Charlotte Mason and Self Education

“Self-education is the only possible education; the rest is mere veneer laid on the surface of a child’s nature.”  ~ Charlotte Mason

One of the biggest things I find attractive about the methodology of Charlotte Mason is the self-education.  I find that in all the methods I’ve tried or researched or discussed with others, it is the method that seems best able to offer a child the ability to learn self-education. This is so because it focuses on developing a love for learning using methods involving all five senses without methods that kill that love.  It is not a methodology like our public schools where they test to see what a child does NOT know, but gives ‘examinations’ to determine what a child does know.  There is no dry boring textbooks with countless questions to answer, no weekly quizzes or tests to memorize the information for and forget the following week,and no lecturing.  The child develops a true love for learning in Charlotte Mason’s techniques involving the heavy emphasis of LIVING books and short lessons with a large variety of subjects taught each and every year.

I’m really enjoying  reading A Charlotte Mason Education (A Home Schooling How-To Manual) by Catherine Levison.  It’s providing a great overview of teaching various subject matter with the Charlotte Mason method. It’s  a quick read and is covering lots of subject matter that I won’t necessarily use just yet (my son is only 4) but gives me a great resource to determine when I might start introducing things and a book I can turn to over and over again for review and ideas.

The book is broken down into 20 chapters.  The first three chapters focus on an introduction to Charlotte Mason, the basic methodology and narration.  The remaining chapters all cover how to cover basic subject matter:  literature, poetry, art appreciation, music appreciation, science, math, history, etc.  I’m about halfway through.

Just last night I ordered a sketch pad for my son and I to use as a nature journal.  I have some ideas on how to introduce this concept to him this year in a basic way.  I’m really excited about developing a habit of nature walks and nature observation outdoors.  We

This is an acorn, something we observed quite a few of the other day on our walk. The picture isn’t mine – I borrowed it from the internet this morning I’ll either start taking my phone with me on our walks (I really should buy a new camera and learn how to upload my pictures) or use the computer to show him how to find pictures and print them out for our notebook.

started last week but without a notebook.  My plan is to simply spend time outdoors with him (my goal really is 5 times a week but I’m not sure I’ll be able to keep up with it in winter – I’m a true sissy when it comes to the cold so if you have pointers on this, I’d love to hear them!) and allow him to pick something new several times a week to come back and either draw a picture of something we discovered or find a picture on the web to print, cut and paste into his notebook so I can label it for him.  He’s four, so I won’t have him write the words in his notebook unless of course, he wants to in which case I’ll write the word somewhere else for him to copy.  It won’t be something forced.  If there’s a day he doesn’t want to do the notebook, we’ll let it go.  This is just our introductory year – for him and for me.

Are  you using the Charlotte Mason method?  Feel free to share your favorite resources or favorite activities.  I’d love to hear about them!

 

“…my object is to show that the chief function of the child–his business in the world during the first six or seven years of his life–is to find out all he can, about whatever comes under his notice, by means of his five senses…”  ~Charlotte Mason

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Peaceful Reflections

Peaceful Reflections…..for those times you just need some quiet time to sit, read a short bit and reflect.

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Let our love be only in Christ.  In order to benefit others you must live in the love of God, otherwise you are unable to do good to your fellow man.  You mustn’t pressurize the other person.  His time will come as long as you pray for him.  With silence, tolerance and above all prayer, we benefit others in a mystical way.  The grace of God clears the horizon of his mind and assures him of His love.  Here is the fine point.  As soon as he accepts that God is love, then abundant light such as he has never seen will come upon him.  Thus, he will  find salvation.   ~ Elder Porphyrios the Kapsokalyvite

Let us be convinced that nothing can happen to us apart from the providence of God.   ~St. Dorotheos of Gaza

As soon as your mind has experienced what the scripture says: “How gracious is the Lord,” it will be so touched with that delight that it ill no longer want to leave the place of the heart.  It will echo the words of the apostle Peter: “How good it is to be here.”  ~ St. Symeon the New Theologian

St. Symeon the New Theologian

 

 

 

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An Hour to Myself

I was pleasantly surprised this morning when I put two and two together that my son’s chemistry lab was letting out early.  I realized that I’d be home before my faithful friend would be done cleaning (she started out as a neighbor who agreed to do my house-cleaning when I was looking for help five years ago and has turned into a great friend) which meant, if she agreed, I could leave my little one home with her and have an entire hour to MYSELF!!!!  WOOT!  She agreed, of course (she and my little guy seem to have quite an attachment) and I was happy as a lark sitting back in my van with my bag of books, notebook and a pencil.

