Friday, January 23, 2009

Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't...

Sometimes I have great ideas w/ my kids that work magically. And other times, not so much...

A success story: My girls argued endlessly about who sat next to me during meal times. I created a plan... a long-term plan. It started with us drawing numbers for our seats at every meal. Yes, it was tedious, but we worked on being content and thankful for where they were. (Didn't always work though...) We then progressed to phase two, where they each got to rotate who sat next to me at each meal. Then, we switched to where they'd switch daily. Now, after months, we're where I was hoping to get - we switch weekly. This week, Abby sits next to me. Next week, it's Katie's turn. There are no complaints, they just understand. It's beautiful.

(In case you're wondering, Nate, being the youngest, always gets this place of honor. Now when the baby comes... we'll have to start over.)

But here's a not so successful story: We had a chipped bowl, and the girls didn't want to eat with it, so I explained that it was special, like Chip in Beauty and the Beast, and should be treated special so it wasn't left out. My point? To get them to use the silly bowl and stop complaining.

How it backfired? They started arguing over who got to use the chipped bowl.

So... back to the "learn to be content in every circumstance" lesson...

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A Second Chance

I just love homeschooling my kids. There are so many reasons, I can't even begin to list them in this blog, but I came up with a new one last week - it's a second chance for me!

I had a great time in school, made a lot of friends, was in activities I loved, and overall had a lot of fun. However, beyond the 3 R's, how much did I retain?

Homeschooling is a way for me to relearn what I didn't retain the first time! I get to experience things that I might have missed the first time around.

Here are some silly examples: I was horrible at clay in elementary school. My animal looked like a foot. My pot cracked in the kiln and I wasn't able to decorate it. Everything I tried was a disaster. Last week, the girls and I were making clay polar animals from studying the North and South Poles, and I was having a blast forming little polar bears, seals, and arctic foxes. And guess what - they look really cute! I'm really proud of them! I'm glad I get the chance to re-do clay! :)

We're studying geography this year, using "Galloping the Globe" unit studies, and I never knew that Polar Bears were in the north pole and Penguins were in the south. Did you know that Polar Bears have clear hair that only looks white, like snow? And when they eat seals, they don't eat the meat, just the blubber and skin. The meat gets eaten by other animals such as foxes.

The read-aloud books have been a lot of fun too. We fly through them, and I can't believe how many great books are out there. (There are a lot that I find boring that we don't finish as well, but as the teacher, I can choose to not finish them...)

With phonics, did you know that there's a rule "it's K but not C with an I or an E?" So the words Cat, Con, and Cute start with a C, but Kid and Ken start with K - because of the rule. Maybe I did learn that at some point, but it was really fun to find out that there was some sort of logic to the spelling madness.

There are oodles of things like that every day that I get to re-learn, and it is so much more interesting to me now as an adult, and I imagine will only continue to peak my interest as the subject matter gets more interesting.

So I guess you could say I'm really enjoying being in second grade again!

(I did take a "true age test" on facebook and it said I was nine years old, so I guess it shouldn't come as a big surprise.)

Does anyone want to play double dutch jump rope or make friendship bracelets with me?