Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Some things that are going well...

I have a tendency to mentally dwell on those things that aren't going well in my life. I guess you'd call it a penchant for the negative. It's something that I want God to work on in my life and I'm praying about it in this season of motherhood and home school. Homeschooling has been a HUGE area of challenge for me. My thought life has centered on what I can't seem to do and what doesn't happen, rather than the things that are going well or things that I can do. So, in the spirit of trying to correct this deep-seeded fault I have, I'm going to list here in black and white some things that are going well with our home school right now:

First, we are "doing school" every day. Believe me, that has not always been the case! Just doing school each day--in some way, shape or form--has helped lift the conviction I was under!

I'm getting more organized with our school supplies and curriculum. This weekend, Charlie and I cleaned out the closet in our family room and I now have this beautifully organized and spacious closet filled with puzzles, books, papers, and school supplies right at my finger tips. It makes our school time much smoother when I don't have to spend as much time searching for items we need to get started on a project or lesson.

The Folders. Each of the girls now has a color coded, three ring folder that holds their school work for the week. On Sunday afternoon/evening, I spend time preparing for the entire week. I copy anything that needs copying, print off extra math drills from the Internet etc. I also type out a list of lessons that must be completed by Friday afternoon for each girl and put it into the folder. If they finish the work early, they are done with school early in the week--great incentive for them and me! At the end of the week, I empty the folder, filing away anything that should be saved and recycling the rest.

The Great Toy Round-Up 2009! One of my biggest competitors for my girls' attention was their TOYS! How can you make phonics games and math flash cards seem more fun than Polly Pockets or My Little Pony?!?! Hubs and I rounded up all the competing toys, sorted them into color-coded bins and put them away. All we left out were stuffed animals, mega blocks and their play kitchen dishes. These were toys we felt would not compete with school. The girls now know that they other toys can come out Friday night after Daddy gets home from work, but have to be packed away before bed Sunday evening. Happily, there have been no protests or complaints! PTL!!!

We're eating better. Instead of just trying to get food on the table, I've tried to be MUCH more conscientious about providing healthy, hearty meals. Whole grain cereals, oatmeal, fruit for breakfast. Lots of fresh veggies and fruits at lunch time. Dinners that are about more than just eating, but also about sharing what God did in our day. This has really helped keep my kids more even keeled all day. They aren't as crabby and cranky because of hunger:)

A regularly scheduled rest time each week. Sometime mid-week, I schedule a rest time for everyone. Me included. Surprisingly, this has become a household favorite. Everyone (even my three year old) loves to take a giant stack of books to bed with them and curl up for a good hour or so.

Capturing time...this is a biggie. I've really been asking the Lord to help me capture every moment that could be used for learning purposes. Setting the table--my oldest can work on division and fractions; my middle one works on adding and subtracting; my next youngest works on counting and matching. The two oldest help each other with reading and spelling as the younger one spells words aloud and the older one listens and tells her what the words are. Both of the older girls read books to Olivia and she is loving that time with her big sisters. Even when we're at the grocery store or the bank, there are opportunities to connect them to the world around them and learn.

So, these are things that are going well. It's tempting for me to write another post about things that aren't going well, but I'm learning (slowly) that dwelling on the negative won't glorify God. He is so gentle and patient and will lead me through any changes and corrections necessary.

Thanks, Lord, for showing me what You are doing in my life and that is good because You are doing it. In Jesus' Name, Amen.