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Archive for September, 2010

School Pictures

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Recently I came across an article on Simple Homeschool that encouraged readers to still take part in the tradition of school pictures, but with a bit of a twist. The advice and images were inspiring. So, last Friday Hannah, Maddie and I headed to the beach with the hope of capturing a bit of what her little life looks like as a first grader.

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Month One

We’re just over a month into this venture of schooling from home. When I’m asked how it is going I’ve found myself likening it to my college days.

 Typically, the spring semester proved especially full; I took 18 units, played lacrosse, worked part-time and was involved with several other activities (like boyfriends). My calendar and I were one, nearly all the way down to bathroom breaks. Still in the midst of a full existence, I mostly flourished. My grades were high, as were my spirits. I took more Tums than I might like to admit, but generally speaking I did best when my plate was full (and I’m pretty sure that my collegiate Tums consumption banked enough Calcium reserves for the rest of my life).

While I haven’t had to reach for the medicine cabinet quite yet, I would say that this shift in lifestyle has left me teetering on that edge. Days are long, yet somehow fly by. Every minute is accounted for. On most nights I go to bed (far too late) feeling mostly satisfied with the day’s course.

Here’s the short list of things I’m processing through as I near the end of 

MONTH ONE.

Becoming intentionally tangential is key to educating a child (at least mine)

There is no rulebook for how to school your kids at home (this should feel freeing but doesn’t always)

Snacks (nice-looking ones in particular) make handwriting lessons much more palatable

Banagrams are my best friend when teaching spelling and grammar

Living books are abundant, rich and captivating

I have a serious love relationship with the library right now

Toddlers are incredibly cute and equally challenging to care for while teaching a seven year-old

Some days are better than others

There is beauty to be found in each day; sometimes this requires digging deep

Fictional characters do become role models for better or for worse

Dogs are very useful (especially well-trained therapy dogs) for practicing oral reading

The kitchen is a great classroom

Kids are capable of a lot in the area of chores

Non-drying modeling clay can find its way into almost any lesson

Carving out time for yourself is crucial

Blogs are great and a fabulous resource unless you begin comparing yourself to all those other people who seem to have their act entirely together and experience only beautiful and amazing moments in their lives at all times

Showering is essential before the girls emerge from their bedrooms

When you burn your fresh soup beyond recognition that you brilliantly prepped throughout the morning, there is grace (and frozen leftovers) to be found

Grandparents feel more invaluable than ever

Living life well alongside one’s parents and sibling is an education all its own

Diving into semi-cold pool water three times a week balances me beyond measure

There comes a point when you have to decide that what you’ve done is enough (even though it feels like there is always more you could do)

When in doubt, pull out some good literature and start reading it outloud to all who will listen

 

 

 

 

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Curls

These curls are dedicated to the one and only Kristalyn Frohling!

There are qualities in both my girls that could nearly convince me that Krista and I are in fact related. Hannah’s relationship with numbers often leaves me wondering whether or not I’m actually living with Dustin Hoffman’s Rainman character. Then I am reminded that Krista is equally…how shall I put it…talented and secretly eccentric in this realm…and I breathe a sigh of relief. Most recently, Hailey and her bedtime curls have left me smiling as my friend is so far away. This child could not have come from a longer line of straight-haired genes. Yet, here she is with curls all over her head. It melts my heart and sends my thoughts south to Argentina.

 

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A lukewarm day

Today was not a bad day. I wouldn’t necessarily call it a good day either. I suppose it landed somewhere in the middle. Hailey is cutting two molars simultaneously. She also had an unfortunate run-in with a bathroom drawer this morning. There was blood, tears and ultimately a helpful suggestion from the big girl that we might need to invest in some baby-proofing devises for these and other such spots.

Still, we had much to be thankful for in this lukewarm day along with tomorrow’s promise of a more rested family. In the meantime, we had a bit of time to pass this afternoon. The weather was gloomy so we opted out of our scheduled beach time. Instead, Hannah set up a cozy tent downstairs and the girls played. We also had some fun when the seven year-old caught the littlest on camera with her favorite shades.

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Determination

This week I was once again reminded of just how much I get this kid! She’s a second born just like me. She’s entirely committed to the notion that she can do anything that her big sister can do. I understand. This week, the challenge was kite flying. You’d be surprised how well a one year-old can pull this off with a bit of big-sister instruction.

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