Friday, October 23, 2009

We've Come a Long Way Baby.....

Wow....I can't believe we've been home almost 4 months now with Big and Little S. You can definitely say the "honeymoon" period is over, but thankfully, almost all of us have settled into a new "normal." A lot has transpired over the last month, so bear with me as I catch you up.

Last week, I pulled both of my children out of Public School. The decision to homeschool Big S did not come lightly. I felt compelled over the past few months to do a lot of research and I've been quite in posting because a lot of my time has been spent doing research and praying for wisdom and guidance from God. Never have I felt so unprepared for anything as I do homeschooling. Yet, I've found that God has been gently guiding me along the way, placing people in my path that have shared with me their homeschooling journeys, curriculums and philosopies. I learned, hello, what a concept, that homeschooling does not have to be rigid and formal. And during all that research, a particular philosophy clicked with me and I realized that "yes, I can do it!" I really believe finding the right homeschooling philosophy that you can embrace is the first key to success. Notice that this is from a HS novice!!!

As we are finishing up our first week of HSing Big S, I can honestly tell you that the first day was really rough. The first few hours I was ready to throw the towel in and enroll him back in school.....ANY SCHOOL. But I perservered and what do you know, a peace has come over me. We still struggle over "seat work" (took me until yesterday to figure out what that meant -- for those of you that don't's the work they do sitting in a chair: Language Arts, Handwriting (not his favorite subject!), and copywork, usually a Bible verse, and finally, story writing. The fun stuff for him is Math, readalouds and Bible! And I can't forget, being outside. All of us LOVE being outside.

So, what's hard about homeschooling? Hmmm....well, all of it. For me, I think the hard part is juggling the two girls and the interruptions while Big S and I are trying to do out seatwork. I keep saying it'll get easier when both girls can go to the bathroom by themselves AND when Pickles is potty trained. Oh my, there will be a huge celebration when that happens. I am SO OVER potty training!

What's good about homeschooling: I think establishing and enforcing the new boundaries are hard, but what I've see so far is a little boy who feels more secure and loved, is happier (except when doing handwriting :-)!) and is less argumentative than before. He also seems more relaxed and happier (except when doing handwriting -- noticing a theme going on???). He and Squeeker are getting along so well, that all I can do is thank God for it. Squeeker wrote on the shower wall with his finger:

"Big S is a good friend and is so funny!"

Wow.......we've come a long way baby!

Squeeker has gone back to Christian school for the year. They offered us a too-good-to-be true deal on the tuition and I was like: "Done.....! Although we did talk it over and decided to support him if he decided he wanted to stay in PS. He didn' we let him stay the remainder of the week and started him this week back at his old Christian school. We were never so happy to "go back" to something safe and familar!

The girls are doing OK. With the start of preschool and AWANA at church on Sunday nights, it's added a complexity to the family dynamics. Little S is struggling with indiscriminate affection and being "dethroned" as the princess. She loves her little tantrums, which worked so well in the Foster Care house in Ethiopia. We knew the dethroning was coming, it just took a bit longer than we expected! That's been a challenge, but we are tightening up the boundaries with her too for the time being.

And let us not forget that beautiful Fall is upon absolute favorite time of the year! I love the warm days and crisp nights. I wish it could stay this way forever.....Here's a few snapshots of a day at our house. We are so fortunate to live around open farmland (and not have to pay the taxes on it!) owned by the family that we bought our house from. We have such great neighbors and wide open spaces...what a dream it is to raise our children here!


Nikki said...

I just remembered, Turner asked if he could call Big S. We were in the car going somewhere and I told him, sure, I would find his number and we would call. I haven't thought about it again until I read your blog this evening. Sometime would that be o.k.?

Lori S said...

Hi Robin! It was so good to read your comment on my blog!! As you said it is so good to know that we are not alone on this crazy, frustrating, beautiful journey!! I hope that we can make it through these tough times better together!! Please, please keep in touch!!