
I thought...What in the world am I doing?!?!
There's NO WAY I can do this.
The teacher was saying things like "Make your kids unload their own Taxi's when the get home and reload them. Initial all papers or they don't get a grade. Their grade depends on you. Check how they are coding words and letters. (How the heck do you code letters?? What does that even mean?) Your kids CANNOT be late. It affects them poorly if they are late. Even 5 minutes late."
It was overwhelming.
My heart raced the rest of the night.
Now 6 weeks in...

I am in love with it.
It is one of my most favorite things I have done.
It wasn't even my idea. God is mean and is making me do it. But I am loving it. And I am thankful he told me to do this.
Sure it is hard. We definitely have our hard days! Days where we have to call dad and get firm correction and redirection.  Days where I burry my face in my hands and plead with God to teach Parker for me. There are days where 2 pots of coffee are not sufficient enough to get me through but God's grace is. He called me to this and He carries me through each of our days at home. We are both (Parker and I) learning this new way of learning. We are growing together and learning a lot.
I mean am probably one of the least structured persons I know. And the least organized. But I want to be different. This adventure has definitely stretched me in this area.

Our normal homeschool day usually looks a little like this:

8:30am- up and eating breakfast.
9:00am- Littles go outside and jump on the trampoline in their underwear. Parker (in his underwear) sits at his little desk and I bring him his work. I let him choose the first subject we will work on and what will be next. He likes to have some control and ownership. Usually math is his first pick. I set the timer for 5 minutes per worksheet.
9:05am- Emme comes in crying. Her feelings are hurt. She has a good "dee-ya" (idea) and Beckham refuses to listen. I deal with it and we all move on.
9:07am- Emme's feelings are hurt again. Aye-yi-yi.
9:45am- We are moving on to Phonics. Emme and Beckham are now inside playing "Honey & Babe" (their version of house...Beckham is Babe (Phillip) and Emme is Honey (Me) Its so funny.
10:15am- Handwriting. We pray over Colosains 3:23. Parker hates handwriting. He tends to rush and get sloppy.
Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.
10:45am- Review Deck Cards (kinda like intense flash cards)
11:00am- Review the poem Parker is to learn.
11:05am- Shake our silly's out and eat a snack while I plan lunch. He gets free time now!! Whoohoo!

After lunch I let him play.
1:30pm- gymnastics
2:30pm- NAP!!!!!! HALLELUJAH!!!!!!!!!!!!

After that the day is sort of a free for all!
We do family reading with dad or before dinner or sometimes at nap time. He loves, loves, loves to read so fitting that in is easy.

Though...listening to a first grader read and sound out every word is like listening to someone scratch on a chalkboard willingly for and hour. It's painful. But I just smile and laugh inside at some of the sounds he comes up with. ;)

I am currently trying to figure out a little curriculum I can do with Beckham and Emme while Parker does his work.

Though jumping on the trampoline in your undies and playing Honey and Babe for hours is a BLAST. They do get bored. Go figure.
Emme is obsessed with school. She would love it.
Beckham... I am not sure. He tends to spend most of his days in his own little world fighting imaginary bad guys and evil ninjas. I will look over and he is kicking the air fiercely and body slamming the floor. Clearly he conquers all of his opponents. I love that boy.

These days are precious. Though most days I am chasing down the Alieve and Advil to relieve my massive migraine I have at the end of the day. They are precious days. I will cherish these days. I know they will pass all too soon and I will wish them back. They are the most intentionally present days of my life and I am grateful for them.

Homeschool on vacation...not bad...we sat out side under the patio of our little house by the ocean while it rained.
Sometimes we do school work together.
 I love his chubby little fingers. and kid handwriting is the BEST!! 

Friday, September 28

I Mother through Fits over Paper Straws.

What do you do when your children have bitterness and weird resentments toward each other? Maybe those words describe my new challenge between the children too strongly. Maybe its just normal kid selfishness and brattiness. I don't know... Here's the convo I had the other day with my oldest concerning what I do "differently" between himself and his sister:

P: "Mom!!!! How come you never ever do anything special for me. Like EVER!"
I can see the emotional walls in his eyes begin to crumble at this moment and I know all emotional "Hell" is going to break loose. I breathe in...Hold my breathe and wait for it...

Me: "What do you mean? I do special things for you all the time."
P: "NO. You. DON'T!!! All you care about is Emme and doing fun and special things for her!!! Like look at all of this Hello Kitty STUFF. Look at this!!"

(Pointing to the party supplies spread out on the table while flinging his arms around...we are very dramatic over here!)

Me: "Parker...have you forgotten the shark party I did for you this year? What about your Super Hero party where I stayed up with your Mimi until 2am one morning sewing 18 Super Hero Capes with all of their initials appliqu├ęd on them? What about the Star Wars party that I spent everyday for a month working on? Assembling 18 light sabers and sewing 18 Jedi cloaks for all your little Jedi friends? What about me DRESSING UP like Princess Leah for said party!!!!!!???"

(Parker's eyes now welling up with tears.)

P: "BUT MOM... Its NOT the SAME!!! Look at these paper straws that look like candles!!!! Look at this box of Tattoos!!"
Me: "Parker... You had red and white striped paper straws at YOUR party!"
P: "UGH! Whatever... It's not FAIR and its not the same. You just do way more special things for Emme then you do for me!!!"

(Since when did he learn to say "whatever" and roll his eyes at the same time???!!!)

Me: Silence...No words....

I know this is way...way more then just a party and him being upset about a bunch of Hello Kitty stuff. Honestly, I think he could care less about the "party".

This is deeper. This is spiritual. But what do you do? Other then fall to your knees and seek God for wisdom? What do you say to a 6 yr old who is so tender and sensitive? What do you do other than spank him and send him to his room for being a big bratty turd?

I just closed my eyes and asked God for guidance. I tend to have ZERO tolerance for this kind of selfishness. But God quickly reminded me of how many times I have thrown fits and got mad at him for what he did for someone else and not me. How many times I have compared someone else's calling with my own. How many times I have cried over someone else's "Paper Straws". Yet he had grace and mercy with me and just let me throw my fit. To later use it and teach me. Like now.

My sweet Parker is kind, loving, generous, smart, compassionate and oh so artsy (like his momma). I love every ounce of his little being. It hurts my core knowing he hurts somewhere and I don't know how to fix it.

I am thankful I serve a God who does know how. And he will. He is a God who restores and redeems. We have watched him work in these areas a lot this last year.

We are Praying Circles around our little family. Even when we throw fits over Hello Kitty parties and Paper Straws.

There is a quote from a women in Ethiopia that I heard the other day that stung my soul, opened my eyes, encouraged me and challenged me. She said...

Via video from Bring Love In
My job right now is to Mother these three kids God has entrusted me with. It is more than a JOB it is a Ministry. It is my ministry. Today I will choose to serve in my ministry to the fullest. When "the going get tough, you just gotta keep on goin'" Through fits, tears, selfishness, frustration, sleepless nights, missed nap schedules and crummy attitudes. Glorifying God is our goal and today we will reach that goal. 
One wiped tear at a time. 
Mostly my own.