Friday, January 7, 2011

Our Best Week Yet...

It took me a year of homeschooling to finally feel like I am in total control.  It is exhilarating.  This has been the best week of homeschooling hands-down.  It is not random or by chance that this has happened.  I thought critically about what was working and what was not, and made changes accordingly.  
  • I am not not lounging in bed, snuggled in my fleece sheets, until the sun brightly glints through the blinds to wake me.  Nope!  My alarm is set for 6:30 and I am considering next week waking at 6:00am.  I know my body does best when I get around 7 hours of sleep rather than 9 and I feel great physically.
  • Waking early allows me time to work on my flylady routine.  This week we are in zone 1 (dining room and entry way).  I wish I took before and after pictures because you would be amazed (but I would not be brave enough to share the before).  Too embarrassing.  I am not done with the zones, especially my entry way, but the dining room looks great.  Since this is where the girls and I gather to do lessons, or conference, have our meals and hang with friends, it feels good to not be surrounded by clutter.
  • Getting up early allows me to focus on another new year’s goal...heath.  We made so many changes last year that improved our family’s heath.  However, I noticed our diet, especially that of my youngest, was lacking in nutrition.  I was fully prepared for a full-on battle with Lilah but she surprised me.  Her body let her know it was not getting what it needed and she listened to it!  Over the past week she has been suffering from acid reflux.  I did not want to take her to the doctor as I would not feel comfortable medicating this problem.  It is not a fluke or the result of acidic, or fatty food.  Masking it with Tums or a prescribed medication would not solve the cause of the problem. It was reassuring to hear from a trusted friend her daughter experienced the same symptoms and they were completely alleviated by a change in diet. I put her on a daily dose of apple cider vinegar and focused on having her eat more fruits and vegetables and less empty carbs and sugar.  Because I am up early I have time to thoughtfully plan our meals for the day.   This week for breakfast we have had gluten free pancakes with apples, homemade oatmeal with natural maple syrup, cereal with yogurt and banana, and today they requested oatmeal again. This time I am going to sauté some apples with a touch of butter and cinnamon to put on top.  Before we would be rushed to start our day and grab cereal or worse yet, my youngest’s favorite, a bagel with cream cheese.  Most days I would not eat, I would skip breakfast rushing to get together whatever we needed for the day.  Now I am eating three meals a day as well.  
our breakfast in beautiful homemade pottery
  • Greg has helped by getting a head start on laundry.  Before he leaves for work at 5:45am, he throws a load of laundry in for me.  When I wake it is ready for the dryer.  I can get two loads done before my coffee is ready.  I still have to work on a routine for getting the laundry from the laundry room to the dressers and closets!  My girls have to step it up in this!
  • I am pleased as punch with our concentrated lessons.  Monday was Language Arts, Tuesday was science, Wednesday was history and today more science.  Throughout this math was constant.  Grace likes the trial of Aleks and we will subscribe to that today.  Lilah is plugging along with Singapore and is just about done with 2A.  When the girls were done with history yesterday, Grace pulled out her story and completely edited and revised a whole page.  This is something she hates to do but she was amazed at the difference in the quality of her writing.  She did not need me to point it out to her.  It was truly a “teachable moment”.  She also began a new book, The Spiderwick Cronicles.  Her friend is reading it as well.  She is learning naturally that reading is a social activity as well as an educational one.  She enjoys being able to talk about what books she and her friends have read.  This is the first time I see an interest in reading what is suggested to her by others.  I have often told her that as adults it will come up in conversation what books you have read.  You can’t participate fully in the conversation if you are not well versed in popular and classic literature.  She is beginning to see that first hand on a ten-year old scare.  Again.....a “teachable moment”!  I noticed that with our  focus on just one concentration a day, the more interested they are in doing their other work as well!  I will write more about our weekly accomplishments in the Weekly Wrap Up tomorrow.  
stuffed animal taxonomy

decorating our botany journals
  • I am keeping a control journal (a flylady suggestion) with handy dandy notebooking pages I picked up in the Staples Dollar Bin.    I have room to list our daily appointments and lessons and I jot down our to-do list and a brief list of what we have done.  We have accomplished much this week.  I am completely satisfied with the amount, content and quality of their work.
It has been a great week, no a fabulous week, and it is not over yet!


Jen said...

Wow, you are such an inspiration! I love those pottery bowls! Did the girls make them?

GARY said...

Sounds Great !!!!

Karen said...

This post makes me so happy. Look how far you and your girls have come!! I still feel like I am figuring it all out. :) Love the pictures, especially the taxonomy and the nature journals.

Jessica said...

Jen, The one with the handle was made by Lilah. The other two were made by students at the art school we attend and were sold for $1 each! We love them!

See Jamie blog said...

Congrats on a great week! Love those pottery bowls! And I am trying to get myself on an earlier waking schedule, too; it really does make our days go better.

theresa Bond said...

I love those bowls!!

As always, you are such an inspiration!!

What does the apple cider vinegar do?

Karen said...

Jess, did she make them with a pottery wheel? I love them too! I love little containers and bowls and cool looking stuff. :)

Lynda said...

Wow, I am impressed. I tried flylady, but it became too annoying for me. I was too hard on myself and the pressure got to me. Thank you for linking up to No Ordinary Blog Hop. Have a great weekend.

Jessica said...

Theresa - the vinegar alters the stomach's pH causing less acid production. I wanted to try a natural remedy while I worked on her diet. So far I have been accused of trying to kill her -- all because I made her eat her broccolli!

Karen, She took a pottery class last spring and they made bowls from coiled clay. This school does not let them throw on the wheel until they are 10.

Lynda - Thanks!

Tracy said...

Great post Jessica! It seems I'm always trying to figure out the best schedule, meals, etc... to have my days run smoother! I've been homeschooling since 2005 and I still feel like I do not have a grasp or control over our schedule and responsibilities! I'm glad flylady is working out for you. I have looked into flylady in the past and like most things I did not follow up with the program like I should!
Thanks for linking this post up to No Ordinary Blog Hop! Have a great weekend!

mamak said...

I will be your fly buddy. Well I already am, but just sayin'
I plan on keeping a 6:30 am wake up when I get home as well. Been doing it since I got here and I love the alone time! I get so much done. Will start waking the kids at 8 as well. I think too much sleep is making them foggy.

Renee Ann said...

Wow! What busy and fulfilling days you have. Love the pics of how it all works for you. I'm visiting from the No Ordinary Blog Hop. Blessings!

The Adventurer said...

Thanks for linking up to the NOBH. I have heard of the fly lady but haven't checked it out. Will add that to my list to do today, can always used help organizing my cleaning schedule:) Glad you had a busy but fulfilling week:)

Post a Comment

Don't You Just Stay Home All Day?

It’s funny because last night at youth group some of the kids friends were discussing homeschooling and really truly felt that we stay home...