Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day was mostly an ordinary day this year.  We recently returned from an out of town trip to celebrate a parents 50th anniversary.  Errands still needed to be run, basketball still needed to be practiced, allergies still had to be dealt with…and so on.  So we did what had to be done.

There were flowers and card, greetings and eating treats.   I was able to honor our mom’s and aunts, though some a little late.

I wanted to relax more and decorate, but I guess I wanted to do the other stuff more.  Hopefully I’ll get to relax and splurge another day to celebrate the occasion and enjoy my family more!  I’m positive I will.

How was your Mother’s Day?  Hope everyone had a good one.

Contentment and Knowing Yourself

We spent the last few weeks dealing with allergic reactions, so we are behind.

I did manage to continue searching for the things I really enjoy.  It’s been a long process, going from what I think I would really enjoy, to realizing they were just things that most people  really enjoy.  Sightseeing etc. sounds nice, but I wouldn’t give up other things for it.

I have found I get enjoyment from clothes.  It really cheers me up wearing clothes I like. I think next I enjoy learning most of my kid’s school subjects.

It  cheers me up to decorate my home, enjoy my backyard view, and take my time to do things most people would rush through.

Everyone is different.  It’s so important to find out what you thrive on and to spend your time and money on those things.

I think it’s okay to enjoy these things as long as they don’t interfere with living out our faith.  God created each of us with different interests.

How have you found what you thrive on?  What are the main things that you really enjoy and that cheer you up?

 

 

De-stressing

I have been needing to de-stress/re-energize lately.  So instead of overeating or continuing to struggle to get things done,  I will …

Tidy up, I always feel better after I do this.

Slow down, physically and mentally.  Give yourself some time.

Put on comfortable clothes.

Review the past week to remember the fun things.

Check my calendar, where I should have scheduled de-stress/refresh activities scheduled every few weeks.  I might have an activity to look forward to in a few days.

Plan the next scheduled fun activity.

Review goals and plans.

Read travel blogs or travel posts I’ve saved on Pinterest to explore different places that interest me.

Read motivation posts I’ve saved on Pinterest.

Learn to play on the keyboard.

Read a fun book or a book on an artists or composer I’ve always wanted to read about.

Learn to draw.

Look out my backyard.

Bake.

Drink some tea.

What activities help you de-stress or re-energize?

 

 

 

 

 

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Monthly Review and Goals

March was a mixed month.  I didn’t cross much off my list, yet I felt I moved forward a lot.   I am so thankful to God.

We continued with our usual.  We added in more basketball practice.  We mostly met our savings goal.

I was able to decide what program to put them in next year for school.  They will both continue with Classical Conversations (homeschool).

The second grader was selected in the lottery at a good charter school, but we declined.  He currently seems to be learning so much at home in his free time about topics from the presentations in his Foundations class.  I didn’t want to take that away.  I also looked over what they are covering next year (American History) and it looked fun.

I learned some info about transcripts for the high school magnet school applications and that it wasn’t a problem, so I decided to continue homeschooling my 7th grader.  He is pretty high up on the waiting list for another charter school’s lottery, but he wants to continue with Classical Conversations, so that’s what we are doing.

I haven’t made summer plans, other than continuing to homeschool through it (except for a small break).  The gym will be packed, so it makes sense to do school then.  We will either be reviewing or getting ready for the following year.  I would like the older one to  take the PSAT 8/9 in the fall.  I would really like to go the library.

I have been sensing a need to be refreshed.  I go along with the flow (which restaurant, which vacation) most times.  I have forgotten what I truly enjoy and what will refresh me.  So I spent some time on that, and will continue figuring it out.

I am not getting enough done, despite my best efforts, so I have been researching that.  I have to decide what needs to be done first that will make the most difference towards reaching my goals.  I need to limit my to do list, which is burdening me.  I need to set myself up for good habits by planning for resistance.

So I have a lot of reflecting and planning for April.  Hopefully that will move me forward.

All this downtime from activity has caused me to move slower. All this necessary reflecting has caused me to turn to God even more.   As a result I am able to notice and appreciate my family more.  I am so grateful for them.  It has truly been a blessing to be able to appreciate them.

How about you?  How did you do with March?  What are your goals and plans for April.

 

 

Gratitude and Contentment

In April …

I want to eat out more,  instead I will cook something I enjoy, or snack on something I enjoy.  I will eat only foods I reasonably like,when hungry, and when I have time so I can appreciate my food.   I will think about paying off our house and our yearly vacation.

I want to travel more, instead I will read about the places I want to visit.  I will look for inexpensive activities I can enjoy during our yearly vacation that I can look forward to.

I will enjoy and appreciate my family’s presence, their humor, and their singing.

I will be grateful for my kids basketball practices and games.  I will share in their victories, improvements  and their defeats.

I will enjoy and appreciate my children’s growth and their end of the year ceremony, at the end of the month. I will enjoy and appreciate all the moms and kids in our co-op, the program itself, and the opportunity to homeschool (which I also try to do throughout the year).

I will be grateful and appreciative of my faith as I celebrate Easter.

How are you planning on practicing gratitude and contentment in April?

 

 

 

Persistence

We’ve been participating in recreational basketball for three seasons now.  It hasn’t come easy to the kids, but they don’t want to stop. They are ok with just participating.  I am not.

Maybe for some things I would be fine with just participating.  Maybe if the other kids weren’t progressing so well, it would be ok.  But the other kids have gotten better and I feel there is no reason that my kids can’t also.

