Monday, August 29, 2011

Excuses, Excuses

I suck, I know. I'm the worst blogger ever. I just haven't had the time or the inspiration to write much lately. Summer's been such a blast with the kids that we've just been using all our time enjoying life. Silly me. ;)
And now with school starting next week, who knows when I'll find the time to pop in and write, but I promise I'll try, really I will. Even if it's just to update what we're up to with school. So here's the scoop on us lately: the kids are great... all three have taken to the water this summer like little ducklings, whether it's in the pool or at the lake. And our friends and church buddies must think we've been kidnapped after not seeing us much of the summer, but really, who can resist camping when we do it in such glamorous style (really, we call it "glamping"... you can't call it camping when you have a/c, cable, and hot water on demand, and you do nothing but lay around on a floaty in the middle of the lake all day whilst children whoop with glee and swim endlessly around you).
When we weren't at the lake, we've been either frolicking in the sprinklers out back, splashing in friends' pools, or at the zoo. This is the life.
And now school is ramping up, and though I can't say I'm stoked, I am looking forward to it. This year, in addition to learning at home, the kids are in preschool/kindergarten classes at Grace Academy, a lovely local co-op we discovered last year, and I and my good buddy Lamanda will be teaching the girls' class of romping, stomping 5 year olds. I'll be teaching more of the "Five in a Row" curriculum at home, and supplementing with Math-U-See and reading instruction. Sarah starts 2nd Grade Hooked on Phonics, while Hannah is working on improving her phonemic awareness skills and simple sight word recognition with some kindergarten level readers thrown in. Sarah just sails thru reading and math instruction, while Hannah seems to have a slower pace, but that's just the beauty of homeschooling them, no pressure. I want Hannah to develop a LOVE for reading, at the pace that's developmentally right for her, while not holding Sarah back from her voracious appetite for devouring books whenever they're given to her. I'd also love to start adding in a little Spanish here and there, but I'm not sure where to begin there, so that's a work in progress... for now, Dora, Diego, your my team. Don't let me down.
And many folks have asked what I'm doing with Caleb all this time. I plan on sticking him in the closet on a coathook while I teach, just to keep him out of the way.
Ok, well, while we're not doing anything formal during school time for him, I am going to encourage him to join us at the table whenever he desires for storytime, crafting, songs, etc. If he's interested, great. If not, that's ok too. I'll keep working informally on getting him to know his colors, shapes, and letter/numbers (Gah! He's so close on his colors and shapes, and just when I think he's got it, he yells, "TRIANGLE!" when I ask him what color grass is... I think at this point he must be messing with me). And when he's not working, my little buddy does just great playing with his toys nearby, smashing and crashing about and destroying the room while we work at the table. During breaks, he gets lots of Mommy time, too, for stories, cuddles, snacks, or whatever else he might want. It's a rough life that boy has, I tell ya.
The cool thing for us, though, is P.E. includes frolicking in the sprinkler while it's still warm out, riding bikes around the block, and chasing after each other in hide and seek. Field trips are whenever and wherever we want, with no stupid permission slips needed. And when we're all just feelin' funky, skip it, it's kindergarten and they need to be outside playing and learning about life more than they need to be filling out worksheets and answering rote questions. I'm in seventh heaven at home teaching these kids, even if they drive me batty on a frequent and consistent basis. Friends always say, "Good for you, I'd never be patient enough to teach my kids." I hope someday I'll be patient enough, too, but for now I'm just covering us in prayer and hoping God guides them more than I do, because if this blog proves one thing, it's that I could work a bit on the "patience" dept. And the "not cursing" dept. But I got the "shower your kids with love and teach them about grace and maybe some worldly stuff along the way," dept. covered. ;)

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