!משנכנס אדר מרבים בשמחה
When Adar enters, happiness increases!
It’s Rosh Chodesh Adar, and there is a lot of good mazal (“luck” – for lack of a better word, when I find one, I’ll replace it) in this month. We are told this month is a good month for success – if one needs to start a new business, get a new job, or just needs success in other matters, this is the month to start things. (Permission was encouraged by the artist for everyone to share the image to encourage the spirit of Purim!)
This week was vacation week for the public (and some private) schools. It was not supposed to be a vacation week over here. The nice thing about homeschooling is that we get to pick our vacation, and it does not have to correspond to what anyone else is doing. However, for a non-vacation week, it sure turned out more like a vacation week – that too is the beauty of homeschooling. We get to change our plans and have unexpected “vacation”, and just make up for it later, either by not taking a vacation at a later date, or by adding a few days onto our school calendar.
Not quite sure what we did at the beginning of the week, but the boys had a few days off from their learning with their Rebbe (room613.net), and on Monday we got most of our learning done in 2 hours – all three boys! We learned something new – one of my boys is a late reader, and begged me to let him do his reading opposed to having me do all his reading for him.
Tuesday I decided it was time to clean. It was a hard morning. I have one child who, because of his personality and his wonderful attributes, just cannot clean! It does not matter what creative way I try, it is like pulling teeth to get him to do anything. I have to say, I personally clean his room several times a year when I get fed up with it and fed up with trying to get it clean otherwise. Last time I did it was about a month ago when I bought some nice Closet Maid cubbies, along with the cloth baskets to go inside, thinking if there was something to store things in, it would help, at least a little. But this time the room was worse than ever. After all the other boys and I cleaned the rest of the house, and after trying for 3 hours to get him to clean, I went in and spent an hour cleaning. I thought the funny part was when he came in and huffed and fell on top of the bed complaining that he does all the work in the house (as I’m finishing up cleaning his room!) I was not quite sure what to say to him at that point. Our house is still fairly clean (and surprisingly so is this boy’s room!)
Yesterday we had to go to the scout store to get needed items for all the boys (and even the 2 year old). Anyone who has boys and lives in the US, Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts is definitely recommended! (There are only 2 countries in the world that do NOT have co-ed Scouts – the US and I *think* South Africa — definitely not Canada nor Israel). The scout store is like a totally kosher candy store. Normally, the boys need to look for hechshers (kosher symbols) on the candy, but in a totally kosher candy store, the only limit is what I say. Same goes for a toy store. Normally I say “NO” to most things the boys ask me (and then I feel like a bad mom), however, in the scout store, I just let them roam around and “oo” and “ahhh” at everything on the shelves and then pick out what they want.
All three boys sold a lot of (kosher) popcorn as a fundraiser for scouting (totaling around $4000 worth of popcorn! Yeah boys!) For prizes, they each got gift cards. Two boys chose cards for the scout store… and yesterday was D-Day. So, we made 3 different kinds of slime, I have a 2 year old who was excited for his “TV” (translation: ATV – All Terrain Vehicle) that was made of wood that he will be painting this afternoon. I had string tied across my living room and had space derby vehicles whizzing by. I have 2 bear bells that keep dinging around the house (yes – bear bells — bells to wear in the woods when there might be a bear, and since I could not come up with a good reason not to get them, they got them for of course, the scout motto is “Be Prepared!”) I actually felt like the stereotypical “Homeschool Parent” (see the image on my previous post!)
Today, my oldest went out for a scout camp out. For some reason, no one would go into the car when it was time. We were all finally in the car, I was going to pick up a boy down the street as well…… and then the car wouldn’t start. Baruch Hashem, the other mother was home and was able to take both boys to the camp. I purchased an AAA membership a few months ago (for the first time in about 8 years), and gave them a call.
Now, here is where religious-homeschool parents will take out their creative juices, for instead of just learning from a story or a book in school about things such as middos (character traits) and other lessons that need learning, homeschooling children many times learn through experience. After AAA came and boosted the van, we drove down to the mechanics to get a new battery. On the way, the boys and I discussed the events of the morning. Even though it looks like it was a bad morning – the van died, we missed the market, and we needed to get a new battery – we have to understand that we do not know what MIGHT have happened if things did not go the way they did. Hashem set up today months ago and put us in a position that we decided we needed an AAA membership. Perhaps if the van did not die, we would have left on time and would have gotten into an accident. Perhaps if the battery did not die this morning, it would have died in a very inconvenient time and place (like on the road in between towns, etc.) Each experience we have, each decision we make, molds us. By taking being able to teach Torah thoughts and attitudes through living examples ingrains the lessons inside the neshama.
Well, I was going to talk a bit about our Limudei Kodesh studies, for that is always a hot topic for Jewish Homeschoolers, but I guess that is part of homeschooling too – sometimes we step out of our routines!