Mommy and Me

Mommy and Me
Sharing life with you is fullfilling

Friday, August 29, 2014

School has begun

Thinking about Caeden being in 1st grade is hard on me. We started our home school journey when he was only 3 years old. It was a trial year to see if I could handle it.  Boy was it hard on me. Caeden is not a sit down and learn type of child. He wants to get up and do things and at that he wants to do them his way.
This year however.. He is 5 nearly 6 and we are still on trial, not to see if I can handle it anymore, but he is in this awkward space between kindergarten and 1st grade ages. If he were in public school there would be no question he would go to kindergarten but not because he can't do 1st grade work, no because he is a get up and go child who doesn't like to follow conventional rules. He is going to be a leader one day I just know it. He wouldn't fare well in the public school realm as one of the oldest in the class at this age group.
However even though he passed everything required of him for moving on to 1st grade I still was a bit reluctant to move him on, fearing the challenges of some of the sit still work. He has proven me wrong 100 times over in the 4 days since we started school.
Yes we still struggle, yesterday was a perfect example of the struggle,  but if we start early in the day it seems to go a lot more smoothly, and yesterday I had an appointment for Fia that prevented us from starting school until noon. So he was already done with his sit and concentrate mood.
You might want to know what our curriculum is... well let's start with the process I have been through to get where we are.  Our dear friend told me the first few years you don't really need to have a curriculum.  I didn't believe her until after spending 3 months preparing a free curriculum I found online and then a few weeks into it I realized though the curriculum was good it didn't work for children with the wiggles.  So instead of investing in a new one I started adlibbing the days through preschool and he succeeded. 
Then came kindergarten and I decided again not to invest money into a curriculum this time not because it was an early grade but because I was worried about spending money on something that would so quickly fail for my child.  Instead I looked up the core curriculum that public schools are using across the nation. I realized while researching that I didn't like the way they taught reading and choose to wing it and be backward teaching word recognition instead of phonics first.  And once we really got going everything was caterer to my child's learning style and flowed very well. It wasn't long before I also noted that science was way too easy for him and we picked up a 3rd grade science book at an auction after they had finished selling and it was free. He loved it and it wasn't until the last two chapters when they introduced math concepts into the lessons that they became too difficult for him to understand (We were still on number recognition and they were talking about multiplication).
If you have been following my blog you know that during our kindergarten year we had a baby and moved houses three times finally ending up in a 5th wheel at a campground. you can understand with all that packing I didn't have time or resources to prepare a curriculum myself.  Plus after eliminating science and reading from the core curriculum I didn't have much faith in it to teach my son, and was all the more driven to teach him myself and not send him to public school. So without any further ado, our curriculum for this year is Konos. I did a lot of research on curriculum and loved that Konos teaches all its lessons around character traits like attentiveness (our first trait). I also liked that they want kids to be wiggly. And it is a curriculum meant for multiple age groups so if Caeden is advanced in science I don't have to have a different curriculum for him to get what he needs out of it.
Konos doesn't cover some subjects though. Math, phonics, spelling, and learning to read are not in the curriculum.  There are plenty of reading projects once the child knows how but no method to teach them.  This might be hard for some but for me considering the backward method I started Caeden on last year it is perfect and means I can continue to do that with him. We have also picked up some kindergarten and 1st grade workbooks from various stores (target, and 5 below) that will support his learning phonics this year.
I got phonics flashcards from target that show a letter or phonetic sound on one side and a list of six words on the other to show the use of the sound. These are our spelling words.
And last but not least we are trying Singapore math this year. Honestly I wish I had learned math this way. I'm very excited about it and Caeden is doing well with it too. I've been surprised how good he has been doing with everything so far. Makes me believe I choose right in having him start 1st grade instead of repeating kindergarten.
You may wonder what Fia is doing during the day while Caeden does school.  She is most often involved. Konos activities almost always are ok for her to join in, and when we are working on math or spelling or writing she is tracing letters or numbers in a work book from target or showing me the letter a (for now) in Caeden's spelling words. Her curriculum is really a non curriculum.  But at her appointment yesterday she was asked to trace some lines and I was rather thankful we had been working on that very thing this week.
Last thing before I get going on school for the day; how does our day flow?
We wake up and start with breakfast around 7 am (sometimes earlier) as soon as breakfast dishes are taken care of and everyone is dressed I pull out the school books. We have family reading and bible verse memorization practice.  Then math, spelling or phonics, and konos activities.  We are done by the time I need to make lunch and everyone lays down for rest time right after lunch which is usually about 1 PM and we stay there until Patrick gets home from work at 3:20 PM.
If everyone sleeps then I get a chance to wash dishes and get things ready for the evenings activities which three times a week means going to the gym, once a week grocery shopping and the rest of the days probably finishing laundry and getting in baths before bedtime.
There you have it. Thanks for reading all that. How is your school year going? Are you sending your kids off to public school or teaching them at home? How does the day flow?

