Monday, May 23, 2011

Pardon Our Progress

Young lady under construction here. Yes, friends, this comes with the territory on birthday number 4! It is so hard to be four.

In her defense, we did have some moments like this as well:

Thursday, May 19, 2011

What I See Across the Table Most Mornings When We Start School

Just wanted to add a visual to the previous post.

Seriously, who could resist this?

Monday, May 16, 2011

May Musings

It's been on my heart and mind a lot lately that as your children wrap up the school year, some of you may be contemplating educational choices. While I consider myself a complete novice at this, I thought I might share with you a few things I have learned about homeschooling, kids, and such. Help yourself to my opinions and do with them as you will. I'm just shooting from the hip.

1. Public school can sometimes be a good alternative to homeschooling. Does that sound backwards to you? It doesn't to me anymore. While I do not consider myself "hard core" about anything but Christ, I am pretty sold on homeschooling because I think that's how everything started. Yes, historically speaking and yes, at my house and yours. I taught Hannah and Mimi how to walk, talk, dress themselves, eat with utensils, love, share, etc. Homeschooling was a cycle I didn't want to interrupt when Hannah turned 5. Being her teacher was a privilege and blessing I didn't want delegate to anyone else just because she was getting older. I love public schools. I grew up in them and worked in one for four years. However, it's not about public schools. It's about Hannah and Mimi. And I really believe as long as they live in my house we are going to be doing some intentional homeschooling. If for some extreme reason like financial circumstances (though I believe we save a lot by not going to public school) or health I could not homeschool my kids, then I might use the option of public school.

2. You're completely capable of homeschooling. I don't care what level of education you have. You could do it. If you have a library card, you're set. If you have the internet, you probably have access to more curriculum than you could ever use. Sure, public school teachers are trained but you could learn as you do it. Half of what I learned in education classes focused on problems that aren't even a factor when you are at home (budgets, buildings, classroom managment, parent conferences, working with the administration, etc).

3. Socialization is not a problem. Seriously, now when I hear this argument I want to laugh. My kids socialize so much it's ridiculous. True, they do not spend 8 hours a day with same-aged, mixed gender peers in a small classroom with one adult. But they socialize with me, their father, and each other primarily and I like that. We typically eat three leisurely meals around our table every day. They wake up when they wake up (usually 7) and we learn. We are completely free to socialize whenever we want because we're not tied to school schedules. We're not taking the summer off because, well, the learning wouldn't stop even if we tried. They socialize with children, teenagers, adults well. They react differently to social situations but they always persevere, make friends, and learn.

4. We're learning the Bible. I mean Hannah is very solid in her knowledge for a 5 year old. She's getting the big picture and the stories are like treasures to her. She cried the last two nights because I would only read one chapter of Esther.

5. Emily is going on 2 years of school and she's 4. Woot.

6. When it doesn't work, I make changes. I can do that.

7. Today, my kids painted the fence with water, played alphabet bing and number bingo, played at the neighborhood playground, played on our playset, chased each other, made up a game about bees and pollenation completely unassisted, made homemade ice cream sandwiches (chocolate graham crackers and cool whip then freeze 'em), rode a rake and a broom like horses, watered the plants, read to me, were read to, watched tv, were tickled, picked dandelions, added to their rock collection, walked home and voluntarily made sketches about their nature discoveries, and more. And all of that before 2pm. And today I didn't actually use my curriculum or do formal homeschooling.

8. And don't be impressed. Or intimidated. Because it's not about me or you. It's about God and how gloriously he created human minds and the children he blessed us with. Given a nurturing environment, #7 is just what happens. Because I homeschool, I got to see it, taste it, and cherish it. And I like it. I'm just sayin.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Like a Herd of Elephants

I don't know how it is raising boys but with girls, well, there are days that I can feel their future teen years breathing down my neck. It resembles the approaching sound of thundering paciderms or a runaway locomotive. Today is one of those days.

There are a few things in motherhood I consider highly under-rated, one of which is dressing my children. I really feel like each morning, when I go into their closets, it's like I am 8 all over again, dragging that worn case of Barbie clothes out and lovingly searching through the small piles to find just the right thing for my dolls to wear for the day. A few months ago, I realized that Hannah, especially, would much prefer to do the selecting on her own. Sad Mommy milestone. Reluctantly, I have relented (difficult as I am --some might say-- a control freak). Today her chosen ensemble was an army green skirt with a flouncy hem, a lavendar blouse with butterflies on it, bright purple leggings, and blue flip flops. (YOU SEE? THIS IS WHY I NEED TO DO EVERYTHING MYSELF!!! REALLY, IT IS NOT A CONTROL PROBLEM!). The blouse also has a cute flouncy hem and elastic in the waist but she tucked it in to her skirt. To me, this looked ridiculous so I kindly suggested she untuck it. Torrents of tears and protests later, beleagured from WARdrobe woes, I finally say, "Hannah, just trust me. It looks better hanging out than tucked in." To which she responds, "I want to look like a princess. I don't want to look like a big Mommy!"

I. Don't. Want. To. Look. Like. Mommy. BIG. MOMMY.


Good luck with that one, my clone.

I think I am going to look at my "World's prettiest Mommy" mirror that she made me last week in Sunday school until I feel better. Lol.

Friday, May 6, 2011

I'm Back? I Think I Am.

Recently, it was brought to my attention that my blog is being missed. I will try to start afresh. I reached a point last year where I felt like the blog world was a little too rosy. I want my blog to be real. Not to say my life isn't rosy, but there are some days that things just don't work right around here. Like when small people at my house use the toilet paper to do their business and then use same said toilet paper to "clean the potty and help you, Mommy."

Well, I am going to try again. To me, real life and therefore a real blog should make you laugh and cry all at the same time. My heart has been extremely heavy this week but I want to share some truth I have learned.

This morning in my quiet time, I answered the question, "What is the most significant lesson you have learned and applied from your study of Isaiah this year through BSF?" I wanted to share it with you. God is sovereign and his perspective eternal. Before the present came to be, he foretold it. He sees the past, present, future, past past, past present, past future, future past, future present, and future future simultaneously and none of it amazes Him. Compared to His perspective, mine is skewed, limited, faulty, assumptive, and narrow. To wring my hands over even one day, one issue, one struggle is to pull all my past, future, and present into that narrow hole I peer out of every day and to miss the blessing of His vast greatness. I will always tend to reason from my own perspective and I have a Great High Priest who is sympathetic with my weakness, but I hope I will always remember to cry out to the rock that is Higher than I.

Now, if y'all will excuse me, there is a load of laundry waiting on me because the four year old woke up at 5:45 this morning smelling like a boys locker room because we neglected to put on her pullup that I wish she didn't need anymore. :) Later.