Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Sometimes I wonder what our family must look like from the outside looking in. I've gotten a few strange looks recently as I've been out in public here and there. And the fact that I have four children in kindergarten might sound strange to some, but it feels perfectly natural to me. :)

"How in the world do you homeschool?" I've been asked.

Honestly I have no idea!! It's been a little crazy to say the least.
We started a new program called Classical Conversations which is a classical approach to education. We pretty much picked it because of the weekly coop that meets on Mondays, so we could make some friends and get a little social interaction. You know us unsocialized homeschoolers. We were all so nervous to go on Monday. I realize about myself that I would rather be in a room full of kids than a room full of adults anyday! There is nothing more nerve-racking than meeting a bunch of new people, and my kids felt the same way. But everyone was very nice and welcoming, and the kids made some new friends, and I made a new friend, and my friend Delahne will be there to hold my hand. Thanks Delahne. So I think it's going to be a great year. We got a CD to listen to in the car and we are going to be learning Latin this year. In addition my kids who were world travelers this summer have been practicing their Russian and Spanish they learned over the summer. Do you think my newly adopted Ukrainian children might be a tad bit confused?

We've rearranged several bedrooms over the weekend and now have a little play room downstairs which also doubles as Joseph's bedroom.
Zoya has been sleeping in there too, just because it was the bedroom that she was in previously and I didn't want to uproot her again so soon. Eventually we may switch around again but for now here is the bedroom setup:
Simeon and Jude share a bedroom and a bathroom upstairs.
Liesel has her own bedroom upstairs and uses the downstairs bathroom.
Hope and Ava are sharing.
Zoya and Joseph share. The door has a gate on it to prevent Joseph from wandering around the house as he had been doing at 6am every morning. Although I will definitely miss him crawling in bed with me and poking my eyes and kissing me on the lips.

John installed door locks for the bathrooms and the office, to keep Joseph out. Did I mention he likes water? Sinks and toilets too.

Next to playing in the water hose, Joseph's favorite thing to do is to tear paper. It's actually a really great harmless and quiet activity, which can keep him entertained forever, which I wouldn't mind AT ALL, except we have a bunch of adoption documents, birth certificates, enrollment forms, and homework papers around the house. You should see the bits of paper and toilet paper scattered here and there. Wow. That boy keeps me on my toes, that is for sure!

School time for everyone! Hope started last week and Ava started school today so now I am down to just Joseph and Zoya.

I intentionally picked homeschool curriculum that would free me as teacher up a bit this year and demands a little more independence on the children's part. Doesn't it look like these three are getting along beautifully while cheerfully doing their schoolwork in the fort? I won't comment any further on that.

Speaking of, I sure love my husband. He is a great problem solver. When there is a question of, say for example, whether there is enough room for three children AND a big giant beanbag in the fort, and an entire hour of school time is wasted reenacting a Jerry Springer episode an hour of precious school time is spent negotiating whether bean bags should be allowed in forts, John suggested that any disputes that come up during the day be turned into a writing assignment. At the end of the day he will hear all sides and will issue a ruling. I think I will start calling him Judge John.

While the big kids whine and complain do their schoolwork cheerfully and diligently in the fort, the little ones swing happily below.

This is a dragon fly, I think (?). Simeon brought it in the house and asked me to guess how he caught it. I made a couple of guesses and gave up. Would you believe he was tossing a block up in the air (anyone who knows Simeon knows that he is throwing or kicking something almost every minute of the day which often gets him into trouble). Up went the block and down fell the dragonfly. Talk about being in the wrong place at the wrong time! Poor little thing. Look at those gigantic eyes! Amazing.

Hope has been to school four days now and has decided that kindergarten is not all that it's cracked up to be. She had no idea that you have to lay on your mat and rest in kindergarten and she's not sure she wants to go anymore. For the last two days we argued about when it's OK to stay home from school. I said you have to be sick to stay home from school. Yesterday she said, "Well I am sick. I'm sick of school." Today she asked if it was a school day and quickly had a hundred and one things wrong with her that would prevent her from going. Her head hurt, her hand hurt, her fingers wouldn't bend, and by the way her tummy hurt and she thought she had a fever. Of course I didn't buy that and I made her go anyway. A couple of hours later I get a phone call from the school saying Hope had a fever and I needed to come get her. OOOPS! 

John is so sweet. I sure love him. He told me not to cook last night, he wanted to give me a break. He brought home Taco Bueno and made a picnic outside that so I could have the evening off. And he insisted I go to bed early. I sure needed it. 


Life On Planet Earth said...

Great update! Looks like the kids learned about dragonflies (biology) and negotiating (future lawyers) without an assignment! I love it when that happens.

Anonymous said...

Love reading about your family. Judge John sounds like a no nonsense kind of guy. Perpetrators beware!!!

Glad you like the home schooling setup and that the first day jitters are over.

Sounds like you are finding your new 'norm'. That's awesome.

Kudos to THE MAN and not having to cook dinner. He rocks!


Anonymous said...

John rocks! Charisa, you rock! The whole family rocks!!

mommyfirst3 said...

I'm glad to see that your school year is off to a great start!

Jill said...

What a sweet husband! :)

We actually started off having Keith & Iryna sleep in the same room together and with all the toys. It ended up being problematic, because the kids would get up in the middle of the night and play with the toys. :(

MoonDog said...

john sounds so much like Eric. no wonder they got along so famously! so glad things are going well for you. Think of you often. still have to send you that package with teh russian language cds. Its in the car I just cant seem to get it to the post!! miss you guys! things are calming down here. Andre didnt bite anyone yesterday... baby steps...the girls are great. Jaeger is learning to stop whining about everything. he is the biggest baby of an 8 year old I ever met!

JennyH said...

You have an awesome husband and an awesome family!

The dragonfly is pretty neat. My 3rd grader is doing a bug collection this year. That dragonfly would have been great!

Hope all the kinks get worked out.

I had to laugh about Hope and K. My daughter is the same way... there is always something wrong with her. It is hard to believe her when there really is something wrong!

Robin said...

precious. thanks so much for sharing the good and bad details. I absolutely love your writing style!

Cammie Heflin said...

You guys are such an awesome family!