Friday, October 26, 2012

Old School Blogging

I used to blog about my day to day homeschooling journey with my family, but I got a little bit bored with that, so I quit.  I started blogging about things that seemed to be a little bit more newsworthy.  However, I have been meeting more and more friends that are new to homeschooling, and they actually ask me questions about what our day to day lives are like.  Therefore, I have been inspired to go back to my old ways of blogging.   Maybe what my readers need is some affirmation that I am, indeed, a normal mom, with a life that might not be as normal as some, but more normal than one might think.  To start us off, I will give a general detail of what has gone on with us since my last post. 

First of all, I made it through three marching contests with the local junior high school.  The first two contests were sort of a practice one for the UIL marching contest that took place last. To make a long story short, the band and twirlers were amazing.  They got a first division rating and are the only junior high band in the entire state of Texas that goes to the UIL marching contest.  What an honor to have been a part of that for this year!

Here's a detail of what many of our days are like.  First of all, I usually wake up about 7:30a.m.  This may seem late to some of your, but Princess Melody doesn't get home from her job at a local fast food place until nearly 1a.m. on many nights.  The rest of the family is usually still asleep when I wake up, except for Princess Ivana.  Ivana normally plays with me for a little while, then sits in her high chair and eats while I straighten up the kitchen and surrounding areas.  As I type amid chaos, a visitor might think that I never clean up, but it is just a never ending process around here.  To backtrack a little bit, I feed Ivana, wash any dishes that are dirty, put away clean dishes, start laundry, put away clean laundry and wander around picking up any stray trash that I find around the house.  I try to straighten up my bedroom when I first get up, but that doesn't always happen.  Breakfast and lunch are usually leftovers from the night before, or pretty much whatever anybody wants.  We have cereal, eggs, and a McDonalds down the road.  I personally LOVE to have the sausage/egg/mcmuffins in the morning, but my blood sugar doesn't always appreciate it, so we can't do that as often as I would like.  So there's the truth about the first two meals at my house.  It's food, and isn't our all consuming thought.

Usually by about 10:30a.m. we have settled down enough to get some school work done.  If I have a lot of household errands to run, then we might not get started until after lunch.  School work is for Tarja, with stories read out loud from story books of her choosing.  She finished her PreK curriculum during the summer, so now we're slowly working our way through kindergarten.  At age four, I figure that we can take our time and do short lessons each day.  If Tarja isn't feeling up to it, then we don't do a lesson.  YIKES!  Did I really say that????  You read it right.  I don't pressure my four year old into doing her school work, but I do take full advantage of days when she feels energetic and ready to learn.  Abbey and Tarja both do math on  It does the teaching (for the most part) and grading for me.  I have to work on Tarja's with her.  Abbey logs in and does hers whenever she feels like it.  She claims to not like math, but she practices for hours on ixl so I have no complaints.  I get to log into my area and see what she has worked on and how well she did, or not.  If no progress is being made, then we talk about it, but other than that, my input isn't really terribly necessary.  I love this, since math is not my thing. When Princess Tarja and Ivana settle down in the afternoon, I go over Abbey's Forestry and Wildlife Conservation course with her.  We read and do the study questions together, and then she takes a test online.  After that, I read Mere Christianity by CS Lewis out loud.  We discuss what we need to discuss from it, and then Abbey retreats to my bedroom to work on the rest of her studies.  The majority of her work is done by reading and narrating what she has read.  There isn't much to grade.  There isn't much to teach, but there is much, much, much to read.  As for Princess Melody, the better part of each day is spent at her job.  She likes to run my errands with me each morning, and I have to strongly encourage her to stay on task with her online curriculum, but she is doing very well so far.  Again, there isn't much that I can do to help or teach her.  She has to read and study the prescribed lessons on her own, but I am here to assist when needed.  One lesson learned is that online college courses aren't necessarily easier than more traditional courses.  

While all of the above is going on, I also have the challenges of keeping our financial heads afloat since I don't have a job outside the home.  I make custom crocheted items, give twirling lessons, am a ChaCha guide and have just started selling AVON.  Needless to say, my fingers and mind are usually flying from the time that I get up in the morning, until the time that I go to bed, which is well past midnight. 

Looking back over this post, I can see that it doesn't include a whole lot of things such as Abbey's archery lessons, or Melody's art work.  There's also Girl Scouts and the Sands Art Association.  There is much more to tell, so starting tomorrow, I will start back on the daily journal of our lives.  We are simple in a lot of ways and very complex in others.  We don't do things as formally as a public or private school, which seems to confuse some of the newer homeschoolers.  I don't have a real philosophy about education.  I didn't like unschooling for my princesses, but I don't like strict, rigid structure, either.  I insist that learning happens 24 hours a day, which means that the traditional school schedule means absolutely nothing to me. 

So for now, I am going to pick up something to throw in the oven for dinner, work on a few crochet orders, and answer as many ChaCha questions as I can until I can no longer keep my eyes open.

Have a Great Day!

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