Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Before and After Public School Day 1

6.40am
I had a horrible night's sleep, nightmares about trusting people I don't know.  This is not going to be easy, handing my two precious bundles to strangers who I am supposed to trust just because they are part of the government.

Well, their uniforms are all ironed, they have worn their shoes for short stretches (that reminds me, pack them both some band aids!), lunch boxes are in the fridge packed, water bottles in the freezer chilling and now we need to have breakfast, get faces clean and hair respectable, and put it altogether before 8.45.

Why am I writing a blog instead of getting going?  Because the baby still likes his morning moo and it is not worth his or my stress levels to rush him.

1pm update
Well the boys got settled fairly easily.  No tears, just a quick kiss and off they went.  It is awfully quiet at home with only 2 boys and 1 of them on the computer playing.  It was even quieter when the youngest decided to have a middle of the day sleep for an hour.

This is going to be very interesting, working to someone else's timetable.  But then again it could be very useful because as homeschoolers we haven't really had much of a sense of urgency about anything regularly.

I will start the teenager on his school next Monday, once the dust has settled and things are happening more smoothly with getting to school.

8pm update
Jack said it was a fun day although I think now after gymnastics as well that he may be a bit tired.  I don't know if it was timing or the speed my boys eat at but they didn't have long to eat lunch before going to play.  Lunchboxes came home with a lot still in them.  Of course, it could have also been a panicking mum worrying about my kids starving and packing too much.  lol  Anyway on Grandma's suggestion they have finished off their lunch boxes this afternoon.

Jack (my 10 year old) knows someone in his class from another activity.  I don't think Harry (7) has made any friends yet, but he is my shy one who really doesn't mind playing on his own either.  He has always been that way, even as a toddler.  I would quite often panic because I couldn't hear him when he was about 1.5/2 years old and then find him quietly playing by himself in the sandpit or with a pile of rocks.  So cute!  And not very demanding after the Aspie and the jumping kid!

I am gradually figuring things out like where to meet them for pick up and what "toys" are allowed.  There seems to be a lot of restrictions but the boys will learn.  I guess it is like visiting at someone else's house and having to learn the house rules.

Well, got to wrangle some boys to bed for a story.  Why does cleaning teeth take so long?

Best wishes
Jen


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Creating a Little Oasis in My Dining Room

We went to a garage sale today and bought an old little fish tank.  As soon as I saw it I visualised it filled with plants and in my bookshelves.  Dh thought of fish and I wasn't closed to that idea so we went to the fish shop.  Hmm, not such a great idea!  Quite a lot of money to spend, and because our tank is small it would be very easy to have a dead fish very quickly.

Ok, back to the garden idea! 

And this is what dh and I created.  He is the more creative one and I really like how he set it out. 






And this is how it sits in my shelves. 




My bookshelves are certainly looking a lot less boring.

Best wishes
Jen

(Yes that is Pollyanna on the shelf next to the tank.  It is our read aloud that I refound after unpacking all the books.)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Perfectionism and Procrastination

It must be that thing where you don't see pregnant ladies and babies in prams until you are pregnant yourself. 

Lately, with this whole "boys going to school, I failed at homeschool" thing happening in my head I have come across these two posts about goals and action. 

http://inspiredtoaction.com/2013/01/the-1-person-you-need-to-unfriend-in-2013/

and

http://www.raptitude.com/2011/05/procrastination-is-not-laziness/

I think I may getting some idea of why I feel I failed at homeschooling.  This is going to be an intense year mentally.  I can just tell!

Best wishes
Jen

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Spiders In My Shelves

Somewhere along the way in the last few weeks I was looking for bead spiders and found a great little guy on Etsy.  I am not exactly scared of spiders and I thought he would make a great decoration.

Here he is in my bookshelves.  I have deliberately left some shelves empty this time so I can put things of "beauty" there to encourage me that there is some beauty in my home, not just piles of toys, washing, dishes and clean clothes.  And at least this guy won't build any dusty webs.  lol






The bottles are from the backyard here.  The largest one is an intact Fountain Sauce bottle that I found in the roots of the pecan tree.  The rest of the bits and pieces are from the "dump" down the back yard.  Some broken, some not!  All old!

Best wishes
Jen

Monday, January 21, 2013

Homeschool to Public School - 9 days to go

Well, I am starting to feel more nervous now.  I still need to get the boys their uniforms and I can't quite wrap my head around what to do for lunches.  We have never really been big sandwich people so it could be interesting.

    "Tell me what you read and I'll tell you who you are" is true enough, but I'd know you better if you told me what you reread.  ~François Mauriac

I have been repacking my bookshelves after waiting a long time for them to cure after painting them white.  In the unpacking and resorting I have noticed some old friends that I have reread, and some that I should reread that may help with inspiration for homeschooling.

I am getting to the age where I have regrets and I don't like it.  I have a small window left to be able to do some of things I wanted to do in my homeschool.  I either need to let go of those ideals or get on with giving them a lot more effort than I have so far.