I took my books that I’ve been reading – the two that I mentioned in my previous post – and a couple of others in addition to the new cookbook (cookbooks are an addiction of mine) that I just received the other day!  I actually managed to read for about 15 minutes from the book on the Charlotte Mason method as well as read a bit from chapter 16 of the Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook and worked on some goal planning.  Chapter 16 is on Time Management and what the book has covered so far in my reading is on setting priorities and setting goals with those priorities. So currently I’m working on that list of priorities and making some long-term (life) goals as well as some medium term (something I can accomplish in one to five years) goals.  I’ll get to short-term soon, I’m sure.

After I worked on that for a bit, I peeked at the cookbook.

What made me buy this one is the author’s menu plans.  She actually included menu plans for at least 7 weeks and included the grocery shopping lists for each week!  That’s one of my goals – to develop a few easy week menu plans so that if I simply don’t have time to plan I can just grab a menu and an already made up shopping list and GO….  no stress of trying to figure out what can be made on days I don’t have a lot of time.  This would have been nice to have during the week of our big move – as it was, we fell to take-out from so local restaurants that have gluten-free options, but certainly not paleo.  My digestive system is still a little upset with me :(  So I’ll be playing around with some new recipes soon!  And working on more goal planning….

So now I’m feeling a little more invigorated and even found time to post today which wasn’t even in my plans!  So I hope you enjoy this little update as much as I enjoyed finding a few moments to write it up!

Have you had any unexpected but pleasant surprises today?

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Reading…reading…reading…not so much

I’m an avid reader, as I’m sure you can tell.  Especially if you read my post back at the beginning of the year listing the books I wanted to read by year’s end

I’ve made progress on that list but I don’t foresee actually getting through it.  Especially since I’m barely reading at all these days and the ones I could say I’m actually currently ACTIVELY reading are not ones from my list. Sigh.

There are other books I’m reading…but not so actively – meaning I’ve started them and they ended up in a stack of other books I’ve started but got sidetracked because , well, I started others.  It’s almost an addiction… book stacks….

But here is what I’m Currently ACTIVELY reading:

1.  The Relaxation  & Stress Reduction Workbook (previously mentioned in several posts such as this one and this one)

2.  Charlotte Mason Education:  A Homeschooling How-To Manual by Catherine Levison- I’m hoping that Ms. Levison’s book will at least put in my mind the key points of Charlotte Mason’s methods.

Yep….that’s it.  For me , that is really an extremely short list.  But I’m still unpacking…and searching….  Have I mentioned that I have unpacked (not put away and organized mind you…but ) the majority of our boxes and STILL can not find my son’s Leapfrog LeapPad???

 This is a small computer like toy that he uses for educational games and BOOKS that I’ve downloaded for him.  He is not addicted to it like a lot of kids are with electronic games but we really like it for trips in the car, appointments and for use in general places that he has to sit for longer periods of time than usual….   So anyway… I can’t find it.  It seems to be gone.  And that really really bothers me (obviously since I’ve seem to have found a way to rant about it here in the middle of a post on reading and books….)

So yes, that’s my current book list.

I’m really eager to read more of the Charlotte Mason book.  I’ve just started it and can only get in half a page or so here and there.  I truly am falling in love with this method of homeschooling.  I just don’t know how to shake off all those years of public schooling from my memory and let it completely fall to the wayside…  I guess I won’t completely.  But I do really want to change my approach for our little guy.  The way he’s picking up on ‘making words’ right now is delightful!!

I also hope to find more time this week to read the chapter on time management in the workbook….ain’t that a hoot!  Need to find time to read about time management…. I guess that’s a big indicator that I really do need to read it!

So What is on your current ACTIVE reading list?

 

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The Stress Challenge #3

 

I wasn’t sure really what to call this post…. Chapter One?  No, because I  doubt that I’ll go in order reading this book:

I’ll probably skip around and maybe I’ll just post commentaries from time to time that aren’t really about a chapter at all and, after all…. this won’t be the only book or source I’ll use in my challenge to reduce stress and its negative effects on me.

