Monday, May 5, 2014

When Life is Crazy, Revert to the Basics



The past few months have been busy and distracting and a bit chaotic.  OK, that actually describes most of this year. Smile with tongue out  We all jumped into Classical Conversations feet first.  Baptism by fire. Whichever metaphor you choose, that is what we did with CC.  It was a fantastic year for us all, but I must admit that I appreciate that the 30 weeks is over now. In some ways it was a whirlwind and it is nice to have four or so months of a breather.

Not that life has come to a screeching halt. In the next two weeks I have:

One Mock Trial to attend, plus practices

One final Elementary Band Performance to attend, plus associated dress rehearsals.

One set of parents to retrieve from the airport

Several sets of dress rehearsals to shuttle a teen to.  White undershirts and make-up wedges to remember to buy for said teen’s costume. 

Three performances.

Phone calls and errands to help get everything together for our Half Marathon, which just happens to be an annual event on the exact weekend of our homeschool theater performances, two years running. Not like there are 51 other weekends we could’ve chosen.

I’m truly afraid that people expect clean clothes and food during this time.  I’d hate to live off of Little Caesars for a week, but, well…….

The nice thing about home education is that we can flex our schedule during these crazy times.  Levi had to take his year end standardized test this week, so with that, I decided that this week and next are Bare Bones Weeks.  There are some basics that have to get done because I’ve learned about my kids’ needs and strengths and weaknesses. For example:

1.  Every one of my lovelies really needs to keep doing math on at least a 3-4 times a week basis to keep all that information on a ‘simmer’ mode.  Its just how we have to roll here.  I’m sure I could let Ben slide, but I’d like for him to complete a rigorous math program (so he can try to CLEP or AP out of some college math).  He is a matter of one or two weeks from completing Algebra 1, then we’ll complete: Geometry, Algebra II, Pre-Calculus/ Trigonometry…and I’d really like for him to have Calculus.  That is five math classes, so we definitely need to plug along with diligence.

2.  Luke needs to keep up with at least independent reading and spelling.  Language skills aren’t his strongest suit, but when we stay consistent, his brain works best.

3.  If Luke is doing spelling (and Phonetic Zoo is an independent sort of program), well, Levi might as well plug along, too.  In Crazy Mode, I just make his lessons shorter (20 min. or so).  Super Crazy Mode does not include spelling.  We will have super Crazy Mode for at least two days next week.   

4. Independent reading is a given as well.  As long as we have a book Luke likes (is is more picky than Ben and Levi), we are good with this.

5.  Review Products.  Because we have some awesome and amazing review products right now, we will continue with them at a slightly modified level.  But, I have to say, when the kids are begging for history or Bible….well, I try to honor that. 

I would like to say that the boys continue with Bible.  But,I will be transparent and honest instead.  Right now, they are not using anything independent for their Bible time (except Ben who is back to using the Doorpost's boys’ study Because You Are Strong program, which I do still really like).  Luke and Levi are helping me to review an Apologia Worldview program (What on Earth Can I Do?), so  don’t feel total guilt that we have abandoned God’s  Word during the craziness. God is really working on my heart – and priorities – and I  am getting  a kick in the pants during this particular crazy time to not throw off a time for the boys to commune with God – but rather to hold on tight. Even if it is a short devotional or just a short prayer time, I need to remember to Keep The Main Thing The Main Thing.

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