Thursday, November 10, 2011

Not the Best Week

Last Monday was one of those days when I seriously reconsidered home schooling. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), the child I really wanted to send away to school was my youngest, who won't be eligible to attend kindergarten until the fall of 2014!

My oldest, the main one I'm homeschooling right now, is doing great. She loves her school work this year, hardly ever complains, does her work quietly (well, she sings a lot while she works), and gets nearly all her worksheets, tests, and review questions correct. If I only had her at home, life would be so easy!

But I have 2 others, just turned 3 and 4, and they can cause so much chaos! I'm hoping they mature (just a little bit, please!) over the next 1-2 years, and start being more obedient and less destructive and noisy. It would be nice to be able to spend a few minutes helping one child without the others scattering legos all over the floor, dropping toys down the stairs once a second (it must have been a gravity experiment, right?), and turning my video camera on and leaving it to record (for a whole hour, no less!) face down on the kitchen counter.

This week has just been one of those weeks. Our science experiments haven't been going as planned either. We're studying sedimentary rock (like sandstone). One activity was to create our own sandstone by mixing sand and glue in a pan and letting it harden. It didn't harden. I even used (wasted) just about a whole bottle of glue. We did find a few harder chunks today, but they crumbled pretty easily. The main experiment was to use sand and crushed rock as a filter to clean dirty water. Well, the sand flowed right through the little pebbles I used (I didn't have any finer crushed rock available), and right out of the mouth of the 2-liter bottle, so we were never able to get the right layers to create our filter, much less try pouring muddy water through it. Today we painted with paint mixed with sand. I guess I put too much sand in, since it got really clumpy really fast. It worked, kinda, but not like I was expecting.

But despite all this, I really cannot complain. My daughter's self-confidence has greatly improved since I started homeschooling. Instead of hiding behind me whenever someone appears, now she sings hymns out loud as we walk through the parking lot and grocery store aisles, smiling at everyone. (She still has her shy moments, but they are definitely less frequent.) She is full of energy most of the day, eager to investigate her world, and not dragging her feet with exhaustion after a 40+ hour school (work) week, and then having homework to do on top of that. Instead of complaining that she doesn't like reading, she now reads books to her younger siblings in her spare time. Science and math are her favorite subjects. Her brother is one of her best friends, instead of being someone she hardly ever saw awake, and he follows her around like a puppy. She is inseparable from her sister (despite the pouting claims once a day or so of "I'm not your friend anymore!" that I hear from both - Ryan has taken to mimicking them when they say this, and then grinning really big).

So I can't really complain when I say this has not been the best week. Compared to what? There are much worse weeks possible. Yes, I have to admit - we are spoiled!

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