Sunday, April 18, 2010

Not sure where I am going with this...

...the kids are all asleep and Mike is on a business trip, so I currently have the time (that I don't seem to have enough of lately) to update. The problem is my thoughts are all jumbled and I have no idea where I'm going with this. I was considering a daybook style post, but since I haven't copied and pasted any prompts, I guess I'm just going to "stream of consciousness" the whole thing...

One of the biggest things on my mind these days is trying to figure out how to slow down, do less, lower my expectations, etc... I've been brainstorming about this, but really have no idea where to start. I just know it needs to happen one way or another. I got into a car accident on Friday. It wasn't a terrible one (although it completely stressed me out!). I've never been the driver in a car accident before (I have hit a few cars {mostly our own} backing out of the driveway, but never going forward and on a real road). The accident was my fault. Not just because I was the driver in the back doing the hitting, but because as usual my mind was a million places at once. So far this "need to slow down" thing has only added to my stress (you know beating myself up, trying to figure out how to slow down). I guess that it is a step in the right direction because you have to want to change before you can actually change, correct?

High school planning is still another biggie in my brain. The fact that Spring Break seems to be never-ending around here (more or less going on week four!) is not helping in that department at all! The thing is, we had no intentions of such a long Spring Break, but life just has a way of getting in the way like that. Birthday parties, car accidents, book clubs, babysitting, visits from friends and relatives, and so much more just keep coming. In the meantime Madi's math book has been MIA for weeks. It's not that we've done no work during this time, it's just that everyday seems to have its own agenda, and the days look nothing like what most would consider school. I know there's still plenty of learning going on, I'm just craving some calmness, and it is nowhere in sight!

Jonathan and Madi got their CAT test results back already. Overall the results were good. We definitely know the area(s) we need to work on, but considering this was their first official test ever, it went really well. Let's just say excessive reading and no real Language Arts curriculum to speak of has resulted in above average vocabulary, reading comprehension, and sentence structure, but has done nothing for their ability to spell and punctuate! In addition to this, Jonathan's knowledge of mathematic concepts is off the charts (not literally, but above average), but he definitely needs to pay careful attention during math computation because he is prone to silly mistakes. I used the term "off the charts" because my mother-in-law once used that term in when telling someone how well her homeschooled grandchildren tested (until two weeks ago they'd never been tested, but since she doesn't have internet access, it can be our little secret!)

The thing is I have high expectations of myself and of my kids (they will most certainly agree with that statement). The fact that this test showed exactly what I'd known all along shows that I really do know my kids well. I don't need someone else to tell me what they know or what they need to know, my goals and desires for them and their future far surpass some random standard. All of this is secondary to the fact that they are excelling in the most important things in life. The things that standardized tests can't categorize.

On a different (but in my mind sort of the same) note. I was immature to a girl in my CCD (Sunday School) class today. I was late getting there because I was not speeding and being very careful to not rear-end anyone on the way (plan on me being late to a lot of places in the future). When I arrived, this one girl's response was an audible groan and "Darn, you're here." I went right into a lecture in a tone usually reserved only for my own kids..."that hurts my feelings, I don't need to come here to teach you, I don't get paid for this I volunteer, blah blah blah". I envisioned in my own mind the conversation I might have later about this one where another adult would say, oh that's just kids being kids. Let me say that I know I what I said was uncalled for, but I'm not used to that 'us versus them' attitude that many kids have about teachers. (This is not to say that my kids don't have an attitude with me sometimes, but that's the child-parent attitude not the student-teacher one.) I just have no patience for the fact that many adults think it is OK for kids to act this way. This to me falls into the same category as "I'm bored". So many people just think, "Oh that's just kids being kids", but I don't tollerate that. My kids know it. Another disclaimer is I'm 99% percent confident two of my kids would never do either of these things (make someone who is volunteering their time to help them feel bad or say that they are bored when they are in your presence)... now the third kid, I'm only about 25% sure of...he's a work in progress!

This post seems to be about a lot of stressors, but the good news is after many years, our family is finally actively involved in the best stress reliever there is...working out! We are hooked! Jonathan went to the gym three times in one day last week (another reason less "bookwork schoolwork" is getting done, but he's well on his way toward a high school PE credit!). I'm sweating more now that I'm working out. It's either that, hot flashes, or the typical Florida climate is returning--maybe all of the above!


cdgantz said...

I don't know how anyone, kids included, could find you boring! My kids love you! Threaten to make the next person who declares themselves "bored" read the entire book of Numbers with a test at the end! They'll quickly realize that they aren't as bored as they thought! (I think even God yawned a little with the writing of Numbers! :)

bfarmmom said...

I would have said the same things you did to this child. It is so frustrating sometimes isn't it?
As far as lightening the load for your schedule. What I would do is when summer is over and all the activities resume, I would be very picky as to what I would add to my schedule. Giving up Boy Scouts was one of the hardest things we did, but the pull it had on our family time was just to much. We feel so much better now that it is over with, including Joe. There are a lot of great things to do out there, but I have learned to become very guarded with my children's time. It has slowed us down and has been well worth it.

Tiffany said...

I am right there with you on trying to figure out how to slow down around here. There are so many good things to do but if they take away from the best...that's what I keep telling myself. It's amazing how much better I feel after a week spent mostly at home making our way through schoolwork and chores without having to rush off anywhere. Of course we don't have weeks like that very often but I'm working towards having most weeks be like that.
Good for you for giving that girl a piece of your mind. I don't care if it was immature. She deserves to know that grownups have feelings too.
Woohoo for good scores on the CAT test. Grace starts hers today...and I agree with you that we really already know our kids weaknesses and strengths. The tests do nothing more than confirm what we already know. I think it's a good experience for the kids to take the tests though.

MelissaB said...

Planning for high school can be stressful but once you get into it, it's not that big of a deal. Think about when you first started homeschooling, the stress you likely felt then and how it likely feels pretty effortless now - at least the planning part.

I took a list of classes I wanted my girls to have completed by HS graduation and worked backward making a plan for what class to take when. We use FLVS and school year round which makes it way easier, but I found that big plan made it far less daunting. I imagine it would work just as well no matter the curriculum or source of learning. I just decided which classes go where in the long range plan without worrying about the details of which curriculum at that point. Then, with plan in hand, I only have to focus on the next class or two in the short term, picking out the materials or source for those classes instead of having to look at them all at once. If that doesn't make sense, email me and I'll try to explain better.

Good luck with de-stressing/slowing down, I can't seem to do it. When I take some time off I find myself itching to get moving again really quickly.

ann marie said...

I don't think what you said sounded that inappropriate. You were just being honest. She hurt your feelings and you said so and kids need to hear the truth. I've said the same thing when I was filling in for you.
As far as being busy, just ask yourself if what you are doing is leaving you feeling peaceful and calm, or restless and nuts. Sometimes even in the midst of being busy we can feel totally calm and that's the good kind of busy. Then there are those things that just pull us away from feeling restful, even though they seem so good. I know I am too busy if I had made it to the end of the day and have not had one single thought of God.Sadly, it happens more than it should.

Steph said...

LOVED this post Julie!!! So many things about it that I loved I don't even know where to start. Your concern about school always makes me realize how well you are doing it! Hang tough. On the church kid...not sure why I am finding that so funny but I bet she NEVER does that again. LOL!!!