Monday, March 10, 2014

On-the-spot metaphors

I often find myself trying to come up with a concrete and/or parallel way to explain something or describe a concept to the Vikings. I'm sure lots of moms are in the same boat. However, with my husband working in a nuclear plant, there is a LOT of technical jargon that gets thrown around the dinner table and the kids are simply trying to keep up with what Daddy does all day (or all night).

Yesterday, DaHubby started an outage. These happen about every 18 months when general maintenance and refueling occur for one of the reactors. Since DaHubby is at a dual reactor facility, it happens twice in 2014. Months of planning go into these and, when the actual dates arrive, most of the plant employees spend 12 hours/day for 6 days/week working for anywhere from 3-6 weeks assuming all goes according to plan.

When outages occur, it quickly becomes "single parent" time for me. For obvious reasons, DaHubby isn't exactly available to us on a day-to-day basis or feeling like doing much at all but sleep on his single day off per week. It throws a pretty big curveball into our family life and the kids get curious.

"Mom, only one tower has steam today. Why?"

"Mom, what's Daddy doing at work tonight?"

"What's an outage again, Mom?"

So, this morning after DaHubby's first midnight shift, they were full of conversation. I did my best to explain what's going on in a way they can understand - even if it's not exactly and precisely scientifically accurate. LOL

Less steam? That's because they have to shut down the reactor to work on it. If not, it would be like trying to work on an oven that's still hot.

Yes, they shut it off around midnight but it still has leftover heat and steam they're trying to get rid of.

Refueling? Well, it's like replacing the batteries. Or better yet - ya know how vinegar and baking soda react? And, that eventually the reaction slows down? It's like they're adding more ingredients so the reaction goes on.

Now, DaHubby would argue that not *exactly* how it works but I'm often feeling proud of myself for coming up with something that's more clever than "go ask your father." LOL

With homeschooling, this metaphor-seeking behavior occurs often as we come across new information and try to understand it and "hang it" on some prior knowledge. And, this nuke stuff is harder than most anything they're coming up against. So, of the few things I'm proud of about myself, this is one of them.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

And, that's a wrap, folks!

birthday clipart 1 350x350

There's a bit of an occasion here this week. Our own March madness.

It's birthday week for Flicka and I!

And, while we generally don't do "spring break", I've always given the kids the day off from homeschool for their birthday. Since my birthday falls tomorrow (Thursday) and Flicka's is Sunday, we'll "observe" hers on Friday and take the rest of the week off for a long weekend!

Cabin fever be damned! It's a four day weekend!

And, another one of the pluses of homeschool.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Flexibility can be a dangerously delightful thing

All around the mommy blogosphere you hear about schedules...getting infants on one, creating a housework schedule, a homeschool schedule, you'll get more done when every minute is accounted for and allotted something to do.

Being as organizationally-challenged as I am, I tried methods like that. I even tried this one and it did work for a while.  However, while it may have made things better in the short term, my ADD-induced anxiety worried more about "the schedule" and keeping it than on life.

So, while I *need* organization, it needs to work for *me*!

So, when I started homeschooling the Vikings, I was ALL about  making a schedule and keeping it. But, again, the structure backfired. The increase in stress just overrode the plusses of the schedule.

But, there's the stress of not having *any* structure is just as bad. So what's a momma to do?

We just roll with it. Leave much of it in God's hands. Remember our priorities and the *why's* of what we are doing.

Some days are better than others. Stuff gets done - sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes school gets done in the morning - sometimes in the afternoon. Sometimes we run errands in the morning with DaHubby - sometimes at 7pm.

Oddly enough, it works.

For us.

And, that's all that matters.

Another reminder that just because "all" or "most" people do something a certain way, it doesn't mean that we have to. We did this for our kids. We did this for our family. And, it's gonna look a little different than the way anyone else does it.

Friday, February 28, 2014

A good week.

A glimmer of hope.

A glimpse of improvement.

We didn't finish all I had planned. We didn't even do all five days - we took a day off when DaHubby's bonus check came in to go out to breakfast as a family and then splurge on the kids with a $70+ trip to Michael's crafts in Rockford for those infuriating rubber bands and rainbow looms. LOL And, today is technically a day off from OUR curriculum as they spend the morning at our homeswchool co-op's "Friday school."

