Before going on furlough to America, we took some precautionary measures against invaders. And it was a good thing too, considering that they did come. Our first week has involved two big-ticket items for me: undoing those precautions to make our house more home-like, and beginning homeschooling again.
A Woman’s Touch
Usually unpacking makes a bigger mess before you see improvement. Sort of like the theory of communism, actually…and mine worked out somewhat like that–disaster that never really morphed into beauty. Just taking things out of 20 suitcases/carry-ons and organizing them into piles doesn’t qualify as “unpacked.” I’m hoping that tomorrow (being free from homeschooling) will be the magic day for Super Woman Homemaker.
I did manage to reorganize all of our family’s clothing closets and wardrobes. We had stored all the clothes in trash bags in an attempt to keep the cockroaches from defiling them with their waste. That precaution was successful–along with new poison left out just before we left, as well as having someone stay in the house to scare them away. I only had to scrub two items of clothing because of the little beasts, versus my co-worker who had to wash every single thing in her house after her furlough!
We also retrieved valuables that we had stored at our co-workers house or in our attic. The thieves who broke in only stole an extension cord on their first break-in. We have burglar bars on the windows of our back wall of our house; that along with having someone house sit at night, made us feel fairly safe. Nevertheless we had also locked and dead bolted the rooms that our house sitters weren’t using.
Apparently the thieves used a very small boy of few years of age to squeeze between the burglar bars of our kitchen window, walk through the house, and unlock the front door for them. A young man from our church who stayed here to scare away thieves caught the two thieves with the help of his cousin (also a church member). With some help, they literally bound and gagged the thieves in our garage, shocking our coworker when he found them the next morning in reply to their calls for help. The police then intervened to handle the criminals (one of them was a teenage neighbor who has attempted theft in the past). We were humorously impressed with how our youth dispatched the situation!
The picture also shows how my life is back to normal with occupations such as hanging up laundry, grocery shopping, hand-washing dishes, and cooking. I will definitely miss staying with my mom! Caleb and Colin have begun their chores again as well.
Probably my major occupation (regarding my time) is teaching my children. I thought I had planned this week off as well; but when I looked at the calendar, I realized that we really needed to start school this week.
We are actually halfway through the school year for Caleb’s first grade. We made some changes to Caleb’s curriculum for language arts. We are now using All About Spelling (Level 1), First Language Lessons 1, and Writing with Ease 1 (workbook), instead of ABeka’s spelling and language workbooks. First Language Lessons also covers poetry and picture study.
This week we reviewed. I had good intentions regarding review in America; but it rarely happened, outside of him reading here and there. He had forgotten most of his subtraction facts and was rusty and slow on addition. After daily practice, I’m already seeing him slash his time on his addition flashcards, and we have begun reviewing subtraction, which is…happening.
He forgot a passage in Psalms he had memorized, so we’re reviewing that. And we took the week to review phonics concepts as well. He’s caught up fairly nicely in phonics. We are almost through reviewing how to write cursive letters, which he’d forgotten almost completely. I also introduced the first lessons in our three new curricula. My favorite of the three so far is Writing with Ease, which concentrates on copywork and narration, not penmanship.
He begged to do history, so we did read about Rome one day. I had planned just to review the major points of history and science. I find it discouraging how long school takes though, being only first grade! Maybe there can be too many good things in a school day. Is less really more?
We are now working on K4 materials with Colin. We have two workbooks from ABeka, one for writing and one for phonics and numbers, and a reading manual with the cumbersome-to-read title Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. I thought we would try it out with Colin. If we don’t like it, we can easily go back to tried and truck-along ABeka in kindergarten. So far he’s doing great! I do have to keep on top of him with his writing. Though he’s never formally learned letter formation, he thinks he’s a master already and can do it his own way.
I try to start my homeschool day with reading to Callie and Carson so that they are not pushed away from my attention all morning. I know this will be a trying next year or two. Every day my patience is tested to teach with two toddlers around. Then in the afternoons, I have anywhere from 10-20 village boys wrestling and running in my yard. Please pray for me to have the fruit of the Spirit!