Thoughts on Term 1

Thoughts on Lucy's first term

 Not at all bad for just an hour a day, 3-4 days a week. I think she did really great. She is turning 6 soon so technically I started too early. I knew this and went back and forth because I did have my reasons but then again, so did CM and the people who said year 1 was written for a 6 year old. Maybe someday I'll look back and regret it but for now, I'm happy and she's happy and we're ready for term 2 (after a break for May and a birthday. So from now on, we won't be "rule breaking" :-)

She's always been a good narrator. Even before she was asked to do it formally. But she wants to include every detail. I know that summarizing and selecting what she thinks is important can be a skill that takes time to develop so I'm impressed that she made even some progress with it and I was really happy to see that in most of the review/exam narrations she was able to get the basic storyline summarized.

Besides Beauty and the Beast, the only other reading that was a bit of a stretch for her was the Bible. I choose to stick with the KJV for our readings (we memorize in ESV) because she is very familiar with most of the stories so can muddle through the tricky language. I could easily tell the difference in narration of stories she already was familiar with and the one or two new ones. Gideon was a new one so we broke it up for shorter narrations but her exam retelling wasn't bad at all.

Planning wise, everything went just about how I expected. We only did a tiny bit of french (a couple french folk songs and reading "Bonsoir Lune") so I'll be attempting to do a bit more formal work either next term or term three, probably term three. And as I said in the exam post, we also kept nature study really informal and that will remain so at least one more term.

The one thing that needs to be improved is reading lessons and piano. They don't have a designated time slot, just "afternoon" which means they got dropped a lot. I don 't really care about the reading lessons because we're just practicing and building up stamina but piano should happen daily so I think I need to find a "peg" to hang that on in our schedule.

Thoughts on my first term

As for me, I definitely found myself more stretched, especially now that the weather is nice. I can keep up with everything even if we spend 4-6 hours outside. I can keep up with everything even with an hour of school in the morning using up most of Norah's best naptime (normally her only solo nap is the first one). But the combination leaves me with very little time. Very little time for more than basic cleaning let alone blogging or sewing or keeping up with my book club or responding to an email in less than 72 hrs. I just can't make those little things on my check list happen. But on paper they seem so little! Moping was on my to-do list for several weeks before I finally just told Craig to stop working on the fence and go play with a baby outside, told the big kids they weren't even allowed to come in and use the potty for a while and finally got it done! And I only did it then because I had a podcast I wanted to listen to :-)

To be honest, I was pretty discouraged last week by all those other things, what I was seeing as my "failings." I told myself that the obvious answer is to sleep less but I really need 9-10 hrs in bed every night (I say in bed because between Norah's night wakings and insomnia, I am not actually sleeping that many hours) plus one quiet time hour spent laying down resting if not actually sleeping so I knew that wasn't actually going to work. And I felt like I had no solution to this "problem."

But going over exams and looking back on our spring overall, I realized that I set my priorities at the beginning of the year and I did a good job of sticking with them.

Yes, that meant that things that weren't a priority fell off my to-do list. But we
-spent a ton of time outside (almost 200 hours so far!)
-we had a great term of school
- our house is reasonable clean (depending on your definition of "reasonable" but my standards were way lower last spring when I was sick so at least the trend is up. And we have a very decluttered house so it is pretty easy to actually do the cleaning whenever I have a chance to)
-we ate every day (see what high standards I have!) and I even started going grocery shopping part of the time (Craig had taken that over when Norah was born and still does a large percentage of it but sometimes its just better timing for me and the kids to go)
-I go to bed at the same time as Craig. It's early because he gets up really early for work so I could stay up later and only get 7-8 hrs of "sleep" and be productive but it wouldn't be good for me or us. And if I cheat on this occasionally, I'm at least laying down in bed and reading :-)
-Read some good books for own growth.

Now, if it isn't on that list, it really didn't happen. At all. But I'm okay with knowing that I'll get to those emails - eventually. And it I don't clean the bathroom quite as often as I should, we'll all live. Frankly, with a potty training little boy I feel like I'd have to hose it down every 30 minutes if I wanted it to always be clean so what's an extra day or two between scrubs. And I can save those projects for the months we take off (this May is all about naptime/rainy day sewing!). I just can't handle having as many top priorities as I could with less kids and better healthy but that's life.

 And a few days ago, I got some lab work results that showed a pretty significant Hashimoto's relapse. Which was very discouraging overall but also affirming. I did all that with a TSH of 14! My thyroid stinks but I rock!

I realize that a lot of what I just wrote doesn't really seem to be about homeschooling or term 1 and that's true. It's probably just as much about now having three kids, all of which are now mobile (yes, that baby girl is really getting around! The climbing! The falling! It's wearing me out) But God really used the exams we just finished to help me see my reality a bit more clearly. Instead of being upset with what wasn't happening, I ended up being pretty happy with how I was able to keep my priorities in check. Because it really is my choice what I prioritize. That's very freeing. It's not that I am unable to do those other things, it's that I'm unwilling to prioritize them.

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