But, ya know what? I didn't yell. ALL week! Well, I raised my voice yesterday in frustration at Flicka for he whining about what work I did ask her to do but that was more about her attitude than about school per se.

Modern medicine is a wonderful thing. LOL

For the first time in several years, I've started enjoying this momma thing again.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Over it.

I'm bored with our curriculum.

There I've said it. The curriculum that I so carefully researched and prayed about. The one I was sure was a *perfect* fit. I'm still done with it.

I have 8-9 more weeks of school and I'm over it.

I love American history and I'm still over it.

I find myself more and more critical of our "core" curriculum - the joint subjects that we do together as a family: Bible reading, social studies, science. It is an all-in-one type thing but even the language arts and math we've branched off from, changed, or added to.

And, I think the homeschool companies seriously have our number about this. LOL They know that this time of year - after the cabin fever of a frigid Midwestern winter - we are ready to break out and break free of whatever we've been doing for the last 2-3 months.

And, the curriculum sales will start in about a week.

"Buy in March and get 40% off!"

"Buy in April and get 30% off!"

"Buy in May and get 20% off"

"Buy in June and get 10% off"

And, after that, you are on your own! LOL

I've already got a brainstorm sheet going with my wish list of 2014-2015 materials. Heck, I've already ordered my lesson plan book/organizer/calendar thingy! But, pulling the trigger on purchasing next year's stack of learning is intimidating at best.

But, again, it's all about one's state of mind. That freedom to tweak and try other things and find what works is both a blessing and a curse of homeschooling. It can lead a home educator into fits of anxiety or energize them with new opportunities.

Ultimately, like with one's faith, it's a matter of keeping one's eyes on the bigger picture.

Yea, we did ancient history last year and American history this year while I have NO idea what the Vikings' public school friends are doing. Yea, Pojke's probably behind grade level on reading but he's doing multiplication tables! At eight! OK, Flicka's doing 3rd grade grammar but 4th grade math.

But, are they learning the basics that apply to all things: a strong faith, an ability to reason, and an ability to communicate? Bigger picture stuff that will apply to whatever is coming next.

So, we are chugging along...counting the days til we're done. Some days, we're skipping "fun" stuff to just be able to close the books for the day. Will I find a better math program for Pojke? Eventually. Will I try yet another cursive program hoping this one "clicks" for Flicka? You bet! add a strong Bible component next year? Absolutely! Am I going to make sure there is more arts and music for the 2014-2015 year. Hopefully.

Like most things in life, it's often more about the journey than the destination. While this year's materials seem to not *fit* us anymore, it's just goes to show how much we've all grown and learned this year.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

A Sunday revelation

Found this online. Very timing and speaks to an area with which I need help.