Best wishes

Jen

PS Found this quote while looking for the above quote.  I love it!

    The best of a book is not the thought which it contains, but the thought which it suggests; just as the charm of music dwells not in the tones but in the echoes of our hearts.  ~Oliver Wendell Holmes 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Power of Attention - a link

http://wisdomofhands.blogspot.com.au/2013/01/attention.html

This guy is worth checking out.  His posts on education (he works as a woodwork teacher in primary schools) are very interesting to read, and I find very relevant to homeschooling.

Best wishes
Jen

Monday, January 7, 2013

Fridges and Obesity

Okay, so you are wondering how those two are linked. 

Here's my theory.  Before we had good quality refridgeration people would grow their own fresh produce or swap with neighbours for fresh produce.  Going to the shops wasn't such a big distraction of packaged goods for our spending dollar.

So people would eat more fresh fruit and vegetables.  And work physically in the garden to grow those vegetables and fruit.  Everything was fresh.  You could pick some lettuce on Tuesday and pick some more fresh on Friday.  Very good and healthy for us!

Now we drive to a supermarket where the produce is not so fresh due to transport times.  Then we can choose to buy a week's worth of lettuce but we know it won't last in the fridge, and we won't likely have the space to store it either.  If we want to get "fresh" vegetables and fruit more often from the supermarket we also run the risk of the distractions of the aisles and all their easy to store foods.

If I tried to buy a proper week's worth of fruit and vegetables for my family of 6 they would not fit in my fridge, nor most other standard newer fridges.  I am stuck with going to the shops more often (more temptation for bad stuff) or with eating less vegetables.  

Take into account also the "less exercise" factor of going to the shops vs growing in our backyards and I really think the temptations of easy refridgeration is to blame for our obesity epidemic.

Hmm, I bet there are big holes in this theory but it does bear thinking about.

Best wishes
Jen


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Home to Public School - 28 days to go

So I have been thinking about why this whole homeschooling idea didn't work out so well for our family.  I want to understand why so that I can return to it in the future.

Some factors that have had an influence on how well (or not) it has gone:
  1. Tiredness due to extended breastfeeding, usually 4 years per child, longer in 2 cases
  2. Tiredness and mummy fog due to a pregnancy every 3 to 3.5 years, yup, the pregnancies overlap the breastfeeding
  3. Tiredness due to headaches and fogginess due to chronic grass allergies that flare up into seasonal sinus headaches that really knock me down (so very thankful I don't have migraines though so I don't see this as a whinge at all, just the facts as they are)
  4. Inability to direct my kids to do what I want them to do as I don't like confrontation
  5. A definite lack of funds for about 6 of those years, which tends to make me freeze up mentally and not use anything in case we don't have the resources to move on, also meant there was no funds for organising all the things that come with homeschooling and 4 children's worth of toys and clothes
  6. Depression due to tiredness, guilt, feeling of low self worth, messy house with no tools to organise it all due to lack of funds
  7. Having an oppositional Aspie child as my eldest (remember I don't like confrontation!) threw my self confidence out the window, no idea on how to handle him 
  8. Lack of confidence in my ability to teach when everything I tried didn't help my eldest to learn to read (he finally got it on his own around 9 years old and I felt like nothing I did contributed to his learning at all)
  9. No family support close by although my mum and dad are supportive of homeschooling!  TG!
  10. No time off, as in None for a very long time!  For basically 12 years, until the eldest was old enough to be left home for short periods with younger ones to mind, I did not have a single break from parenting and household responsibilities.  If I went out while dh looked after the kids it was solely for jobs like shopping, library visits, or actual income work at a local supermarket.  I didn't get to go anywhere on my own.
  11. My introvert nature gets overwhelmed by managing all the noise associated with 4 children who I haven't had the energy/confidence to teach to act in a way that doesn't overwhelm me.
  12. Moving interstate and between towns several times - no feeling settled, no friends, no networks of support!
  13. Self discipline that could really do with some work (But as most of my self discipline issues also hinge on directing others to fit into the life I envision for us, it doesn't help that avoiding conflict is an issue for me too.  It is enough that I need to have conflict with my own comfortable but not useful ways but to then also try to direct others to move out of their comfortable but not useful ways is just too much especially when I am tired - see above.)
Wow!  I hope that covers everything.  I need to see what I can do to "fix" some of these.  Hopefully some things are just seasons and will soon be off the "problem" list.

  1. For example, no more kids to come, and only 1 last child to wean.  
  2. Dh fully understands that a family our size needs a steady income.  He will be doing his utmost to ensure we don't have long periods of low income again.   
  3. I have found a combination of natural remedies and homeopathic remedies that seem to be reducing my reactions to my grass allergies.  
  4. We will be moving closer to family again with the next job. 
  5.  I will be making sure to establish some support networks for myself very quickly when that happens.
And I am really hoping that as the tiredness and depression from the guilt, money stresses and loneliness lift that I will have the courage to try again, to do what I need to do to homeschool my kids again after this break.
Best wishes
Jen

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