Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A Week, Briefly (#3)

It is early on Saturday morning.  I2 woke me at 5:30, and because I am now getting up at 5:10 on weekdays, my body is awake whether it feels rested or not.

He's asleep again.

I'm glad.  He seems to be suffering from the same lethargy that has affected the whole family this week.

I have used my awake time to get a batch of granola into the oven and read a few "inspiring" blogs about homeschooling.  I have been feeling discouraged all week, and I hoped to find a little something that would help me feel less so.

I did not.

I should have known that what I would find is opportunity to compare myself to others and come up wanting.

When I need inspiration and uplift, I know the place to go is the word of God.  I will do so in just a few moments.  (I've done it now.  I'm glad.  I have no idea why I didn't keep my usual routine and start with my scriptures in the first place!)

This week Dad was really sick, J10 had a fever on Sunday and Monday, the littles were mildly ill, I felt crummy for a while but managed to fight it off, and the older girls seemed okay but probably were fighting the bug off, too.  We all spent the week schlumping around the house with sagging shoulders, tired eyes, headaches, and a general listlessness that led us to a sense of failure and self-doubt.

Poor M12 spent a good deal of time crying on Friday over her math.  I sat with her listening and offering to make any changes she felt would be good--different program?  Slow down?  Go back one level (we advanced her 2 levels after last year's math was soooo easy and our review of the Saxon scope and sequence made skipping seem like a good idea)?  I told her that math is not important enough to cry over and I'd rather see her happy than doing advanced math.  She insisted on staying where she is.  She said she was just too tired that day.  She's probably right, but it still hurts my heart to see a child crying over schoolwork.

That's not how I want to operate here.

I feel more hopeful after writing this (the act of writing always helps me see more clearly).  We've been ill.  We are not our whole selves right now.  This week is not indicative of the entire school year ahead.  We've probably pushed too hard (that would be my fault) and need some time off.

In the mean time we did make some good memories:

After school on Monday the little girls gave us all pedicures, but the camera battery was charging, so there are no pictures.  They set up mini spa stations to wash and lotion our feet.  Then they painted our toenails.  It was worth the spilled nail polish on the living room carpet.

I2's portrait of Noah

Here's I2's version of The Great Flood

A7's rainbow and ark on the day we read about The Great Flood

And H5's as well

I2 helping himself to a snack of leftover breakfast

A7 and H5 are loving learning about oceans with Hands of a Child activities

S12 is flying through her math review books with great success

Our picture study one day inspired these little guys to study on their own

Keyboarding skills

M12 is now A7's violin teacher.  The first couple of lessons were about identifying parts of a violin and what a measure is.

Sometimes the kids like to come upstairs to work.  The plastic crates are how the older kids organize and keep their school work ready.

One night when I was especially struggling, E14 offered to clean up the kitchen and make dinner.  I cried because I was so relieved.  She made cornbread and chili.  It was delicious, and I got a good rest.

Gathering around the table to enjoy E14's good dinner.

The chili!

For Kid School on Friday the littles made pumpkin streusel muffins for lunch for all of us.

A7 saved a moth from drowning in our wading pool

Water play is even more fun when you have "friends" to swim with.

Filling up the pool on a hot afternoon.

After "swimming" the little guys helped themselves to carrots and leftover pumpkin muffins for a snack.

Even some of the big girls joined the littles for some water play after finishing their school work.

I heard laughing, laughing, laughing one afternoon.  When I looked outside I found the kids sliding in "trains."

E14 worked on building a railing around her tree house.

This is our upstairs stair landing.  I think it is delightful what kind of places the kids will find to work on their projects.  Though I must admit that our little stained glass window is a favorite of mine, as well.

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