Great Week

This week has been great, and as I sit here reflecting, all I can do is smile.

Monday we worked on a lot of art; the girls really like creating pictures with chalk. Then we signed up for ABCmouse, which the girls are loving.  On a non-school note, I committed to running my second 5k, we are doing the Ugly Sweater Run in November.

Tuesday morning we attended a local MOPs group, which was amazing. The girls went to their own classrooms, while I enjoyed fellowship with some wonderful moms. As much as we are loving homeschool, I think sometimes they like to learn from people other than mommy. In the evening we went to the library for a fun story time, where the girls made apple magnets. The librarian even sat and colored a rainbow apple with Beth after the class was over. While they colored, Anne and I cleaned up the room, which made for a wonderful end to the evening for all of us. I cannot say enough about the awesome staff at our library. Isn’t the apple beautiful?

rainbow apple

Wednesday we had the privilege of spending three fantastic hours with a Homeschool Co-op, which we are joining. It is an extraordinary group of families. We felt very comfortable there, because everyone is so accepting of each other; children of all ages were playing with each other, like best friends. It is the first outing that Beth was truly her social, happy self in long time, which put a happy in my heart. The only downside was when Anne let herself out of the gym to play on the equipment outside. When I realized she was not in the gym I panicked. Thankfully when I got outside one of the older boys was standing there watching her. I scolded her and explained why she is NEVER to leave the room and NEVER go outside without me. The young man said: “I was watching her, I made sure she was safe.” I thanked him, but asked that if she ever tries to leave again, he alert someone. I am thankful she was okay, and impressed that a 4th grader we just met, cared enough to make sure she was safe.

Thursday was a rough day, due to all the excitement on Tuesday and Wednesday. We went to a weekly Fall Story-time at the library, and both girls struggled through it.  Once the class was over, we came directly home, because I knew they were not up to doing anything else. They both ended up taking naps, which is highly unusual for Beth, but her system needed some extra down-time to process everything. Thankfully, the girls were in great moods after naps, play time, and dinner; and so we started our school “day” at 6pm.  Class lasted about two-and-half hours, and was wonderful.

Today, Henry took off work so we could take the girls to a Special Needs event at a local pumpkin patch. The girls did really well in class, even with being excited to have daddy in school with them. After a successful school day, we headed to the pumpkin patch, where great fun was had by all. Their favorite part was panning, where they collected many unique sea-shells and a lump of “gold.” Unfortunately, there was no playground there, so before heading home, we stopped at McDonald’s play-land to run off the last of their energy. Between the pumpkin patch and McDonalds, they came home with some good loot.

pumpkin patch

Although it was a great week overall, it was honestly too much for the girls, especially Beth. I have decided that going forward we will only be doing MOPs and the Co-op, because those are the two places we are happiest and most comfortable. As a good friend reminded me, often times less is more.

 

Have a blessed day everyone, and don’t forget to smile. ♥

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#ILoveYouChallenge

A mother in one of my homeschool groups shared the post below, by this morning and it got me thinking.

http://www.thebettermom.com/2014/09/17/secret-grateful-mom-threesecondchallenge/

When the girls went to public school, I cherished the alone time,and waited until it was time for the bus, time for nap, time for bed, etc…   I had gotten swept up in the “I Deserve” whirlwind, and was “Waiting Away” my children to have as much alone time as possible. I thought I longed for that alone time to be a better mom. I was wrong!

Now that we are homeschooling, I find that I am no longer “Waiting Away Our Children’s Existence.” My children are a blessing, and even on our bad days, we learn so much from each other. Although, I never saw myself as homeschool mom, I am so thankful that God showed me it was the right path for us. I cherish the time we have together, and after five years, I am finally feeling like I am the mom they deserve. I can only pray that they feel the love and respect I have for them, in all that we do.

Read the article above, and if it speaks to you the way it spoke to me, take the challenge:

Take THREE seconds just to breathe in, and then out, before responding–before sighing in exasperation or responding with an edge to your voice–whisper “I love you.”

