A Week, Briefly, (#19)

As the new year approached I found myself freaking out on the inside, "We're not ready!  I can't do this!"

Then one day it occurred to me that I didn't have to be ready on a certain date.  Yes, I needed to set a start date, but I certainly didn't have to follow the calendar that everyone else was following.

So I didn't.

Monday was for phone calls and errands and sitting down with Sir Walter Scott and the big girls for some basic calendaring.

Tuesday was supposed to be for organizing, but it turned out to be for taking kids to the doctor and therapist and for meeting with the nurse case manager.

I began to panic.  I still hadn't done what I wanted to do.

So I took a deep breath . . .

and let it all go.

I had a sketchy, inspired plan in my head for how to adjust our days so they were more functional for us and would leave me less pressured and panicked.  I had nothing on paper, no schedule, no post-it notes full of plans that I could arrange an rearrange the way I liked.

I had an idea and some untidy shelves.

On Wednesday we began.

Everything was fine.

Yes, we left out Bedtime Math on Wednesday.  I also forgot to read Herodotus on Friday.  And my notebook "brain" went missing after only one day.

But we were fine.

The older girls and I completed 3 art lessons in our curriculum--Mesopotamian art history, form drawing and simple clay sculptures.  They also completed 3 days worth of math, scriptures, and self-study (reading and studying on their own).

The underside of SuperStar's empty tomb sculpture with name and date inscribed.

Pixie's lamb--their assignment was to sculpt something symbolic of the Savior.

Belle's empty tomb--if you look carefully inside you'll even see the folded linen that the risen Christ left behind, symbolic of the fact that He will come again.
(Rose Red sculpted an earth and moon, symbolic of Christ as Creator, but she forgot to photograph it for her notebook.)

Rose Red is still working her way through her history book, The Disappearing Spoon (chemistry), Vocabulary, and Spelling.

We did not complete any lessons out of our God's Design for Chemistry text.

Pixie finished reading and journaling The Book of Mormon for her Virtue value project for Personal Progress.  Only 3 value projects to go and she's earned her medallion!

I've dropped blanket time in favor of a whole family "morning meeting."  During this 10-15 minute time we sing, pray, work on memorizing poems and scriptures, and do a bit of Bedtime Math.  Once that is done, the littles are excused--and I've begun to include Nature Angel and Little Princess as littles so that they can have some free time and I can give them each one-on-one time later in the day.

Mister Man began reading over the Christmas break, so he doesn't really do preK anymore.  Instead I give him 15 minutes of time on my lap with some early readers.  If he wants to do a craft or watch a preK video, he can join with Ladybug, which he often does.

Ladybug is happily engaged in practicing phonetic sounds, coloring, doing crafts, and practicing writing letters.  We'll keep this up until she seems ready to sound out words.  (I've tried it out with her, and she cannot yet make sense that the sounds combine to make words.  That's okay.)  One thing she loves to do is take our base 10 blocks and use them as letter builders to spell out the names of our family members.  I think it is rather impressive that she actually knows many of the letters belonging to each of our 14 names!

I never did any "school" with Little Princess this week.  She reads voraciously, though, so she did lots of that on her own.  I sat down with her to practice her knitting.  And she participated in morning meeting and evening reading.  In between she engaged in lots of creative play, and I felt as though her week was just right.

Nature Angel has set the personal goal of 1 hour of personal study time each day.  She scrupulously keeps a journal of her accumulated minutes and brings it to me to help her add up the columns of numbers to track when she reaches an hour.  After that she transfers what she's read into a gorgeous poster she's making.  Her current studies are about nature--animals in particular.  We've also worked together out of her Good and Beautiful curriculum, and she likes to sit in on the big girls' school.  She spends a lot of time engaged in self-motivated learning.  And then she creates wonderful creative play scenes for the littler kids.

Belle baked 2 very lovely loaves of cranberry bread for us on Friday afternoon.  She is becoming quite the adept baker.

We got 2 of 3 days of our Couch to 5K training in--the big girls and me.  One day of snow knocked us off schedule and then the extreme cold and a funeral to attend knocked even our adjusted schedule out of my head until the week was over.

Nature Angel took this picture of the frost on an upstairs bedroom window--brrr!
 We'll sneak that lost day in somewhere.

It is terribly fun to go "running" with my girls.  Sir Walter Scott keeps the littles for us, and we are only gone for 30 minutes.  It feels like a tremendous luxury to leave the house and indulge in something so personal, but it is helping me so very much!

He takes good care of our babies.
 The older girls and I finished The Screwtape Letters and began Pride and Prejudice.  When Nature Angel found out what we are reading, she grinned and asked to be allowed to stay up to listen. 

Who am I to say no to that? :)

I read for a full hour last night, and still the girls groaned in disappointment when I closed the book. 

Reading aloud together is one of the great highlights of my life with my children.

Today is Monday--a new week.  I think I can handle it.

I think.


  1. I love Pride and Prejudice. That first line is so great. A commonly held belief that any young single man must be in search of a wife. That just sets me up for a good day with my favorite book. (I acknowledge the paraphrase.) I'm glad you are running again. I've been walking - between 2 and three miles. I honestly dislike running. I tried to like it, I tried really hard. Your family sounds very productive and happy. Happy New Year. I'm sure the curriculum will all get taught and things will smooth out. Congratulation on your new reader. That is so awesome.

  2. In terms of being able to "handle it," it's all about making the adaptations to manage "come what may," and this post demonstrates you are good at that!


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