Diving Deep

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First Week – SUCCESS!!!!

I was a complete stress basket at the beginning of the first week. I was worried that I was taking too big of a bite – our curriculum included Time4Learning lessons (4 math activities, 2 language arts, 1 science, and two social studies each day), weekly spelling lists, creative writing, daily reading (minimum of 30 minutes), cursive handwriting practice, French lessons, and cello practice.

Thanks to my reduced schedule (less cleaning clients and I am also eliminating teaching community education classes), I have had more time during the day to focus on homeschooling. But last Monday started with back to back cleanings, Dave full time at work, and Danielle full time at school. I was on my own!

We survived. More importantly, we thrived.

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Second Week – Off to a Great Start

Em aced her spelling list first try. She had one hiccup, a missing “i” in the word associative. However, she recognized it immediately. I covered the word with my hand and said, “Spell it right, without looking at it, and I’ll call it good.” She did, and wow, zow, what an achievement! I have to credit my husband Dave with this, he took her from a whiny, complaining, feet dragging on the ground, “take two weeks to get a weekly spelling list right” kind of girl this past winter to “we got THREE weekly lists done this week!”

It seems that we have struck a happy middle ground – where I feel we are covering a lot of subjects and doing it well, and Em is challenged but not intimidated by the work.

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The key is reviewing – out loud, in writing, and then we test. He also helped her in ways I couldn’t. I was always good at spelling, so I never needed to know rules or tricks. So I had no way of passing them on to her. But Dave, having had his own share of frustration and difficulty over spelling as a kid, remembered them well. He helped her break words down and be able to retain the spelling rules.

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Those Control Issues

This morning I let Em sleep in. She ambled downstairs at 8:30, so it wasn’t too late. Today is filled with two objectives – homeschool (including Harmony Project) and cleaning the house in preparation for a party on Friday.

I took a few minutes to go talk with our contractor at The Cottage and returned to see the kiddo still in her pjs and rolling around on the couch with the dogs.

I tend to be a “we work, then we have fun” kind of person. And so five minutes after saying to her, “It’s about time to get to homeschooling,” I started to get antsy. She was still happily petting dogs, singing a song, and generally taking her time.

I resisted the urge to bark out an order urging her to hurry up and get on task. Instead, I said, “So, it is 9:10, when would you like to begin homeschooling today?” (I’m growing as a person, I hope others will recognize this and pat me on the head, because it is HARD to pull back and NOT try to control everything)

In any case, she thought for a moment and said, “How about we start at 9:30?” Which was perfect and completely acceptable in my book. Of course, after that, we realized she needed a bath, so a 10 a.m. start time was agreed upon. “I’ll take a quick bath, Mama,” she reassured me.

We started hs’ing at around 10:15. I expect we will be done by mid-afternoon.

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A New ‘Tude

I’m not sure if it was that whole line of “absence makes the heart grow fonder” or what, but ever since Em returned from her two weeks in California, she has been an absolute dream. Not that she isn’t a wonderful, sweet child all the time, because she really is, but there is this extra level of it that I find particularly surprising and rewarding. No whining over chores or school work, no wailing or gnashing of teeth over spelling words, and a willingness to stop what she is doing and help out.

It’s been lovely.

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