July 11, 2018

Anxious Organizing

I have a problem.
I love to organize and set a schedule and get everything looking like it will work perfectly.

Okay, so I don't love organizing everything. I actually struggle to keep the house looking presentable. But school schedules and supplies and checklists? Oh yeah, all day long baby!

I guess I think that if I can get it all laid out "perfectly," whatever that is, then the whole year will run smoothly and we'll never miss a lesson and never get sick and never argue. And yeah, that always works. Ha!
Still, the drive to do it every year kicks in and I can't resist it. I mean, it certainly can't hurt to get organized... can it?

The curriculum I use it very open and go, so I don't actually need to do any of this, but I just can't help myself. 

This year I am trying a "loop schedule" for our electives. The core classes will be every day. The electives will cycle through. This is a new concept to me, and it's so simple and "duh" that after 5 years of homeschooling, I feel dumb to not have thought of it on my own.. but I actually got it from a book.

A fabulous book!!! It's called, "Teaching From Rest" by Sarah Mackenzie.

Basically you just do the next thing next. I used to say Subject A is always on Mondays, B on Tuesdays, C on Wednesdays, etc. But without fail, one of those days would have constant interruptions and one of those subjects would get so far behind that we'd give up on it before the end of the year... or worse, try to force our way through and get it done, but be so burned out that we hated even looking at the subject ever again. 

With a loop schedule, it's like you put them in a pile, and they aren't assigned to a day, they're assigned to go in order. So if you do Subject A on Monday, but Tuesday is a pukefest, and Wednesday you still want to Clorox every surface, then on Thursday (or whenever you finally feel back up to it) you just pick up the next subject, in this case Subject B. Just do the next thing next. So simple and brilliant! 

I have 2 loops for each child. One that is much more formal education, real curriculum like Science and History. And the second loop is for more fun type subjects, or shorter subjects like handwriting and logic puzzles. 

And now I'm trying to figure out a way to track it and keep track of it so that I don't get all mixed up and crazy. Not the individual lessons, but "which subject are we on again?" Oy. I almost need to write them on the whiteboard every week and erase as we go. LOL. And I might just do that.

Anyway, what do you do to get organized and set before starting school for the year? 
How do you find that peace that you are really "ready" already?

July 2, 2018

Filling Your Bucket

So first of all, I think I'm back? 
I'm not all the way sure yet, but I'm feeling the urge to write here more frequently so maybe. But I do think that I will be more focused on homeschooling than I will be on infertility... although I reserve the right to talk about both of them... or something else entirely. Just whatever pops into my brain.

Those of you who knew me before as an infertility blogger... hello! 😃 I now have 3 miraculous children!!! All of them were complete miracles and I am so grateful! I am still really hoping to maybe somehow have more... but I'm now 42, and have been fighting infertility and loss for way too long... so I guess... well I mean Sarah had Isaac in her 90's so there could be hope still.

I think that I homeschool now partially because of how difficult it was to get my children. I can't even imagine handing them over for 8 hours a day to someone else to teach them and raise them. I am basically Hermione, minus the hair, so we do quite a lot of schooling and my expectations for them are high. But I love it so much! It has been the biggest blessing for my family.

To have my children home.
To be their primary influence.
To be "in charge" of everything from the curriculum we choose to the days we take off.
To have our relationships blossom with the extra care we are able to give them.
I love everything about it.

Well, almost everything. I've been homeschooling for 5 years now. And I'm hitting a burn out. It's a little scary. I've never burned out before. It's summer vacation, so it's good timing, but I am a little worried how I'll get the old fire back in time to start up in the fall. Right now, even thinking about doing lesson plans has me wanting to crawl back in bed and hide. Which is dumb because the curriculum I use is AMAZING and is totally open and go, so I don't even have to make up lesson plans anymore. 

I think I just have nothing left in my own bucket. You know the saying about how you can't give water to anyone else if your own bucket is empty... something like that anyway. Well, I'm just not sure how to fill mine anymore. Everything that I love to do involves my family. I do love to do homeschool. It's quite a passion and on its own used to fill my bucket just by doing it. So I'm wondering if I need to find something that's "just for me" to fill myself up? Or is that just a mirage? I would like to be able to pee by myself again at some point. 

So please share. I need ideas. 
What do you do to recharge your batteries? What's your best self care strategy? 
What do you do to fill your bucket?