Homeschooling, loving it, and trying to balance it with everything else that life demands
Monday, January 3, 2011
And...we're back. Um...I think.
Hello blogland. I have missed you. Due to the wondrous waste of time communication device of Facebook, I sort of ignored my blog for a year. But there are some people who refuse to get on Facebook (because they live under a rock or something), and I miss writing longer passages about the fun, craziness, and chaos that is my life. (That 420-word limit on Facebook is a real creativity killer.)
So in a nutshell, here is the last year of our lives:
Liesl is still playing violin. Ava is still playing violin. (I, surprisingly, still have all of my hair, to say nothing of my sanity.) We are still homeschooling. Our first curriculum of choice, Five in a Row, did not work--partially because my kids are sick of listening to me pontificate, and partially because I am sick of pontificating to my kids. (*see disclaimer below!) We are moving on to a completely different curriculum of a completely different genre; stay tuned for news of that. Liesl has completed the Primer program of Math-U-See. Ava is 3. Ava is 3. Ava is 3. Why do I repeat? Because Ava is 3 in every sense of the word. I seriously did not know a child could scream this loud or tantrum this long. Yet, when she does not feel the entire world is out to destroy every bit of her happiness as I disallow access to the Cookie Crisp, she is a delightful little child.
Liesl proudly displaying her "Alpha" books from the Math U See curriculum.
She completed "Primer" a day before her 5th birthday.
Tom works full-time for Chrysler. He traveled last year. A LOT. (If you think that means a temporary taste of single parenting for me, you're right. But I digress: this paragraph is about him.) After 10 months on the job as a contract employee, he was hired directly into the company, which means we stopped paying for our benefits and he got paid vacation time. This is wonderful, because paying $1,000 a month for health insurance, along with our children's extracurricular activities and music lessons, was putting a huge strain on our budget. His gardening, grilling, and smoking (er, as in smoking food, not...like, you know, smoking stuff) knows no equal.
Ava practicing her G major scale
We have a gerbil, Midnight, whom we adopted from a family member. Between his external tank heater and my friends who provide me with an endless supply of toilet paper tubes to feed his chewing habit, he is the most spoiled rodent alive. We also have a betta fish, Sushi (ok, the name was my idea), whom I purchased as a congratulatory gift for myself back in March for landing my new job. Between his 5-gallon filtered, heated tank, and his LED nighttime lunar lighting, he is the most spoiled fish alive. It is nice to have living things (besides the obvious implication of children) in the house again.
I have a wonderful part-time job as a video relay interpreter, and I love it. I work a few times a week at most. I am known to run, skip, and sashay out the door for every shift...then come home in a much better mood to deal with my kids, having spent time with other educated, rational adult-type people who don't wipe their boogers on my pants. We cook and bake a lot. I knit like CRAZY. Not perfectly, and nothing too complicated, but having taught myself over about a year and a half, I'm pretty impressed with some of the projects I have turned out--hats, simple sweaters, teddy bear clothes, purses and ponchos for my girls.
So there you have it. Here we are. Enjoy. Run for cover. Tell me how you've been the last year or so!
* Disclaimer! For what it's worth, I still think Five in a Row is an amazing program, and am sorry that it is not a good match for our family. After spending about 3+ hours a day organizing, overseeing, and participating in violin practice with two spirited, tenacious children under the age of 5, they are really done with listening to me. And frankly, I am really done with them...and Five in a Row requires much more hands-on teaching than we are all able for. A more patient mother might be able to handle that load--not me. (Just keepin' it real.) We are 99% decided on a classical education curriculum that I will post about once we have sunk our teeth into it. :-)