Well it’s been a little over 5 years that I started this blog. So I thought I would update the look of it, it will be a work in progress. Looking forward to writing some more.
The other day I was talking with the kids about going to the store. Olivia had received a shirt for her birthday that was the wrong size, so she needed to take it back. Benji then says, “Yeah, mom, I need to take my shirt back too, I don’t want it anymore.” If that wasn’t funny in itself, but I looked at the shirt that he was wearing, and I quickly calculated that it was about 12 years old!! It’s a red polo shirt with a black, grey and white stripe across the middle. I had to pull out a photo album to see if that was correct, 12 years? Yes, I have a picture of Joshua wearing it for his 2nd birthday and he wore it until he outgrew it, Elijah wore it, now Benji is wearing it. It’s still in good shape. But I had to laugh, wouldn’t it be nice if we could return hand-me-down clothes back to the store because we don’t like them anymore…after 12 years of use?!?!?!
The other day my oldest son Joshua decided that he was going to start getting up at 6:00 a.m. He was having trouble getting up in the morning to start school at 9:00 a.m. so his solution is to take it to the extreme and get up way before he needs to. Me, I like to sleep as long as I can, but that’s me. So he set several clocks to be sure he would get up. I did inform him to be quiet as to not disturb anyone else. Well Elijah (8) decided that he was going to join his big brother. So he got ready for bed and off he went to sleep. The next morning the clock(s) goes off and they both get up. While Joshua was in the bathroom, I heard Elijah get up and he knocked on the door and said, “Josh, is it still night time?” He had never been up that early. So that was the joke for the day. Later that day he was having some trouble focusing in school since he was up so early. So I told Cook what was happening, and Cook said, “Give him a break, you know he just woke up last night.” We also heard him telling Olivia that him and Josh had so much fun “last night.”
Well we made it through those first couple of days, and now they get up early every morning with no problem. We’ll see what happens when we have to set our clocks back!!
Oh the joys of homeschooling. Today, I was sitting at the table with Elijah, Joshua and Benji. Joshua was working on his own thing, I was reading science to Elijah, we were learning about leaves. But of course Benji had to put in his two cents. But he does it very politely, by raising his hand. But by the third interruption, I just had to let him keep his hand raised, and just motioned to him to wait. So I continue reading. But Joshua decides to put Benji’s hand down. As he brings his hand down, the other one goes up, so he tries to put this hand down, and the first one goes up. This went on for a couple of seconds back and forth, while we all tried not to laugh, put couldn’t help it. I felt like I was watching an old Laurel & Hardy movie. Needless to say, laughing is a wonderful stress buster, and is needed often when homeschooling with a 3-year old!!
For the last couple of days, when I sign in on the Internet I see that the Yahoo page comes up with school supplies all around its logo. I usually enjoy their little graphics for the different seasons and holidays, but I must say I’m not quite ready for school supplies. As I write this I am sitting in my backyard enjoying the nice weather, there’s a slight breeze that is making it very pleasant. Recently the days have been so hot we spend our time out in the early evening. The little guys play in the sandbox while my husband and the twins shoot some hoop, or we’ll take a ride on our bikes. The long days are nice, but as I look at the calendar, I know the beginning of school is fast approaching, so I must begin preparing.
The first thing I do is make my list of what books I need to purchase. We always start our school year the day after Labor Day, and those four days are spent on reviewing things from last year, and just getting back into the routine. So I can usually wait to purchase my books at the end of August. I also make a list of school supplies they’ll need and start picking them up here and there as they go on sale. One thing nice about homeschooling is that we don’t have those extensive school supply list I hear so many parents complaining about. Every year at Wal-Mart, I see a couple of parents with their lists in hand and a frustrated look on their face discussing products on the list compared to what is on the shelf. I secretly envy them, a school supply scavenger hunt sounds like the most fun. But then again, I’ve never had to do it.
The next thing I do is create my calendar for the year. For our State in Illinois, the required days of instruction are 176 days. This is not mandatory for private or home schools, but I use this as my guide in planning my days off and breaks. I pretty much follow the traditional school calendar, having Christmas and spring breaks. I decide which federal or state holidays we observe, sometimes on that day. “It’s Casimir Pulaski Day, hey we’re Polish, let’s take the day off!!” Having a guide for the year like this helps me alter it easily. We can take an unscheduled day off if we want to visit with relatives from out of town, or if my husband has a day off during the week and we want to do something. Then what we can do is have school on one of the planned Federal Holidays like Columbus Day or President’s Day. The kids will get a copy of the calendar on the first day of school. The first thing they do is count how many days until their first day off.
I have read articles from other homeschool Mom’s who will go away for a weekend by themselves before the school year starts. I have done this once before, and I used some of the time to go over lesson plans, and review curriculum. I usually take a semester break in January or February and just stay at a hotel and do nothing but enjoy the time by myself. I do have an opportunity to get away for a weekend in a couple of weeks, which I am taking full advantage of. I haven’t always taken these breaks, I used to think wanting to get away was selfish, and a sign that I was a bad mother and wife. I would feel guilty wanting to leave the kids with my husband for a whole weekend. But I have felt the benefits of time away to re-charge my batteries. It doesn’t have to be fancy or far away, unless your budget allows it and you want to go to Hawaii. I just know how good it feels to get away and I highly recommend it.
Being that August just started, I do have some time left to enjoy the summer and that’s what I plan to do.
I know that different areas of the country may start their school year at different times. If you could have it your way, would you have school start before or after Labor Day? You can add your opinion below.