Friday, August 22, 2014

Getting ready

This is officially the last weekend before we start school here... I'm both nervous and excited.
1st grade is such a big deal!  My boy is getting so grown up. 
We are even going to play around with some preschool for Fia. I wasn't going to, not on the books anyway, but she is going to be doing almost everything Caeden does anyway so I figured I should keep track of it all just to see the progress she makes before kindergarten next year.
So I guess I have two children in school now.
I have chosen to follow the konos curriculum.  It covers everything except phonics and math from kindergarten to eighth grade. Phonics I will be teaching my own way using a mixture of methods as I did last year,  math however is not my forte so I bought the Singapore math text and work books.  I'm excited and honestly wish it had been the method taught to me.
In the meantime we are preparing for Monday and trying to enjoy the beautiful weather we have in eastern pa right now.  We took the trash in the wagon down to the bins... we were quite a sight.  I pushed Micah in the stroller,  Fia pushed her doll in a doll stroller,  and Caeden pulled the wagon. We also had Boomer with us, poor thing doesn't get many walks.  We were a mini parade on the way to the garbage bins.
On the way back  we became worm paramedics and rescued three worms from the road way.  I'm sure they appreciated it even if they scared Caeden by wriggling and twisting when he tried to pick them up. It's nice at this age I don't have to admit to being a wuss that doesn't like touching worms, I just call it a learning experience and make them do it themselves.  One day they will know their mama is a wimp though.
It's a glorious day... how are you spending it?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Getting up.

When he was an infant, Micah would try to start his day at 4:30am.. This sucked but was really no worse than him waking for a feed because he didn't stay awake long. Now as a 9 month old he is waking up at 5:30am after a few weeks of sleeping until 6 or 6:30am. I thought perhaps it was due to teething, or because he was cold, but this morning he has already cut the tooth (though perhaps there are more coming) and he was not cold...I think we have formed a habit .
It's hard to break a habit in a child. But breaking baby habits involves a lot of tears and baby tears are loud. So breaking bad habits during other people's sleep is no bueno in a 5th wheel.
You might suggest that I get in the habit of waking up at that time, and I would answer that I am up then... but I'm up packing Patrick ' s lunch and making his breakfast. And once he leaves for work I like to fit in some bible reading.  But with Micah up I don't always get Patrick ' s food prepared which means that he has to spend money to eat, which then throws off the budget (not by much mind you but it comes out of his spending money and I'm sure there are other things he would use the money for if he could).
So how do you silently get a baby back to sleep?  I do not want to nurse him to sleep anymore,  he is finally starting to find ways to soothe himself that do not involve my breasts and I like that. I'm hoping he will just eventually fix it himself if I stick to my guns and don't nurse him until after Patrick leaves for work.  But because of how things are going, instead of being up and ready for the day when the kids wake up I am laying in bed with Micah until 8 am when he finally goes back to sleep.  And next week when we start school I can't be doing that.
Anyway if you have any suggestions please send them my way!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Sewing projects

I love learning new things! 
I have one week to finish my projects and get ready to start school with Caeden.  So for the first time since moving into the 5th wheel I pulled out my sewing machine.  I'm re-covering a high chair cover with plastic to make it easier to clean... However I have come across two problems.  1. Plastic sticks to the machine and won't let it slide through. 2. If I pull my fabric along it screws up the tension and makes an ugly seam. Ugh. Oh and plastic doesn't recover after you make a hole in it the hole stays so it is super important not to make bad stitches!
I have screwed up two spots. Hopefully I can recover from that and not make any more. If I manage that goal then I could be more ready for school next week than I thought was possible.
On another much sadder note we had our first 5th wheel related injury today. I feel awful but I can't see any way I could have prevented it 100%.
Caeden had just come inside and closed the door but unknowingly hadn't latched it. Micah is pulling up on everything lately and the door is no exception. He tried the unlatched door and fell out. The second it happened my heart stopped.  I ran as quickly as possible but the damage was done my poor baby was laying on the ground outside by the time I got to him.  He has a really pretty bruise on his forehead and what looks like a scratch just above it. He didn't bleed so I don't know if you call that a scratch or what.  I tried to ice it but he just fought it off and it made him cry more so I left it alone.  He seems unmoved about it. Even fell asleep at nap time on the bruised side...I however feel like trailer trash. I am still in my pj's,  hair not brushed,  bare foot,  and my baby fell out of my trailer...guess who is winning mom of the year today? 
I'll update later on how baby is and whether the high chair cover survives my machine, but for now...I'm going to go brush my hair.

Friday, August 15, 2014

I have missed you.

Unexpectedly two weeks ago my phone, my only means of connection to ANYONE, began to blink and then died... I thought I was low tech, I learned that is impossible in our day. I totally survived the two weeks that followed the death of my mobile device, but was rather lonely at times and was worried that my pregnant clients would not be able to reach me. However everything was fine in the end. It just made me miss the days of having Internet in my home and a land line to call people. Samsung is currently repairing my old phone and my mother in law bought a used one for me to use until I get it back. However Samsung told me to remove my sim card so I thought I could put it in the new phone... not so! It flagged the card as stolen and locked it! So sprint should be able to unlock it They pitched it and gave me a new one... which means because I didn't sync my phone to my Gmail account (which by the way I thought I had but hadn't) I have lost almost all of my contacts! How's my attitude about all of this? Pretty awesome. Yes I'm annoyed but life isn't over. What else has happened? Lol. Well my debit card was copied and my account was used to buy someone's groceries! But that was resolved with a single phone call. I got my lovely ganglion cyst back. I got sick yesterday... All the symptoms of pregnancy to which was quite fun to think about for the day. But then at 7th when dinner was finally done and I couldn't eat it I took my temperature and saw I had a slight fever and decided it wasn't a baby but a tummy bug that was also giving me a back ache and head ache. I feel fine this morning! Praise God because we are supposed to be visiting with some friends this weekend. And now I don't think we will have to cancel. This all could really have gotten me down over the last two weeks but hasn't. I'm so glad to be blessed by God, and to be with my family!