I just wanted to let you all out there know that I am still on this planet, but I have been busier than busy. I have been digging deep on sorting out how our homeschool life really is going to work for us. I change my mind daily about it all. One thing is consistent though... I know that I want God to be at the center of it all. Amazingly, a year ago I would have told you that I thought it was just fine to keep God and school seperate. What an amazing journey this year has been for me and my family. In this very moment I am just realizing how strange it is that I am making that statement as a type.. you see today marks our One Year Anniversary of homeschooling!! Wow! I can't believe it.... This day one year ago was Savannah and Sierra's last day to attend public school. October 31, 2008 I sent Savannah to school telling her that it might be the last time she would be attending public school and her daddy told her in the car that morning that it would be (I wanted to not tell her and make it easy for her... He thought she needed to tell her friends goodbye... I didn't want teacher drama, etc... It was okay either way, I guess.)
I spent a great deal of time over the coming months feeling awful for Sierra because she loved her school and all it had to offer her. Sadly, it was a break away for her and a chance for her to shine. What I have witnessed in our home is something that was not immediate and still is a work in progress, but it is that we are learning to let her shine.... HERE. I struggle with feeling like I am not good enough to deal with her... see, she is very independent. She does not need others like some kids do, but in many ways she needs me more. She needs to feel important and special. Sometimes in a larger than average family a child like that gets kind of looked over. That is how I feel about her. She is confident and a hard working... focused and driven to succeed. She is willing to jump in and do her part, but as wonderful as that all seems it is easy to forget to focus on her needs. She is the child that always wanted to sleep in her OWN bed and left us heartbroken that she did not want to sleep with us. ;) We disturbed her from resting. ;( She was so happy to move out of our room and the baby bed and move on to her big girl bed alongside her older sister. I could lay her down for a nap and put on the Pooh Heffalump movie and she would always drift off to peaceful sleep when Kanga would sing Roo to sleep in the movie. I might note that I rocked Savannah to sleep for naps until she was four years old... or longer. Sierra was quite content with all this, but it left me with mommy guilt anyway. :) Due to birth order I never read to Sierra as much... or did anything as much as I did for Savannah. All of those things are normal, but I always felt I should be doing more for her. I also, had a fall and pregnancy loss when she was 1 1/2 which caused me to have some anxiety issues... always trying to be careful, etc.. I am sure I sat around way to much when I should have been up and busy with her. Just life's happenings really, but it all left me feeling like she always got the leftovers of me. So, taking her away from something she loved was a hard thing and caused me much guilt... once again! Guess what I know now?! I am not shortchanging her!! I am learning HOW TO focus on her. I will say that it has not felt that way, but sitting her now I can tell you that many of my schedule changes have been because I know that she is not getting her time that she needs for her learning and her Kindergarten experience. And in the last few weeks I have been scrapping all my plans to make sure we are "getting it right"... and I don't mean academics (gasp!) ... I mean the way we do our schooling... the time we spend together... the way we spend that time... the way we interact with one another... my attitude... their attitudes... I can finally see that this is all going to work. I can let it go and let it "happen". Sierra is shining, too.
Reflecting Back.... Some things that we have accomplished are: I taught Sierra her ABC's and am teaching her how to begin reading... her numbers... many other things.... NOT some other person, but ME taught her!!! Wow! And I must say that I really do not know what I am doing, but I work hard at it and we are learning together how to teach her. It is truly amazing! I have taught Savannah so many new concepts... many of which I can't imagine that she would learn so easily (if she were not fighting me all the way... [insert sarcastic grin])... basic addition & subtraction, complex addition & subtraction, 100, 000 place and beyond, Roman Numerals, fractions, telling time, punctuation, abbreviations, LOVING TO read vs. hating to read, cursive handwriting, multiplication (1s, 2s, 3s, 4s, 5s, 10s, 11s, some 12s), beginning division, LOVING music vs. disliking music... the list goes on.
I think we have started to enjoy our schooling more... What a great way to celebrate our special anniversary!!! Anyway, I will catch you all up on my life a bit later... we are here... we are working hard... and I am evaluating carefully how I spend my time and unfortunately I have been taking a bit of a bloggy break. I need to update the MFW blogroll posts some and I want to show you some of things we have been up to... The Texas Renaissance Festival was great... our costumes were so fun.... we enjoyed some fall festivals.... we, I mean, the older girls each won 1st place in a costume contest tonight at a nearby fall festival! I was super thrilled since I made them!! They were super thrilled because their Momma made them and they got a bucket of fun and candy for a prize! OOoooohhh ... sorry... no pics right now... I will share later... but now I must go to bed.