Bucked off the Home School Horse…

These last couple of weeks I have not been a home school supermom to say the least. Our school days have been hit and miss. We have been in the three R’s survival mode– a little bit of reading, if the cereal box counts; some writing; and a couple of math sheets here and there. Life has been a little crazy to say the least. In the midst of this craziness, I found myself daydreaming about the school bus again, and the guilt is piled even higher! Can I really do this home school thing and do it well? Am I holding my child back from all the things he’s missing if he were in school? Alas, I called the local private school and even considered public school again. Until this morning. I was woken up by Miss Mae at 3:00 am and of course laid in bed afterwards wide awake praying and trying to come up with some sort of solution and direction.

For whatever reason I began thinking about a horse I had growing up. Her name was Savannah and she was an ornery old mare who was born with one eye. She was green broke, which meant that I just threw a saddle on her and away we went. She had no formal training, and neither did I. Savannah was also extremely lazy. She would not go faster than a trot unless I pushed and pushed her to go. When she finally did break into a lope, she would begin to buck rocking horse style until I would go flying through the air.

My brother and I spent most of our summer days riding horse on the trails near our house. His horse, Nick, was better trained than Savannah and was much more obedient. Nick would run. Which meant I was stuck on Savannah doing this super fast trot trying to catch up, while him and Nick would be halfway home. More often than not, I would push Savannah to catch up and then end up flying through the air and getting the wind knocked out of me. My brother would catch Savannah, bring her back to me and reluctantly I would have to get back on. Sometimes she would make it home before he would catch her. I would then have to ride home with him on Nick where I would still have to get back on Savannah.

I always had to get back on her, even though she might buck me off again, I had to get back on. I couldn’t let her win. I was in charge and she had to know that. If I chose not to get back on her that same day, the next time she would throw me sooner and her behavior would just get worse instead of better.

As I laid in bed it struck me, I had to get back on. The home school horse had bucked me off. The wind has been knocked out of me. I have to catch my breath and then I have to get back on. I may not feel like it today, or even tomorrow, but I have to get back on.

As I grew older and less afraid of Savannah, I learned how to avoid getting bucked off. Sometimes I could pull her head around and make her turn into a tight circle so she was physically unable to buck. Other times if I could keep her head up she wouldn’t be able to buck either.  I even got to the point where I could anticipate when she would buck and one time I landed with one foot on the ground, one foot in the stirrup. When she knew I was off, she quit bucking and stood still. With one quick movement I swung back up into the saddle. My rebound had gotten quicker. With experience I had learned to anticipate what was coming.

This home school horse may buck me off again, but eventually I just might figure it out. We will have days where it will feel like we are going in circles and getting nowhere. I will keep my head up and keep on moving forward, even if its only at a trot!

We Survived week 2, barely!

We have completed our 2nd week of school, just barely. I almost put my child on the bus this morning after yesterday! I can say that today was MUCH better. We stayed on task and all of us had better attitudes (after much prayer and attitude adjustment for mom).

Despite our “differences” this week we managed to have some fun learning and were able to finish some projects from last week. We learned about Jesus and what His name means. We also dug into the Old Testament together to see foretelling of Jesus coming to earth. MFW suggests that your child has their own Bible which I have been struggling with. I wasn’t sure what version to get, hardcover, softcover, cartoony, not-cartoony, etc. So many options! Needless to say I haven’t purchased one yet so we have been using mine. Well today I pulled an extra Bible off the shelf that I use mostly for cross-referencing and J-man immediately asked if it was his! He started paging through and was even eager to read it out loud with me. (The battle yesterday was refusing to read anything!) We sat on the floor of the bedroom and Miss Mae joined in readily with her Bible and we had a very sweet circle time-with no crying. It was amazing! The Word of God is so powerful!

We have also been learning about Christopher Columbus this week and life on a ship. We made ice boats to sail- the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria. We will be using air to make them sail across the Atlantic wading pool. We also experimented with air pushing paper and recorded it in our new science notebook. J-man showed some excitement for that today too, which was encouraging for me.

