Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The reality of our new life of homeschooling, increased work load, and e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g-e-l-s-e has set in hard!  It seems that there is little time to slow down and catch your breath and blog breathe.  So tonight I'm breathing and blogging and gave her a new do!  I have finally figured out Photoshop enough to do a proper header and I really love it!  (Special thanks to my sweet friend/photog Magan for awesome pictures of the boys). 

Homeschooling is... well.... it's weird sometimes.  Some days it clicks along great and we almost feel like we are officially "at school" complete with the pledge, recess, and a class president (Briggs was properly elected by majority vote over Thanksgiving holidays).  Then other days all our good intentions go to pot and it seems like the only thing anyone learned is how fun it is to stay in your PJ's all day.

I struggle with the weight of the responsibility of teaching my children contrasted with my own selfish desires to clean/sew/craft/zone out.  I can definitely say that God is using this time to bring to light my own sinful nature, my desperate need for grace, and how to extend it to my children.  In that regard, homeschooling is a bit like being refined in the fire and it burns sometimes.

Since we are wrapping things up to take some time off at Christmas, I thought it would be good to take a long view of what we have accomplished so far this year.  I think it will be an encouragement in the days to come, as I hear January is a hard month for homeschooling moms and the cold, gray days it brings.

We have read through our Jesus Storybook Bible and decided to just start over and read it again!  We love it so much and it is just as effective at teaching me as it is them.  They have memorized one Bible verse a week for the past 16 or so weeks.  We have memorized one poem a month and the boys love to recite all of them daily. 

In math, Briggs has learned:
Addition with carrying to the hundredths place
Subtraction with borrowing to the hundredths place
Multiplication through his 3 times tables
Division through dividing by 3
and a little algebra!

He has learned all his cursive lower case letters and most of the capital letters.  He said he can't wait to learn cursive numbers next and was sorely disappointed when I informed him there was no such thing.

Either he or he and I have read the following books:
Stuart Little
Trumpet of the Swan
Treasure Island
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (the abridged version)
Rabbit Hill
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
The Horse and His Boy

We have gone on field trips to:
An apple orchard
the plays "Zorro,"  "The Frog Prince," and tomorrow, "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" at the Birmingham Children's Theater
American Village
McWayne Center- workshops about weather
Botanical Gardens- learned about Japan
Alabama Power- Safetyopolis
and had a Thanksgiving feast!

We will finish off the year's field trips with the Alabama Ballet's Nutcracker.  Since we have been studying composers each month and listening to some classical music, I have high hopes for the boys' enjoyment of the Nutcracker.  We have listened to it multiple times in the last couple of weeks and I have told them the whole story several times.  I have regaled them with tales of when mommy was a ballerina and danced in the Nutcracker.  Max requests to listen to it in the car.  He loves the "music without words."  Yes, I am sure they are going to love it as much as I do.

Who am I kidding?  They're boys.  I just hope we make it through the whole performance without an incident. 

Science and history have taken a bit of a backseat lately, but we are going to refocus after the holidays.  We have completed one whole 9 week unit in history in the last 16+ weeks.  The OCD part of me says we have to do twice as much to catch up to where we should be, but the realistic part reminds me that it's okay, there are no history police, other than the ones in my own head! 

So there you have it!  And although I am proud of what we have accomplished so far, the most important things are the intangible ones- the relationships and discipling that are happening alongside the learning.


  1. I am super impressed with your homeschooling skills! :) Looks like Briggs is learning tons AND gets awesome field trips! Hope they have fun at The Nutcracker. I went every year growing up and can't wait to share that with Kay Elise...not sure Anderson would enjoy it too much!

    We need to get together after the 1st of the year! Merry Christmas!! :)

  2. Love your new header! And you are kickin' rear on the homeschool front! Be HUGELY encouraged! And all of that with a hospitalization, etc. Wooo hooo. You are rockin' it girl! Hang in there and thanks for the encouragement. Somedays I feel like we don't get anything done...just a pj day...and I can be a bit OCD, too.

  3. So glad to know I'm not the only one that thinks I may have lost my mind by signing up for this whole homeschooling thing. =o) You are rockin' it my friend. Keep up the good work.

  4. Hey Leslie! It sounds like you are doing a great job! I'm glad I stumbled on your blog. =)