Monday, January 19, 2015

Another week…

After trying to keep up with our lives for about the past month (or two?), I feel like one, mostly normal, week leaves little for the blog… or does it?  I think this blog will be the rambling I never did in the last posts because I was so busy documenting events; so, be prepared!

I am finally on the mend from a cold that started about two weeks ago.  I am pretty sure that all the rest of my family is now starting up that same cold.  I guess I will at least be well enough to help them through it.  That also requires a spirit of compassion… a tough one for me sometimes, I have to admit.  I am trying to not get frustrated by the complete waste of Kleenex – you know, the one wipe and done of a three year old…. the one where you could actually reuse the Kleenex because you can’t even tell where it was previously used?  Yep, I have had multiple trash cans filled with these already.  I try not to begrudge my husband sleeping in – because in fairness, he stepped up and let ME sleep in for about 3 days when the fatigue was just too much.  I try to remember that the extra whining that may be incurring is probably due to lack of sleep because they can’t breathe and because they can’t suck their thumbs well (Oh how I wish this cold would cure the thumb-sucking.  They are too persistent and continue to suck away.)  Compassion. 

The girls started swim lessons.  This week will mark their third of six lessons.  They happen to be in the same class with two (well, three… there was a new joiner last week) other kids.  There are at least three levels of swimmers and one teacher.  The first lesson, they put Ellie in the water and told her to hang on to the edge.  Sounds okay, right?  IF she had a swim belt of floatation device on or IF someone had a hand on her.  Neither of these were true, and I almost had a heart attack.  I politely asked for a swim belt explaining that she had only just bumped up from Mommy and Me classes and may need a little bit extra help.  She made it through the lesson without drowning.  Madison took to the water well.  She was hoping to get to jump into the pool, but that didn’t happen the first lesson; we’ll see when it does.  I am hoping that they split the kids or add another teacher with the addition of a fifth kid.  I think if you are paying money, you should make sure your kid learns something.  With so many different levels going on, the teacher is just not able to provide what each one needs.  (Sound familiar to any classroom teachers?  Differentiation is so easy, right?)

I have been a busy beaver trying to prepare to be super mom.  Actually, I am just trying to make sure I don’t neglect my children for the next 12 weeks.  I start a graduate class (Creating Effective Learning Environments) today, and I am pretty much drained of all creative thought during those times.  It is just hard to keep up with the readings and homework, and maintain my skills as a wife and mother and housekeeper.  So, I am trying to be proactive.  How? you ask.  Well, we had so much fun doing our Advent calendar, I thought I would do something similar.  So, I picked out some 10-30 minute activities that we could do daily.  Because one of my goals as a stay-at-home mom that had yet to come to fruition was doing educational things with my kids, I made categories for each of the days of the week.  My categories are math, social studies, language arts, science, faith, and the arts.  Then, I broke each of those down into four categories, assuming each month has four weeks, more or less.  Then, I planned enough activities for the next five months.  (It was not as difficult as it seems.) 

How did I have time to do this?  Friday morning my girls played for 4 hours!!!! all by themselves.  They pretended to be a mommy or a kid (and changed rolls).  They packed suitcases full of clothes.  They turned the lights on for daytime and off for the night.  They wore appropriate clothes for going to work (fancy coat, my purse, nice shoes) and for school (shorts and tank and a backpack).  They organized show-and-share and told me what they were bringing.  They took care of babies, read stories, and played without fighting for FOUR hours!  It. was. amazing. 

And so, while they did all that, I sat in the same room and worked on my master plan.  I revealed said plan to Jeremy.  He said, “You are super mom.”  I said, “I will be (kinda) if I manage to actually do these things.”  I am realizing I am good at ideas, but my follow through is not usually so good.  (on a side note:  It helps me understand why behavior plans at school with kids are not my strength – I neglect them and then they do not work.)  So, this is the first month of activities (if you are curious), and I hope to make it work starting in February.  On Sundays, I want to work on a short Scripture verse for the week with the kids.  They can be found here.

Math

Social Studies

Lang Arts

Science

Faith

The Arts

Clock…

Identify #1-12 on clock

Count by 5s

Kidron

Make a map and follow it

Your Name… Write it.

Put letters in order.

Find it.

Which will erupt?

Link

Volunteer at MCC Connections

Pier Mondrian

Read and Paint the Perfect Squares or create your own.

Identify and Make regular shapes

Use puzzles and cut-outs

Make food from North America

Book and Craft

Ideas from www.notimeforflashcards.com

Our Body

Parts of (bones, skin)

Sing Head, Shoulders..

Visit or Make a Card for Someone

Use popsicle stick puppets to make a play

Counting…

1-20

And by 5s  (M)

Identify Coins

Write a letter to Ashel (our Compassion kid)

Seasons and Weather

Talk about, draw, color

Shop and Take donations to a Food Bank

What is music?

Notes, instruments, sounds, etc

Primary Colors

What are they? Make patterns.

Holidays

Talk about what is being celebrated this month.

Read a book.

or Make something.

or Cook something.

or Go somewhere.

Book and Outing

Ideas from www.notimeforflashcards.com

Solid, Liquid, Gas

Dancing Raisins

Capture Gas

Categorize things you see

Visit or Make a Card for someone

What types of dance are there?

Jazz, tap, ballet, modern, hip hop

Ambitious?  Yes and no.  No, because it gives me a reason to be deliberately engaged with my kids.  And the tasks are not too time consuming (except some of the volunteer ones or the outings).  And they don’t use a lot of extra materials, so it is not expensive.  And there is not much planning involved from this point on (except to have the materials needed or reserve a book).  But yes, it is ambitious because it is requiring that I am deliberately engaged with my kids.  And they have expectations,  And I have expectations.  And it does require a little pre-planning.  And I am starting class (as well as some other life things going on).  So, we’ll see. 

I have a lot more to write that has been rolling around in my head recently.  I have been reading the book Desperate: Hope for the Mom that needs to Breathe by Sarah Mae from our church library.  While these kinds of books are good for moms, they are also potentially bad for moms.  The authors actually allude to that.  So, anyway.  It is a good book, but it is making me think a little about stuff.  I may try to make time to get it down on the blog.  We’ll see – I have some assignments to do and I have to sub this week. 

Hope you all have a great week.  Thanks for reading, if you made it this far.  Have a great week. Coffee cup (Ellie wanted to add a symbol; she picked this one.)

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