Saturday, May 16, 2009

Starting a New School Year

Well, we are officially finished with our school year for 2008-2009. We are taking two weeks off from school before we begin our new school year. This week is the end of our first week off, so I have one more week before our new school year begins. I like schooling year round. It gives me the opportunity to take off during the year when emergencies, special events, or whatever else may come along that needs my attention, without feeling as though I won't be able to complete the 180 day school year. I have also found that just taking off a few weeks here and there doesn't give the children as much opportunity to forget concepts and dates that we have spent time drilling the previous school year. I do a lot less reviewing this way and we just continue on. It also gives the children structure to their days and makes the time off more special. They don't have so much time off that they get bored, and those special times off of school come sprinkled throughout their year and in different seasons and it is like a big celebration. I have been using this time to get much needed projects that have been weighing heavy on me accomplished. I still have MANY more to do. Before beginning a new school year, I weed through all our last year's books...put the ones away we will not be using this their work from last year...rearrange the school shelves to better accomodate us...and acquire any new materials that we may need for the coming year. I will use this next week to work on school planning...not just the weekly, but taking time to look at the overall year and come up with a reading list from our classics and historical fiction...deciding which ones I will read aloud and which ones I will assign to the children. I have decided to create a different school week this year. At one point, I was going to have a four day schedule, to allow for errand running and other things on one day a week. Jonathan was so very good about helping me with running errands to relieve some of that for me since I homeschool. Without him, I had to come up with some other idea where I could get essential running around done and not take too much time out of my school day. Having Joanna joining our school full-time this year means a lot of working on phonics and reading so I cannot just leave and have them complete their assignments on their own. Therefore, I will have our major school subjects on the first four days of the week...math, English, spelling, writing, history, etc. The fifth day will be a fine arts day...a music study, art, completing work in their science notebooks, creative pursuits, piano lessons. That way, if I do need to take the whole day for something...a good many of those activities the children can do while being watched and without me. And when I return home, I can complete the piano lessons...that they cannot do without me. I will let you know how it goes! The great thing about homeschooling is that if it doesn't work...I can always rework it! Today marks officially the sixth week since my dh has been gone. The children are settling down some with their behavior issues. My little man Joel is still having the hardest time with that. But, he is doing much better. The pain of not having Daddy around is still just as strong...they are just realizing the inevitable and that I am not their enemy in all this. I give them time to talk about it. The other night we all sat around on the couches and talked about the things we missed most about Daddy...then to lighten the mood some I had them to think up with me an imaginary way we could get to the desert and kidnap Daddy and bring him back home! The boys especially loved that one! They are beginning to talk about it more...which is good. Joel is the only one that will not open up to me about it. That concerns me and I would covet your prayers on that one. He feels so much, but says so very little. So, I hug and tickle him and try to do special things with him and all of them to let them know they are still loved very much. I constantly remind them that it was not Daddy's choice to go...that he loves them...and he misses them...and he is praying for them. Sometimes I feel my own emotions are on a thin thread from dealing with my own feelings of aching for him, yet trying to be strong and hold up for our children. And it is in those times I am reminded that I cannot do it in my own is only through Christ in me that I can accomplish this. I pray you all have a wonderful Lord's Day tomorrow!

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