I had planned a grand exedous from the blogging world. Okay, maybe not grand, but you know what I mean?! And then all of my favorite bloggers all did it at the same time, so I chose to remain silent :-). SO, what am I doing now?
Well, trying to figure out life really! I used to profess to people with their kids in school away from home that their lives were busier and just thinking about all they had to do gave me ulcers. Well, it still does, but unfortunately I'm one of those people and the busyness/ulcer inducing/craziness is exactly what I had always thought it would be.... if not worse (And I imagined it was pretty bad in the first place! No joke!! People would wonder how I home schooled, I said my life was easier that way and I meant every word!)
I spend about 3 hours everyday taking kids back and forth from school, then there's homework, and getting stuff together (did you know that there's a million bags to pack for Japanese school? And stuff to wash bi-weekly... or more... including indoor shoes, PE clothes, smocks, uniforms, hats, handkerchiefs and towels, cleaning towels, silverware sets for kindergarten), and that all this stuff you ask your children about, they profess that they have everything, then you walk by a pencil box or the little vinyl zip bag that has the notebook that you send back and forth daily as communication between parents and the sensei... or I magically become in possession of 15 papers that came home from the school the day before (that I can't read). It's almost more fun then I can relate :-D. So that takes another hour or more each day and usually leaves me feeling less than overjoyed about this whole "school" business. Around all of this I feed my husband lunch everyday, somehow feed everyone else at least 3 times a day, grocery shop, and try to keep up on English studies with the older ones (cause if I don't they start writing their names backwards), the 3 at home are still trying to learn, but I rarely have time for that with running, and then cooking, we're lucky if they get naps in, which makes them oh so very cranky. The ones at school are also cranky when they get home, my daughter has more sass then is healthy for a teenager and my son is either being bullied or bullying someone to the point where we were having nightly phone calls with his sensei. They cry and whine when they're asked to pick up THEIR OWN clothes, and my head threatens exploding at least once daily :-)
In any case! I've had to revamp and rethink and try to figure out everything from square one... again. I've come up with a few previously less then ideal options that have since become golden for me!
My 4 year old wants so badly to learn, but I can't sit and do things with him because there isn't time.... it's literally ridiculous... I now know why fast food was invented, people are overly exhausted, kids don't like working, care more about friends then family, and why parents don't really like their kids. It's all because of SCHOOL!! Okay, okay, I digress. My solution has been the computer. Time4Learning and Ooka Island have been wonderful for our family. I've signed everyone up, and have dropped some of the guilt that comes from not having two seconds to think. I know they're getting information in, even the 2 year old is getting a lot out of it just being in the background.
We're also going over the Confessions of a Homeschooler Daily Learning Packets and I found a really cool other option that we're going to start implementing. My friend linked to a fantastic resource that allows me to put the kids work into binders easily. Which is great! Because we are on a perpetual time crunch this allows us to have everything for each kid all set up and ready to go (as opposed to being able to switch out things with kids and work together on the wall/board.... yes, I mourn my full-time homeschooling life... sorry...) Anyway, that site offers cheap resources and is having a giveaway right now, so I thought I'd let you know!
On top of that we try to read often. I've been reading a shortened classic each night at dinner. It's not how I want to do things, but it works :-). Trying to using my Discover the Scriptures worksheets more too. I've taken a break from them and it's time to get back into it. Our scripture study has be dismal and that plus all the kids face at school just isn't cutting it. We're going to start focusing on gospel stuff more in the morning to prep them for school and then thanks to the internet programs everyone can get in other lessons afterwards... which then frees me up a bit to teach them and help with piano.
*laugh* On a happy note, we have a fantastic dog that we reduced in June (right after Grayson was released from the hospital... mommy needed a friend that doesn't go TDY or get Deployed :-D). He's been wonderful and goes everywhere. The beginning was rough since he came from a bad situation, but he's great now.
Our baby will be a year next month and just got his first haircut today... the other kids are amazing me with their ability to learn Japanese, we have a wonderful ward and it's helping me to pick up Japanese as well, Nathan's job is going pretty good. Can't really complain! Just having to take time to try and keep things moving! So, maybe I'll be back to update or maybe not, but in the meantime, know that it's been fun and I still stalk some of your blogs in the moments that I sit to take a breath :-). Thanks for your inspiration!