Thursday, August 23, 2012

First trimester coping: Recovering

     I'm over it, I'm over it.... Finally! I can brush my teeth, change a diaper, take out garbage without gagging! I've let go and survived. Now I need to recover. Not just me, but the house. For three months a lot of things have been neglected and now it is time to get those things back into shape. My gratefulness for all the help my husband gives in never ceasing, but lets face it... his clean isnt the same as my clean. I dont know many men who have the same deffinition as clean as their wives do. I've learned to accept it. 

     Well those areas still need some TLC from me. One example is the girls room... There is clothes in the drawers that B hasnt worn in months that some how ended up back into the dresser... I cant tell you the last time the fridge was wiped out... the list goes on. 

    My goal is to tackle one or two items on the list a week. Call them my Focus Areas for the week, but the challenging part is getting those things done while teaching lessons as well. Not impossible, just takes a little more effort. And that comes through Christ. I can do all things through Him, who gives me strength! So take it one day at a time. One thing at a time. One prayer at a time. 

     Get overwhelmed with the long list? Just write one thing down ;). When that task is done... make a new list, maybe with two things... Build into it. No need getting stressed and worked up over chores. This is a blessed time in our lives and I want to show God how much I love Him by worshiping him through the care I take with the things He has given me.

     I am happy to be over that season. I'm happier God has taught me a lesson(s) to go with it. I am not sure exactly what the next season will be for me but you can expect a lesson to be learned from it. Well, recovery seems simple...It is really, just doing one things at a time. In time the house will be in order again. At least at this point we can have guest over and not be completely embarrassed.  :) God bless you all in whatever season you are in!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Let the Learning Continue!

     Does learning ever stop for winter, spring, summer breaks? In our house, no, but we do not do "school" all year, that's whats fun about tomorrow!

Our first day of ' not going to' school-sort of :)

This year I have simplified things a lot since I will be having a baby half way through the year, but in no way is this reduction lacking in the rich world of learning. 

Three days a week, three hours a day, Hayden will be going to a special speech school. I am hesitant to send him to 'school' but look forward to the help in his speech development. It also gives me 3 hours of uninterrupted time with Skylar, little sister allowing. :)

Those three days Hayden is at speech school will be Skylar's formal school days. The other two days will be  full of fun games and field trips ( related to what we are learning) , where Hayden will be included as well. Our first field trip will be in six days to SeaLife Aquarium with a lot of our home school friends! We cannot wait!!!

This year's curriculum is inspired by a book my wonderful sister in law, Cheryn, bought for me, called The Well Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise. It is very full of helpful tips and resources for whatever aged homeschooler you have. I picked through the resources and their suggestions and put this together for this year:

-Studies on creation, Fruits of the spirit, memory verses, and Kids of Character by Marilyn Boyer

-The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading by Jessie Wise and Sara Buffington
-Explode the Code book 1 by Nancy Hall and Rena Price
-Bob Books, set of 12 CVC books in progressing difficulty with increasing amounts of sight words by Bobby Lynn Maslen

-Hand Writing Without Tears, Letters and Numbers for Me

-Pattern blocks with pattern cards, counting bead, strawberry counting game from

-The Usborne Book of Science Activities Vol. II, Air, in the kitchen, and with plants 

Supplement Learning and Fun

Our reading list
-Bob Books

Junior Classics for Young Readers ( these may be too old for her, but I want to start a love of reading early)
-The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
-Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
-Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting
-The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
-The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
-Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll

Fast Fact books
-Declaration of Independence
-The Presidents of the United States
-50 Great States

Games and Flash Cards
-Alphabet and Math Bingo
-Alphabet flash cards
-Sigh word flash cards
-Math flash cards
-Math fishing
-Dry erase math workbook

Arts and Crafts
-Lots of painting, gluing, play dough, corn meal drawing, sewing, and other various crafts. 

We will also be doing "Unit studies" on the subject of the month. For example, August is Ocean since we are going to SeaLife, September will be on patriotism, October is Halloween( and why we have fun getting candy, but don't celebrate it), January will be about babies since I am due January 30th, etc, etc. 

Hayden will do basic color, shape, number, and alphabet recognition the 2 days he is home in the AM

I look forward to this year. I see lots of learning and fun, not only for them, but for me as well. I feel lead by God so I know he is with me through this. We may have some rough patches, especially in the beginning and when the baby arrives, but God will see us through with lots of lessons learned all around. I look forward to hearing about what others are doing this year for their students. God Bless this school year.

