Saturday, September 3, 2016

Week One: DONE

Week One Done @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Inertia is a thing, friends.

I’ve been open and honest about my apprehensions about this coming year. Homeschooling, while beautiful and lovely in so many ways, has also been hard and we haven’t been doing as well as I have wanted, particularly the past two years. And we’ve done almost nothing for five months. FIVE MONTHS. We’ve stayed up late. We’ve slept in. We’ve adventured. We’ve relaxed. We’ve skipped all semblance of a home routine. I was sure re-entry was going to be painful.

This year I also have children doing challenging work, and none of them are doing the same work. Four children in four different stages (high school, middle school, late grade school, and kindergarten).

I felt paralyzed and couldn’t clean, organize, or plan for our school year. I didn’t feel ready.

And yet start we must.

I had a schedule, and I was determined.

This past week was a miracle. An honest to goodness miracle.

It was perhaps our most successful full week of homeschooling and home life that I can remember.

Usually when we have a good day or two of homeschooling, everything else falls apart. This week we managed to do most things well—or at least keep most things from going backwards. OR we usually have one good day and then two rough ones. This week we managed to have seven decent days!

Again, miracle.

Monday I was up by 6:15, we were out the door for Levi’s and Luke’s first days of Challenge, I co-led an Essentials Parent Orientation Meeting, and I managed to get some exercise before going to bed.

Tuesday-Friday, we managed to stick fairly closely to this schedule (minus swim practice and some of Leif’s independent work since he hasn’t yet started Foundations and Essentials).

We sat down to a formal family dinner 4 nights in a row (Monday night was casual pizza night).

I managed read-aloud and prayers before bed 3 nights in a row (Levi was gone last night, so we took a break.)

I read to Lola every day.

I blogged every day this week.

I exercised every day. I drank tea and took all my vitamins and supplements.

I had quiet time/Bible reading every day.

I kept up with laundry and dishes.

My house is NOT clean, but it’s cleaner than it usually is.

Lola played well independently. She even sat at the table for a long time and drew several pictures using the Usborne Step-by-Step Drawing Book. She painted. She played with Legos. Who is this child?!

I remembered to play classical music in the mornings between 7-8 am.

I got to bed before 11 pm every night (though Poldark was really messing with my earlier-to-bed intentions).

I was up by 6:15 every morning (the alarm goes off at 6, but I’m terrible at bouncing out of bed), and made my bed and showered and had quiet time first thing (before getting on my computer).

I still managed to hang out on Facebook and Instagram occasionally.

I read! After a couple months of slipping in my reading habits and inspiration, I read a little each day.

We had treats. Homemade Italian cream sodas. Luke made marzipan.

The kids swam in the fun pool at the YMCA two evenings.

Levi had a pool party with his classmates at his tutor’s home and an overnight gaming birthday party at a friend’s house.

We added to our symposium schedule in the mornings. We picked up a nature specimen on our short walk and the kids drew in their nature journals while I read a short portion of a Shakespeare retelling.

We’ve had a lazy Saturday. We went to the local farmer’s market as a family and ate goodies and purchased bread and veggies for dinner. We did our weekly Costco shopping.

Who is this family?!

Luke is THRIVING. The kid loves his computer time and struggles with non-concrete learning and any writing/pencil work, but the kid LOVES routine.  I scaled his Challenge A work back a bit so that he would feel successful and confident. He had time to read at least 4 other books and play on his computer this week. He had all Friday afternoon off.

Levi had a great week. He still has some work to do this afternoon and tomorrow, but he worked independently and with a great attitude all week. (Who is this child?!)

I know this was a light week, and we’ll have more to juggle as the month goes on. The Challenge work will increase. Foundations (Leif and Lola) and Essentials (Leif and I am tutoring) begin on the 12th. Piano lessons for Luke and Leif begin on the 14th. Tumbling class for Lola begins on the 18th. Swimming for Russ, (Levi, when his foot is healed), Luke, and Leif begins on the 19th. Music class for Lola begins on the 19th.

We have evening meetings for the Essentials IEW DVD viewing, Challenge A book club, and Scholé Sisters [finishing the last Flannery O’Connor meeting and then beginning Tolkien]. We have birthday parties and the Renaissance Faire, and dinner with friends, and Choc Lit Guild book club.

We have a new family membership at the beautiful new YMCA facility since Russ is coaching swimming there now. I’m not sure what opportunities we’ll avail ourselves of there.

Levi is planning to swim with the local high school this winter.

But we’ll adjust week by week.

For now, I’m THRILLED with our successful start.

Here’s to a new week. Let’s see if we can keep our momentum.

[I’ll be posting soon with details about our scholé week and how we are implementing the CC Challenge A and 1 work.]


Tsh said...

I'm thrilled for you! And it's inspiring; a breath of fresh air as I think about us starting next week while surrounded by a million projects in our new-old fixer-upper. You should bookmark this post for future re-reading when it gets harder a few months in. :)

Also, Poldark: How great is it, eh?! I have to stop myself every night so I'm not a zombie the next day.

Hannah said...

What do you think was the key to having such a successful week? Or did it just feel like a serendipitous gift?

Education is a Life said...

Congratulations on the successful week, and Thank You for telling us about the inertia. I'm feeling it, too, and we need to kick our school year into gear this week. Like you, I have most of my plans in place. I'm just nervous about diving in

katharine said...

Sounds lovely. Your happiness is contagious. It's given me a much needed push to move along. Thanks.

Mandy said...

Your honesty about the struggle of getting a new year started was EXACTLY what I needed to read today! Thank you for your transparency. You gave me hope as I am starting our year tomorrow. Bless you!

Jill Foley said...

Yay for you - this is encouraging. We start next week, but I've been easing us back into some routines this week.

Praying your year continues to go well - even on the days you get off routine.

Heidi said...

Hannah~ I've been thinking about that question since you asked it, so today I turned it into a blog post. :)