Friday, August 23, 2013

Best Laid Plans and the Start of our School Year

All summer I was planning to start school this past Monday.  I worked hard to get all of our Sonlight Core into Homeschool Tracker, and got it all done.  The calendar was empty Monday, and my list had the huge holes in it indicating the time that our lessons take up.

Seems we often get colds in the summer--usually just once.  Well they hit last week.  Belle went down first.  I think she picked it up from one of the kids at the daycare.  She had it a few days, and then Saturday night, Boo came down with it.  He was quite sick Sunday, and hardly moved off the couch all day.

So we held our plans loosely.  Monday morning the kids still weren't up to much, and I felt that jumping in with both feet to a full school schedule would not get things off to a good start.  So we did our "sick" schedule.  I read History and Science to the kids while they kept company with the tissue box and trash can.  It went well, and I was able to get a bit of an idea of how long some things are going to take.

We did that schedule Monday and Tuesday.  Wednesday Belle had to work, and Thursday was the first opportunity we've had all summer to take our neighbour (who doesn't drive) to town.  She has another friend who takes her sometimes, so she isn't totally dependent on me.  But we enjoy our times together.  Belle came with us.  Boo is still not feeling 100 percent.  Today we expect to travel to see some friends.  So summer is still here, and I've decided that until the beginning of September, when work for Belle will slow down, and PS kids go back to school, we will continue with a light schedule most days.  At this point,
 next week is looking at least as busy as this one.  And the lovely weather won't last a lot longer, so best to enjoy it while we can.

I am so thankful for the flexibility of homeschooling.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Simple Woman's Daybook

It has been a crazy busy week, and today I think I just need to slow down and appreciate some simple things.  So here is my Daybook post.  And it is a repost from my other blog, so if you read that one, you've read this one.

Outside my window...I see a pale blue sky over yellow-tinted trees (yes the colours are turning already).  There is no breeze, and the forecast is promising the first really warm weather this month for next week.

I am thinking...about a lot of things--the things I have to do today, trying to start our homeschool year next week, and about living in the present.  

I am thankful...for the visit with my Dad this week.  He stayed a couple of days, played lots of games with the children and us, and really seemed to enjoy his visit.

In the kitchen...the counters are a bit cluttered, but mostly with clean things.  Chicken fricassee with mushrooms is on the menu for tomorrow.   Today will be simple meals.

I am wearing...denim capris and a t-shirt.  It is nice that we are having a bit more summer weather.  I wore jeans and fleeces earlier in the week.

I am creating...not much except lesson plans and meals this week.  But the lesson plans are done, and the meals are simpler--so hopefully I'll have the energy to stitch after the cleaning is done today.

I am the little grocery store in town, maybe as soon as it opens this morning, to get a few groceries.

I am wondering...if I can get my cleaning done quickly this morning, and have time to play this afternoon.

I am reading...books on my Kindle (when I'm not falling asleep).  Starting next week it will be back to reading good books to the children.

I am hoping...for a smooth start to our school year.  Belle has a bad cold though, and we often seem to get colds near the beginning of the year, so I'm hoping she doesn't share.

I am looking forward to...the beginning of our school routine.  It gets busy, but there is less of the "I'm not sure what I should be doing now feeling".

I am learning...that it is good to rest at times.  Belle wants to sew this year.  I am hoping that since I won't be making frequent trips away for my Mom, that I will be able to take time off the books at times and work at other skills.

Around the house...Boo's alarm clock just went off.  He will be up to check the Red Sox scores soon.  Clutter sits around, unsuspecting of the whirlwind of cleaning that will take place later this morning.

I am pondering ...creating margin, as I read in a blog post this week.  We get so busy sometimes, and scattered.  I want to be present, to be with my family, not fretting or worrying about everything I need to do.

A favourite quote for today...again from another blog post: "What we do in the worst of times determines who we are all the time."  The post was talking about the discipline of gratitude--being thankful for everything, even the difficult things.  Something to chew on.

One of my favourite things...unscheduled time.  (I like a schedule too, but I wouldn't like either thing all the time.  Balance is good.)

A few plans for the rest of the week:  Clean the house, pay bills, get ready for Sunday, and Monday, and look after my family.

A peek into my day:   

If you wish to take part in The Simple Woman's Daybook, please go here.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Things We Want to Do

As I've been plugging away at putting our Sonlight Core into Homeschool Tracker, I am struck by the feeling that summer is passing very quickly, and will soon be gone.  Lesson planning takes hours and hours of work.  But it also saves hours and hours of work during the school year, when I can simply plug the day's assignments into the plan for the day without having to enter books or type everything out.  When one is trying to school, keep up with meals, and do the laundry--in addition to all the other mundane (or not so mundane) details of daily life--it has been a sanity saver for me to have everything planned out.  But as I look at my two remaining weeks of summer, I also note that I have nine weeks of Read-Alouds to plan, and twelve weeks of History.  There is a fair amount of work left to be done.

We are hoping to start our year at around August 19.  So far I think the busiest part of this week is over (at least one can hope), so I should be able to get done with the Read-Alouds at least.  That leaves History, and Dad is coming up next week for a visit.  I know that I won't want to be spending all my time lesson-planning.  What I am going to do about that remains to be seen.

But one cannot spend all of the remaining summer break lesson planning.  So I thought I should make a list of things we still want to do.

First on the list, but not necessarily first in the matter of importance is to finish weeding the driveway.  Actually it is a job that is never really finished.  The gravel on the driveway is mostly gone, washed away by the combined effect of rain, snow-blowing, and the slightly downward slope of the driveway.  But if we can get enough done that it looks better until the snow starts, I will be happy.

Secondly, I would like to weed around the dining room window.  That is at the back of the house, and isn't really seen, but I've been gradually working around the deck and the garage this year, trying to pull out the maple trees before the forest grows.

That's the yardwork.  Another thing on my bucket list for the summer is to visit the cemetery about 25 minutes away where some of my ancestors are buried.  When considering that I grew up in five countries on two continents, and never really had a place to call home--except where we were living at the time,  I think that it is really cool that we have now lived for nearly ten years in the area in which my great great grandparents lived.  I have never been to this cemetery, although some of my siblings have.  I am sort of hoping that this is something we can do with Dad next week.

Another thing on the list is to go on at least one more bike ride with the children.  We went in the spring, but haven't even had the bikes out this summer.  It has either been simply too hot, or too wet.  And I'm not one to ride a bike down to the park, or to the grocery store.  I want to ride for fun.  This is one thing that we still may be able to do on nice evenings after we start lessons.

It would be fun to take a day to do something "touristy" in one of the nearby towns too, but I don't know if we will have time for that.  I was chatting with my daughter last night, and we had to laugh about the fact that though we travel a lot, we tend to be real homebodies when we aren't travelling.  We haven't seen a lot of our own area!  I would like to change that, but that may have to be a longer term project.

That's all I can think of at the moment.  We have had more times when we played games together or made beads together this summer.  That has been really fun.

What is left on your bucket list for summer?