Currently Convivial

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Pretty, Happy, Funny — Real Life

We’ve had a good week, with a quiet, restful Labor Day weekend.

The local schools are all back in session now, so we get the excitement once again of the school bus stopping in front of our house during breakfast and the selfish pleasure of having the park crowds & grocery store traffic back down to a sane level. Being able to hit the stores at a quiet 9-10am, when only the moms of babies and the grandmas are shopping is a benefit of the homeschooling lifestyle that I love. I will flex our homeschool times and plans to shop at this best time of day because I can.

The late summer is such a pleasant time. The sun shines, the temperature is perfect, and the radiant heat still beams, though muted and less intense. The produce is overflowing, and fruit season is in full swing: peaches, apples, all the best fresh foods.

What’s for Dinner This Week

My other blog, Simple Pantry Cooking, has our weekly menu posted.

Academics Accomplished

School is flowing well. Having it divided into easily separable chunks rather than an entire flow is working well for us during this season. Math and piano practice follow right after morning chores. Circle time happens anywhere from 8:30 to 10:30, depending on when I get myself together, brew my coffee, get a bit of tidying in, and collect the children. Sometimes it is then free time, outside time, errand time, or independent reading time, as I deem fit. Independent work takes the boys 30-60 minutes and happens usually just before or after lunch or during quiet time, but they can’t play outside with neighbor friends unless it’s done. And most days, usually during quiet time, the boys get at least one hour of reading and have been reading and enjoying the assigned books on Egypt for the term. At least half the days we listen to a couple chapters on the Story of the World CDs and the boys write a few sentences about it.

We’re not getting to the Bible curriculum, handwriting, extra read-alouds, Latin, and I rarely get to preschool stuff with my 4-year-old. I haven’t been turning on our Proverbs & Psalms playlist during breakfast or the composer during chore times. The boys do read the Bible on their own most days and Matt reads one or two chapters aloud after dinner every day. And Ilse and Knox get at least one book read aloud to them every day; it’s a pittance, but it’s something. And during her quiet time Ilse gets an old iPod shuffle loaded with hymns, the catechism, some Psalms, and Curious George stories.

One morning, to keep him occupied and not climbing all over us or the walls, Knox got the preschool iPod and he was quite pleased about it. I think he actually sat on the couch for a good 15 minutes.

Real-Life Learning

My much-needed emphasis this week has been a real life principle, across the board: If it’s not right, you’re not done. You know, things like you can’t say you’ve cleaned the bathroom when there are dried yellow pools around the base. The bottom of the toilet actually does count as the toilet when I say “Clean the toilet.” And so does under the seat. And, completely unreasonable things like “The table isn’t washed if it still has crumbs on it” and “Stuffing random stuff in your closet and dumping books and Legos and garbage into your drawers doesn’t actually count as cleaning your room.” and “You’re not actually done sweeping until there aren’t piles of crumbs on the floor.” But, worst of all is the “No, you’re not done with your math sheet until you’ve gotten the right answers to all the equations.” And you should have seen the jaw drop when I informed a certain piano student that when I say “practice the piano” I mean do each and every thing his teacher wrote down in the notebook, not just the parts he felt like doing.

Yup. I’ve been a fun mom this week.

And, I have a sneaking suspicion I might need to apply this principle to myself, but I’m trying to plug my ears and hum; that is, I let myself off because I’m in the third trimester. And, so, I model exactly what I am trying to eradicate and wonder why progress isn’t being made.

5 Responses

  1. Laurie
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    I couldn’t help but laugh with the “real life learning”. We have had the same exact lessons around here many times. Finally, with my youngest being 9yo, it seems that the learning is starting to stick! Mostly. It was nice visiting your blog- I don’t think I have been here before. I love the name and that you explain it!

  2. Tiffany
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    Self reflection is great mom! I need to do a little more myself. Traing our kids is a day to day thing. I am still working on a plan to really help my children see that they are live in this home and need to help clean it. (sigh) I love the picture of your little one with the head phones.

  3. Leila
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    Hang in there! You will be surprised how much better things are after baby comes ;)

  4. Beth@Weavings
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    I am going to have to try the preschool Ipod thing with my 4 year old. I try to shoot for a book read a day, but somedays life happens.

    • Mystie Winckler
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      Yes, it certainly does. Sometimes my older kids help me reach the book or two a day minimum, too. Secretly, they still have favorite picture books they like to pull out and read. :)