Introduction to Homeschooling

June 6, 2014 § Leave a comment

So most people who know me know that Chris and I really have a heart to teach our kids and be the main influence in their lives. We want to protect them from the liberal agenda of public schools and protect their innocence. We want to reach their hearts and build something really super special here at home and have the freedom and flexibility to learn at our own pace and go new places and have fun together……

But for the sake of being real, let me just tell you……..

This week I started our reading program.

After going to the homeschool conference this past April with Chris we were very impressed and excited about a program called The Logic of English which is a phonics based program that teaches above and beyond what we had looked into previously….. I was going to just wait to start in the fall, but I was craving a little bit of structure and wanting to jump in and get started on our homeschool journey…. and felt that Dante could stand to sit with me for 20 minutes, thereabouts, 5 days a week and go through the lessons with me. “No pressure”, I thought to myself, “if he really hates doing it now we can always just give it a little bit more time”. Even then I didn’t jump right in… until we were outside one day and he was asking me to write the names of the animals he was drawing with chalk on the driveway and I sounded out each letter as I wrote it and he exclaimed, “wow, mom, I really want to learn!”. Encouraging, right???

Well it turns out that my Dante is a very fidgety, impatient, loves-to-constantly-be-making-noise kind of four year old boy! Shocking!…. Not really. The first few lessons are actually quite simple and just involve a little bit of scripted discussion about sound awareness and your voice box and nasal sounds. Well what-a-ya-know I asked Dante what a nasal sound was after having discussed it a few times (a nasal sound is a letter sound made by blowing air out of your nose, not your mouth /m/ /n/ /ng/) and his answer was this confusing circular riddle about writing a letter or some such 4 year old boy silliness. I tried to make the best of it and praised him and agreed that our brain DOES send a message to our mouth to say that sound. Naturally he was irritated with my contortion of his answer and the whole thing ended in tears. Oh yes. The tears were mine.

THEN we got to the last bit of the lesson which involved a game suited perfectly for my child involving sitting down and jumping up and moving around when he heard the correct sound and it was great and he was learning and it got him excited about it and he wanted to show his brother! If only I had looked ahead so that I could see that there would be a shining light at the end of the tunnel.

So needless to say I will be looking ahead each day before I dive into our lessons to prepare myself for what I know will be a struggle and what I know he will enjoy, and try to think of fun things to add to the lesson or to get us moving to make it more enjoyable for him.

Both of us are learning and I don’t know if it’s a first-born Type A kind of control thing but I hate feeling like I’ve failed or that my experience isn’t as amazing as I imagined it would be. I have to really prepare my heart for these types of situations and in the case of teaching my child how to read………………….. I think I need to pray. Ha! It was the same approach I took when I toilet trained our first. I had to give myself a legit pep talk about sticking with it no matter what and letting things go and not expecting perfect results right away and we actually did really amazing if I do say so myself. *The second time around I did NOT give myself the talk and when it took three weeks for our son to figure out that he not only was supposed to pee but also POOP on the toilet I really had a hard time… go ahead and laugh*

So what’s the checklist again? Read ahead…. and always monologue it up. Because we first borns have a hard time accepting anything but perfection.

This isn’t going to be an easy road but I wholeheartedly want to come out on the other side of this thing triumphant… not for me… for him! My baby boy is going to learn how to read! That’s super exciting! And you know what? If it becomes clear to me that it’s just too early, then I will stop and we’ll revisit learning to read in the future. But I can already see myself – at some point – sitting by, listening to my son read to me and holding dear to my heart the knowledge that we accomplished that together.

Bleh….

June 4, 2014 § Leave a comment

So about 4 more weeks to go. Hopefully no more than that. I think this past week may have been the tipping point in my pregnancy… I crossed the line to the dark side where everything is just hard and tiresome and I want to be done. I JUST emailed a friend about how time was just flying by and about how I hadn’t reached the “I want to die” stage yet. Boo

I think getting back on a good eating track would help tremendously. It seems as if every other day for the past SEVERAL weeks there has been some special gathering with all the kinds of food I don’t want to eat or the boys have come home from grammy’s laden with treats or we go to dinner at a family or friends house and burgers and dogs… and other cookout-related food are being served and I have been in a cray cray food slump. I’ll tell ya I was feeling GOOD and losing weight and now I’m finding it hard to make the right decisions again. Today I ate a bag – an entire bag – of goldfish crackers instead of taking the time to cut up veggies and fruit and make a smoothie and I hate how I feel.

*Dramatic Sigh*…… sooo my body seems double depleted of nutrition and now on top of that it seems as though the pin has popped on this bird.

That being said it still feels like time is flying by. I’ve done this 3 times, now, and my delivery day is going to creep right up on me and then whadayaknow I’ll be in labor and simultaneously thinking about 1) how much pain I’m in 2) the silver lining that is the baby trying to come out of me 3) how thankful I am that the day has finally come 4) how I wish I could have one more day of regular pregnancy pain instead of this torture.

So  there. I’m not complaining. Just putting it out there. I’m tired and achy.

But I’m so thankful for the arrival of summer!!!

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It makes such a difference to be able to get outside. I didn’t feel as though I had a very long or stuffy winter indoors but now it’s like….. “how soon can we get out of this house?!”

We enjoyed our first visit to a park a few days ago. It was enjoyable because we and our group of friends were the only ones there. Going to the park was fun when we had one, and alright when we had two, but between trying to keep three kids in my sights – because you better believe that Leonardo wants to follow his brothers’ lead – AND making sure that none of the other kids on the playground are getting too friendly (or not) and pulling on Dante’s prosthesis, I’m quite content to play in our own backyard, thank you very much!

There’s another thing I’m  thankful for: a big backyard! We’ve even got a fancy swing set going up – thanks mom, dad, and nana! Even without the outdoor toys, the boys really enjoy digging and climbing and picking things up and putting things down and finding creep crawlies. Seriously Dante just picks up LIVE spiders like it’s okay.

They need baths every day before nap time. Little boys covered in dirt + water = stinky. The smell is close to that of a wet dog. But oh do they take a good nap!

So I will do my best to enjoy and make it through the month of June with style and grace. I AM carrying a precious gift around as it happens!

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