Aren’t they cute!

The little ones did better today too. I had them use tweezers to sort Magic Noodles into an egg carton by color and then we discovered that if you get them wet they stick together! This kept Miss Mae and Chuck busy for quite some time which allowed me to read out loud without so much noise competition.

Part of my resolve today was to move around a little more through the house and not stay in the classroom the whole time. We used the bedroom, living room, and outside to switch things up. This home schooling business sure keeps me on my toes!

My survival verse for this week: “I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Phil 3:14.

1 week down, 33 to go!

We just finished our first week of school. It feels so good to be back into a somewhat of a routine! For 2nd Grade J-man is doing Adventures in My Father’s World, The Phonics Road to Spelling and Reading, and Math-U-See. This first week we have talked about what the American Flag stands for, Leif Ericsson and the Vikings, and I attempted to begin teaching him how to tell time. That didn’t go so well. I think we have to take a step back and revisit that one.

We also talked about his name this week and what it means. My Father’s World suggests that you write your child a letter telling them why you picked their name and how special they are. It was really neat to see his eyes light up and his little heart warm while I read his letter! I can’t wait to do the same with the other punks later on, it is such a neat keepsake for them. With the name theme MFW suggested a name craft (bracelet, necklace, cookies). True to form I tweaked the directions and came up with a craft that would be useful and last longer. I  found plastic pencil boxes at Michael’s and had the kids decorate them any which way they wanted and we put their names on them with letter stickers. They turned out so cute and we can use them as long as they hold up!

We did have some rough spots this week too, I figured out that J-man absolutely checks out at 2:00. A couple of days we got started with school a little late and had to go later into the afternoon… It was quite painful for both of us to say the least! We have collectively decided that school will not go past 2:00pm. If he doesn’t get his work finished, then it will get moved to the next day. If he puts it off too much, he will have to do school on Friday (Friday is scheduled off indefinitely). I hope this will work.

Miss Mae and Chuck are sort of lost at this point still. Unfortunately so am I when it comes to keeping them constructively busy! I definitely need to come up with some more structured activities that keep them engaged. They need so much attention, I find it difficult to meet their mommy time needs! Hopefully this will get ironed out as we go on and J-man is able to do more independent work.

My goal for this first couple of weeks is to get everyone on a more regular schedule, myself included. Wake up time, chore time, School time, bedtime, etc… Here we go!

CHD and my hairbrained ideas…

For whatever reason I have always felt compelled to begin my own blog. However, I never thought of my life being interesting enough for people to want to read about it! I have decided to give it a try anyway. My head is always reeling with creative ideas and thoughts to share, so maybe if I share some of my ideas and thoughts others can put them to use!

The best place to begin is a little about myself. I am a born again Believer who is learning and growing in my walk with God everyday. I am a wife of 11 years to an amazing husband that I have been privileged to “grow up” with in the physical as well as the spiritual sense. (We got married at 18 and 21!)

Part of our growing has been having 4 precious babies together (well they are all still babies to me anyway). J-man is 7.5 yrs old, Miss Mae is 3.5 yrs, Chuck is almost 2, and Baby J is 5 months old.

We are on our 3rd year of our homeschooling journey and I am learning more everyday! This will be the first year that I won’t be pregnant or have a newborn baby to adjust to. I’m looking forward to a year having some clarity of mind… okay with 4 kids maybe not, I can dream anyway!

This is where the creativity comes in. I have CHD- creative hyperactivity disorder. This disorder causes sleepless nights, over extending oneself, over-committing, and just plain having creative expectations of myself that are absolutely unreal! In all reality though, I do thoroughly enjoy creating original projects and never follow directions without tweaking things at least a little. (I’m sure this was a thorn in my mother’s side when I was a child. Well mom, now you know where my personality brought me!) Homeschooling has been a perfect way for me to work through my CHD daily and unfortunately my children get to work through it with me too.

So this brings me to this blog. My hopes are to get more ideas/inspiration from anyone who just might read this and to share some of my own hair-brained ideas too!