Phew. I think that after 7 months things are almost normal. Almost. It has been a long wait to get to where we are now. 3 moves – hotel for a month, apartment (though nice and cannot complain about the layout, just could not breath, let alone walk inside before people below complained and no place to send boys out to play,) and now our new house.
My goal: Empty out boxes and put things in a real home as I unpacked so I would have a nice, organized house.
Reality: It was a race to unpack all boxes before Pesach to get rid of all the boxes and check for chometz. Most things have a “place” but not necessarily the place I want or one that is a good one.
We thought we had it all checked for chometz when, a couple of hours before Pesach, my husband and son emptied one last box and guess what? Half a loaf of bread was packed away from 7 months ago! Yum! Not. The movers were not supposed to pack perishables – they made sure I understood that. For 7 month old bread, there was not very much penicillin on it, it was just hard Melba toast like pieces. (Maybe it really was not a perishable after all?) I should have known better than to buy bread. In any case, I am back into making our own bread again. And we are back to almost a full school schedule again. I have been trying for a week now to finish this post, so I’m not quite in a nice schedule for myself, but I am trying. One of the things I am working is getting outside more myself. We have a swing set at our new house and I enjoy sitting on a swing, looking at the backyard. I never really did that in our other place and I missed out on a lot of nice flowers, etc. So now, I have made more of an effort to enjoy the outside and I have found a new favorite tree. 🙂
What is interesting is how the boys have changed over the last several months and how I feel I am almost starting over from scratch with how we are learning. I am not quite sure what is different or why, and maybe perhaps it is just the fact that we have not done regular learning for such a long time and it might just be the new environment. But, whatever the case is, it sure is good to get back into a schedule. Two weeks ago I was ready, except for the fact that I did not have a schedule, and voila! I pulled out of a pile an old schedule I made for one boy at the beginning of the school year. I am not following the times, but it was nice to see what we were supposed to be learning this year. Unfortunately (or maybe really fortunately for me), being 3/4 of the way through the year, we were still on the same books we started the year off with which made it easy to continue on. We have finished some of the books over the months and now the goal is to finish the rest of what we are doing over the next week. I have put together a 1 month schedule for next month of a few of the books I really want the boys to read through this year.
I have decided to choose 6 books (including math), with 2 of them being done each day and doing 4 of them twice per week. I think we can get most of it done. The trick is working in Mr. Little. He has all of a sudden decided he *NEEDS* to learn. I told the boys there would be no computer for math for the week. They did not like that. I like it though. I am not minding printing things off, at least right now. It is a nice change of pace. In any case, I think the boys are doing more while not being on the computer. The boys have done math online with Khan Academy for a few years now and they now have early math online so Mr. Little has been going through that. This week I have decided to take a break from the computer and went to Dad’s Worksheets Online and http://www.mathworksheets4kids.com (because they both have answer keys!) and printed off various sheets there, some new stuff, though mostly review. Mr. Little insisted I print off stuff for him. So, I found a nice worksheet for him. He was so excited he made me print off 3 more pages. Daddy got to correct his worksheets before supper. 🙂
Day 1: One beautiful boy is trying to find his independence right now, and even though he tantrumed the first time he had to do the worksheets, I made him sit beside me and we did them together. It took us a while, but we got them done.
Day 2: came, and even though he still did not like the paper sheets, after a while, he actually asked for my help and sat beside me to do them. Half way through the page he was confident enough in himself and so I let him finish the rest on his own while I pulled his brother over and helped him with the same work. Said boy was excited when he got the right answer to a question his brother needed to go over (which is a VERY good thing for said boy.) It was then a race to see who could finish the pages first.
Day 3: They still did not like the fact I had paper sheets, but they sat down (or laid down, whichever they preferred) on the couch and raced. I found out that I really like working on math with each boy. I have not told them yet, but I think that next week we still might do paper sheets. I enjoy stumbling upon new ways for me to do math. I am a math person, but give me a question to do fast, I falter. Tell me I have 5 minutes, I relax and can do the question quickly. I am learning new multiplication techniques (stumbling on new techniques really,) and enjoy teaching them over. Said boy who does not like math has picked them up really fast. I think we are both realizing how non-overwhelming it can really be and it is almost fun. I try really hard to sit still while he thinks – half out loud and half quietly, letting him take his time. It is hard when he comes up with numbers in the middle, which to me seem wrong, but in the end he gets the right answers. He is just not verbalizing all his thoughts. He has figured out how to do some math problems his own way and I have to remember to sit still and let him be. It is a correct way, just not the way I would do it.
We took some time off yesterday (Sunday) and went to a nice park that we went to in the Fall. We sat on an old fallen down tree and had a little picnic. The boys enjoyed the woods and the nice honey smells and then afterwards they all went on a 10 mile bike ride with the Scouts as part of the cycling merit badge. It is an optional activity but all the boys in the Troop want to do it. Our new life consists of many different and new things, along with new friends and new places. It takes a while to get used to all the new things, but things are slowly becoming familiar. The nice thing about time passing and things moving on is that there are ample opportunities to have a fresh start. This year has definitely been a challenge for everyone in all aspects, but the school year is almost finished and summer will be upon us very soon. That gives me a little time to get myself into a nice routine and make one for the next school year (and maybe write more often!)
Wishing everyone a beautiful week!