I know it sounds bad.  I know I shouldn’t use the other kids as a benchmark.   What matters is if my kids are doing their best.  And they are not. (If they were, I might try to persuade them to do something they would be better at.  That sounds terrible, but that’s also another topic to deal with separately.)

So we have been going to the gym to practice more.  We also signed up for an 8 lesson basketball class at the gym.  And they are finally showing some improvement.

No, I didn’t enjoy having to go to the gym even more frequently.  And it was pretty discouraging this past year.  I worried that they wouldn’t get better despite even more practice.  But we kept going and finally there were signs of hope.

What made me not give up? Well, it took the youngest a long time to get the hang of swimming.  He’s still not great, but he’s much better then before.  And then there’s reading which the youngest really struggled with for a long time,  but he is much better at it now.  And then of course there’s my personality, I don’t mind working at most things even if it takes a while.  When it got so discouraging, I set goals for them, along with a plan.

But what if they didn’t get better, or if they don’t continue to do better?  Well, they were definitely better than when they first started.  Either way, we learned valuable lessons on values, persistence, goals and time management.

How much time do you give to learn a new skill?  How many times do you keep going despite lack of progress?  What helps you to persist despite lack of progress?

 

Wants and Gratitude

It’s so hard be be grateful sometimes.  There is always more we could do, more we could have, more we could be.  Dreams are good, goals are good.  As long as we don’t forget the good that is in front of us already.

I have a great view outside my patio door.  Instead my mind wanders to  how I can change or fix up my home.  It wanders to exciting vacations and being able to casually  eat out.

So I need to remind myself to look for and enjoy the good that I have already.  As for the wants, I need to figure out if they are really that important to me to make them a goal, or if they are just an automatic reaction that needs to be stopped.

How about you?  What have you overlooked that should be enjoyed instead?  What wants are important enough to set as a goal?

 

Monthly review and Goals

Time to check in. I can barely remember what happened in February.  We were busy with basketball games and our weekly Classical Conversations homeschool classes.  I was able to stay focused on my goal of kindness by thinking of the kind people I admire.

I was able to enjoy something, however simple, every day.  Continuing a simple schedule and decreased spending has continued to help with that, along with making the time to notice nature more.

I was able to delay my needs (till the end of the day, etc.) to give my children the attention they deserved, most of the time. Continuing to sleep well, eat better,  along with paying attention to nature, slowing down, and setting aside some time to destress has helped.  I spent some time researching homeschooling and college.

I was able to mostly keep God in the center of my days.  Having some time to reflect helped. Long days also had me seeking his help.  I borrowed a Bible Study ebook and read it only for a few days.

I dug out some of the paperwork for our taxes.  I continued to spend time researching saving/making money along with  researching investing.  I was able to save more than usual, by continuing to make do even more with the clothes I already had, and decreasing eating out and convenience foods with fairly simple and healthier homemade meals. Continuing to read how others saved, helped.

Habits helped.  When I would be tempted, the habits of eating healthy, going to sleep early, doing chores at certain times, going to the gym with the kids, because “it’s good for us”, would push me forward most of the time.

Should I have decluttered more?  Finished our taxes already?  Have our summer school plans set already?  That would have been nice.  But then I think our quality of life would have suffered.

What about our March plans?  It looks like I am ready for and badly need a planner, so that’s in my list.   March should be easier as there is a short break in basketball and the seventh grader no longer has weekly presentations.  I plan on working with the second grader more with basketball (he is not progressing as well as I want him to).

I would like to prepare for the start of basketball practices again and the end of school year busyness that happens in April.  I need to research school plans for our summer and the following year.  Eighth grade is a critical year.

I would like to plan for the rest of the year.  I would like to find a Bible Study book that I am drawn to.

How was your February?  What are your plans for March?

 

 

Our Homeschool Day and Homeschool Decisions

Our homeschool day consists of the second grader doing Singapore Math 2b most times in the morning and The Ordinary Parents Guide to Reading most times after lunch.  He also does Classical Conversations one morning a week.  We don’t do more with the Classical Conversation topics either.

He is allowed to spend the rest of his day reading books and comics, building and playing with his Legos and looking up educational things on the computer.  He sometimes plays with the keyboard.

The seventh grader is in Challenge A in Classical Conversations and he pretty much does his own thing.  I haven’t even checked on his Saxon Math yet.  He needs me to check his oral Latin Translation and his oral  Catechism answers, so I do that.  I use to help with his writing assignments but he hasn’t asked for help lately.  He reads action books in his free time during the day.

We are also at the gym a couple late mornings a week to practice basketball for exercise, and they have basketball recreational games twice a week after school.   We are in another homeschool group, though we don’t participate much because of time.  Both kids have Sunday School/Youth Group on Sundays.

I know I should do much more with both kids.  There are other things to cover that are important to me.  But I also want to keep things simple at the same time.

It wasn’t always like this.  I used to do more with the now 7th grader, before we did Classical Conversations.  I was really into homeschooling.  The interest/excitement has definitely decreased the last few years. It is time for a major reevaluation, both for homeschooling and for the kind of parent I want to be.

For some reason I don’t feel like I fit the homeschool mold.  I never felt that way before. I question if my 7th grader might enjoy being with his peers daily.  It feels wierd that it is just the three of us most days, though I know there are more pros for us to homeschool.  I’ve never felt or thought this way before.

I’ve been trying to do some research, but haven’t found a vision of how I want things to be or how to address these concerns of mine.   I just need a new perspective and some changes. I am sure solutions will come, if I keep at it.

Have you ever felt like homeschooling wasn’t you?  How did you deal with it?