Monday, October 10, 2011

Homeschool Mother's Journal: Week of October 3

The Homeschool Mother's Journal
In Our Home This Week:  Even though the temperatures in the Northeast soared into the eighties yesterday, my family has the nesting bug.  Our wood has been delivered, stacked and is waiting to heat our home.  The Halloween decorations are going up and the pumpkins were purchased.  Since we renovated our kitchen last spring, our focus has been making our home a cozy, warm, inviting place to be.  On the days that we are home, we are home.  We learn on the couch, at the dining room table, in our bedrooms.  We have set about to transform those spaces into areas that bring us joy.
I have had my eye on leather dining room chairs for a long time.  My good friend has them around her table and I asked her if she would mind me copying her design style.  With her blessing, we headed to IKEA to purchase the chairs, only to have the legs fall off during assembly.  This has never happened with IKEA product.  We adore IKEA.  We also adore their price tags.  Yesterday Greg and Lilah discovered similar chairs in HomeGoods!  Now we have four cozy, comfortable, eclectic chairs around our table.  These are chairs you want to sit it.  With my coffee and my laptop, the sun streaming in the window, my dogs snuggled at my feet and my girls giggling upstairs, I feel at peace.  Really at peace.  I am holding on to this feeling.

The girls spent time cleaning and organizing their rooms.  Each has a desk in their room now.  I am proud of them for keeping the desks a place where they can work and store what they are working on.  I cannot say the same for my desk!
Closets were cleaned out, bags of clothes are ready to be given to relatives.  Unfortunately Lilah has the smallest bedroom and is lacking a closet space.  We transformed our hallway into two closets for her, since we really do not need these as linen closets and our medical supplies have dwindled since we began using homeopathy and herbal “medicines”.  She is very happy to have her own place to keep her things.
Lastly, we purchased some new pots and pans.  I adore cooking on my friends Le Cruset pan when I am at her house.  I swear that food just tastes better when cooked on this pan.  Yesterday we enjoyed an early dinner of breaded eggplant (the last from our garden), shrimp scampi, pasta, tomatoes (sadly, also the last from our garden) and sauce.  It is only on the weekends that the four of us are able to sit and eat together, so I try my hardest to make it special, even if the meal is ordinary.
In Our Home School This Week: We had such a busy week.  Here is just some of the things we did:
  • began a new math program, guided by my sister-in-law.  Math has become fun again.  There was business planning, logo designing, inventory ordering, bill paying, sales tax calculating and advertising creating.  A separate post on this program will be coming soon....
  • Had our first day of Artist/Writer’s Workshop where we spent the afternoon creating abstract self-portraits and writing about what makes us unique.
  • Spent a day in New Haven visiting an art gallery, walking in the rain, seeing Monks (why didn’t we stop and say hi, Grace wants to know.  My bad, Grace.), discovering new cuisine, reading books, getting a glimpse of college life.
  • Learned about F-Stops on the camera, wrote poetry, wrote lines for a play, learned those lines, reviewed rays, lines and how to use a compass for geometry, discovered that some things are worth a second try (Meteorology Class), played with Powerpoint, did more math, learned that glue guns burn (This was co-op day).
  • Had our first Girl Scout meeting on the year, hiked in an awe inspiring location, connected with friends we have not seen in some time, learned how to make a splint from three sticks.
  • Visited the library, returned some books, took out many more, made play date plans and found two more audiobooks to enjoy.

Places We’re Going and People We’re Seeing:  This upcoming week will bring a slower pace than last.  We have no trips, no huge playdates, no library meet ups.  We need a slow week to finish some of the things we have outstanding.  That balance of time out of the house vs. time in the house needs to be restored.  I am looking forward to working on a new Girl Scout badge, working on math, and moving ahead in history.
What We Are Reading: Grace’s goal has been to finish some of the books she is reading.  She had four books going at once and the pile of books she wants to read grows daily.  She finished The Day It Rained Forever.  She is close to finishing Diary of a Wimpy Kid.
We have been trying to cut way way back on tv.  At this point it is almost cut out of our lives during the week.  Grace watches The Weather Channel every morning in my bed and then begins her day.  At night we have a no technology policy in place after 6pm.  It has been wonderfully relaxing.  I have been knitting again, and using this time to read with the girls.  Lilah has been writing poetry for her newspaper co-op class and Grace plays with Legos.  By eight (hopefully) we are ready for bed and reading together.
I finished Jennifer Weiner’s Then Came You.
Lilah read My Invisible Sister.
Questions or Thoughts I Have:   Driving in the car, I found myself wondering if my girls did not grow up with television, would they have a better relationship?  Is sisterly bickering just something that some siblings do?  Is it caused by anything in particular?  Greg and I rarely argue and when we do, we do it silently. We get upset, go our separate ways, then come back together to talk about it.  We never agreed on this or discussed it, it is just what we do.  I think of some of the shows that my girls grew up watching....
Hannah Montana - constant fighting and weak parental figure
iCarly - fighting among best friends and no parental figures
H2O - sibling fighting and minimal role of parents
Sweet Life of Zack and Cody - constant fighting, one parent involved in active parenting
Wizards of Waverly Place - constant fighting, parents are portrayed as insignificant and not very intelligent.
What if these were not the role models in my girl’s life?  It bothers me intensely that I try so hard to have peace in my home.  I know a home with two young girls is not going to be conflict-free but I believe in conflict resolution, not fighting it out.  There are times I wish so badly that I could go back and change the way I did a few things.  This would be one of them.  I am happy now that we are moving away from television and the constant negatives images it brings into my home.

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