So what to name it/them?  Well, I decided with just simply #3 since it’s the third post on this topic (The other two are here and here in case you’re just reading this and didn’t see them…) and will hopefully be a series – more hope for more posts and more hope that I stick with it!!

So…..  onto the topic.

I read chapter one.  A lot of it was review for me.  I took psychology in high school and college.  I knew all about sources of stress, the fact that there really positive stresses, not just negative and about the fight-or-flight response, etc.  I also knew about the life events that make stress higher and how it can affect your health overall, etc., including that MOVING is certainly a big one along with several others I’ve been experiencing over the last year.  The first chapter did offer a chart, however, which I used to determine which chapters were probably going to help me the most as it addressed which chapters were most beneficial for particular stress symptoms…. obviously I need to read the ones that address the majority of my symptoms first.

But now onto chapter two…(The introduction recommends that I read the first two chapters before choosing on my own what to read next).  Chapter two was and has the potential to be pretty beneficial.  It was on body awareness.  Frankly, I don’t have it.  Not until I am hunched over in pain from back spasms or have a major headache…though my headaches are normally from dehydration – yet another reason for developing body awareness.  Perhaps I should notice that I need liquid BEFORE reaching dehydration?? You get my point.  Our bodies register stress loooooonnnngggggg before our conscious minds do.  Muscle tension is probably the biggest way it does this.  Those of us who have particular beliefs or attitudes tend to be the ones with chronic muscular tension.  Yep, that’s me.  Not the greatest self-esteem, always worried about what other’s might think, always doubting myself, etc…. yeah, that leads to beliefs/attitudes that work themselves into chronic muscular tension. Anyone with me on that?

The chapter offers several ‘exercises’ to help increase body awareness.  I’ve tried them.  They seem awkward at first but I can see that if one got into the habit of doing them, it would be easier to be aware of what’s going on internally…. but that will be key!  THE BUILDING OF THE HABIT! – This is the same person that sets a timer throughout the day (when I think of it) to remind myself to drink water.  Yes. I really do have to do that.  :(  But I’ve taken the timer to be a reminder for something else now too.  It’s sort of a body check/relax check.  It goes off, I drink my 4 ounces….and then I force myself to take a moment to breathe.  Deep breathing….at least a few and to just close my eyes and ask myself:  What’s going on right now?  Am I relaxed?  Do I feel tension? Aches? What’s going on around me and how is it affecting me?

I’m not keeping the diary as it suggests but I am trying to at least get a sense of how the day’s events and environment affect how my body feels.  It’s not a great huge leap into the world of relaxation but it’s a small step and that’s better than not addressing it at all.  I have, by the way, also started  to read chapter 16 on time management.  No commentaries on that today as I’m not that far into it.  But this is where I’m at with my challenge so far:

1.  Reading about relaxation and stress

2.  Getting back into my daily prayer/devotion time.

3.  Making time for writing. (So far it’s just the blog here but I have reached out to my critique partners and have goals of getting back to my children’s writing within just a few days if all goes well….)

4.  Drinking my goal of 64 ounces of water a day This may not sound stress related but it is!  Part of my issues, I believe, is that I don’t make time for me….taking care of myself physically, emotionally or spiritually…so I need to set these things as priority!  Let’s face it.  Dehydration doesn’t exactly HELP alleviate stress.  With that, I weave in some deep breathing and attempt body awareness.

What changes have you made recently to reduce stress in your life and achieve relaxation?

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Homeschool Day 28 2014-2015

I’m finally trying to put life back together or at least get back to some of my normal routine after the move.  I am still surrounded by boxes here in my new “library/office” area as we don’t have bookshelves yet and let’s face it, I’m human without superpowers and even though a lot of my time has been dedicated to unpacking lately I’m just one person and can only do so much.  After all, my family still needs to eat, learn and do other things as well. But I will persist and try to save my sanity (thus the post on stress the other day and yes, I am reading the book and doing my best to learn from it – more on that another day!) and attempt to get back to a somewhat regular blogging schedule if I can.

