“doing school”

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Last week was our first week of “doing school.” Sam is four and I thought it was time to incorporate a (very) loose preschool program into our schedule. We are still members of our Friday co-op, and while our membership has doubled in size these past six months, many of the children Sam’s age will be attending private preschool this fall, and the younger children (ages 2-3 years) will begin participating in our co-op as opposed to just playing on the floor during “lessons” like last year. Because the majority of the children are younger, the lessons will be tailored to their level, which means that it won’t be nearly challenging enough for Sam, thus the reason for our own program “on the side,” so to speak.
Our lesson is twenty minutes, three days a week. Twenty minutes is about all the undivided attention Sam can give me, and that’s on a good day. I use the Starfall website, which is $35 a year and worth every penny. We play an interactive game based on the letter or number of the day, and then do a few worksheets from our Brain Quest Pre-K workbooks that I purchased from Costco. So far, he is doing well. He likes the interactive games and while he certainly doesn’t know all his numbers and letters (not that I expected him to), I was surprised to discover that he knows all his colors, most shapes and is able to quickly figure out other basic pre-k skills like matching, sorting, and phonics.

I have read that having expectations for a four year old, especially when it’s the first year of homeschooling for both the mother and the child is unreasonable; that it leads to nothing but disappointment and frustration.  I am trying with all my might to keep this advice in the forefront of my mind, but I find myself starting to worry:

What if this doesn’t work? What if I’m a terrible teacher? What if he won’t listen to me, and then he never learns his letters, and then he never learns to read, and then he can’t find a job because he’s illiterate and he ends up spending the majority of his adult life in my basement smoking weed and playing video games all day because he’s a worthless member of society and it’s ALL MY FAULT?!

You get the idea.

It’s only been two weeks, and he’s doing well. Great, actually. I know there will be hard days, days that will affirm these fears. But I’ll try to keep telling myself to worry about those days when they come, and not before. When I decided to homeschool, I knew it wasn’t going to be the easiest path for our family but I did believe and still do, that this is the best path for our family.

Enjoy the weekend everyone!

little things

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I once heard someone say that the difference between happy people and unhappy people is not necessarily life circumstances, but the ability to find joy in the little things in life. Happy people find joy in the mundane and see the light in times of darkness. They make games out of their daily chores and find the good in a bad situation. Whether this attitude is derived from their faith, their family or just a God-given ability, happy people make the world a better place. I feel that it is a moral obligation to myself, my friends and my family to be a happy person and I do my best to find joy in even the littlest of things; whether it be a pile of freshly folded laundry, the smell of fresh cut flowers in my dining room or the sound of my children laughing hysterically together in their bedroom when they should be sleeping soundly.  (At least they’re getting along.)

This weekend Gabe was gone on a fishing trip and I spent most of the weekend by myself with the three children. In an attempt to keep a firm grip on my sanity I made a point to capture the little things, no matter how small or insignificant they might seem, that brought me happiness. I thought I would share them with you all.

In the garden: fresh herbs, bees jumping from stalk to stalk on my lavender plants, and my first heirloom tomato of the season

In the orchard: Morning light washing over the Eastern field and the apple trees.

On the needles: My Rosewater shawl is finished and I blocked it yesterday. I’m so in love with how it turned out and I can’t wait to show everyone.

Selfie: I bought a new red lipstick and I wore it all day Friday. Some people might find it ridiculous to wear red lipstick at 9:00 in the morning and they are probably right. But it felt fresh and young, and made me feel more like Sarah, and less like Mama.

I hope everyone else had as good a weekend as I did. Happy Monday, my friends.

survival mode

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Joining Ginny and Nicole.

Feed the baby.

Run the dishwasher.

Change the toddler.

Text mom.

Transfer the clothes from the washer to the dryer.

Change the baby.

Did I feed the baby?

Hold the baby.

Feed the four year old.

Check the tomatoes in the garden.

Did the rabbit get through the fence again?

Did I fertilize?

I should blog. About what? You haven’t touched your knitting in four days.

Maybe I should learn embroidery.

That’s pretty much how my stream of consciousness has been lately.

I haven’t been much of a presence on here in the last two weeks. Too tired. Too busy. Typically I have a mother’s helper who comes twice a week so I can get things done around here: laundry, meal prep for the week, a bit of gardening, etc.. She’s been on vacation and boy, am I missing her.

We have been doing things around the farm here and there but for the most part I am in survival mode. Keep everyone fed, healthy, and (relatively) clean. Caleb has started sleeping through the night for the most part, only waking once to feed. The extra sleep has been helping but I feel like I could use three days of solid sleep before feeing like my old self. Such is life with children.

The doe with the twins has taken up residence in our orchard. We don’t have time to do much harvesting this year, so we figured since we don’t have time to eat the apples, we might as well let someone enjoy them.  The fawns no longer nurse and seem bigger everyday. Must be all that fresh fruit.

I’m still working on a pair of self striping socks for Eddie and plugging away on my Rosewater shawl. I’m itching for a new project but I don’t want to start anything until these two items are finished. We are going to be in Dallas for a week this month and I want to to bring the shawl with me to wear during the evening with dresses.

Yes, I took a photo of a deer going to the bathroom, because, well, why not? You’re welcome.

Happy Wednesday, friends.

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