Monday, September 17, 2012

Grove Park Academy

Back in session with two preschoolers and a 1st grader. . . I can't wait for EJ's stuff to get here so we can start doing the real curriculum next week, until then we're doing worksheets etc. from online and some we had left from summer review and lots of reading.
We've got two co-ops we joined . . one at Summit Church on Thursday and one at Kings Park Church on Friday.  We are busy but now in a good way.  We have no commitments in the afternoons so naps for the wee one are happenings and it is wonderful.  No melt downs at 4 or 5 pm, no more yogurt for dinner, real food again, no more 5:30pm bedtimes :)  The sense of relief is wonderful.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The tough decisions . . .

Justin and I talked and talked and prayed and talked to try and figure out what is best.  We have come to the decision that 2.5 hours in the car daily for me, 1.5 for the girls and 1 for Elijah just to do school drop offs is not OK.  It is expensive in gas and time better spent doing other things.  Having napless girls throwing tantrums during "homework" time, having to wake sleeping children to do homework at 5:30am, bedtimes at 6pm, not seeing daddy at all during the week . . . the cost was just too high.

We are joining two co-ops . . Thursday and Friday. . .so for 6 hours a week Elijah will be in a "classroom" setting and the girls will be in "preschool."  This is important to me because a return to real school is something that I see happening and I don't want them to be unprepared.  This will also give him a set amount of "socialization" and that is also something I want for him.  Monday through Wednesday we'll hit the homeschool hard . . . reading, Math, phonics . . fun times :)  The girls will do preschool, he will do homeschool.  It will all work out.  We'll find our groove and get it on.

We're also really praying about Justin telecommuting.  It would mean one day a week he could stay here and he might also be able to work a shorter day and be home for supper and then work for a few hours after the kiddos go to bed.  I am giddy at the thought of bedtime help during the week.  It would mean moving the girls into bunk beds and changing Bethy's room into an office.  We are seriously praying if this is the right decision . . .the sleepless time of adjustment is daunting.  Bethany routinely gets up between 4 and 5am so it would be tough on Lydia. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Suckier and Suckier

So Elijah got bit the first week of school and today he was upset because his "friends" were teasing him in the bathroom because of his underwear and "not-plain" socks.  Seriously?  The school has uniforms.  Why do they HAVE to find something to pick on him about? 

At this point I have just had it.  I actually like Kestrel.  Elijah likes his teacher.  I think she is great and trying hard.  I think I just hate the idea of school in general.  He is spending every afternoon telling me who did what and what color they were on.  That they can lose recess time, class privelages, etc. for bad behavior.  He hasn't had a single warning or anything, but he gets home and all that strain from being "good" all day unleashes on me and the girls and he is awful.  I am fast realizing, that for our family, the "cost" of school may not be worth it.  It is "easier" not having to struggle with him to do his work, but I get a horribly grouchy fussy little boy with 1 hour of homework to fight with every night instead.  I just don't know.  We said we'd give it a go until Christmas but we're going to have to see. . .

If you have kids in school, or put your kids through school, please leave me comments . . . convince me that this is worth it.  Right now I may not be seeing the forrest for the trees and might be missing a bigger picture.  It is just, down here where I am, it sucks.  Period.

Friday, September 07, 2012

I'm not fussing . . .

Bethany has been having big problems with getting out of bed and crying after I lay her down to bed.  IT has been getting somewhat better since she gets up at 5am and doesn't nap . . she can barely hold her eyes open at night.  Still though, she has a chart she gets to put stars on.  When she gets 30 stars she gets her own leapster.  I am a fan of incentives.

Last night she wasn't asleep.  She had fallen asleep during the day for a brief catnap and wasn't particularly exhausted.  I went in and reminded her that if she fussed or got out of bed then she wouldn't get her star.