So today is day 28 of our homeschool year.  If you recall, my oldest son (I go by his school year plan for the day) started school back in the beginning of August.  At that time we planned on him having at least 8 flex days in the school year.  Little did I know when we planned this that he would, for sure, be participating this year in football…  That was a big goal for us when we decided to sell our house and move to the school district my husband would be working in….but we had no idea the sell of our house would take place so quickly!  And I, as a not so big football fan, did not have a CLUE how much time pre-season football practice would actually entail.  Yes, my son has fallen behind.  But actually, I’ve been rather impressed.  I think his responsibility with things have actually INCREASED rather than decreased.  Football really is important to him you see and he knows that school is important to me.  He knows to have both, school has to be going fairly well.  So he has really been trying hard, in my opinion, especially considering he has to endure this in a smaller room than he’s used to which is full of still unpacked boxes which were not packed well by the movers….   but I digress…. back to school.

Despite being a few days behind in quite a few subjects now, he’s performing well.  He got 100% on his first Chemistry exam – another testimony to having his father’s brain cells ;)  and starts lab this Thursday with some friends at a local camp – the same one that offered a Biology lab last year.  He’s also doing well with Geometry and World Studies.  He just started his online class for Russian and the Lost Tools of Writing class as part of his English course.  He could stand to do better with Keyboarding (I’m still not sure if this is what I’m calling that course on the transcript…. I’d like to include some basic computer skills in the course besides typing….).  I don’t think I need to say much about physical education.  He’s DEFINITELY getting his hours in and he’s definitely performing well.

I’m not really keeping track of days for my youngest.  After all, he’s only 4….  I’m still not even sure what I’m calling this year.  Preschool? Pre-K? Kindergarten?  He’s definitely beyond preschool but I’m not sure if we’ll get through enough to call it Kindergarten.  But maybe we will – he certainly is catching onto the reading thing!  And we’re homeschoolers….it really doesn’t matter what I call it.  I don’t need to call it anything really as we live in Pennsylvania and I don’t have to report anything to the state until he’s eight.  So I think I have awhile before I NEED to decide what this year really is.

With that said, take a look at the words he already knows automatically – no sounding out!

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We are still using Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons but I’m also practicing the words he’s learning in that book and other sources with the sight word flash cards I’ve made above and have started using the Delightful Reading Program I purchased from Simply Charlotte Mason at the Chap Convention in the spring.

He’s doing really well.  There are days he doesn’t want to do it.  On these days I attempt some encouragement….chocolate chips for words he gets, that sort of thing…but if he really seems off, we just put the things away and move on.  It’s OKAY. But he’s really catching on to the ‘making words’ part of the Charlotte Mason program.  He totally figured out how to change ‘pain’ into ‘paint’ the other day and I haven’t even covered changing word endings yet!

We also make sure we READ EVERY DAY!!!!!  That’s the MOST important thing! Whether it be his Bible, books or magazines (He loves the stash of Highlights Magazine we have… I didn’t do so good in reading them to him as they came in the mail so now I have a stash and we’ve been getting through one every week or so), we read together and now I pause every once in a while and point out a word I’m sure he knows.  He LOVES to see that he can read part of the story too!

Other things we are using so far this year include the first book to Handwriting Without Tears.  My goal this year is just to INTRODUCE the correct formation of letters.  I am not worried that he uses it all the time nor do we write everyday.  Right now I’ll be glad if we get through the book ( a page or two, maybe three in a week) and work on his name and a few basic words.  For math all I’m doing right now is having him count the words he gets right in his word cards every day (he gets a special treat if it’s more than the day before).  We also occasionally read out of the book “Everything Your Child Needs to Know in Kindergarten”.  I don’t rely on these books to really know it all….but I like the variety of things all in one book to pick and choose from and help guide me in giving him information that is varied.  The stories are nice and he loves the poems.  He loves that we are finding a lot of sources here at home containing the Rain poem by Robert Louis Stevenson which he will be reading in the Charlotte Mason Delightful Reading program.  Of course we start the day out with Morning Prayers (okay…. I admit it…I totally failed at this for the last couple of weeks but are now back on track) and Bible reading.  I use his Bible Reader. Check out this online source!  It’s told on his level and has great illustrations!

Today I’m adding a Charlotte Mason type method to learning the words to the Our Father.  He knows the prayer.  But now we are going to learn the words and talk about what it means.

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How is your homeschool year going??

