Friday, October 2, 2009

So, a little update on the job. James checked the listing on Tuesday as that was supposed to be the last day it was posted, only to find out that it had been extended for a week. This brought a bunch of feelings...mostly negative I'm afraid to say.
It was first off a bummer because it just delays everything. The sooner James is into a new job, the better. Another week....sigh.

And my first thought was that even though they had James resume, they still wanted to keep looking. That just doesn't sound good from any perspective. But, James had a few side thoughts on this, and another friend had a twist on it as well.

Perhaps it was the union. This will be a union job, so James would have to join, which at this point I don't think we are concerned with at all. Maybe the HR dept were ready to move on this but the union applied some pressure to keep the listing open, to give 'their' people more time. It was only up for a week. That doesn't seem long to me.

And my aforementioned friend thought that perhaps this indicates they are not going with an internal applicant after all. It's a possibility, I think.

So, the door's not closed. We're still praying.

It's Friday and I'm done Week 1 of my new Sonlight homeschooling curriculum. It's been quite a week.

I started on Monday because, I really had to. I ordered it a few weeks ago; the Friday before public school started. Let me just tell you a little about Sonlight. I don't remember exactly how I heard of them a number of years ago. A good friend who homeschools uses their stuff, and I ordered my Handwriting without Tears program through them after seeing the OT use it with Jairus at Lansdowne in Brantford.

I'm not sure where they fall in the 'philosophies' of homeschooling spectrum. They promote alot of reading and literature and I'm all for that, so they found a niche in my heart quickly. Still, I went though two large bags of resources gleaned from two separate years of OCHEC (Christian homeschooling) conventions and carefully considered all the catalogues and companies. The other two runners up were Alpha Omega and Christian Light.

I ordered a set of curriculum that's based around Kindergarten, but suitable up to 7 years of age, with a few grade 1 additives for Honour. When my big box came a few days later, it weighed about 50 pounds and had about 40 books. I was all set to teach: read aloud books (ie. The Boxcar Children), Bible, memory verses, Poetry, History, Geography, Science, Reading and Language Arts. I already had a math program (Math-U-See) and a Printing program (the Handwriting without Tears) and had been using a Hooked on Phonics kit that some friends gave us.

They forgot to send the big binder with tabs to organize all the teaching guides so that was one small delay. I was determined to start even without the binder, but it was rather difficult since I was so new to the curriculum. Then Honour got sick for a whole week, so we were delayed.

Sonlight puts the year together in 36 weeks. I mapped it out on my Google calendar, and with starting week one this week, taking 2 weeks off a Christmas and another in March, we'll finish about a week or two before public school. Sounded good.

Taking an idea from a homeschooler blog my mom probably sent me, I found a clipboard for each of the girls and printed out a table with their subjects down the left and the days of the week across the top. I found a few sheets of smiley stickers and stuck them in the clipboard too. As they finished that subject for the day, they got to put a sticker in the box. I told them if they had all the boxes full of stickers by the end of the week, they'd get a treat.

So, Monday.

I don't remember when we started in the morning, probably around 10 or a little later. I've always had it in my head that I need to get started by 9, but with taking Jairus to school for 8:45, it's pretty much impossible. I try my best to get up by 7 because I really need an hour and a half to get us all dressed, breakfasted, Jairus bathed, his lunch made, myself showered and out the door.

****We interrupt this sad little re-telling to bring you an important announcement:
The job has "gone external".
We're SOO excited!

So back to my week.

I attempted to start working through our curriculum on Monday but only got a few things done. Monday is my choir day so I have to leave the house about 3:30 and a babysitter comes until James gets home.
Tuesday I started again, determined to get through all eight subjects for Honour and seven for Verity.
We started around 10ish and stopped around 11:30, as Verity has gymnastics at 1pm on Tuesdays and we needed to get lunch. We got Read alouds, Bible, memory verse, history/geography and Honour got her math done, Verity her workbook. I gathered up Honours reader, language arts and writing practice to take with us to the gym. It was a bit of a crazy hour while I tried to help Honour, keep Afton from running into the gym area and take in some of Verity's activities. (More later on just how talented my little girl is in gymnastics, after only 3 classes) I missed a back walkover to my chagrin.

When we got back, we had all of 20 minutes to get a little more done before going to get Jairus. We get back from that around 3:20 and still had stuff to do, though I don't remember exactly what now. Science, at least.

I didn't finish until 5:30, at which time I came up and gazed in despair at the kitchen. I had 1/2 an hour to get the kids something to eat before we left for the church for junior choir. I decided to put together a lasagne and we would eat when we got back. I had that about 1/2 done by 6 when James got home and I left him to finish layering.

The rest of the day was a bit of a daze. I couldn't believe it had taken so long to get through it all. I had the feeling I remembered having the morning of the second night after Jairus was born. I was in the hospital, he was in the NICU. I was pumping every 3 hours, even through the night. Since I didn't have a baby waking me to feed, I had to have the nurses wake me. The second night, they forgot and I woke up around 4am, sore and upset. I was overwhelmed with (hormones I'm sure) but, the sheer constancy of what I had to do for my child for the next...year? Two? Who knew.

Wednesday morning I tried to get started earlier and managed about 10 minutes before the morning before. Again, it took until after 5 to get everything done, and that was even with keeping Jairus at home due to an ear infection.

By Wednesday night I knew I needed to get some advice. I thought about my friend Karen who's using the same curriculum with her four, but by the time I knew I needed help, it was quite late. I went to the Sonlight forums instead and poured out the whole pathetic story.

I had about 10 responses by the next morning. What a relief. And such wonderful responses they were. I could tell that these ladies were mature and caring.

The advice given most often was: relax. They are only 4 and 6. Keep reading and math for the year old and drop the rest, they will learn what they need just by living, playing, reading books with me.

After I read some of those responses, I walked into the homeschool room and Verity asked me if she could get out her puzzlemaker, a gift she got for her birthday that would require my direct intervention and I hadn't gotten around to it. She was supposed to do her workbook....but I immediately decided that figuring out a puzzlemaker and making her very own puzzles would be just as good. It was so fun!

One good idea I put into practice right away were to transfer some of our subjects to another time; we already read at night so instead of whatever books the kids pull from the shelves, we now do Boxcar children and the Ergermeier Bible at night. Just that adjustment made a huge difference on Friday. We pretty much finished by 2ish on Friday.

I'm hesitant to drop things like science and history. We really enjoyed it this week and Honour is chomping at the bit to get out 'those boxes' (the science kits). Being the completely right brained person I am, I'm not confident that scientific processes will just present themselves in everyday life and I will immediately notice and expound upon them with my kids. I think I even learned a thing or two from Kindergarten science this week. (I kid you not). So, I will continue to try and fit them in in some form...maybe not every day. But enough.

And so ends week one with Sonlight....on to week 2!


J9 said...

Girlie, I don't know how you do it! And frankly, I'm not surprised Verity is really good at gymnastics!

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