Saturday, August 6, 2011

Running Toward Our Second Week

So, we've finished our first week of school and I have to admit, we don't have a solid routine down. We didn't accomplish as much as I wanted to, school-wise.

You've seen the movie Airplane, right? You know the running gag where unexpected things keep happening and the guy says,
"Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit smoking."
"Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit drinking."
"Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue."

Well, I thought I may have picked the wrong week to start school. But don't worry, there is a happy ending. Read on.

Day 1 of 180, Monday: We had a fantastic first day. The kids got up, got dressed, brushed teeth, went out to the driveway for a water balloon throwing contest, then ate breakfast before we started school. We began our lessons with a prayer and a devotional. Then we checked out our cool new calendar on the bulletin board and did some addition problems (thanks Khan Academy for teaching my kids how to use a number line effortlessly) and designs with the shaped blocks. Both kids sat happily while completing their reading lessons for the day. And the best part was what they found in their workboxes - six for each of them. We had coloring pages, cutting pages, Read with Mommy Time, snacks, felt play sets and a fishing game. It was a wonderful day in every way.

Day 2 of 180, Tuesday: We went to the amusement park with another family and had a second amazing day. Charlie has added vegetables and fruit to his diet, so guess what? He grew tall enough to ride some real rides. A fabulous time was had by all.

Day 2 of 180, Wednesday: We had been having a minor problem with ants coming in through our kitchen window for a few weeks, and with my (and my husband's) paranoia about spraying chemical poison around, my routine was 1) get up, 2) kill an ant or two, 3) make coffee, 4) wash counters, window sill and sink with cleaner and 4) no more ants until the next morning. Wednesday I got up and there were ants in one of my cabinets. Several were trying to crawl inside a bottle of infant's motrin drops. Flipping out mildly, I spent the morning emptying the contents of 13 cabinets and six drawers onto my dining room table, bookcase, buffet and chairs. And then I held my breath and sprayed poison.
Meanwhile, my daughter asked to get on the computer to work on an art game she enjoys, so I let her and called it "computer." This was fine since I was busy and I needed a good place to start on my loop schedule wheel anyway. After lunch, we finally started our lessons and were able to cover all of our subjects; we did Bible, Reading, Math, Computer, Latin and Spanish. The highlight was during the devotional when I asked the kids, "If you could have anything in the world, what would you want? Charlie answered, "I would want to be a flower so Miriam could pick me."
Melts your heart, right there . . .

Day 3 of 180, Thursday: Okay, I forgot that we were going to D.C. for the day to see our dear friend, Pum from England, and her nephew. We can count this as a field trip, but I won't count it as a school day because I hadn't planned and had no answer for my kids' questions. Plus, I was super crabby half the time and I don't want the kids thinking their teacher is a jerk . . .
By the way, another FABULOUS day.

Day 3 of 180, Friday: I woke up and did not anticipate how utterly exhausted I would be after a day of traipsing around D.C. with my two children, who grew increasingly rambunctious as the evening went on. Before starting our two hour journey home, we had driven around looking for food for one child for oh, about an hour (9-10pm), and as soon as we found a McDonald's to grab a milkshake for her, she took three sips and promptly feel asleep. Home at midnight-thirty, I was in dire need of coffee when I woke up. And I'm trying to quit coffee, so I was conflicted.

Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit coffee.

My husband was tired as well and slept in considerably late, not leaving the house until around 10:30, with request that I run a rather long errand TODAY. This was an errand I had sort of done, but not completely, and it had gotten to the point of affecting him negatively, so I really couldn't ignore it. But what about school?? I've already had two cups of coffee I'm not supposed to have, and a large piece of chocolate, which I'm not supposed to have, and it's now noon and we haven't even started lessons. We ran the rather long errand, stopped for lunch at our church youth group's hot dog (which I am not supposed to have) stand and arrived home.

Remember Wednesday? The ants? The poison? I thought 48 hours might be long enough after spraying ant killer to replace my cabinets to their former state of bursting full and honestly, I couldn't take having to walk to the dining room table to retreive a spoon or a dish or a towel for another minute, so I restocked my cabinets whilst the children made Cooties and got along. (happiness)
My husband came home and asked them why they were making Cooties and not playing Cootie. They told him they'd never played, didn't know how. Oops, my bad. He taught them how to play the game, played three rounds and went back to work. I could stretch it and say that was math since they used dice, but I won't. (By the way, I forgot to mention that I forgot to order the math workbooks so we are playing it by ear until next week for math lessons.) Both kids did their reading lessons, with one child having an emotional breakdown one minute and then asking to do another lesson the next. Can you guess if it was the boy or the girl?

Well, by this time the sun was setting and we have a big day planned tomorrow, so I sent the kids to bed, feeling a little bit like I had failed. I wanted our first week to be flawless and smooth, with five full days and a routine down pat. It didn't happen.

School-wise, I think we could have done better. I could have planned better.

But life-big-picture-wise, this week was unforgettable and wonderful. We had enormous fun and lots of laughs, frolicked with precious friends and had great family time. I realized tonight that my children never once mentioned or asked for television all day. The got along and loved each other well. All in all, I call it a success and I wouldn't change a thing. We're looking foward to Week 2.


  1. We started this week too. Some days went well and some not so to plan. We had those big black ants and used Terro ant bait, which isn't a spray and we put it out at night when the kids weren't around. It took weeks to get rid of them, but they are gone now.

  2. Oh Laurie!! Thank you so much for this honest post! I am determined this year to just "go with the flow" and not worry about schedules and perfection, but rather just getting things checked off our list as we can. Evie's Math book hasn't come in yet, and I yelled at Virginia while making lemonade during our first "Five in a Row" activity (that was supposed to be FUN, but I had to go and be more sour than the lemons we were using...) but otherwise it was a good first day. (I keep forgetting that I have to do this 179 more!!! I may not make it!!! )