I have not been able to write for a while for we have one computer in the repair shop, one with a broken screen, and the other is being used quite heavily by a boy who has been doing school work now for about 4 weeks, even though school has not officially started yet.
I firstly want to wish my boys (including Daddy) a hearty Mazal Tov on completing the first sefer in Rambam’s Mishne Torah – Sefer Madda (4 books including the introduction)! For a very special treat, for their siyum, we took them 3 hours to Toronto to eat in a kosher restaurant, daven in shul and drive 3 hours back. Our pocket book is $200 lighter, but it was definitely worth it! For the past month (almost to the day,) the boys have all been doing 2 chapters of Mishne Torah every day, except Shabbos where they usually do just one, but that might be able to change once the days get a little shorter on Shabbos day. They enjoy listening to (and watching) Rabbi Gordon from Chabad.org. He explains everything very nicely and tells lots of jokes to keep everyone’s interest. We had originally planned on doing 3 chapters a day during the school year, but, that is not going to work out. Two boys would have time in the their schedule for a third, but my oldest is now in the next level of Ambleside Online – the House of Education (HOE, years 7-12) and his course load has doubled I think from the previous years! So, two it is. Two chapters of Rambam and 2 mishnayos from the Mishna Yomit program, along with davening and parsha, and that is about all there is room for right now.
The last few weeks I have been feeling not in the mood to do anything. Normally, my summers are filled with stuff in the morning with the boys and then I send them out to play by themselves (or in the basement) or to read. I would have the time to do things like cleaning, purging the cellar, getting ready for next year and just doing absoluely nothing. This summer has been so different. Yes, the three older boys went to camp for a week, but that left me to clean up the house for Grandpa, and at the same be the sole playmate for the youngest. After camp we had our boys start their Rambam, twice a day, as well as mishnayos with the oldest doing other work such as laining, math, SAT vocabulary and SAT math. You would think I would have some time to myself still, but I was the playmate during Rambam and mishnayos.
I found myself trying to hide away at every opportunity but never really getting the break I was feeling I needed for I still had to be on top of the oldest boy doing all his school work. If I go and hide, there was bickering to remind me of my real job. I am not sure why I could not get some boys to go out more, perhaps it was just that their learnings were staggered just so that it was breaking up the day in not so good of a way and I just never had the time to sit and think about how to make it better, I was just running around like a headless chicken. Despite that, I finally managed to put together a schedule for four boys next year. It was not the easiest thing to do! I think I have just about all the work printed out to start school. I just have to print of maps of various times for their weekly map work.
However, a few days ago I found myself bored, actually bored. Yes, there was cleaning and laundry to do, but that was all. I already had cleaned one bathroom and did some laundry. So, I took advantage of the fact that I was not really needed and I went outside for a walk to enjoy the warm, sunny weather. It is good to occasionally be bored; it gives me the drive to do something afterwards!
I have been asked by several people how things are going with my right-brained child. Well, honestly, I have not done anything with him. I have looked at a few things and I think I will be doing Brain Gym type of stuff – mainly exercises that involve alternating right over left, for example, using the right elbow to touch the left knee. Figure 8’s in the air/traced on paper are also great. I think the idea is for me to come up with about 8-10 exercises that I can alternate to make the 5 minute time exciting. But, one thing at a time. I have the schedule done and books in order. Clean up of the house will hopefully happen a bit this weekend while boys are out, for they will be busy selling… P-O-P-C-O-R-N!!!!! Yes, it is that time again! Wow, life is just never dull, Baruch Hashem. May we go from strength to strength. My Cub Scout wanna-be has his popcorn selling shpeel down pat!
As I finish up and hope my boys will be done their Rosh Hashanah sheets before the holiday starts, I sincerely wish everyone a most wonderful Shanah Tovah. May you all be inscribed in the Books of Life, Health, Happiness and Success.
Kesiva v’Chasima Tovah!