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Peaceful Reflections

“The Cross, is wood which lifts us up and makes us great … The Cross uprooted us from the depths of evil and elevated us to the summit of virtue”
St. John Chrysostom

“Glory, O Lord, to the power of Thy Cross, which never fails! When the enemy oppresses me with a sinful thought or feeling, and I, lacking freedom in my heart, make the sign of the Cross several times with faith, suddenly my sin falls away from me, the compulsion vanishes, and I find myself free… For the faithful the Cross is a mighty power which delivers from all evils, from the malice of the invisible foe.”
St. John of Kronstadt

“Do not seek the perfection of the law in human virtues, for it is not found perfect in them. Its perfection is hidden in the Cross of Christ.”
St. Hesychius the Priest

 

The Orthodox Church celebrates the Feast of the Exaltation of the Life-Giving Cross of Christ  tomorrow, as it is celebrated on September 14 each year.   The epistle reading for the Feast is from 1 Corinthians 1:18-24:

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.” Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

*NOTE:  (From the Orthodox Study Bible) ” Why is the message of the cross foolishness to unbelievers? ‘It is a mark of them that perish not to recognize the things which lead to salvation'(John Chrysostom).  We who bear witness to Christ must not be discouraged when those outside of Him mock, for so did one even Paul himself.  Being saved, present tense, refers to the process by which the Cross transforms us with the power of God.”

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever, and to the ages of ages! Amen!

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“Getting the Most out of This Workbook” or “Restarting the Challenge”

Back in July, I posted this:  Stress Management and Relaxation Challenge

I haven’t exactly accomplished much with that challenge because, truthfully, I’ve been letting stress get the best of me.  While the muscle  spasms have gone away (well, mostly), stress is still controlling my life.

So this morning….  instead of sleeping in like I have been –   when my 4-year-old woke me up to let me know the bed was wet (yes, the bed he was sleeping in with ME)….  I dutifully got up, found him a new nighttime pull up in the dark, changed the sheets, crawled back in with him and laid there……   checked my alarm on my phone and saw there was only 20 minutes to go before it was set to go off (an alarm I’ve grown accustomed to hitting the snooze on quite a bit lately), and decided to get up.  I’ve been telling myself I really NEED to get back my habit of getting up extra early to give myself that quiet time I’ve used and even written about on here.

Now, I sit here with my book open.  The one I wrote about above titled “The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook”.  It’s open to the section right before the first chapter – “How to Get the Most Out of This Workbook”.  I’ve noted they forgot to mention in this section that having this book just sitting in a box or in a pile on your desk does not actually help.   That perhaps to get the most out of it, one should actually OPEN and READ the book.  No wonder I haven’t felt relaxed!  HAHA…

Honestly, this was about as far as I got with the book.  I read this section.  This morning I’m glancing over the things I marked:  Make an agreement with yourself to set aside time each day dedicated to relaxation (and I underlined the part where I should read chapter 16 on time management if that’s a problem for me).  Begin the day with a relaxation exercise (for me that’s my bible reading or devotion time spent on other reading that’s Orthodox in nature and, no….. honestly , I haven’t done much of it – Not even this morning!  So I intend to do that as soon as I’m done here….oh…and after I let the dog out too….). Use a relaxation exercise to go to sleep quickly and sleep soundly (getting to sleep lately…NOT a problem.  Staying asleep – well that’s a problem…oh, and no – I don’t mean just because of wet beds – that actually has not happened for a while…).

So now to reread the section, let the dog out because her whining is annoying me and yes, she probably does need to go out…., do my bible reading and then, later in the day I am DETERMINED to read chapter one as my personal assignment for the day – boxes or no boxes (Yes, there’s still a tone and so much organizing still to do!).  So the Challenge is BACK ON!  Anyone care to join me?

 

 

 

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Peaceful Reflections

wpid-IMG_20140130_113846_847.jpgAs I sit in a semi-asleep trance this Saturday morning, realizing I had been desperate enough for coffee but too tired to remember to get it out of the Keurig when it was done….. I walk to the kitchen to get my cup and reflect over what I have just read.  I come back and realize the coffee is not that hot but I really must get myself back into some habits….. writing being one of them (here I am!)and my peaceful reflections being another….bible reading, Orthodox reading and reading in general.

