Sunday, May 17, 2015

Checking In, Catching Up

Hello, dear readers!

I apologize for being so scarce. Since school started two weeks ago, I've been super-super-super busy. School is going well, but the added work of grading workbooks, preparing lessons, and teaching new material has left me a bit breathless. There's a lot to do - more every year.

I also - believe it or not - have not yet decided what to do for history and science. At the moment we're doing a delightful hodgepodge of things (overdoing it, anyone?), but that is something that I am still working hard to figure out.

I've also had a few puzzling health things going on.

A few weeks ago, I started dealing with unexplained nausea and insomnia. (No, it's not what you think. A good half-dozen pregnancy tests back me up on that one.)

Thankfully the nausea has disappeared, though it has left me wondering what on earth I did to cause that one. Was it a supplement that disagreed with me? Was it the new olive oil I was using to make mayonnaise? (That's my current guess, since the nausea started waning and finally left a few days after I nixed the olive oil.) But anyway - weird.

The insomnia, however, has stuck around. While it's preferable to say, hyperemesis, it's quite problematic. Besides being unpleasant, it's quite difficult to function on four or fewer hours of sleep. It is really amazing how one's brain does indeed shut down when sleep hours dip too low.

At least it's now just insomnia instead of insomnia with nausea! That's a definite improvement.

I'd appreciate your prayers, dear readers! I do hope that this is a short-lived issue.

(And with a toddler prone to both bad dreams and nocturnal meanderings and some minor nursing issues and.... yes. Sleep. We could definitely use more of it around here.)

Here are a few notes on the beginning of our school year:

* We are starting our history year with a study of the state of Alabama. My, this has been fun! Here are some of the things we're reading about right now:
  • Cotton and the boll weevil
  • Booker T. Washington
  • George Washington Carver
  • Alabama culture and literature
  • Maps, flags, state flowers, etc.
  • Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott
  • The Civil War
  • Slavery

We are making our first-ever lap book thanks to a fellow blogger's inspiration and are having great fun with it. I am not particularly crafty, and neither is our 8yo, but we just add one small item (a flag, a map) every day. We're enjoying it.

Especially popular around here is the "Boll Weevil Song" in all of its manifestations. Here is the current favorite (except for the ending):

Ah, history studies! You never know where they're going to take you.

* Our first foray into formal language arts has been a roaring success - Christian Light Language Arts is just as wonderful as their math. This is a huge relief - one more thing not to have to worry about!

My one concern is that the 8yo is doing so well with the second-grade language arts that I wonder if I could have pushed ahead to third grade work. However, better too easy than too hard - the one encourages, the other can create some real road blocks.

* Other areas of success this year so far have been:
  • Poetry - We're branching out into new works of poetry, and as always, the children love it. Never would I have guessed that children actually like poetry. (I always saw it as drudgery.)
  • Poetry memorization - This is also going well. The 3yo's favorite poem so far (which he demands daily) is "Click Beetle" from "The Llama Who Had No Pajama."
  • Independent Bible study - This year we decided to require 10 minutes of daily Bible study from the 8yo. It's working out beautifully!
  • Teaching at night - I am not a fan of trying to teach with a toddler underfoot. The method I developed last year is to put the children to bed at night, and then call the 8yo out of bed to go over the day's work and the coming day's new lessons. We've continued this method, and it works far better than trying to teach while pulling the 3yo out of whatever trouble he's invented at the moment. Unfortunately, this method would not work with a ton of students (or would it?), but for now, it's going beautifully.
  • Table manners - We have been working on some basic table manners, namely "Eat OVER your plate!" (As opposed to over the floor.) It's actually going really well, and our kitchen no longer resembles a hog wallow after each meal.
  • Sleep rules - We've started enforcing some sleep rules, and things are going so much more smoothly! For example:
    • Naps for pre-kindergarteners are two hours. Period. If they wake up, they still stay in bed. This means that I no longer have to fear the early wakers. This is a huge blessing for being able to get school time done in the afternoon.
    • In the morning, children stay in their rooms until 7:00 a.m. Thus, I also don't have to fear early morning wakers.
    • Of course, this assumes that the children obey the above two rules. They don't. But we're working on it.
The year is going well so far! We have so much for which to thank the Lord.

And I think I'll draw to a close here, before I waste more time!

Have a wonderful week, dear readers!

A wee lady who celebrated her six-month birthday by cutting her first tooth.


  1. Your year so far sounds just delightful! I agree that better too easy than too hard is a good guideline. I made the mistake of going with too hard with one of mine, and it has been sad for us both.

    I'm so sorry you're dealing with health issues--I will most definitely keep you in my prayers!!!!

    1. Thank you, Anne! Thankfully my insomnia issues have gradually left and not returned, and I am very thankful for that. These days I am just so tired - not being able to sleep on top of that was a real bear!!


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