Monday, August 6, 2012

First Trimester Coping: Surviving

      The end of this season is almost here. Little by little I am able to do more. Only a couple of things set off the nausea. I look forward to feeling better and really overcoming the monster of a house with little children, but in the mean time here is my survival guide.

     I seem to have the most energy right when I wake up and I catch a second wind right after the kids are in bed at night. I am pretty much useless all the rest of the day. So in order to keep clean clothes in the house I start a load of laundry first thing in the morning. Our clothes closet has become the love seat this pregnancy so far, but clean clothes folded at least is better than dirty clothes. At this time I also make breakfast, eat, and clean up the kitchen, by this time the washer is finished and I switch loads. Now I run upstairs and do my Morning Chores. It really only takes me 20-30 mins to tidy the entire upstairs( 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, I also keep all other rooms locked I do not want the kids in).  Laundry is ready to switch. Now I have a couple loads done and ready to fold.  Once I fold a couple loads, taking maybe 10 mins, I sit.... lay... whatever, because I am now ready for a nap.

     After I have regained a little stamina I double check my Morning Chores chores... Once that's done I lock the doors so they stay tidy.   After my double check I make snack for everyone. After snack it is time to start work on the Daily Focus Area... I have assinged days of the week to rooms in the house. Monday is Kitchen/Dinning room day. This is the day where I clean cabinets off, clean out fridge. make sure the sink is clean, sweep and mop the floor(needs to be done here twice a week), etc until the whole area is cleaned. Tuesday is Living/Laundry room day. Again same idea, this time I attempt to put the clothes away... By doing a couple quick tidy ups and focus cleaning on one specific room no one room is a disaster( unless its the playroom, I have all but given up on that right now). Rest often, like every 10 mins! Wednesdays are generally floor days. Mopping is very straining for me so dont be surprised if I just spot mopped. Thursdays are laundry days. Beds stripped and washed. Catch up on any laundry hanging around. Fridays are free days as of right now. This day I just try to look around as see what hasnt been done and work on that... Maybe a closet needs to be cleaned out or switching summer and winter clothes, etc. Saturday is bathroom day. I have three full baths that get dirty in a hurry even with general cleaning everyday. Sunday is the Lord's day. No hard labor on this day.

     As of right now I am still taking a nap with the kids and doing my Afternoon Chores when nap time is over. This is the down stairs tidy. I start in the kitchen where I just made the kids snack. Then I work my way around just tidying and getting ready to welcome daddy home. I try very hard to have it all done before he gets home but sometimes our nap time isnt over until 4pm or so and he usually gets home at 5pm. The downstairs is way messier than the upstairs and it takes me a lot more time to get it tidy. Generally 15 mins a room.

So that was the long version :). Here is the shorter version...

Wake and start a load of laundry
make BK and eat and tidy up BK mess
Upstairs Tidy or Morning Chores
Focus Area( time to complete varries, if I finish fast then I work on blog stuff or work on school stuff)
Make Lunch, eat, tidy up lunch
NAP TIME( my favorite time of day!)
wake, make snack, tidy snack
Downstairs chores or Afternoon chores
Daddy Home!
Dinner Time( I try to pick easy meals that require as little prep as possible. I love cooking on the grill for this reason.) 

This is my summer schedule and it will be changing this week to allow for school time. 

School Schedule will look something like this:

Wake and make, eat, and tidy BK
Get Hayden ready for speech therapy... He will be going on a little bus to a "preschool" designed for children with delays. ( I see this as a blessing in disguise this year seeing as I will be having a baby in the winter.)
Quickly do my morning chores
Lessons with Skylar
Lunch and Hayden home
Then the rest of the afternoon will be the same as the Summer Schedule. 

     Some may be wondering where my personal time is in all this. During my rest times I will read my bible or other book, listen to worship songs, and cuddle time with the children. I try very hard to get my heart and my head in the right place for the day, of course some days are more difficult than others. I know this looks ridged, but its really not. There is plenty of room for flexibility especially if I keep things tidy... the next day is always easier. This is just my survival guide, yours may look completely different. I took a lot of these ideas from a great book called Large Family Logistics. I love this book! I am writing a review on it and it will be up sometime this fall :) I hope you can take some of these ideas and use them if you are in this season of life as well. Until the next time. God Bless.