Reviewing the Past Year

20130519_152820Today is the 54th day of the omer, which is 7 weeks and 5 days! Yes, that is what my boys are in to. Actually, I think they forgot to mention that today so please, do not tell them! 😉 The last couple of years they have increased the counting by about week and I think they have petered off with their counting now. Hope you all had a great Shavuos. We did. The weather was gorgeous and the three older boys even went to shul and stayed up all night. I had two boys who were awake until 6:30 the following evening. They ended up crashing (in the rooms that had a light blaring all night) and not waking up until the morning. Cheesecake was delicious and so were both of our homemade ice cream flavours – vanilla and chocolate mint. Tomorrow starts school though, the home stretch! We have started davening outside again a few weeks ago. Not every day yet, but several times a week.

The last 5 weeks of school always seems to be the hardest to complete. I know I said the same thing last year, but yes, it is still true. I am not sure why. I thought perhaps this year would be different for Pesach came early and we were able to get back onto a routine almost immediately, and usually I cannot get back into a routine after Pesach. I am thinking it is just that time of year.

Boys are finishing up books and with just a few weeks left; I do not really want to start them on something new. For my oldest, I have just told him to do something that is left so he gets certain subjects done twice in a week. For the middle two boys I have taken the past 2 weeks or so and worked on their Weeblos scout awards. Number 2 boys is aging out of Cub Scouts and we are working hard on finishing up the famed Arrow of Light that he can carry over to the Boy Scouts uniform. Actually, I am having Number 3 boy (who has one year left in Cub Scouts) finish it up as well. That way I do not have to worry about his stuff next year. They have just finished their second (and final) Jewish award for Cub Scouts and we will be handing in their completed forms this week.

Number 4 boy, well, just as we are finishing up the school year, he is just getting revved up – “Mommy, when is MY schooling?” and “What can I do?” No longer is playing with his blocks, cars or legos good enough to occupy him for the day! He is growing up. Baruch Hashem.  The only problem is that I am not really ready for him yet and was not planning on it until the fall. When he came to see me in bed this morning (today is Sunday), I asked him what he wanted to do today. His response? “Do my school work!” He bugged me this morning until we got it done.

I think this past year went fairly well considering Daddy’s accident turned everything around for a long time, and even then, we all 20130519_152834learned a lot and still got most of our schooling done that needed to get done. The one thing that did not go as planned is math. Other than not getting to it when Daddy was home recovering, I had a different math goal this year than I had in the past. Instead of just giving them the work and after the work was done to move on, I made the boys all get proficient in an area before we moved on. Not only does this mean they have to do many questions sometimes in one area, they have spend a month on one section perfecting it. We did have plans for the oldest boy to be ready for algebra this past December, but he is still not finished his math. We did not have a realistic goal in mind. I am glad I did what I did though. I am hoping that in the next month or so he will be done and he will be ready to start on algebra in the summer. As far as scheduling goes, next year is going to different, I know that already. Room613 is going to change around when classes are, being done mostly in the morning, which gives us the afternoon to do our secular studies or other things we would like to do. That means that Number 4 will get all my attention in the morning! I am just worried what to do with him in the afternoons. Still have some time to think about that one.

I have had several people ask me what I plan on doing in the summer. We do take off most of the summer, for we all need it, however, even though I am a laid back person, I notice that if we do not have any sort of schedule at all during the summer, then I feel the day was just wasted away. So, how to combine both a vacation but yet some sort of schedule to make us all happy is the question. Last year I did a very small schedule in the morning – davening, parsha and then 1 hour of math and typing skills. After that, everyone was free to do what they choose to do. With only 1.75-2 hours of work in the morning, it was just enough to feel like we accomplished something and enough time in the day to feel like we all had free time. I am thinking of adding a few minutes of dik duk a couple times a week and alternating it with something else – the stuff that we cannot seem to get done during the year.

There is one week where the three older boys are going to the Jewish contingency of the Boy Scout camp. Grandpa will be coming about that time and will have a few days with just Number 4 before we all go on a trip with him. This is what all that popcorn selling has done for them! 😀

20130519_152239Well, we finished off the afternoon with a spontaneous trip to the famous Lilac Festival. I love lilacs, they are one of my favorite flowers, if not the favorite and the smell of the flowers are just amazing. We have one outside in our front yard that bloomed amazingly this year. I wanted to walk around more, but because we were not planning on it, we just happened to be there for we found a nice shtender on the side of the road for taking, my Mr. 3 year old almost 4 year old kept telling me that his feet hurt and he did not want to walk anymore. Yes, it was nap time, I did not have to look at the clock to know that.

Next weekend is the conference! We are so excited and hyped to go and meet everyone. I hear there are going to be about 300 people there – almost triple what it was last year! Hope everyone has a wonderful week and hope to see many of you next weekend!

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