Where to start, where to start...could start at the beginning of the week, but I covered my first day at Bright Futures already. May I reiterate that it was fabulous; I am anxious to get down there again. I already have my husband on call too in case any of the kids catches the stomach virus my niece, who is staying with us this weekend, has contracted. She just returned from a summer in Africa, so we're hoping it's not malaria. I did meet my in-laws halfway to pick up a malarial treatment for her, though, so maybe she'll be good as new in the morning.
So I'll just start with a little progress report on the homeschool front. We're already about to enter week 3!! How time zooms by...Mark and I were talking just a few weeks ago about how, when we were growing up, 3 months--a trimester like we would spend at boarding school--seemed like an ETERNITY. Now 3 months speeds by so fast, it's hard to collect our thoughts. I digress....Homeschool. Three weeks. Progress report:
Learning Adventures is going great. I really like the curriculum. Of course, I'm tweaking it a bit, but what else would you expect me to do? In history, we're studying Ancient Egypt, and we're completing Evan Moor's history pocket to go along with it. We also attempted a model Nile River, but I made the mistake of making the river out of clay rather than the aluminum foil I used years ago when we first did this (the younger ones don't remember; thus, we are doing it again). I guess I probably used the wrong kind of clay because it got all gooey after we flooded the Nile. No surprise; Art and I do not get along. We have also watched a couple of National Geographic or Discovery DVD's I got a la Blockbuster on the pyramids and the Nile River. Amazing DVDs! Watching the Nile River one just gave me a complete feeling of awe at the beauty and wonder of the world God has created.
For science, we are working on a desert notebook and have done a couple of experiments to go along with. One was melting chocolate under white paper versus black paper. And we currently have water-filled jars sitting in the sun, one adorned with aluminum foil, to examine the complexities of evaporation.
One challenge I've come across the first two weeks of school--and any easy one to address--is finding enough fun things for Audrey to do while I'm working with the others. There are plenty of preschool activity "stations" I can set up for her; it's just a matter of my taking the time to do so.
My biggest challenge this year has been Michael. I have, up until now, always chalked his difficulties with academics up to the fact that he is a young boy. But this year, now that he is in third grade, I'm beginning to suspect there may be underlying problems. This week I have been spending extra time with him. With the other two, I can just explain new concepts, give them their books, and away they go. I have discovered with Michael that I must help him with most, if not all, of his work. This means I end up spending about 3 times as long with him as the others, which presents another problem. I don't want them to think he's receiving special treatment. Well, actually he is, but I don't want them to think they aren't receiving special treatment. I suppose I need to get a quiet moment with each of them and just explain that Michael needs extra help and to be supportive. It's the be supportive part I'm worried about. In the heat of an argument when one boy is trying to hurt the other, I don't want this to be used against him. Of course, such disrespect would merit discipline, but the damage will already have been done. I've heard many people talk about vision therapy, which may be something Michael needs. The problem is that it is not covered by insurance and costs a few thousand dollars, dollars we don't have at the moment.
Which reminds me. We went to the orthodontist on Wednesday. Two need jaw extenders. One, if not two will need braces after said jaw extenders. Our first visit was free. There will be no more free visits.
We had a wonderful visit from our potential home buyers today. They came without a realtor, and we had a lovely, casual visit with them. They seemed to really like the house, so we shall see. They seem like the perfect family for our home--two teenage boys; this is the perfect house for a family of four. My mother-in-law told me she was praying just this morning that we'd have a buyer soon. If this is the family, her prayers were answered within hours!
One way or the other, I feel complete peace about our house. We would love to be able to get on with the next phase of our lives. But perhaps the next phase of our lives is right here. Our pastor preached on finances some time ago. We were impacted by the message series and felt a desire to simplify things. Selling this house would help us simplify, and we hope God will honor that desire. On the other hand, perhaps He will simply honor our attitude of change by having us stay here.
I think I've mentioned before that I don't have a complete handle on this discerning-God's-will-for-my-life thing. But I'm learning. And that patience and trust thing? Thankfully, I'm feeling a lot of both.