Saturday, May 28, 2011

Done...and Ready for Fun

We are done with school for this year. I couldn't have better news to tell...

I love this time of year because the organized portion of the kids' schooling is complete and we can get to the real learning opportunities. We are actively involved in 4-H and have already gotten in the pigs. The chickens will be coming in a month and the fair- four months. We have a lot to do before then.

One of my favorite things to do in the summer is spend time outside. I wait for it all winter and I can barely be convinced to come inside at all. I hope that the children pick up my love for the out-of-doors. I want them to love the feel of the dirt in their feet as they plant seeds. I want them to feel the heat of the sun on their face and sweat on their brow and still love to go out in it. For that reason, I am beginning another blog soon. It is called Summer in the Garden and its focus will be on my relationship with each of the children. It has been a year since we adopted our youngest and the journey has been interesting. Unfortunately, there are times on that journey that I lost connection with everyone in order to keep walking forward. So, my focus of this summer and this particular blog is a basic relational focus. This summer I will spend time with the children- really focusing on them and their specific personalities and needs. It is a stretch for me because I am geared to be an independent and I really like the freedom. Yet, I think this is the opportunity of a lifetime for me. The boys are thirteen and home for the summer. The youngest is beginning to really settle in and understand the world around her and I am not working outside of the home.

Check it out. I should have it up and running very soon.

Looking forward to keeping that blog and developing the relationships that are the most important to me.

We went to the home school convention last week. It was very cool. The oldest two have played a major part in picking what they studied and this year was not different. They enjoyed picking their reading materials and were able to choose math, history, grammar and writing. They chose different curriculum, of course. I knew that they would because their learning styles differ so greatly. I don't mind as long as they commit. They are studying typing, novel writing and Swahili as well. It should make for an interesting year. The youngest was a bit overwhelmed by the amount of people crowded into the vendor hall. She was in a wheelchair and could not get around well. Though difficult, it was not impossible. She chose to study about knights and we found the neatest castle building kit. It is put out by Klutz and is building cards. She built a castle when she got home and started her Writing Curriculum, Draw, Write, Now. Her brothers both worked through it and enjoyed it greatly. Then I put all of the materials away and in October- we will pull them out again. Hopefully they are new to her. Every year the boys love their materials so much that they want to read them on the way home. It was no different for her.

I am looking forward to the sunshine on my face as I blog through the summer-


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Summer in the Garden

I have been diligently 'thinking' that I need to post on this blog. Is that enough?

We are nearing the tail end of our school year. I am so excited for the summer months. I know that we will relish the break. Daily, the boys seem to finish bits and pieces of their assignments. I know that they are feeling freer by the day. I am.

I am finally collecting their papers this week. Friday night by dinner time, I must have them in my hot little hand or the consequences are huge. So big I won't mention them here. I haven't really played a part in these papers other then assigning them and collecting at the end. I am trying to see where each of them are in their ability. I know that I am getting one about the history of the video game and the other about mummies. The joy of having boys...

Jacie has been working on a little different version of school. She does a puzzle or activity. Then she and I go out and work in the garden. We finish by reading books. Right now we are reading about plants and flowers. She doesn't have a lot of patience and does not understand all of the words so I am still reading her first grade books. This will change soon I think. I am trying to keep reading light and fun because she seems to not enjoy it. I want to take care of that so that she can develop a life long love of it. One thing that will help, I think, is that I am making required 'quiet time' this summer. In it she can read or sleep but no TV, video games or toys. I bet she chooses to peruse the many books on her shelf.

I am trying something a little different for the summer, I hope. I have dubbed it, "The Summer in the Garden."

All of the children will participate in outside activities (esp. gardening) on the days that we do not have other plans. We will work together and play together during the first three hours of the morning. I am hoping that it will encourage them to get their hands deep into the dirt and discover things. I am also hoping to connect with them all on a deeper level myself. I think that this is the way to do it. My oldest two are thirteen. They are still home, not working yet and I want to enjoy it. I am hoping to have a slower summer than we have had in awhile. For several years, we have had major undertakings occur through the summer months. This year we have some but none with the intensity that marked other years. The plan is that I will blog the journey of this summer. You know plans...

It is always bittersweet to see the end of a school year come because I normally think about what I should have done different but I have to admit, this year I am just looking forward to the break. I feel no guilt, just relief.

I love where I am today, I hope that you do as well.

~Camo Pants