Wednesday, April 22, 2009

How important is TV anyway?

Well life is definitely not dull these days! I spend mornings either reading scripture or organizing the schoolwork for the day, next is breakfast, the kids Bible lessons, and dishes. Then we are onto laundry (which I hang because the hot weather has to benefit me in some way!) while the older kids read books to the younger ones. Then I take over the reading while the four older kids pull out their math books ans settle down to work.

When the older kids finish, I have them either journal or do some free reading while I work with the littles on their math. Then we all settle in for our unit study. Generally it takes about an hour and a half to two hours to read/discuss/work on projects so by two or three we are done with school for the day and at that time they can pretty much do whatever they want. The boys settle in to the living room with huge stacks of books sounding out short words and asking for help on the bigger ones. Tristan finds a quiet corner to read his Harry Potter books (AGAIN!) Heaven goes to her room to build playing card towns, and Mack and Ash generally play together. No stress, just individual interests!

By 4 pm we are eating and waiting for Chad to get home, then it's off to the gym for two hours. We are home by eight where the kids get about and hour and a half to watch one of the hundreds of dvds we own (or a redbox dvd, if it's Monday....their free that day!) and off to bed while Chad and I stick our noses in books.

Wednesday is park day with our homeschool group and Friday is "life skills day" we clean, we bake, we get the house ready for our usually busy weekends and then we try to head to the library in the afternoon.

So here is the thing, I have almost a hundred shows recorded on my DVR to watch. Mind you, I "couldn't live without them" just a few months ago but now I find myself trying to settle for sitting down and watching them, when there is so much other stuff I would rather be doing. A huge part of me wants to go cold turkey and cancel our satellite service, but the small part of me that hangs on to my old behaviors is clinging to it like a security blanket.

I guess I never expected, to enjoy my own life so much! All of the stress I had when the kids were "doing official school" just melted away and I am enjoying just hanging out with my family. Yes, there is still stress (no way around that with seven kids!) but we are thinking, reading, learning, and talking. So I am starting to see that there isn't much room for the distraction of tv!

Love and Hugs,


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Oh Wow! So much to Tell!

Ok, been neglecting, yet again! Not even sure where to start! Went through three crazy bouts of the cold/flu/stomach bug with all the kids since I last posted. It reaked havoc on my workout schedule and got us extremely behind on schoolwork.When the stress got completely insane about getting caught up on schoolwork so the kids wouldn't have to repeat a grade, I decided to pull them out of virtual school and go back to straight homeschooling.

Now this wasn't the only reason I pulled them, it just pushed up the date a bit. This year was a rough year with virtual school, trying to get services for the kids that they needed, being passed around from teacher to teacher without warning or explanation, having to jump through hoops all the time for unnecesssary medical testing, and the school being more focussed on completing curriculum and AIMS performance than how much the kids were actually learning. I finally figured out that the progress they were making had nothing to do with what the school was providing but was do to the adjustments I was making in teaching them. So now we are on our own!

We have done a few field trips, one to Luke Air Force Base for and air show (AJ now wants to be a pilot AND a fireman! (the kid is an adrenaline junkie!) and the County Fair! We are doing a unit study on the pioneers and segwaying that into farming so the fair fit in nicely. I have to say that I am once again realizing how fun it can be to learn with the kids! They are learning to think for themselves, and they are doing schoolwork without argument. They actually come up with assignments on their own!

We are also back at church. We got out of the habit when Chad had a weekend job because our weekends were nuts! But we figured we no longer had and excuse and we all seemed to have an urge to be there. It's funny how if you just sit still long enough you can hear GOD calling you!

Chad is doing well at work. His position got shifted around a bit, due to layoffs but he's managing to learn pretty much every position there. With the shortage of jobs out here we are kind of looking at this as a blessing. As long as he's still getting hours, we aren't going to complain!

The weight loss is still going well. I am currently at 32 pounds lost. It's nice actually seeing the difference in the mirror. With as busy as things have been lately I am only getting to the gym half the time I use to so I am trying to find some balance between all I have taken on so I can get back to being so consistent with the work out.

Well, I had better get my day going if I want to get anything done around here, hope all is well with everyone! I will post some pics when I get the chance!

Love and Hugs,