Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
We arrived at camp around 6:30 with 5 twelve year olds and three adults. The setting sun was all the encouragement that we needed to get the tents set up. Sissy and her friend did an excellent job getting the "mom" tent up and ready for us while the other 3 girls worked on the "girls" tent.
It just so happened that my dear friend (who only has boys) is helping with AHG this year and was excited to join us on our camp out. In addition, her sons and husband were camping in the same camp with their Boy Scout troop. We had arranged that some of the boys would come over to our site and walk through the Fire Safety and Building badge with the girls. They were able to finish nearly all of the badge requirements!
The next day the girls delighted in gathering wood. How funny and how "girl" that they should decide to organize their wood into appropriate piles! Keep in mind not only are we talking "girls" but we are also talking about the fact that all of the girls are first born!
The next morning the girls cooked our breakfast on a grill. We had wanted them to do it over an open fire, but the fire pit was SO deep and wide that we didn't have a grate large enough to go over it! They made a yummy bacon, eggs and hashbrown casserole and then washed dishes. So...how many 12 year olds does it take to wash a few dishes anyway????
For Saturday we had a friend (and elder) from our church come out to the camp and talk to the girls about reading topographical maps. He made this amazing 3-d model for the girls so they could "see" it all play out. Really cool.
Saturday, September 10, 2011
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
As much as I know that homeschooling is the best decision for my kids on many levels, I stress constantly about how much I am giving them academically. I know that we are doing alot...but in previous years I have worried if we are doing enough. This year I feel like I'm expecting to much. ACKKK! How on earth do we know what the "right" amount is?
I have a 7th grader who struggles with anything English related. Writing, spelling, vocabulary, etc. I did have all the girls tested this summer by a teacher friend. I just wondered where they fell with their reading. Unfortunately this friend's test only went up to the 5th grade. Sissy took the test and my friend determined that she was probably only a little bit behind 7th grade. But not even a full grade. So, I push Sissy to read books that are "at her grade level" and it drives me nuts when she is constantly found choosing books at the library that are of a 4th or 5th grade reading level. One reason her reading ability concerns me so much is for things like her science this year. She is doing this independently and so far has not gotten any of her questions right. I know this is a whole new ball game - she is older and now has to be thinking differently.
My 4th grader has always excelled at all things English, but the last two years she has struggled with her writing. It hasn't seemed like her writing has progressed much in the last 2 years. Run on sentences abound, capital letters are missing (or present when they shouldn't be), details are hard to get from her, and all of this is not for lack of trying.
Now, for my 2nd grader, things are MARVELOUS this year. Yes, I know we are only on week 3, but the improvement I see is amazing. However, she still complains that she does not want to write anything. She wants to do everything orally because it "makes her hand hurt".
Of course, if they struggle with something my thought it - practice, practice, practice right? But then here I sit feeling like I'm expecting to much. SIGH...this journey is a delightful one but the stress as we trudge on is sometimes very overwhelming. If you know a homeschooling family, please pray for them. Pray that mom is always aware that she is doing God's work and that "it will all be ok", please pray that the kids recognize their responsibilities and most importantly that God is always present in the decision making.
Disclaimer: I know that this is the life I chose. I am not complaining at all, just sharing the struggles of my heart.
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Keep in mind that Sissy attended public school from Kindergarten through 3rd grade. When it was time to send her off to school, I made very sure that she knew how to tie her shoes. After all, come winter, she would need to wear boots to school and change her shoes at school. We worked hard and she got it. Peanut attended Kindergarten in public school and so she needed to learn as well. Now, Sweet Baby has been different. She has been different in ALOT of ways. She has never been forced to learn anything. She does it all when SHE wants to. Well, in addition to not NEEDING to learn how to tie her shoes for boot/shoe changing in a public school setting, she has not really wanted to learn. However, her dad and I have determined something....this is the year Sweet Baby, you are going to learn how to tie your shoes. She's 7 now, it is time. Here she is practicing using an Usborne book. I especially love this page as I usually sit in front of her as I tie one shoe, and she mimicks on the other one. It is slow going, but I'm just sure this will be the year!
So...what is on its way you ask? FALL! Fall is nearly here! I'm excited because it is my favorite time of the year. Yes, I know, "Don't you know what comes after fall?" I know, but the joy I get out of the season of fall far outweighs how I feel in March when the snow is still falling. I love how fall in Michigan smells, looks (oooh, all the colors!) and feels. That need to throw on a sweatshirt
Thursday, September 1, 2011
It is hard for me to see her growing up. She is such a wonderful kid. I genuinely love spending time with her, talking with her, sharing with her. She is responsible, motivated (with most things), caring, focused on God - and I know most of this is due to the fact that she is growing up. However, I find myself preparing for the fact that she is really only going to be a "kid" for 5 more years. Sigh....