Monday, October 15, 2007

Week 10 Report: Reflections on Our First Quarter

We are one-fourth of the way through first grade. It started out rough (You can read about our first day here.) but has steadily gotten better as each week has progressed. I have figured out ways to get the most out of our days, but still want to do much more!

I have had to turn loose many things in this give and take: my house is messier than it has ever been; I almost never get an opportunity to spend time or even chat on the phone with girlfriends; I have less time to myself than ever; reading for pleasure is a thing of the past; my toenail polish is always chipped ;) ... But you know what? I wouldn't trade a thing. What I do have is a six year old who truly loves learning, three brothers who adore each other (although some days they do a better job of showing it than others), and days full of knowledge, exploration and fun!

I have been continually reminded that this season is short. Soon I will turn around and my boys will be heading off to college. Until then, my main job is to be a wife to their Daddy and a disciple-maker of them. I will have years after they are gone to catch up on all the good books I've set aside, take classes at the culinary school, learn to quilt and I suspect I will have more than enough time to myself. Nope, this is the better thing. Not easier, but better. Now someone remind me of this in a few weeks when I am worn-out and frustrated. Lol!

I have been thinking through some of the things I still want to add into our days and here's what I have come up with:

  • Problem: I desire for them to daily listen to classical music from our "Composer of the Month" so they will have a better grasp of that artist's work before we proceed on to the next.
  • Solution: I will have music playing when the boys come down in the morning. We will listen as we do our morning routines. The music will go off after breakfast when we start our morning devotional. I will turn it back on when Thatcher has his 30 minute morning break.
  • Problem: I still have yet to do any art instruction.
  • Solution: I am not going to stress about it this year. I am seriously considering a video based art curriculum for next year. Thatcher is *such* a visual learner that I think this would be a great for him. (I am fully aware that I may simply be wimping out here and I am okay with that!) He watched a Veggie Tale's "Bonus Feature" on a DVD we checked out from the library that showed how to draw Goliath. I was truly amazed at what Thatcher did after seeing that short video segment. Unfortunately, any future purchases - big ones at least - will have to wait until the next year. Art instruction (formal at least) is on hold for now.
  • Problem: Beckett is *so* demanding as he gets older. He amazes us with his ability to communicate his desires so young. Unfortunately this results in many tantrums as he throws himself backwards anytime he doesn't get exactly what he wants! You would think he would clue in after the 100th time of us not giving in that this method is not effective but alas, he hasn't gotten that memo yet! Working with him is a huge reason that some days we don't get nearly as much done as we could.
  • Solution: Hang in there and don't sell him on eBay yet ;)! Haddon was much the same at his age and has turned out to be such a kind-hearted, tender little boy. Also, I have seen glimpses (albeit short) of the joys of having two so close together - Haddon and Beckett are starting to play together!!! Haddon will have Beckett follow him into the playroom and they have stayed there together playing for up to 20 minutes! I am looking forward to seeing their friendship blossom.
  • Other Misc: I need to come up with a better system for our memory work. We have not been listening to our VP Old Testament Card CD since the second week of school. I want to have a library day twice a month for the boys to go and pick books of their own. I need to start thinking about next year and what curriculum we will use. I also want to make a plan for the remainder of elementary in regards to Language Arts - reading, grammar, writing and spelling.
So this is what you get instead of pictures of Thatcher's work this week - my ramblings. I just needed a place to think it all through. Thanks for indulging me!


Kerri said...

Hi Jennefer,

It sounds like you all are plugging right along! I too have a list of things that I "still want to try" for this year.

I guess that is what keeps it interesting :)

Have a great week! Your idea about playing music sounds great. We have also been listening to some classical music in the car.


LisaWA said...

Sounds great to me! Good for you having the insight and wisdom to realize this is only a short season in your life and it will all change soon enough!

Bless you Jennifer!

I like the idea of classical music on in the background. We do that too... even during science experiments! *Ü* We like a little bit of noise (non verbal)in thebackground. It helps us all focus a bit! Strange but true!

Enjoy your week!


Life With My 3 Boybarians said...

My youngest are like this, too. it took awhile, but they are great at entertaining eachother. Just when they've got it downpat, you'll be pulling in the middle for school and youngest will feel alone and want to meddle, errr... do school. ;)

It's always new challenge, but like you said, one sooo very worth it and rewarding.

Jenny in Ca said...

you've come up with some good solutions, I think I have come up against almost all the same problems. Most I set aside to tackle later, or made a quick fix to make do,.I guess my brain is just fried after all the initial planning for fall. I like your classical music solution, very good.

Michelle Waters said...

In terms of Art, I've heard Mark Kisler's programs are great and that he's now offering some free tutorials on Utube.

Michelle Waters said...

Sorry, it's Mark Kistler, not Kisler. Have a good day!