 

Have a blessed day everyone, and don’t forget to smile. ♥

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Small Victory

A good friend of mine is having surgery this evening. She should have gone in by 2pm, but she did not get in until around 6pm. They were told the surgery should take between 3 and 4 hours. We are now at 5 hours and counting. I am a nervous wreck, and cannot tear myself away from the computer waiting for news.

Unfortunately, today was the day; the day I recommitted to my Healthy Journey, and said enough backsliding. I have gained back 6lbs since August 11th and am having GI issues again. I am noticing my lack of mobility with the girls, and that is not acceptable to me, or them.

It is a rough day to be getting back on track, but I made a commitment to myself. So, instead of drowning my stress in chocolate ice-cream, which is exactly what I would have done yesterday, I worked them out with Leslie Sansone.

Now back to praying, and waiting…

 

Have a blessed day everyone, and don’t forget to smile. ♥

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We Just Want To Play

This afternoon, our school day started to spiral downward at an alarming rate. I had the girls sit at the table with their heads down, while I took a few deep breaths in the kitchen. Instead of yelling, and assuming they were just being bad, I decided to find out the cause of their behavior. After our break, I asked them why they were fighting instead of doing their yoga. Beth answered: “Because we want to play.”

Well, how can you argue with that? We had finished everything on our schedule except for Art, Games and Chores; therefore I told them to go play. I set the timer, and said when that went off it would be time for school again. They were playing so well together, I extended the timer three times before we started on our art projects.

Yet again my girls reminded me that we don’t need to adhere to such a strict schedule. After all, the whole point of homeschooling is to allow them to learn on their terms. Part of the equation for success is respecting them, their opinions and their needs/wishes. When I force a schedule down their throat we are all cranky, and don’t really accomplish anything. When we slow down and do activities in their time, we have a happy and productive day. So what if my two hours of planned activities takes eight hours to finish? That is eight hours without the TV on, with us mostly playing and learning the best way (together having fun).

On a side-note, we signed up for ABCmouse today. They both loved making their avatars, choosing pets for their classroom, and earning tickets for each activity. Beth is slightly more proficient in using the mouse, but overall, they both need a lot of work on computer skills. This will help them with computer skills and turn taking; it will also be a great supplement to our curriculum. They will each get ten minutes to work, then switch with their sister, for two turns. Once they can work independently on the site, I will do an activity with the one not on the computer; which should avoid fighting over the laptop, and give more one-on-one-time to each girl. If they complete all their school-work and chores, they can earn an extra turn at the end of the day, so they can play with Daddy. Now, I just have t figure out how to stop them from spending all their tickets in the store. 😉

We are only starting our third week of homeschool, but I have to say it is one of the best decisions we ever made.

Have a blessed day everyone, and don’t forget to smile. ♥

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Should Have Known

We had a really ROUGH day on Friday. Aside from Occupational Therapy for Anne, we ended up scrapping the entire school day. I suppose you could say we took an emergency institute day. 😉

Friday evening, as I listened to Beth struggling to breath normally, our rough day started to make sense. Whenever Beth is sick, she is “off” and VERY meltdown prone; because her sensory system is trying to deal with the illness, and it makes her self-regulation much more difficult. Excessive meltdowns are typically our first sign of illness, and always send me into high alert. My current cause of terror is the respiratory virus hitting the midwest.

At 5 years old, Beth has spent more time in the hospital than I have in my 38 years. Thankfully, I have learned to notice the signs and can usually catch the illnesses before we get to the hospital stage, but I am always preparing for our next trip to the ER. We are blessed to have found a good combination of supplements, which typically help her immune system stay strong. We have not had an illness related hospitalization in almost two years (knock on wood), and I pray that we can keep it that way.

Yesterday when she woke up, she told me her throat did not feel good. She kept clearing her throat and I could tell it was really bothering her. A few hours later, my throat felt like it was on fire and it hurt to swallow. Beth appears to have a much higher pain tolerance than I do, but if she was feeling half as horrible as I was, then I knew ibuprofen was not going to be enough. So off to Walmart I went to get us both some cold medicine.