I came downstairs to clean up and I hear over the monitor her yelling
"Mommy! Mommy! I want more snuggles.  I want more snuggles.  Mommy do you hear me?  Mommy! Mommy!  I'm not fussing.  I can still get a star.  I am just yelling to you . . I need snuggles!"  It went on for 20 minutes.  She never got up or cried so she did earn her star.  OF course I could have done without the 4am wake up call.  I guess that's what happens when you go to bed at 6:30pm.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

I Hate School

VENT alert:

I hate having to go into the room at 6am and wake my sleeping son, rush him to eat and dress and get ready and be out the door by 6:45.  I hate the sound of my alarm at 5:30.  I hate that the girls have to watch TV while their daddy showers so I can drive for an hour to drop him off and come home.  I hate that we've had to cut out naps, because try as I may I can't change the fact that these girls have napped at 1:30pm ever since afternoon naps were established and we have to leave at 1:45 to pick up brother.   Despite trying to get them down at 11:30 I can't do it. I hate sitting in the stupid car pool line for 30 minutes while the girls whine at watch videos.  I especially hate losing my little boy to school for 7 hours and then having to force his tired, overworked little self to do homework when he gets home.  He was in tears tonight.  I put him to BED at 5:30 because he was begging to sleep.  He will get a wake up at 5:30 tomorrow morning so that he can do his homework that didn't get done tonight. 

I miss the life we had before school.  I don't like change.
Everyone is saying that we'll get used to it and that things will change and we'll start liking this.

I do like the girl time.  Preschool is fun in homeschool and we are having a blast.  The girls play OK together, very differently than when Elijah is here.  Elijah likes his time at school but it is hard on him.  He is so obsessed about being on "green" that he gets home and just explodes.  All that good behavior wears him out.  He said that three kids cried today when they got on blue or yellow (the warnings) because their parents would be mad at them.  He said one kid's dad spanked him with a belt.  I feel bad for these kids.  I have made my son cry before, I have spanked him, I discipline him regularly.  I know it is a part of life.  I just hate to see him stressed like this.

We've got to try to hang in until Christmas.  By then we should know if the routine is going to work or not.  By then we have to decide if it will be homeschool or Kindergarten for Lydia. 

I just don't know. 

I know that I am struggling.  I want the house to be clean and perfect and its not.  I get stressed by the messes.  I know I hate change.  I know I don't like others judging me and that's what school feels like, his teachers constantly evaluating and judging if he is "good enough", if I am good enough.  I hate that after about 1:30 our day is just awful.  Meltdowns, screaming, bad attitudes, homework fights, crying, yelling, struggling to get dinner made, baths done and everyone in bed.  Hubby sees Elijah for maybe 15 minutes a day.  He is never home before bed because he can't leave until I get back from drop off and his office moved the same time school started and his commute is now 45 minutes to an hour.  At least when the children napped it was a 7:30 bedtime so there was at least some chance of him seeing them.  Now, between 5:30 and 6pm is the normal time they go to bed.

I know when I homeshooled we'd have bad days.  Days when school didn't happen.  Days when I yelled.  Days when the kids didn't nap and the house was trashed.  It just seemed like we ended up with more good than bad days.  I am sure I am looking back with rose colored lenses though and things were hard then.  I guess I just felt more in charge of the chaos because I didn't have many external forces pulling at me.

I am praying that once MOPs starts and once our co-op starts that having some adult interaction will help.  It will give me something to look forward to during the week.  That the girls and I will make friends.  That I will meet other mothers with children who go to school and they can give me some advice.  I am hoping we will adjust to the schedule and things won't feel like absolute chaos every single day anymore.

I am praying that I will daily find a way to be happy and content in this situation and just stop WAITING.  I don't want to wait to enjoy our life.  I want to enjoy it now.

The Prayer

Bethany prayed at dinner:
"Dear God PLEASE give me some food I wike. Thank you for Jesus. Amen"  Then she peeped out of her squeezed tight lids at the bowl of corn chowder, sighed and pushed it away.

Elijah piped up:
"Remember Beth.  God says three answers: 'Yes' 'No' and 'Not yet' . . .guess he said "no" tonight"

Ahh . . .the deep theology of a 6 year old and the blind faith of a 2 year old.  I was laughing.