A little homeschooling update

A week before our trip to Louisville, I realized we were on target to finish school right when I wanted to! (two weeks before the end of May, right before Paul’s graduation)


I thought about putting something on Facebook and then thought, No, as soon as I do that something will happen and we’ll get all thrown off.

I knew we were going to Louisville, but had meticulously planned our lessons and worksheets to do while we were there. Ha! I didn’t take into account a Monday of packing and driving, a Tuesday of driving, a Wednesday and Thursday of playing, and a Friday of driving. Good work, genius. We accomplished exactly one lesson.

So we lost a week. No big problem. The family time was totally worth it. And, I’d realized that most of the major concepts for the year have already been taught so it’s really not a big deal to make up some days here and there. Besides, my big goal was to finish by the end of May. We could not make up anything and still beat that goal by a week.

Second thing I didn’t count on: all of us getting sick. For a week. Most noticeably, Hopey.

I have to say that while I will take colds, fevers, and exhaustion every time over stomach bugs, we were all pretty pathetic that next week.

So just like that, we lost two weeks of school.

Thankfully, last week we had a wonderful, normal week of school. It’s amazing how much you remember you love something after you step away from it for awhile. (even unintentionally)

Now we have exactly four weeks of school left to finish in the four weeks of May.

I want to finish strong *obviously*. But I also feel like these last four weeks could be an opportunity to do some more fun things as we practice and review what has been learned this year.

Last week we did school at the park on Monday. The girls had to line up, answer a question or do some sort of something before going down the slide and coming back for another question. It was a blast!

I admit that I’m looking through the daily worksheets very carefully and sometimes crossing off exercises that I feel are unnecessary at this point. Also, we are going to concentrate heavily on neatness in writing these last four weeks. Hope has learned her cursive letters so well! But it’s easy to get lazy after writing so many times, so again, I’m going to lighten the load a little bit and encourage her to do every word and every sentence as neatly as possible.

We are halfway through our Louis Braille biography and plan to finish that as well. It’s so fun to take turns reading. We completely slaughter all the French names. = /

Hopefully we will be able to do our art projects more consistently and also do more baking or fun extra things.

Looking ahead, I’m making lists of what to order for next year. It’s strange to me that even at the end of this year, that really excites me. Sophia can not wait to start kindergarten. She asked if she could start the day after Hopey finishes. = ) I’m really excited about teaching them together.

So there you have the status of our formal education around here. We’re praying for wisdom and perseverance to finish this first year of homeschooling well.

Wish I could take credit for these cool flags being a part of homeschooling. However, it's one of the things the girls figured out on their own while Mommy was napping in the afternoon. = ) Can you tell what countries they represent?
Wish I could take credit for these cool flags being a part of homeschooling. However, it’s one of the things the girls figured out on their own while Mommy was napping in the afternoon. = ) Can you tell what countries they represent?

Are you finished? Finishing? Still have a ways to go? Do tell. = )

cleaning my diy chalkboard

So proud of this baby!
So proud of this baby!

After two solid weeks of use in school, our chalkboard was quite ready to be cleaned.

I will not be posting anything about making the chalkboard because there are so many out there already. However, when I googled how to clean a diy chalkboard, it was a little sketchy.

Hence, my sharing how I cleaned my diy chalkboard. This chalkboard is just wood from Lowe’s painted in three coats with chalkboard paint. I’m happy to say that this cleaning method did not chip or damage the paint in any way.

The best tip I could find was to use warm water and vinegar so I decided to try it.

I filled up the sink with warm water and poured in some vinegar. They suggested using a bucket, but buckets always manage to be filled with junk at my house, so the sink is a much faster option. = )

Previously, I used a dry rag to completely erase the board and then went over it again with the magic eraser (which I have been using to erase it).

After this, the water and vinegar on a rag cleaned it beautifully. Just once over and it was done.


That’s all.

The end.

Have a lovely day!

And now you can see why it occasionally needs cleaned. = )
And now you can see why it occasionally needs cleaned. = )

From preschool to kindergarten; my thoughts so far

imageI’m trying from time to time here to just sit and write out thoughts. Most of my posts are things I’ve thought about for awhile or specific updates about the girls or the family.

There’s a gentleman in our church who loves to tell me how much he wished he would have understood stages when his children were growing up. He’s told me on more than one occasion how hard it is to welcome a new stage while realizing that the one that just passed had fled without his realizing how precious it was.

I remember growing up almost every year in school thinking during the first week how much better last year’s teacher was than this year’s. I finally realized with some amusement that I would soon be missing the teacher I was currently griping about.

“It goes so fast!”, everyone always says. I’ve stood around in more than one group of young moms wondering what to actually do about it.

My sweet and beautiful oldest daughter started kindergarten last week.

The weird thing is – at this point, I don’t really feel like it’s flown by. I feel like I can remember every stage  either in grueling or delightful detail.

But as I now transition to being a school mom, I’m fighting the feeling of wanting to go back to those preschool days. It was so fun to basically play all day every day! I don’t think once I thought, “I can’t wait ’til she’s in school!”

I feel like I have a new baby again…what am I supposed to do with this? You mean I have to guide this child through the intricacies of education? responsibility? relationships? eventually independence?

All right, cut! Everybody, let’s just go back to the playground.

But nope, this is happening whether I want it to or not.

On the positive side, I feel like I have been praying all day every day. Not in the spiritual way, but in the “Lord, if you don’t help me I’m either going to lose it or go hide in a corner somewhere.” (slightly overdramatic)

The challenges, the tests, the stretching into new territory is a gift from God. Not just for Hope, but for me, too. It helps that her eyes have been twinkling for a whole week and she has said at least ten times a day, “I really like school!”

But how to do my best? how to trust and rest? how to self-discipline and diagnose? when to listen and when to go with your gut? These things I’m wondering about.

And how to cling to this last year I have with Sophia, and the last two years with Gracie, and the last three years with Mckayla, and how not to wish they were all in school so we could all be on the same page again.

I’m so thankful for my husband who listens so patiently.

I love my girls more than ever before.

And I’m so grateful for my Jesus who lovingly puts new challenges in my life, and then promises to always be near.

(and I really need to go to bed… because tomorrow is Monday morning!)