It’s been a rough week. We have entered the last 3 months of homeschooling and I’m feeling like I have a hit a wall. I’m not sure if I need a break, nicer weather, or that this is entirely normal. I’m presuming it’s normal.
Ellie and Simon are independent in their learning, I’ve mentioned this in previous posts. Of course I check in with them and make sure they are on track and we read a lot aloud together. I really love this kind of learning. It’s building their confidence, a huge motivator, and they are encouraged to digest new information on their own without a lot of busy work. I’m amazed with what they have achieved.
Penny, on the other hand is a different story. She is my 1st grader. I know for some people, they are fine with kids at that age playing, creating and exploring the world around them. It’s tough for her. She has 2 older siblings working on their own and a mother that is a bit of a “task master” (ahem). This week I have honestly felt like a failure. I have asked myself “what am I doing wrong?!?!”. Penny is getting a lot of concepts, reading fairly well and eager to learn. BUT, all of the things she is not “getting” seems more amplified than usual. That’s when I began to question myself.
Not question our decision to homeschool, but sort of checking in to make sure that I’m doing the best for my child. And that’s what I realized, I wasn’t doing the best. Sure, if she were in a classroom environment my demands and expectations would be acceptable. But when I began to hear her say words like “I am dumb…stupid…failure”, I had the sobering realization that I contributed to this attitude. I was bent on getting lessons DONE. COMPLETE. FINISHED. I was still living in the classroom environment and not fully embracing our home school with Penny. There’s a lot of pressure to teach your kid to read, write, and math. But the pressure I NEED to feel is that my girl has confidence, feels love and taps into her creative heart.
So after our third day of tears and grief, I shut the school books and told her we were finished for the day. She was very disheartened by this, which made me realize that I had her trained to check off her list. After I suggested she help me with making homemade pasta sauce and meatballs, she was my eager and happy student again.
She learned that onions, garlic and butter smell heavenly when cooked together. The addition of tomatoes and balsamic vinegar makes the whole project irresistible!
Her hand on the hip cracked me up. She was working hard!
She also learned that waiting for sauce to simmer is not a bad time to finish up math work. Penny also is diligent in sending me love messages on her work every day. I swear should would do this if she were enrolled in a school too, this girl is full of love!
Another important lesson we learned during our project is that rosemary smells like pine needles and oregano has a questionable fragrance. She learned that blending meat, herbs, crackers and egg is the job of a little a girl for only a bit…then mom needs to take over and squish everything together with her hands!
And at the end of the day, when we work together a beautiful thing will happen…lessons learned and this mother is humbled by her sweet daughter.
I’m at that point in the winter that I’m ready for it to be over. Everyone feels this way. I’m ready to get rid of the boots and shed our coats. One way I get through this time of year is to tackle household projects. There’s no way I want to be painting rooms in the summer, I’d much rather be in the garden or pool side.
Last year, I painted our living room. This year, my kids informed me that they were desperate for some change.
What? No more pink/red room for my little girls?
We’ve lived in our house for nearly 8 years. Before we moved in, we did A LOT of wallpaper stripping, carpet-pulling and painting. We were worn out when our family actually moved in and since then, we have been a bit resistant to too many house projects.
Now, things have changed and I’m on a kick!
Nothing like a few cold days in February to motivate house projects to check off! Here is a shot of the girls’ room. The lighting is not the best and I’ve taken awhile to post photos because of this, so bear with me.
They both compromised several times on color. Mainly Ellie convincing Penny that her ideas rule. I knew I was up against a lot, so I needed to make sure each girl had a part of the room that was special.
So the big blizzard allowed me some concentrated sewing time. Before painting their room, I was able to make a bunch of pillows for their beds. In order for some individuality, I had each girl pick out fabrics for their bed. Penny was all about drawing on fabric for her pillows! Ellie did a great job figuring out a patchwork pillow with scraps.
We switched around furniture with Simon, added mirrors, and actually brought in Ellie’s dresser from the hallway.
This is my favorite part of Penny’s side of the room. The little animals are adorable and very much apart of my girl’s love affair with animals.
My pup, looking so handsome. He likes the new room and spends a good bit of his days on Penny’s bed. He has full view of the neighborhood squirrels.
Notice the age differences between the girls? Ellie’s desk with photos of friends and Robert Pattinson. Penny’s side with toys, books and dolls. Sigh. They ARE growing up.
As I was painting their room it was very sobering. Eight years ago, we moved to this house and Ellie was 4. Penny was not even in our future. Eight years from now, Ellie will be a few months from 21. Sigh, again. I’m not even doing the math on Penny.
Okay, so on the next room!
Last fall, Nathan tore down the ceiling in Simon’s room. It was plaster and cracking. He replaced the ceiling with dry wall. It was a huge project. Messy and a huge clean up. We waited a few months to continue the project since we knew it would displace Simon for a few nights and it was WORK!
After he finished up his duties, I came into the picture and painted his room. Once I started taking furniture out of his room I realized that baseboards, doors, and ceiling needed to be painted too. Thankfully, my mom was extremely generous with her time and helped me paint.
We are a good team.
I still have more work to do, but you get the idea. The plan is to paint some of his furniture a deeper hue of green. I’ll probably tackle that project outside in the Spring!
I love his room. In fact, I take naps in his room regularly. His room also acts as the guest room, so if you want to visit…you’ll have to fight me for his comfortable bed!