Just wanted to share our homeschooling week. We did a lot of stories and art and baking. My oldest son is getting better at baking and also measuring things. He really enjoys the stories that we read from Tell me a Story book and molding with our beeswax. These past 2 weeks we read the Polar Bear story and also the Do what you can do story from the same book. They are very simple stories but he absolutely loves them.
Right now we have our own thing we are doing but hopefully next year we are going to do the Waldorf Essentials curriculum. Seminary life can be so hectic and the schedule for Lent is not an easy one so we are most likely going to be choosing one story a week and base our art and baking on that till the end of the semester. We still are doing our co op however I notice that it is harder to do with people that have a different philosophy about homeschooling than yourself. Mostly right now it is for the social aspect of things. Which brings me to ponder on school in general and how in the future I might just be a lot happier with a social gathering, not a co op gathering. Maybe even start a Waldorf co op?
For the rest of our time we did a lot of playing outside with doing what boys do best. Answering the question of how dirty can we get?
Lots of building…
First signs of spring but it seems way too soon so our poems and stories range back and forth about the cold and warmer weather.
As for me a friend gave me a wonderful book to read about parenting from an Orthodox writer. I liked it a lot because it goes along with the peaceful parenting philosophy, which to me is encouraging since half the time I wonder if this whole philosophy works.
My husband is doing the March for Life in our nations capital so I get some time for myself.
We have a Feast coming up next week for the Meeting in the Temple so I am doing the Good Shepherd presentation for that which I will post about.
Sometimes it is hard for us to see if we do any good to people by our small actions. A smile, a kind word, a thank you, a calm response. They all matter. I was recently reminded of this while drinking tea.
A monk on Mt Athos at the Russian monastery they visited reached up and grabbed a branch from a tree and said to my husband, “give this to your wife so she can put it in her tea and feel as if she has been here.” I did not think much of this until recently while I was battling my own thoughts on if what I do actually matters to others. Parenting is not a glorified job, let’s just face it most of the time kids do not use kindness as a way of getting what they want. So here I am taking out my branch and tearing off the leaf to put into my tea when I start to wonder if that monk ever dealt with these thoughts.
Everyone struggles in some way, weather with thoughts about worthlessness or pride, in the end we are called to do good. That is what that monk did. He does not know what this small branch means to me. He does not know if I will ever use it or toss it. He just did a good deed from his heart.
That act of kindness really did turn my whole battle into perspective. I will never meet this young monk since women are not allowed on the Holy Mountain, but as I drink my tea I do feel a little more appreciated that someone that doesn’t know me at all wanted to give me this small gift.
Well this week has been hectic with my husband coming back from Mt. Athos and the semester starting again it has been a busy bee hive. After living life as a single mother for 3 weeks, my respect for single mothers or military wives has increased tremendously. How do they do it? Go power mamas!
What did I learn while he was gone is still in the processing part of my brain. I do not know if I learned anything. I did try to take my good friend Matushkas advice and recognize this time as my own, which I did. I prayed more, had more coffee, more cookies and more friend time. In a way it’s hard to get used to the same routine again once he’s home. At this point the time alone was a real blessing. A chance to reconnect with my oldest son in a way I haven’t done in a while. A chance to do some soul searching to see what direction I would like to take my life into. A chance to be thankful most of all.
So back to homeschooling and play dates . With Lent fast approaching the semester will be over in no time.
Well what does one do with 2 children while husband is away?
I still take the kids out daily outside rain or shine. Snow or wind. We have been enjoying snow recently that is finally falling down today how fitting for old calendar Christmas.
We also have been having fun with building forts and playing with lots and lots of open ended toys. I have noticed that we really do not miss our TV since we have gotten rid of it before we moved to NY. All toys that are not open ended also have a shorter play interest from the boys. I noticed also that during this indoor time their imaginations have really flourished.
Board games that are cooperative games are our favorites. It basically has players playing against the board and not another person. I’ve noticed with younger kids around here it’s all about who wins who’s better who’s faster etc. I am sure that will come on it’s own later in my kids lives but for now we are enjoying playing against the board.
Wet on wet painting is something else that has been consistent in our lives and lots of drawing with block crayons we made ourselves.
As far as taking care of myself I am able to say more prayers at night and have more silence which is always a great fruit.