Last Week was Hard!! Homeschool Realities…

Sometimes homeschooling is wonderful packed with endless projects and terrific successes. I like blogging about all that. But sometimes life just isn’t like that. This past week was really challenging. We were just coming back from a trip. Who doesn’t struggle to get caught up with life after being on the road? Plus more or less as soon as we got back, Hubby left for a business trip. So while he was working in Hawaii…

Okay–so he really isn’t a professional scuba diver! He just went for one quick scuba diving session the day after he arrived. He tells me he worked long 14 hour days the rest of the time. In a way, I wish he were off relaxing so that when he arrives home he’ll be able to give me a long, long break!

Meanwhile I had to hold down the fort.  Without him here I realize how much juggling there is to do. For example, LD’s gymnastics doesn’t end until 8:30pm M,W,F and we didn’t get home til nearly 9pm. That meant that the girls didn’t get to bed until nearly an hour and a half after their normal bedtime. And at that point, dishes weren’t done, clothes still weren’t folded — and school prep? Well, forget about it!

So, while we did do some school it wasn’t close to the ideal week for us.  We did the basics (math and language arts) and did a lot of reading together on the porch/couch… A crazy amount of reading really!  We finished Penny and Peter and The Magician’s Nephew (books we had started before our trip). We continued on with The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. We read Atoms and Molecules for chemistry. I also started two new books — one with each of the older kids. DD and I are reading Shiloh (though LD has come in to listen to most of it). And LD and I started Number the Stars because he has been begging to learn about WWII.  This book has led to some wonderful (and moving) discussions and he actually said to me, “I can see why you didn’t want to cover this (WWII/Holocaust) in collection with the girls.” As always, ED and I read lots of books together, but her current favorite (the one I have to read at least once if not two or three times each day) is The Giving Tree.

In a way it feels like a cop-out to have so much of our school “just” be reading.

What else made it difficult?  Well, I got glasses for the first time in my life. I picked them up last Saturday. They are bifocals — and while they are great in some settings they just don’t work for much of the time (as I’m looking around for something or when I’m picking things up and straightening). I can’t stand the feeling of things being in focus, then out of focus (as I look down for a book or whatever).  It’ll take some adjustment — and I can’t see how I’ll actually where them during clean-up time or when I’m looking for things. Does anyone have thoughts about that for me??

We also added in a couple new activities.  DD started an art class (since we can’t work Irish Dance into the schedule). She loves it.  And I am incredibly impressed by the teacher. LD is begging to take the class too — and maybe we can work that out further down the road.  The kids are also doing a homeschool PE class for the term.  It’s always hard as you get used to a new schedule.

I also had a couple extra commitments myself (I played the dulcimer in a little concert and had to farm the kids out to friends), we had a birthday party — an hour away of course —  and LD had a specially gymnastics program immediately after that where he had to be dressed in costume (as a zombie) so he could do his gymnastics moves to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” Whew — I’m exhausted just thinking about everything we packed in!

Oh–and this is the week that the girls had quite a number of meltdowns. I’m not surprised as they just weren’t in bed early enough. Plus, we all have lingering coughs and stuffy noses. DD was so tired one evening that she started into the living room with a container of leftovers still in her hand. When she realized she had the food, she turned back towards the kitchen and dropped everything — the lid popped open and all the chow mein (yes — enough for another meal for all of us!) went flying.  My solution? We scooped up some of it and then I called Boomer, our dog, and let her go at it first. She did a mighty fine job of cleaning things up for me!!

It was just that kind of week. Tiring. Messy. Overbooked.

Changing the subject, we have a ‘dead’ half hour between the time I drop LD off for his gymnastics practice (4:30) and when ED’s gymnastics class begins (5pm).  I decided I’d take that time to teach the girls how to ride a bike. Our driveway and our road is too steep to ride on. Well, after just two sessions DD has bike riding down like a pro! She road two miles on Wednesday while I jogged beside her. I was in Heaven since I love running outside so much! No picture of that (Hubby has our camera), but I’m excited for her!

Anyway, I feel so much for the single parents out there who continually have to juggle their kids’ schedules. It’s truly been an exhausting week without Hubby’s help.

Now I’d better go tackle the dishes, fold the laundry and pick up a bit before I hit the sack! Sometimes it just doesn’t end, right? Have a great day and thanks for reading.

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