In July, we began our second year of school and I'm learning so much! Now, if I could just get the kids doing the same :) I have some interesting challenges this year. Well, let me rephrase that....I have one challenge, Lillee. She introduces a whole bunch of challenges.
1. I am teaching 2 children instead of one.
2. Lillee learns differently than Connor.
3. Lillee's so enthusiastic and demands opportunities to learn.
4. Lillee thrives on anything artsy.
The dynamics of teaching 2 children really ramps up home schooling. And Isabel has even been asking to do school...WOW!!! I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed. Fortunately, the baby has worked in a nap pattern that fits with schooling. We get up, have breakfast, do our chores and grooming, play and read books then the baby takes a nap. Then I can get the older kids started on school work. Isabel mostly just wants to play outside, which is perfect! However, Lillee needs a lot of assistance (and attention) so I have to get Connor started on an individual activity to work with Lillee. Then when I'm working with Connor I have to have patience to answer Lillee's 20 calls for help or to look at her work so she can receive praise.
I have one really big prayer for this school year, "God, grant me with patience!!!!" Well, I pray for that everyday. I'm sure he's answering my prayers and I can't imagine how bad I'd be without his daily support but could I get just a little bit more, please?
Lillee learns much differently than Connor so I am trying to figure out how to teach her when she's completely independent....well, she comes off as independent when she's swatting your hand away saying, "Mommy, I can do it." And within a few seconds you hear, "Mommy, how do you do it again?" OK, the prayer again.....GOD! Please grant me some patience.
Lillee does not miss an opportunity to learn. She loves to point out what Connor is learning and when does she get a turn. She's wanting to learn multiplication facts as Connor is doing his flashcards. I don't want to discourage her, but I need her to stop shouting out random numbers and confusing Connor. God love her....and maybe He will bestow a boat-load of patience upon me.
Lillee is VERY artsy. She loves art, she loves painting, coloring, drawing, play-doh, anything creative. I am exactly opposite. I have work at being creative and crafty. Lillee could spend all day coloring and painting and I NEVER think to do those things. Connor does not have the focus nor the talent to color, paint, etc. He still won't color anything, he scribbles a little color on the page and calls it done. Lillee colors each strand of hair, each detail has a color chosen for a special reason. Art is a passion for her! I love it, she's talented and enthusiastic about it. However, I do not know how to help her with technique and developing her talent. This time I have to ask God for wisdom of how to help her develop her specialty.
Aside from all that, we have a jam packed semester ahead of us. The girls are starting gymnastics, Connor has a chess club and I have put together a class called Archimedes' Workshop using Legos. 2-3 times a month we'll host a class at our house where I'll teach some history on Archimedes, his inventions and mathematical findings as well as some simple machines and Lego building. We also have some fun star gazer and turtle workshops at our local nature center and a couple of classes at the Maryland Science Center in Baltimore.
Connor just finished an environmental education camp at Patuxent Wildlife Research Refuge and had such a great time! His favorite game was called camouflage. Each kid would hide in tall grass and pretend to be a mouse camouflaging itself from the eagle. If they were found, they had to leave the field and became eagle poop :^D Connor's super cute camp director made a very nice digital scrapbook for the parents.
This should be a fun an exciting semester! I'm grateful to my Heavenly father for His guidance and support as we take on this adventure for a second year. I have days that I think, "Maybe the kids wouldn't be so bad off in public school." Then I remember Heavenly Father called me to do this for my children and I need to put all I can into their education even if it does take up every waking minute of my day. What a wonderful opportunity I've been given, I honestly pray that each day I will be reminded of this and enjoy this time I have with my children. And I would not begrudge any prayers you want ed to make on my behalf :)