Last night, I introduced her to my mom’s secret weapon for sore throats. I rubbed her neck in with vapor-rub and wrapped one of Henry’s socks around her neck before bed. I am close to 40yrs old, and still wear one my Dad’s socks with vicks every time I have a sore throat. We are both feeling much better today, but our socks are hanging in the bathroom waiting to be used again this evening.

Anne is also congested today, so I will be trying the magic sock with her. Hopefully she will think that “matching magic socks” are as cool as Beth thinks they are. Although, in all honesty, I doubt she will let me put it on and/or wear it for long.

While it is possible for all of us to have picked up a virus in our travels; I am hoping that since Beth and I seem to have recovered quickly, it is simply allergies and we will be healthy for all our outings this week. My girls LOVE to be out and about socializing with everyone; but I will not bring them out if they are ill, because we firmly believe in keeping our germs to ourselves. I suppose we will just have to see what tomorrow brings, and take it One Day At A Time.

 

Have a blessed day everyone, and don’t forget to smile. ♥

 

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Socialization

It has only been six weeks since we made the decision to homeschool; however, I am already tired of the questions about Socialization. Truth be told, we are more social now, that we are not attending public school, because we have the flexibility to attend events that were never an option due to school hours.

Last night, Beth attended a “pajama story time” with Henry, which would not have been an option if she had to get up at 6:30am for school. This morning we went to a dance party, and will be starting a regular story time next week that will meet until Thanksgiving. These are just the activities at the library; we also have our classes (dance, swim and young athletes) with the Special Needs Recreation Association starting soon. Not to mention the Home-school Co-op we are joining.

All of the above activities are meant for the girls to interact with children in their age range; however, that is just a small part of socialization. We also go shopping, visit the library staff, walk to the post office, and are starting to take trips to places where we can spend time with older people.

One thing I see lacking in many children today is respect for their elders, which makes me sad. Each generation that came before us, has a unique perspective on life, that should be cherished.  I was an only child, who spent a lot of time with my elders. I used to think I missed out on childhood, but I realize now that I learned invaluable lessons about life and all its intricacies, from the older people I was blessed to hang out with.

Today, while shopping with my mother-in-law, we were complimented on how polite the girls were. Although they are young, they can carry on a conversation with employees at stores, restaurants, etc… They are also getting quite good at saying “excuse me” and “thank you” when they pass someone in the store. When we pay our bill, they say “thank you” and usually remember to say “have a nice day” without being reminded.

Perhaps, I will just print out cards that say:

Please do not worry about our socialization.  We teach them to be kind, compassionate, respectful members of society; simply by taking them out in public and acting the way we would like to be treated. We lead by example, and are proud of our children’s social skills with people of all ages.

 

Have a blessed day everyone, and don’t forget to smile. ♥

 

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Serenity Spectrum is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Let It Go

It is hard to believe that we are in the middle of the week already. This week seems like a blur of good , bad and a LOT of in between. As a Stay-At-Home-Mom, I am used to my children fighting. Although, as an only child, I must admit that most of it completely baffles me.

Yesterday was a rough day for us, and finally in the afternoon I had to give up and say we will try again tomorrow. I talked to a few homeschool friends about it, and they knew exactly what was wrong; I keep thinking of homeschool like public-school. I have this preconceived notion from my teaching days, and am trying to make that happen here. In order for us to be successful, I have to Let It Go.

Let It Go

While I felt as though I was pretty relaxed about our school days, I realized that I have a long way to go before I am where I thought I was.  We are homeschooling to help the girls learn in the best way for them.  In order for that to happen, I need to stop trying to control everything, and let them lead the way. Yes, we will need to cover certain subjects, but there are countless ways to learn things.

Going forward, I have to stick to my plan of having an outline for the day, but letting the girls lead the way from point A to point B. They make awesome teachers, and I must remember that. Tomorrow is a new day, and the possibilities are endless.

Have a blessed day everyone, and don’t forget to smile. ♥

 

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Serenity Spectrum is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.