Thursday, December 18, 2014

I need to Slow Down

Somewhere along the way I forgot to slow down for December.  This is the first year that we have had scheduled lessons that do not take break for the holidays.  It is a cardinal rule that homeschooling classes take December off.  However, we are marching along with ASL private lessons (they end this week until the second week of January), horseback riding (you pay for your spot every week), piano (I was going to cancel it, but we have a new piano that the girls are dying to show their teacher), art class (it ended this week), and dog training (it too ends this week).  

The problem with classes running so late into the month is that while we got art, language arts (we finished The Best Christmas Carol), sign language, music, and life skills taken care of, there is virtually no time for the other subjects that we do at home like history, science and math.  The time we have at home is spent preparing for Christmas, shopping for gifts that can’t be ordered online, finishing up Christmas Cards, picking up gifts at the UPS center, finishing the Jesse Tree project for church, oh and making sure we have food to eat and clean clothes to wear.  This is why classes generally do not meet in December.  Note to self.  Never sign up for December classes again.

When life is this busy during the holidays it is hard to find peace.  Right now I am desperately seeking peace.  I have friends that I wish were closer so I could help them handle sickness and injury.  I have friends who have divorced and family who are divorcing.  I have the world’s events weighing heavily on my heart.  As I get older I can see why the holidays are hard for some.  I swear our books this year have come to us for a reason.  My Aunt gave me a copy of the Best Christmas Pageant years ago and I started it and never finished it.  But this year we picked it up and we adored it.  Through this book I looked at the nativity story from the perspective of Mary and Joseph.  Their journey to Bethlehem was not easy.  They had no where to stay.  No one offered them assistance.  Mary was about to give birth without the comfort of home.  They were treated no better than farm animals.  How difficult it must have been for her.  How brave she was.  How helpless Joseph must have felt not being able to give his family the basic needs at a moment when they needed it most.  And yet, they persevered.  The found peace in the angel’s comfort.  They found peace in the Wise Men’s visit.  They found peace in spite of their surroundings.  If ever there was an example of family, this one is it.

I don’t want to look back on this holiday season and see myself missing from pictures because I was too busy to remember the reason we are preparing.  I don’t want to make school work and lessons my focus and the cause of my stress.  

week of December 8th (last week)

Language Arts
We finished  A Tale of Two Cities!
Lilah added two pages to her Crosby journal.
They both worked on their piece from writing group, each adding several pages to their stories.  

Began The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson.  Lilah has read this book ages ago but Grace and I never have!  It is the perfect short fun Christmas read coming off of Dickens.
Week #13 Life Science: Plants
Class #5 again in the bird section.  Grace chose a seagull and Lilah chose a duck.  They also attended an art exhibit featuring pieces by their instructor on the Yale campus.

We attended the local high school’s holiday concert to see Grace’s friend Victoria sing with the choir.

Both girls spent three hours redesigning a card game that Lilah made up years ago to make it more professional looking and harder to play.  

Piano Guys Christmas Concert at The Oakdale Theater in Wallingford!!

Art Journaling with three friends this week.  
Lesson #5
Dog Training
Class #5 - one more to go before graduation.  I don’t think he’s ready.  He’ll probably be held back.  All he wants to do is play.  At home he is doing great, which is what really matters...
More ground pole work.  More cantering.  I thought this was the week when Grace would end up on her backside.  Lilly was not much in the mood for riding.  Perhaps the Nor’Easter we were having or the fact that she obviously had a stomach ache contributed to her gloomy mood.
weekly lesson with Jennie
Grace is preparing for a performance with the Music Director at Church this weekend; a Christmas Pageant sing along.  She and Lilah both performed at an assisted living center.

Piano Guys Concert!
Grace took Crosby to work with her Monday.  He did not love being kenneled, even though it was a large pen but he loved playing outdoors with loads of room to run!  

Piano Guys concert was spectacular.

First dusting of snow!

Art Journaling

A beautiful evening at our little church by the sea.


Karen said...

Beautiful Jess. As someone who is outside looking in, your days and weeks are always so lovely to me. I think we are all too hard on ourselves at times. Trust me, you live in the moment better than anyone I know. Your life is filled with goodness and fun and learning and love. Another great week. Trust me. <3

Jessica said...

Thank you Karen. This week is much slower and I have to say that I love it. I am not scheduling any classes (other than our core ones) from January to March and we are going to enjoy time at home and Lilah and I will feel balanced.

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