I wish I had pictures to post, but Jacob managed to break the memory card for our camera, so I'll have to settle for words. We are two weeks into our homeschooling year now and off to a great start. I have a 7th grader, 2nd grader, and kindergartner, and Kaitlyn is learning right alongside Noah for what it's worth. As you can imagine, this makes for a busy house! Throw in my two babies and Forrest's 16 hour work schedule and you'll excuse me for not blogging in a while.
Anyhow, back to our homeschool. Our new curriculum has not arrived in its entirety so we are making do with last year's books and activities. I have been printing up letter tracing sheets from the Internet and Kaitlyn and Noah have learned their entire alphabet in two weeks. My next goal is getting them to read. I figure so long as she's interested, I'll take Kaitlyn as far as she'll go, but being that she's only three I'm not going to push her too hard. Jacob is really focused on language arts and we have a plethora of great books for him. He is my focused student and diligently works through his workbooks until he is done. We always sit down on the couch together for history, science, and some writing. We have also begun reading Little House in the Big Woods, which is probably my favorite part of the day.
Ashlee has shown an interest in biology, so we have undertaken cell structure these past two weeks. I was lucky enough to find another teacher's unit on cell structure via the Internet and we have been basing our lessons around that. She has already learned the names and functions of all the organelles, and our next task is to undertake the construction of a 3-D cell model using Jell-O and various fruits and candies to represent the different parts of a cell. It should be interesting, and providing I have a new memory card by then I'll post pictures when we're done.
As far as extracurricular activities go, Ashlee is in troupe this year and taking five dance classes a week in the disciplines of jazz and ballet. She'll be performing 8-12 times during the year. She is also maintaining her piano, though her teacher is still on maternity leave. Currently she is working on a piece to play in our church's Primary program in October. The boys start karate next week, and I just enrolled Jacob in the Lego engineering class to start in September. I am looking forward to the outlet for him and some more socialization.
Anthony is such a wonderful baby, for which I am so grateful. As I say, he's the perfect sixth child. He must have known he was coming into a busy family! He is still in bed with me at night and I am not doing anything to rush this time. He can stay my baby for as long as he'd like, and as Forrest says I'll probably nurse him until he's fifteen. =)
This postpartum period has been a little challenging for me, emotionally speaking. I don't know if it's the stress from Forrest being gone or something different, but this last week I have felt what I think would probably be classified as postpartum depression. My mood has been very volatile, the tears flow easily and randomly, and everyday tasks have been very overwhelming. I also snap easily, for which I carry a lot of guilt. I realize it is all situational, but it is a very real thing and knowing that doesn't make it any easier when you are going through it. That being said, today is a much better day and I am hoping we are on the upside of things. Having Forrest home for the second half of the day yesterday took the tightness out of my chest and gave me something to look forward to. It's true when they say separation makes the heart grow fonder!
The one thing I am maintaining for myself is running (and a clean house.) The farthest distance I have gone is five miles with Ashlee, but most of my runs average three miles. My goal is to be 10k ready by fall. As far as the chores go, one day off will tell you they are constant! A clean house is so important to me but it's so much work to maintain it (not saying I'm quite where I want to be yet.) I did establish a chore chart, which helps, and the kids do help with laundry, dishes, and cleaning their rooms. They can also pick up the living room in a jiffy between the four of them. My challenge is finding a balance between chores and school work. The moment I get distracted with dishes or a load of laundry, I lose the kids and that is a bad thing. I try to separate school time from housework, which is good for the kids but means that I have a lot less time for chores. It's just the way it has to be. Anywho, that's our life in a nutshell over in our little corner of the world. It's crazy-beautiful and I wouldn't trade in a moment of it.