Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Maintaining Momentum

I'll admit it: I'm a "glass half-empty" kind of gal, so tonight the thought that keeps running through my head is, Man, if only the whole school year could be as good as the last two days. As if I have a crystal ball and have already caught a glimpse of the months to come. Of course, the reality is that I have lived through past years both at the Pierce Academy and in other learning settings, and I know the steam begins to run low, particularly at certain times of the year. Pessimism aside, I guess I will glory in the positive feelings of accomplishment after the first two real days of this school year.

Today after our regular lessons and one-on-one time, we began Art. I am as excited about Art class as the kids are and made myself copies of the pages to be completed. You see, I'm quite challenged in that area and never had Art growing up, so I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to learn. Of course, they say you can't teach an old dog new tricks, but this ol' dog will at least put forth the effort! We are using Barry Stebbing's I Can Do All Things, an introduction to art that includes exercises for pencil drawing, markers, and paints. I was afraid today's introductory lesson would lack the lustre of intrigue, mess, and goo that can attract kids to art, but they were thrilled to learn how to free hand straight lines and then how to draw their own arrows, pencils, and shoelaces. Not to brag or anything, but my arrow, pencil, and shoelaces are pretty stellar pieces of art!

My only frustration with the Pierce World of Academia right now is with Alex...and myself because I thought I had found a solution to what I perceive as a problem, but I don't think my solution is working. I know there are a million moms out there who homeschool 8 or 9 children and seem to do it beautifully. For me, I have a difficult time including in my daily schedule one-on-one time for each of my children (Audrey included as I want her to begin this year too). So I thought the solution would be to meet with Alex on Mondays for a couple of hours to review and teach her new concepts. On this day I would have one-on-one time with her alone and the others would skip that and just participate in the Monday elective. Then the other 4 days I would juggle the younger three kids while Alex just went to her daily folder and got her work along with a checklist that tells her what she is to do. Long story short, I don't know if she is offended by my taking her off the schedule (she insists she's not), or if she really still needs that daily time. Regardless of the reason, she doesn't seem to be doing well with it. So...we're back to juggling a morning time with all of them for Bible, one-on-one time for each of them, and then back together for two electives after lunch.

So you knew I had to throw a little problem in there or the glass would just be full and not half-empty, right? I'm working on my attitude! Seriously, though, nothing to complain about today...our school day ended with one of our lovely tea parties--we had to have a tea party in honor of our friends in the UK, the country we studied today. And our tea party was poolside--beats sitting inside watching it rain on the streets of London, huh? And Alex insisted we speak with a British accent, which was quite adorable (on her anyway).

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