Friday, December 18, 2015

Orders in!

It's officially official.
Orders are in and we are moving to Yuma, Arizona in early March.

We've had the heads up that this is coming and there are things I can get excited about, like 365 days a year of warm, sunshiny days, but there are things that are overwhelming.  Like the fact that I've never even been to Arizona.  We've moved to different states before, but this is the first time we haven't gone to interview/meet people/look at housing before moving there.  Our previous 2 moves, we were instantly connected to a church and friends and had housing all lined up.  This time, we are literally going to drive across the country, pull into Yuma and not know a single person or know where our house is or where the grocery store is.  It is going to be weird!

Also a little overwhelming is that cross country drive.  I can't even blame it on the kids...just the thought of driving all that way seems daunting.  We've started talking through some things, but right now our plan is to relax and enjoy the holidays and then jump into moving mode in January (packers come end of February).  I think this might be the comical part of this year; trying to figure out logistics of moving.  For instance, they say that packers come and you just leave your house as it is and they pack up everything, even your trash! Um, I am not okay with that and am immediately thinking of all the purging and organizing that I need to do before these strange people come touch all of my stuff.  I even tried to convince Ben tonight to let me pack up the house (so I can have it my way) and rent an RV for a luxury trip...he was not convinced.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Extracurricular activities

It's a tough subject. 

I've met many parents who choose to homeschool so that their children can be involved in more extracurricular activities.  There are kids in 5 different activities and their parents will do anything to make those activities happen, even to the extent of working extra jobs just to pay for them.

It's easy to fall into the trap.  First, the trap of believing that you are not a good parent if you don't have your kids involved in a million things and second, the trap of giving into your child's every whim.

This week, Alison talked nonstop about her list of activities she wants to do.  If I would give in, she would be one of those kids involved in a million things.  I'm not making this up, this is what she talked about this week: 

"I need to take Karate so I can learn how to break bricks."

"I should be in the Nutcracker because I'm really good at ballet."
Me: "You have to take ballet in order to be in a ballet."
Alison: "Oh.  Well, can you sign me up for ballet?!"

*hear a commercial on the radio about auditioning for a Disney show
Alison:  "MOM!  Call the number!!!  I want to audition!!!  I've always dreamed of being on TV!"
Me:  "Honey.  In order to audition, you have to know a script which means you should probably do a play before you audition for TV."
Alison:  "Ok, well, sign me up for a play!  I'm a great actor mommy!"


She is full of dreams and I don't want to squash them, so I promised I would research a new activity that would fit our family.

I believe in doing one activity at a time.  I want our kids to experience different things and have a chance to see where they are gifted and what they enjoy.  I also want them to be active and meet new friends and maybe even be stretched at times outside of their comfort zone.  However, I also believe there is great value in a family dinner.  I believe that a life that is not constant "go, go, go!" and has time for reading books as a family or just being together, can be a greater blessing than extracurricular activities.  On top of all that, I believe that letting kids be involved in whatever they want to gives them a sense of entitlement...I've seen the airs some kids give off about what they are doing and I know Alison senses it and that often fuels the fire of "I want to be doing more things".
All that to say, I contacted a few gyms in the area and discovered that one offers a homeschool class.  I'm a picky person, but was sold on how professional, yet personal they were.  The director said we could take a trial class and then decide if it was for us.  It was real gym, with a real coach and with other kids who are in the same boat of life as my kids AND all 3 of my kids can participate at the same time AND we had the entire place to ourselves...score!

Terrible picture, but within 30 minutes of their first class, the coach had my kids doing spins on bars and walking on high balance beams.  The kids came out saying it was the most fun they have ever had.

Eli's in the red shirt and Alison's in the blue tank
They couldn't stop telling Ben about the day and he said, "I think we'd be fools not to take them back."
Back we will go and hopefully I can get a better picture this week!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

The unexpected

I never expected that one of my challenges in homeschooling would be keeping a child out of pj's.  This kid.
He is constantly changing pj's and if I make him wear normal clothes he spends the whole time asking when he can get back into pj's.  It's crazy.  So crazy that he's even been wearing his little brother's!

How about we learn about math and not how to change pj's?!

Another unexpected:
I gave the kids fair warning that I wanted to start school earlier this week; we were going to get up, eat breakfast, read our bible story, do morning chores and try to start school by 8:00.  Just saying this freaked Alison out.  "8:00!  But the bus doesn't even come until 8:15"...yes, she's still stuck on public school time.  Monday morning, I told her to start her morning chores (get dressed, make bed and brush teeth) at 7:50 and at 8:00 found her lounging on her bed, naked, looking at the weather app.  I gave her a warning and went to the schoolroom to begin work with Eli.  8:10 rolls around and she's still lollygagging in the bathroom, admiring her outfit and making goofy faces in the mirror.  At the second warning, she scurries to the school room all frenzied.  BUT she still hasn't brushed her teeth or made her bed and begins to cry because she just didn't have enough time.  Apparently a princess needs at least 15 minutes to pick a proper outfit.  I told her that I can respect she needs a few more minutes to get ready, but she still disobeyed by not finishing her chores and there are consequences for not obeying right away.


Do you know what's hard?
Finding consequences for an 8 year old that aren't more of a consequence for me.

So, before she could have any electronics for the day, she had to clean up Colin's room.  Thanks to two rounds of guests that equaled all the toys in his room and extra beds on the floor, she got to clean up this beauty:

She just stood in the middle of the mess and started crying.  Ha!  I kinda wanted to cry too.

*Before you go thinking I'm a super mean mom, I'm not expecting them to start school at exactly 8:00 sharp, it's more a goal and guideline for our day.  I do, however, expect them to obey right away and to be respectful.

**Anyone have good consequences for an 8 year old?