Bringing the Heart Back to Homeschooling

Earlier this week Hansel and I finished up the core lessons of requirement for homeschooling with the Arkansas Virtual School. We finished up with a great year. In previous posts, I told you about the ups and downs of homeschooling the lad. Overall, I would say that we both benefited greatly. He wrote his cooperating teacher a letter yesterday and let her know that he "might be back next year." I think he is still praying about it! :) He misses seeing his friends on the playground, but with ball season starting he is getting lots of recreation and so am I. I think we met our quota for the year already with talking with friends!

I labeled this post, "Bringing the heart back to homeschooling," because I feel like I have gone through the motions this year, but my HEART has not been in it 100%. I see the benefits of homeschooling him. . .character development, one on one time with my son, great student teacher ratio, etc., but I have struggled with keeping my heart enthusiastic and not just completing the goals.

As you can see from the picture, we have a bar that tells us how much we have completed. I don't know about you, but I am a goal-driven gal. You put a bar and a percentage in front of me letting me know that I have to complete it and I am all over it.

When I taught school and was in college for teaching school, I loved it. I thought of all of these creative ways to teach Roman Numerals, using spaghetti noodles to write spelling words and getting live worms out to see if they gravitate toward wet or dry environments. This year, on some subjects I have torn out worksheet after worksheet and set the timer. I guess you have to do that to some degree, but that is what my son will remember about this year. . .not about the creativity that we both crave.

All of this to say, I want next year to strike a balance of me saying, "you just gotta learn these verbs dude" and "lets see how this works. Let's get out the cooked spaghetti noodles to spell these words!!" I want my heart to be fully in it and fully aware of the teachable moments and the fun that we can have in learning together.

I am looking at teaching Hansel and Gretel and working part-time. BALANCE is going to be so key in this process. CREATIVITY is going to be necessary and HEART is going to be essential to keeping CREATIVITY in the picture. I think I can, I think I can.
With the Lord's strength!

Ice Cream Works for Me!

Tonight is the 31 cent scoop ice cream night at Baskin Robbins. That works for me!!! It is nationwide and it benefits firefighters across America. Now there is a catch, it is limit 10 scoops per customer! :) Man, I was going to go ballistic on the peanut butter and chocolate scoops. Now I can't!! :) Have fun celebrating something. . . anything with your family with 31 cent scoop night!

Update: UGH!! I went at 5:10 and guess what. . .yeah. What I waited for patiently for weeks did not happen because our Baskin Robins is closing and they were being cheap and trying to gouge us for every last penny. Poor firefighters and customers! Ugh! My husband decided to rebel and would not order (obviously he was not thinking about all of the scoops he was going to eat all day). The kids and I all ordered and it 4.00 as opposed to .90 :( I am sorry if this happened to anyone else out there!!

Menu Plan Monday Conversation Style - April 27th - May 11th

This week is going to be WILD! We have baseball pics, baseball practice and games. I am also getting ready to go on a work retreat for a week and leaving my two invaluable children with my most trusted husband which scares me to high heaven. We have parent teacher conferences on Thursday night as well as two games at the same time afterwards. I am singing, "I will survive. . ." in my head.

Monday - baseball pics; ate cheese quesadillas, hummus (I do not put curry in mine) and ice cream to celebrate a win . . .finally!!!

Tuesday - Gretel's first game for the year at 7:00! The kid has to be in bed as soon as the game is over. Why do we sign our kids up for stuff then complain about it?? I shall stop at this point! Ok, girls. . . is it hamburger helper time?? Not yet, I think that is Thursday night.

In celebrating being at the ballpark all week we are having Ballpark Franks and twice baked potatoes that I cooked the day before. As soon as the kids get home from school I have to plop them into a chair with food to scarf down. We are having apple slab pie tonight too when we get home from the game (for a Johnny Appleseed Project.)

Wednesday - elder's meeting; biscuits, gravy and sausage

Thursday - chicken pot pie; two games at 7:00 and Parent Teacher Conference at 6:00

Friday - The Last Supper before mom leaves :) possibly eating at a friends and bringing a side dish; if not roast/potatoes and carrots

- leaving for retreat; departs at 4:30. . . need to leave at 12:30 to get to the airport on time according to the two hour time limit; Dad to make pizzas/salad

- taco salad

- Ramen Noodles-You can do it!! :)

Tuesday - dad, Gretel has a game at ; Spaghetti/Texas Toast. . .salad if they're lucky;

Wednesday - mom's coming to help take over for dad; Red denotes Action point: put the beans on for tomorrow night's dinner; dad to make pancakes and bacon tonight (kids - Awana?)

Thursday - Mom, could you help with the 15 bean soup? I follow the back of the package

Friday - Dad, you can put a roast on if you have time and energy to do that. If not, then you are on your own dude! :) I arrive back at airport at 8:04 and traveling to my 5K destination with the girls

Saturday- last day that my kids starve to death have to be without mom. Dad, let's make some hotdogs on the George Foreman and have chips and salsa. . .what do you think?

Sunday - graduation celebration for high school graduates after church; Nathan Branigan, Blake Stobaugh and Hannah Posey (potluck)-probably bringing yummy old settler's beans

I Improved

My friends and I heard about a 5 K that they were having through our college to help the Children's Hospital. We decided to have this be another preliminary run to prepare ourselves for the Women Can Run Race on May 10th.

I showed up about 30 minutes early because I had not pre-registered and I needed to mentally prepare and realized that I was the only girl as well as the only non-college student that had arrived. It was a little scary there for a little while. One of the college guys asked rather sheepishly how old I was, "to give out awards accordingly." I, with my squinty eyes, graciously gave himthe young lad the answer. After all it was only ten years ago that I was a college student myself. I do feel a little older though, especially since my legs creak and crack when I work out sometimes.

Soon though, my friends did show up as well as some other ladies and I felt much better. I did not feel better as I was running up some monster hills in a local neighborhood by the college, but it was really fun.

Poor lad at the finish line got smacked in the arm when he told me my time and I had improved by four minutes in two weeks. He was quite proud of me. I think he was excited that "the old momma" did not blow chunks on him and require a defibrillator to revive me. Honestly, I was too.