Monday, May 13, 2013

First day of summer!

Well, we did it.  We made it through our first year of homeschooling and oh what a year it has been!  I know I am still a newbie, but it sure does feel good to get that first year under my belt. 

Today is our first official day of summer and it is kind of weird feeling for me.  I keep thinking there is something else I should be doing.  Kind of like something is missing.  I must admit breakfast wasn't the same without our stories and talk about our day/week.  I have tried explaining to the kids what summer is, but they are still eager to learn.  During snack they wanted to do flashcards and have already asked to go to the library so they can pick out books for their summer reading.  I have decided I want them to continue reading and doing math in some fashion for the summer.  Not every day and not necessarily what I want them to work on, but maybe computer games for math and books of their choice from the library.  We will have to see how that all pans out. 

Since I have had a little extra time on my hands today, I was thinking about all the things I learned in my first year of homeschooling.  Here goes.

Take Time Off
  • One of the greatest perks of homeschooling.  If things aren't going right that day or the kids aren't into their school work, take some time off.  This could mean a couple of hours, a day or two, or even a week.  There is no need for me as a teacher or a child to get upset over school.  This should be a fun learning experience for everyone. 
  • We took our vacation while everyone else was in school.  We were able to save a lot of money and the beaches weren't packed!
  • We were able to take more time off around the holidays.  This was a great way for our family to spend extra time together and start family traditions.

Have Pajama Days

  • These were days we never left the house and the kids LOVED them.  We still did our school work and they were always excited to do it.  It was always amazing to me at how well the kids played together when they knew it was just going to be a quiet day at home.

If It's Nice Outside, Go Outside!

  • I have a whole new perspective on this with the crazy weather we have had this year.  If it is nice outside, we are taking advantage.  That can mean just playing out back, going on a nature walk, eating outside or just doing our schoolwork outside.  My kids love taking a book and just relax in the grass.

  • Fresh air can do a mind and body good.  You never know what you might come across when you spend the day outdoors.  Here, the kids have spotted a woodpecker.

  • Besides, what kid doesn't want to be outside?1?

There is Always Tomorrow

  • In the beginning, I would stress out if we didn't get our work done for that day, but by the end, it was no biggie.  I knew I could catch up that night or tomorrow or the next day.  If we had to do some work over the weekend when daddy was home to help, all the better.
  • There were times I would explain something to my kids and they just didn't get it.  It could be a little frustrating for me from time to time.  However, I learned just to try again the next day.  They would always shock me when all of a sudden randomly in the car they would tell their daddy what I had been working so hard to teach them.  It is a great feeling!

Include Littles as Much as Possible

  • They catch on quickly!
  • I strongly believe they know when they are being left out, even at a young age.  My baby grunts when I don't give her a flashcard.  She has no idea what is going on, but loves to be part of it.
  • The best part is you never really know what's going to come out of their mouth.  Sometimes they get it right and you are totally surprised or sometimes it is just so funny, the entire family gets a good laugh.

Let Your Kids Help
  • It is amazing how much they can actually do it you let them.
  • Cleaning the house, laundry, helping make meals etc.  Give them the chance, they might surprise you!

I feel like I have learned a lot this past year.  They may be super simple things, but things that need to be remembered.

As for today, we spent the first of hopefully many days out in the sun.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

An End of an Era!

As most of you know, I have been pregnant and/or nursing since May 2007.  That is six years of having a baby on me or in me at all times!!  Well, I am happy and sad to say that part of my life is coming to a close. 

My baby is turning 1 this month so I have been working on switching her to whole milk.  I have been down to her morning feeding for a couple of weeks, but haven't been ready to let it go.  We are talking the 6 am morning feeding, so you would think I would be ready.  I would look down at her every morning and ask myself if I would be OK if this was the last one and surprisingly, the answer would always be no.  Well, Sunday morning, the answer turned to yes and for me, that is the end of a very big part of my life.  Am I sad?  Oh yes!  Am I happy?  Not quite yet, but I am looking forward to what lies ahead.
  • Today I slept until 7 without any interruption.  Just a reminder, I have not done that in 6 years!!
  • My husband and I are going on vacation at the end of the month without kids, I'm not pregnant and I don't have to bring a pump.  This is a first seeing as how we got pregnant on our honeymoon.
  • Once my body adjusts, I am going to go shopping!
  • I have had my last Flintstones vitamin (I have been taking 2 a day as a prenatal vitamin)
Just a few examples of the simple things that will change without a nursing baby.  I know there are many more things that will change as we enter our next phase in life and I am looking forward to enjoying every single one of them!