Today I share some snippets I found in the 201 Daily Lives, Miracles and Wisdom of Saints and Fasting Calendar put out by the Orthodox Calendar Company.  It is not from today’s reading as I am WAY behind in my readings!

The Lord said, “Learn from Me to be meek and humble of heart.” There are many types of humility.  You can be obedient and reproach yourself in everything – this is a form of humility.  Another can repent his sins and count himself the lowest before Christ – this is also a form of humility.  But when a soul sees the Lord through the Holy Spirit in all His meekness and humility, then it also becomes humbled to its limits.  This is a special sort of humility which cannot be described, it can only be experienced through the Holy Spirit. And if people could experience the Lord through the Holy Spirit, they would all change – the wealthy would despise their wealth, the learned their studies, the powerful their glory and authority, and all would be humbled and would live in great peace and love, and the earth would be filled with great joy.  He who has experienced God through the Holy Spirit has a different understanding and taste.    ~  St. Silouan the Athonite

 

We leave our tasks unfinished because of our negligence or debility, for we do not carry out the work of God diligently and do not regard it as our main task; on the contrary, we disdain it as a kind of incidental chore.  Because of this we fail to prosper, or indeed often regress, like those others who ‘turned black’ and no longer followed Jesus (cf. Jn. 6:66).  And yet what Jesus said was nothing harsh, as they thought, for he was speaking to them about doctrine.  None the less, where a resolute disposition and desire are lacking, even easy things appear difficult – though the reverse is true as well.    ~St. Peter of Damascus

 

As I attempt to pick myself up from boxes and messes and days filled with running here and there and try to get back into a ‘normal’ routine – whatever that may be – I’ll think upon these words that penetrated my soul this morning….  I hope you will join me.  Blessings!!

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August Wrap-Up/Overwhelmed September

There isn’t much to wrap up for August as it was a month of very little posts – four to be exact:

1. Writing Exercise # 8 Literary Telephone

2. Homeschool 2014-2015 Day #1

3. Living Among Boxes and Paint

4. Random Thoughts on a Monday Morning

It was a busy month.  I obviously got very very little writing done. Really, the only writing I did was on here and , well –  you can see that wasn’t much.  Not enough by any means but…life had other plans for me and hopefully, in the long run, it will pay off.  In the meantime, September is here and I am overwhelmed by all around me.

There’s all those boxes….still there, though not as many as before.  Each day a few more are unpacked between making meals, spending time with the little man and homeschooling him and his older brother, the time it takes to just find a common everyday object, handling those little ‘fires’ that come up- you know, like carpenter ants, bees, a phone call that needs answered, answering the 562nd question of the day by a 4-year-old, running to take or pick up someone from football practice, cleaning up messes, and all that jazz….  I could tell a million tales of the things I’m finding while unpacking… that tempt me to wrap my little hands around the little necks of those packers!  UGH…..

I went to my first high school football games since, well, high school.  And September will bring many more.  Hopefully this week I’ll actually get to see my son play!  He couldn’t play in the first game (but his team won!!) because his knee was acting up (Osgood Schlatter – apparently a common ailment especially since he didn’t really spend the summer preparing for a strenuous sport like football since we really hadn’t anticipated moving as quickly as we did to a place he could actually play….so….  we’re addressing it with exercises, ice, and homeopathy).

September needs to bring me a sense of peace with homeschooling too.  I need to take some time and evaluate where my older son is (he started back in August and this was quite the challenge since he had 8 all day football practices which was NOT part of our plan) though he tells me he’s only 2 or 3 days behind….  we shall determine that for sure this week!  I also need to develop a consistent plan on paper for my preschooler/kindergartener (not sure what to call it this year) not so much because of law or a ‘need’ but just to keep myself aware so that days don’t go by without doing things. Right now with life being so overwhelming I can see that happening and that wouldn’t make me happy.

So today will be focused on paperwork I think.  I’ll be trying to organize the never-ending pile that has stacked up since moving of things I don’t want to lose, making lists of what needs done this week, what needs bought (curtains, shelves, light bulbs, dishwasher, etc.) and writing to apologize to my critique groups for not being in better touch, checking emails, and , yes, TRYING to find some writing time…..

so wish me luck!  And hopefully there will be more ‘wrap up’ topics to report on at end of the month!!

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