Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Word According to Kelsey

This morning as we were reading the Bible, Kelsey (who is two) was also reading aloud, "God said, Get my passy right now!"

Pool Covers

Putting a solar cover on a round pool is not a one-person job. Let me explain. Since some of us have really missed the inground pool we had at our old house, we decided to purchase an above ground pool for the kids to hang out in this summer. We spent Sunday afternoon setting it up and yesterday treating the water. Early this morning I had the brilliant idea that I would get the solar cover on while my little ones lay sleeping in their beds and maybe after lunch it would be warm enough to swim.

Well, just unfolding the cover by myself proved to be a cardio workout. After I rested a minute from the unfolding, I began to pull it onto the pool. Everytime I would get one side, another side would pull off. This went on for about fifteen minutes. Finally, I gave in to defeat and decided to just let the cove rest on the water until the big kids could help me. Meanwhile, I thought I would turn on the pump - you know, start circulating the water. I look out the window and the water from the pump is spraying on top of my cover. What was I thinking?

The little ones are still sleeping and the cover lays on the ground. Some jobs just take more than one person.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Taking it Outside

Spring is my favorite time of the year. The gray, dull days of winter give way to the brilliant colors of spring as everything comes back to life.

Even our homeschool feels the effects of spring. What began with excitement in the fall became dull and tired by winter, but spring breathes new life into our routine. With only a few official weeks of school left, I think we'll take the books and sketch pads outside and enjoy these last few lessons.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Remembering Grandma

I remember big warm welcomes
The sound of singing in the kitchen
The smell of dinner always at noon
Stories in the afternoon
Clothes on the line, vegetables in the garden
Piddlin’ on Saturdays, dime store trips
Weekend lunches at the K&W
Chocolate swirl ice cream & Lawrence Welk
Late evenings on the back porch
Shellin’ beans, shuckin’ corn
Puttin’ up preserves and pickles
The best mater sandwiches in the world
French toast & scrambled eggs for breakfast
Biscuits with butter and King syrup
Barbecued chicken and stewed potatoes for July 4th
Turkey, dressing, ham & collards at Thanksgiving
Pastry, chicken salad, ham & collards at Christmas
Always loving, always encouraging, always remembering

All stories, even the ones we love, must eventually come to an end and when they do, it's only an opportunity for another story to begin. (Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium)

And so the story continues....

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Returning to the Beginning

When we began our homeschooling lifestyle about twelve years ago, it was just that - a lifestyle. There were two little children ready to explore the world and soak it all in. There were days filled with playing and pretending, regular trips to the library, lots of arts and crafts, and plenty of snuggle time. The days were more carefree, and spontaneous field trips, nature walks and trips to the park were the norm. Over time two more children came along and as the older kids began to reach middle school, I became certain we needed more structure, more discipline. After all, we live in this world and we have to be able to measure up to their standard, or do we? So homeschooling became a list of things for each child to check off everyday so he/she could be done and have free time. Well, needless to say schooling has become a little tiresome and instead of loving to learn and longing to know more, we just want to hurry through it so we can put a check mark on our list.

This is definitely not what I had envisioned back in those early years when everyday was an adventure.

So we are returning to the beginning. Instead of checking off things on a list, each child has goals for the week. The goals aren't about how many pages to read or the number of lessons to complete (except for math), but the topics to learn about. And when they write their journal entries, I don't want to know how many chapters you've read - I want to know what you learned.

We have been schooling this way again for almost two weeks and I must admit that while I was very afraid of breaking out of my boxes (there is a lot of comfort in those boxes), it is going very well. I have actually gotten more learning out of them in the last couple of weeks than I have all school year. I am beginning to see the motivation to actually absorb what they are studying, not just mark it off never to remember it again. In addition, we are writing more, even me.

So begins our new adventure - we'll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Beginning Ramblings

Here it is - my first attemp at blogging. My children and my husband have been after me for a while to write, but it seems there's never time.

So what will I write about? With a husband, four kids (a teenager with a social life, two boys who play baseball, and a two-year-old), a dog, homeschooling, and life, I think there will be plenty of material. I am not sure the 'ramblings' will always come in the middle of the night, even though sleep does elude me often, but there will be plenty to 'ramble' about.