Sunday, August 26, 2012

Off Schedule

In the interest of becoming the perfect homeschooling mom (ha!) I have succumbed to scheduling out most of our days now, and while the schedule has helped to get the school year off to a good start, there are going to have to be some adjustments, especially scheduling in more time for me to blog! I'm thankful that the last two weeks have been so productive, but I've also lost the chance to share and preserve memories. So I'm coming back now to preserve here what I can remember.

Two weeks ago I dedicated myself heart and soul to cleaning out our school/craft room and organizing the kids' curriculum for the year. After a week of mess, stress, and a couple of near mental-breakdowns, I stood in a clean room with a box of school curriculum for each girl and a schedule of each girl's school days posted on the wall. Naomi found the binder I had organized with math review worksheets for her to complete during our first several weeks of school, and she sat one afternoon for 5 1/2 hours completing it. I decided then that she was ready for school to begin. And with the hardest work behind us, we were all psyched to hit the ground running last Monday. We just had to stick to the schedules.

Elijah began running a fever shortly after midnight Monday morning. Ah yes, the joke was on me. Because his last ear infection hadn't looked one hundred percent resolved a week earlier, I had been told to bring him in if he began running a fever. So in to the doctor we went Monday morning, where Elijah was diagnosed with a double ear infection. Then to the park we went while we waited for the antibiotic to be prepared, then to the pharmacy, then home for lunch. When Hannah complained that she hadn't gotten the sticker she'd wanted at the doctor, I took the opportunity to explain how sometimes we "get what we get and we don't throw a fit," just as I hadn't gotten the start to our school year that I'd wanted, but we would just "go with the flow." After this convenient lesson in English idiom, we did manage to get a decent day of school in during the afternoon.

Tuesday morning I drug a sad, feverish Elijah to our home school art class, because I didn't want the girls to miss their chance to paint in the style of Eric Carle. When Elijah's fever stayed stubbornly over 104 for the third day, we spent Wednesday morning going back to the doctor to re-check his ears. The ears looked better, which led the doctor to believe Elijah's fever was viral, so we went home to wait it out. His fever broke Wednesday night and Thursday morning he was covered in the tell-tale rash of harmless Roseola. I breathed a sigh of relief then.

Despite this serious attempt to derail our schedule Naomi had done amazingly well at completing her work each day. I had forgotten how much she thrived on a schedule. Somehow that same routine that feels so restrictive to me seems to only empower her. She dove into her work each day, delighted in checking off each completed task, and felt fulfilled when evening came. She is eight years, three months old, and technically entering third grade. Yet she is reading on a fifth to sixth grade level and breezing through her fifth-grade reading for comprehension workbook. She is entering fourth-grade math, devouring fourth grade science, enjoying a fifth-grade vocabulary workbook, thrilled to write couplet poetry, and is refusing to put down her American History textbook--reading 3/4 of it in the first week of school. I flipped through the book yesterday and quizzed her with random questions like "Who was Blacksnake?" which she answered with no trouble at all. In some ways this makes her the easiest child in the world to home school, but in some ways it is very challenging to keep this girl challenged! Just when I think I have a year's worth of curriculum lined up, I find myself scrambling to find more for her to read.

Hannah, on the other hand, has a bright mind but is a little less focused. She wants so badly to help me with Elijah or help Emma with her reading, that she has a hard time sitting still with her own spelling words. She's doing just fine in school, but most of the time still has her head in the clouds. Today she said to me, "Mommy, sometimes I'm tired of just being Hannah all the time."

"You mean you'd like a different name?" I asked, "Which name would you choose?"

She smiled sheepishly and her eyes twinkled up at me, "There are a lot of good names. I think I would choose..." Here she paused dramatically and then whispered whimsically, "Rosie!"

"Rosie Eby?" I laughed.

"No, I can choose a different middle and last name too," she objected. "I would be Rosie Josephina Ruth."

Oh my. I think I need to read her Anne of Green Gables next. She's not Anne Shirley. She's Cordelia.

Unfortunately for Rosie Ruth, the soccer season has been delayed. This means another two weeks or torturous waiting for her. What she doesn't yet know is that a friend from church has decided to bring her to her "bring a friend to ballet class" on Tuesday evening. No, I am not telling Rosie about this until Tuesday afternoon, I've learned my lesson there!

Yes, that is a bow on Elijah's head. Not my fault.
Emma, who still prefers to be called Emma, continues to progress nicely with her speech and can't wait for the preschool year to begin. And Toby continues to amuse me with suggestions like (while looking at another potato-based dinner), "Maybe we could borrow some pizza from Applebees for dinner."

Tomorrow begins another week of learning, growing, and laughing at the Eby house--on schedule or off.

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