Monday, August 27, 2012

Boys' Noise School: A Day in the Life

My Summer Challenges have ceased, and my time has been spent bustling around, planning (and enjoying each moment) for the coming school year.

It never fails that while in June I'm pining away for a bit of summer fun, mid-August I'm begging for routine and 'normal' life.  Don't worry, just as usual come February I'll be wishing for a little less normal-routine, just like always.

Just like feels good to say that.  This year begins my 7th year of homeschool.  In case you're wondering, yes, I count preschool!  Preschool was the year of great adjustment, learning for mom and son, and school at home.  I'm starting to feel like something of an experienced homeschool mama.

Just for fun I thought I'd join in the fun and share a *typical day in the life at the Boys' Noise School.

6 (or 6:30) a. - I get out of bed & head down for a cup of coffee.   Comfy and bundled I find a favorite spot and sit down and work on my coffee while reading the Bible and praying for awhile. (James 1:5)

7a. -My boys begin trickling downstairs.  They're supposed to stay in their rooms until 7 so I can get a little jump on the day quietly.  There is almost always snuggling with each of them.  They hang out with me a few minutes, then fall off to get breakfast or play.  These few minutes being close and talking to each boy are so important to me.

7:15 ish -Time to hit the shower, start laundry, grab a bite and get the day moving.

8:00 -This is my sacred hustle-bustle time.  I run down my chore items from my MotivatedMoms Calendar.  Laundry, vacuum, windows, dust a room.  Unload the dishwasher and sweep a porch.  The boys, in turn, are running through their lists.  Rooms, pets fed, cleaning up zones.

I do chores in the a.m. because I'm a morning-energy gal, because my boys play well together then, and because I can focus on school better with these things underway.  I LOVE this part of our day.

9:20ish -I give the boys' fair warning..."Meet you at the school table in 10 minutes!"  They scramble to finish their play or get a snack

9:30ish  -We pull out Bibles and "Long Story Short" and read through a day or two of stories.  There is usually a nice, socratic discussion that follows.  We pray for our day and use prayer sticks (shown on right) to pray for friends & family.  Yellow sticks have people we are praying for, blue has a topic.

Then using the Scripture Memorization system, we run through our scriptures and take some time to learn the new ones.

Then we tuck our books away but we're on a roll with recitation and memorization so we'll run through our Classical Conversations memory work for the week.  This usually only takes 15 or 20 minutes.  This year we will work longer on our mapping/ Geography.

10:15ish  I eat a handful of almonds, lest I turn into a monster.  The boys munch too, usually an apple or nuts.  Then we'll start in on our Math.  The boys all have different books, of course.  Joe usually has no trouble working through and correcting his own math.  I follow up with him on it later on.  I alternate between Nate and Eli working with them.  When they each finish up their work they'll head out for a little recess on the trampoline or LEGO play.

Then we'll move into our Language Arts Section.  Joe has an assignment sheet I've put together for IEW and Essentials from Classical Conversations.  Again, he frequently works on his own, and I read to Nate and Eli together from First Language Lessons and Writing With Ease.  We take time to work on Spelling Plus, I hop around from boy to boy helping whomever needs it at the moment.

After LA I'll work on Story of the World for a bit with the boys, reading while they color or work on maps.  This year I'll add Latin for Children to that mix, as well.

We usually quit for a break for lunch.  After lunch I'll gather them in to assess what needs to be done yet.  Each boy has time to finish up any lingering work.  Then they have assigned reading to work on for a bit.  I am off putzing around to more laundry, catch up on emails and other things.

Many afternoons they're at Karate or we're running errands.  Other days we lay low and hang about the house.  More LEGOS.  More trampoline, occasional park dates or river walks.  Some days (not enough) I read to them awhile.  I'll follow them to their LEGO spot to read aloud.  Some days they'll listen to their memory work while they play.

Ralph gets home about 4 or 5, we usually eat dinner right away.  He'll have a little house project to work on and I'll play a game with the kids, watch some TV, fold a last load of laundry or hang out in the yard visiting neighbors.

By 9 we usually get the kids tucked in and Ralph and I head to bed or the living room with reading.
I might make it to 9:30, sometimes 10....

*most days aren't typical, varying in schedule is ok by me.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Messy Floors

Ralph snickered at me when he was unloading our camping car, finding my on hands and knees scrubbing the baseboards and cupboards in the kitchen.  I know he was thinking that after nearly 6 days of camping I couldn't stand the sight of dirt in my home for another minute, and he's right.  But I'm also scrubbing away because I'm working through a realization about myself.

All this time, I maybe was thinking that forgiveness was about the rules.  That I'm supposed to forgive, I should, I will- eventually.

But today I'm thinking that maybe forgiveness isn't about playing by the rules, but how God wants us to forgive so we'll live in freedom.

Going back a little, I've noticed I'm wandering a lot.  Wandering away from the family & friends to do some important thing...wandering my way to a quiet spot with a book, wandering my way to the screen-o' distraction to peruse Pinterest or whatever.  I was wondering about my wanderings, asking God why I'm so withdrawn and why little interactions seem like work lately. Faithfully He whispered it to me, the answer:  I'm storing up hurt.

Holding it up in my heart and quietly building a wall around myself so that it won't happen again.  I won't get hurt without seeing it coming.

Here enters God's good plan for us regarding forgiveness:

At that point Peter got up the nerve to ask, "Master, how many times do I forgive a brother or sister who hurts me? Seven?"

Jesus replied, "Seven! Hardly. Try seventy times seven." (Matthew 18:21&22)

Jesus told Peter to forgive over, and over, and over....even if that same person hurt him over and over and over.  Biblically we are able to forgive because God forgave us, and still forgives us for every sin.  We can give because we were forgiven.  

But God wants us to forgive, not only because he forgave us, but so we can live in freedom. 

Unforgiveness doesn't:

  • protect me
  • make me right
  • make me better
  • make me stronger
  • heal me
  • save me
  • hurt the person that hurt me

But forgiveness does give us freedom.

Freedom to be in that relationship and love and laugh and live.  Freedom to embrace that friend and all their stuff and love them anyhow.  

Lord knows I understand it's not always so simple.  It took me years to fully forgive my first husband who left me and betrayed me so badly.  Even longer before I addressed my anger toward his family.  When I did fully forgive him it didn't mean I was back in any sort of relationship with him.  Sometimes the relationship requires severing, but forgiveness is always freeing.

So I'm mumbling for help and healing in this area as I go back to my floors.  It doesn't do any good for me to stay mad at the mess people-I-live left on the floor.  I'm going to clean it up and move forward, knowing that my floors will get dirty again tomorrow and I'll be cleaning it up again soon enough.  I want to invite people in my kitchen.  I want to engage my heart and mind again in freedom knowing  nothing will protect me from getting hurt but I trust and know a God who can usher me through the hurt and will help heal me again and again,

seventy times seven.  

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A Cool Little Dig

This is a revisited summer project for us. The boys were able to do a lot of it alone this year. First we filled up a tub & a cake Pam with water. Then the boys ran off in search of little trinkets & toys. Meanwhile, for fun I dug out some treasure... Coins. We dumped all our booty into the water & put the pans in the freezer.
While I had my coffee on the front porch first thing next morning, the boys ran in to get their ice-treasure. The ice cubes quickly slipped out I the bowls and the boys went at the ice cubes. I let them use table knives. I think we have used spoons in the past.
This year, of course, the boys got the treasure out & spent the rest of the time tossed the ice up & watched it shatter on the concrete. ☺

Gone Camping...

Back with More Next Week!