Monday, August 22, 2016

Just wanted to say hi. Tomorrow is supposed to be our first day, but I'm not ready. Homeschooling whilst being a mother to a toddler-baby (is a 16 month old a toddler?) isn't easy. Hats off to anyone who pulls it off without breaking a sweat or cursing someone out. While I hope to go into more detail as the year goes on (yes I plan on actually blogging this school year), I just wanted to briefly share our curriculum choices for this school year.

My eldest is 9 and is considered a fourth grader. We didn't do any grade skips or grade combinations as I had hoped our very first year. Honestly, we've just been trying to make it through these past two years. This year, however, the goal is to actually combine grades. If it doesn't happen, we're OK with that. I'll explain how we arrived where we are later, but for now, let's get into these curriculum choices.

ELA/ Social Studies- We'll be using Core Knowledge again. Most of the curriculum is online. Because I taught at a Core Knowledge school before, I was able to piece together the rest of the curriculum. Core Knowledge, not to be confused with Common Core, is a more updated form, in my eyes at least, of classical education. Their language arts/ reading instruction fits well within my beliefs about reading and also works well with Words Their Way which we will also pick up again for ELA.

Math- Still doing RightStart Math. We'll finish level D and then complete level E this year. We still love RightStart, but we might supplement with the ever so wonderful and free MEP lessons found online. Each year we also end up using Khan Academy. I'm sure this year won't be any different.

Science- We don't have a spine for this one. Last year, we were able to use Core Knowledge's free ELA curriculum to cover science, but fourth and fifth grade don't have enough science in their Language Arts curriculum. So we'll wing it with unit studies on weather, force and motion, genetics, electricity/ magnetism, chemistry, electronics, and the structure and function of cells.

PE - We'll probably take a class at a local church. That should be cool.

Art- I totally suck at this part of teaching. I have Lamb's Book of Art I & II by Larry Stebbing. We tried using it last year, but didn't get very far. Either it's me, or the material is just outdated. This year a college friend of mine is offering online mommy and me painting lessons on facebook. We're going to do those, and hopefully, we're able to put fresh eyes on Larry Stebbing's material.

Coding- We'll use a little more. Then I think we'll try or I'll just teach her some of the things I'm learning.

Spanish- We're going to start over on Pimsleur because it's been so long. We'll also be doing Mango which is free through our library.

Music- We'll be doing some ear training and sight singing and learning some basic music theory/ harmony. We'll also be learning about the music during historical periods related to our ELA/ Social Studies units, for example, we'll study Don Quixote Ballet when we read Don Quixote, and we'll study music of the Renaissance while studying that time period in ELA.

Dance- She's taking dance four nights a week. This could easily become 5 or 6 days a week dependent on scheduling and if she does some performances that require extra rehearsals. She was selected to be a part of ballet company, but we declined to be a part of the competition team. Either way, I'm just tired thinking about it.

Theater- Right now, we both are involved in a musical being put on by our local community theater company. We hope to be involved in one more production this season.

My 16 month old? We're beginning to work on a unit on animals. Currently she calls most animals that walk on fours "woof, woof" or "dog" and sometimes "gog." We'll start with farm animals and then do zoo animals. I probably won't plan too much for her until she's about 2 1/2 or 3. Then it's full steam ahead.

Wish us success! We have high hopes that all will work well this year. Thanks for stopping by, have a great school year!

Monday, February 29, 2016

Breastfeeding and Training Bras

Disclaimer: I wrote this a few months ago. There was something I wanted to add, but I don't at all remember what it was. Since these concerns are very real today, I decided to share. The training bra stage is here, and I'm making it through OK.

I was in Children's Place boohooing today. I bought my daughter a size 14 (I go a size up for outerwear) sweater. This means that pretty soon she will no longer need girl sized clothing. I was in the store real-tear crying, "I'm not ready. I'm not ready. I'm not ready."

She asked, "Not ready for what?"

"For you to grow up! I'm not ready. I'm not ready."

"Well, can you get ready, but without crying?" Then after thinking about it and deciding to try to comfort me, she says, "But Mom, I'm only 8. We have 10 years before I'm grown."

There was more to the conversation, but I have two daughters in two totally different places in their development. One is nursing from my breasts, and the other is sprouting her own pair of breasts with which she will hopefully nurse her own children, though hopefully she will give me about 18 years to catch my breath.

Oh, the irony- that for the last couple of years, my daughters clothes have been next to the training bra section serving as a reminder of what is to come. My sweet baby girl has been ushered away into the era of older sisterdom. And right around the corner are training bras and before we know it phone calls from boys. Then to think, whatever phases we go through with the oldest will be repeated again approximately 8 years later.

Yep. I ain't ready. I will take my daughter's advice and get ready, but I shan't do so quietly. I will protest some of the time, but even more than that, I will be grateful all along the way. Despite any challenges that may present themselves, I love being a (their) mother...