Friday, January 4, 2013

Homeschool Mother's Journal, First Week in 2013

In my life this week…

I am all about blessings and baby steps. 

Refocusing on the blessings of great moments, recognizing blessings in challenging moments and sharing blessings at all moment. 

That and making baby steps towards living my ideal vision for life more authentically.  In other words, I have been stopping countless times a day to ask myself, "What could I do or say right now to live my call and bring the ideal closer to becoming the real?"  Then, I act on the answer.

So far, so good.  The approach allows me to get distracted, make mistakes and be the very human human I am, while still allowing me ample opportunities to simply pause, reset and move on to better choices and thoughts.  It's a forgiving, relaxed and encouraging approach that I hope to continue abiding by.

Believe it or not, writing this post is actually abiding by it.  I have long wanted to be better about recording the simple ins and outs of our weeks, thus, keeping better records for homeschooling as well as for personal reflection.  Since the kiddoes are content right now, I have seized the opportunity to take a baby step toward weekly written records.  Hoorah!

In our homeschool this week…

We revamped our morning circle time, got back into doing our weather tree, began a more formal "Daily Five" reading time, enjoyed many read alouds, practiced hospitality by welcoming friends to the house, made and played with yellow glitter playdough as a part of Epiphany studies, raced down hills with sleds for P.E., did some informal assessments for Math and Language Arts, joined other homeschoolers for an enjoyable First Friday celebration of Mass, fellowship and fun... In other words, we lived, loved and learned together in balance with the rest of life.

Helpful homeschooling tip to share…

Someone must have told Santa that I have gotten Home Learning Year by Year: How to Design a Homeschool Curriculum from Preschool Through High School out from the library at least ten times in the past five years, because he brought me my own copy.  If you've never read this resource, I cannot recommend it enough.  I consult it both for homeschooling and for tutoring.   I truly feel it belongs on every homeschoolers read and research list.

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…

After being sick for the week before Christmas, I have been reluctant to bring the kids out and about where there recovering immune systems might catch a new bug.  Thus, we've been in more than out for the past couple weeks, but that hardly means we've been homebound.  In fact, as I think about the past week, I am surprised just how often we were out!

Sledding on Sunday.  Partying with family for New Year's Eve on Monday.  Mass with impromptu play outdoors with friends afterward on Tuesday.  Drama Kids on Thursday.  And, First Friday homeschool fun today.  It's no wonder I am feeling a bit tired now...

My favorite thing this week was…

A toss up.  

New Year's Eve was a great night for the kids.  They were all so good at our family party.  They made decent food choices, played games pleasantly with their cousins and rang in the New Year with smiles as they shot off scads of confetti and silly string.  It was so good to drive home without groaning about how the kids had behaved this year.

But, perhaps even better is this moment.  It is nearly four o'clock, yet all three of the children are playing cooperatively together.  In light of the fact that usually by this time of day, they are spent and require much redirection, this moment is a victorious one.  Add in that two days ago at this time of day I may have given my children away to the first person who came to my door, and the simple reality that my children are playing peacefully together is even more miraculous.  You see, for two days after New year's Eve, their behavior was r-o-t-t-e-n.  I knew it was because they were overtired still, but that didn't make it any easier to deal with.  So, I appreciate the kids current demeanor all the more.

If every afternoon could be as peaceful as this one is, I would be a very happy, reflective and,even, productive mama.  (But, I won't count my chickens...) 

My kiddos favorite thing this week was…

"Playing light sabers!"  Nina just said, because she is thrilled that they have finally earned the privilege of using theirs again today after weeks of the lightsabers being hidden in Mike and my closet.

"What we did today, everything except for the Mass," said Luke with his usual candor.  He thoroughly enjoyed games, a video and fellowship for First Friday as well as playing with his siblings at home today.  If only he'd start appreciating Mass.

"Watching movies," said Jack.  We've done a lot of video watching lately.  It's uncharacteristic of us, but before Christmas, when everyone was sick, I savored the quiet ease of video time and we have allowed a little bit of that to continue, much to the kids' pleasure!

Things I’m working on…

Circle time plans.  Epiphany lessons.  Blog drafts.  Home organization.  Healthy eating.  Balanced living.  Daily five reading time.  Morning Basket retreat time...My list could go on and on.  I have baby steps going in many directions, but, most importantly, all forward!
I’m cooking…

Whatever I can from the foods we already have on hand in the house as I put off grocery shopping and think about how to best move us to eating more and more raw and living foods. I also am keeping a diary of what we eat this week, beginning to work on a Family Eats binder that includes "accepted" recipes.

I’m grateful for…

New beginnings.  Not just new year beginnings, but new day, new hour, new moment ones.   The more present I am, the more grateful I become. 

 I’m praying for…

Many things, but ask others to join me in prayers for the recovery of a friend who just had a mastectomy, the health of my newborn grandnephew who arrived weeks early and that of a family friend's newborn daughter who did the same and the strength of a family I know whose mother/grandmother became ill on Christmas Day and required an emergency surgery.

I also ask others to join me in thankfulness for every new beginning and for faith to choose Him when making what seem like everyday choices.  

A photo to share... 

... will have to wait for next time, because uploading photos to my computer, resizing them to upload to the blog and then getting them onto the blog is such a tedious and time-consuming process that it deters me from finishing posts.  While I know everyone likes a photo (myself included!), too often, I fail to post something because I have not got the photo(s) that go with it ready to go.

Not today.

I am just going to excuse myself from the photo and hit "publish".

Might I also ask other bloggers to share their favorite equipment, programs, platforms, strategies and tips for easing the process of posting pics?  I'd so appreciate comments about these.  Thanks in advance.

Please note: Links to Amazon within this post and others are affiliate ones. Should you choose to click through one to make an Amazon purchase, we may receive a small percentage of the sale. This does not cost you anything, but is a choice we thank you for making. Anything we  make here goes straight back into training up our children and to much of what we share with you here. Thank you!

This post is being shared at Homeschool Mother's Journal.


Beth said...

I should re-read Learning Year by Year.

For pictures I use You just upload your photos, pick the size and it creates a html code that you can copy and paste into your html portion of your post. It also has quite a bit of storage for free.

Savannah @ HammockTracks said...

Home Learning Year by Year sounds very interesting. I may have to check this one out. Stopping by from ihomeschool network.


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