My Identity in Jesus Christ
John 1:12 - I am a child of God (Romans 8:16).
John 15:1,5 - I am a part of the true vine, a channel (branch) of His Life.
John 15:15 - I am Christ’s friend.
John 15:16 - I am chosen and appointed by Christ to bear His fruit.
Acts 1:8 - I am a personal witness of Christ for Christ.
Romans 3:24 - I have been justified and redeemed.
Romans 5:1 - I have been justified (completely forgiven and made righteous) and am at peace with God.
Romans 6:1-6 - I died with Christ and died to the power of sin’s rule in my life.
Romans 6:7 - I have been freed from sin’s power over me.
Romans 6:18 - I am a slave of righteousness.
Romans 6:22 - I am enslaved to God.
Romans 8:1 - I am forever free from condemnation.
Romans 8:14,15 - I am a son of God (God is literally my “Papa”) (Galatians 3:26; 4:6).
Romans 8:17 - I am an heir of God and fellow heir with Christ.
Romans 11:16 - I am holy.
Romans 15:7 - Christ has accepted me.
1 Corinthians 1:2 - I have been sanctified.
1 Corinthians 1:30 - I have been placed in Christ by God’s doing; Christ is now my wisdom from God, my righteousness, my sanctification, and my redemption.
1 Corinthians 2:12 - I have received the Spirit of God into my life that I might know the things freely given to me by God.
1 Corinthians 2:16 - I have been given the mind of Christ.
1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19 - I am a temple (home) of God; His Spirit (His life) dwells in me.
1 Corinthians 6:17 - I am joined to the Lord and am one spirit with Him.
1 Corinthians 6:19,20 - I have been bought with a price; I am not my own; I belong to God.
1 Corinthians 12:27 - I am a member of Christ’s body (Ephesians 5:30).
2 Corinthians 1:21 - I have been established in Christ and anointed by God.
2 Corinthians 2:14 - He always leads me in His triumph in Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:14,15 - Since I have died, I no longer live for myself, but for Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:17 - I am a new creation.
2 Corinthians 5:18,19 - I am reconciled to God and am a minister of reconciliation.
2 Corinthians 5:21 - I am the righteousness of God in Christ.
Galatians 2:4 - I have liberty in Christ Jesus.
Galatians 2:20 - I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. The life I am now living is Christ’s life.
Galatians 3:26,28 - I am a child of God and one in Christ.
Galatians 4:6,7 - I am a child of God and an heir through God.
Ephesians 1:1 - I am a saint (1 Corinthians 1:2; Philippians 1:1; Colossians 1:2).
Ephesians 1:3 - I am blessed with every spiritual blessing.
Ephesians 1:4 - I was chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and without blame before Him.
Ephesians 1:5 – I have been adopted as God’s Child.
Ephesians 1:7,8 - I have been redeemed and forgiven, and am a recipient of His lavish grace.
Ephesians 2:5 - I have been made alive together with Christ.
Ephesians 2:6 - I have been raised up and seated with Christ in heaven.
Ephesians 2:10 - I am God’s workmanship, created in Christ to do His work that He planned beforehand that I should do.
Ephesians 2:13 - I have been brought near to God.
Ephesians 2:18 - I have direct access to God through the Spirit.
Ephesians 2:19 - I am a fellow citizen with the saints and a member of God’s household.
Ephesians 3:6 - I am a fellow heir, a fellow member of the body, and a fellow partaker of the promise in Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 3:12 - I may approach God with boldness and confidence.
Ephesians 4:24 - I am righteous and holy.
Philippians 3:20 - I am a citizen of heaven.
Philippians 4:7 - His peace guards my heart and my mind.
Philippians 4:19 - God will supply all my needs.
Colossians 1:13 - I have been delivered from the domain of darkness and transferred to the kingdom of Christ.
Colossians 1:14 - I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins. The debt against me has been canceled (Colossians 2:13,14).
Colossians 1:27 - Christ Himself is in me.
Colossians 2:7 - I have been firmly rooted in Christ and am now being built up and established in Him.
Colossians 2:10 - I have been made complete in Christ.
Colossians 2:12,13 - I have been buried, raised, and made alive with Christ, and totally forgiven.
Colossians 3:1 - I have been raised with Christ.
Colossians 3:3 - I have died, and my life is now hidden with Christ in God.
Colossians 3:4 - Christ is now my life.
Colossians 3:12 - I am chosen of God, holy and dearly loved (1 Thessalonians 1:4).
1 Thessalonians 5:5 - I am a child of light and not of darkness.
2 Timothy 1:7 - I have been given a spirit of power, love, and discipline.
2 Timothy 1:9 - I have been saved and called (set apart) according to God’s purpose and grace (Titus 3:5).
Hebrews 2:11 - Because I am sanctified and am one with Christ, He is not ashamed to call me His.
Hebrews 3:1 - I am a holy partaker of a heavenly calling.
Hebrews 3:14 - I am a partaker of Christ.
Hebrews 4:16 - I may come boldly before the throne of God to receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
1 Peter 2:5 - I am one of God’s living stones and am being built up as a spiritual house.
1 Peter 2:9,10 - I am a part of a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of God’s own possession.
1 Peter 2:11 - I am an alien and stranger to this world that I temporarily live in.
1 Peter 5:8 - I am an enemy of the devil. He is my adversary.
2 Peter 1:4 - I have been given God’s precious and magnificent promises by which I am a partaker of the divine nature.
1 John 3:1 - God has bestowed a great love on me and called me His child.
1 John 4:15 - God is in me and I am in God.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Baby steps!

For the first time in I-don't-know-how-long, we finished an entire week of plans with only a spelling test and a chapter in a reading book incomplete! Woo hoo!

The end is in sight. I already know that - barring any unforeseen craziness - we should be done the first week of May! Eight, maybe nine, more weeks and we will have completed our second year of curriculum!

Learning will go on over the summer but I'm already gearing up and brainstorming lists for next year's curriculum.

Hard to believe.

A light at the end of the tunnel. *smile*