The beaches are totally empty now that it’s late September. The weather is still hot – and it’s almost surreal to have the whole beach to ourselves while everyone else is in school! It’s definitely one of the perks of homeschooling.
The girls really love being at home. On most days lately, we’ve been staying home and doing school work. We do a lot of playing the backyard, making food in the kitchen, reading books, and playing pretend. Using their imaginations is one of the biggest subjects in our homeschool! Ha!
Even though we’re mostly homebodies lately, Violet (4) had been asking to go to the beach for awhile. So, I decided to take the girls for a day at the beach last Thursday. It was so refreshing to have the wide expanse of shore all to ourselves. The girls played for hours, and I tried to take as many snapshots in my mind as I did on my phone. 🙂
This is our fourth year homeschooling – and it keeps getting better. I feel like the girls are coming into their own academically, and I’m able to tailor their studies to their individual learning styles. I’m also feeling more relaxed about teaching them. I’m trying to take the long view and focus on the enjoyment of learning, which makes it fun for all of us.
It’s strange, but I feel very outside of the experience I see so many mothers having with their kids at this age. I don’t mean that in a negative way. It’s just that so many of the stresses I see others having (mostly school related) are not issues for us. And I’m thankful for that.
I bet if Paprika (10) were in regular school, for example, she would be mercilessly bullied. I am coming to terms with her Autism, and finding ways to help her live a happy, independent life. She struggles with some things others her age would find very simple. Yet, in other ways, she is so far beyond what I ever could imagine for a child her age.
I know I’ve spoken before about her advancement academically. She’s still about five to six grade levels ahead. She’s also a walking encyclopedia, as fast as Google, and remembers every date for everything that’s ever happened. (Slight exaggeration, but only slight). Ha!
Yet, logistical tasks and life skills are much harder for her. It’s basically like she has no common sense. (I mean that with ALL LOVE). And when she gets overwhelmed, she short-circuits and melts down. Her meltdowns are still hard on all of us – but with every passing year, we find new strategies to deal with them and ways to avoid them.
It’s a weird mix of things, and I find that in homeschooling, she can be herself and not have to try to fit into something she’s not. And we get to work on those important life skills in a safe environment, while also meeting her academic needs. I don’t know how we could do that without homeschooling. It would be much tougher, that’s for sure.
Ginger (7) is doing really well, too. She’s one smart cookie – and homeschooling her is very, very easy. I do most of Ginger’s school with her in the evenings, because she plays really hard all day with Violet (4). They are still joined at the hip, sleeping next to each other while hugging, and the best of friends.
Usually during the day, I work mostly with Paprika on her studies (with Ellie’s help) while Violet and Ginger play. Then at night (after Mr. M gets home), I focus on Ginger. Sometimes Ginger and I stay up after everyone else has gone to bed. The house is so quiet and cozy, and it’s an ideal time for me to focus on her.
Violet (4) is learning so much, too! She is reading very well now (2nd grade reading level) and doing math. She can write sentences on her own, and she spends a lot of her time drawing and making cards and paper dolls. She always surprises me with the things she knows. I spend a lot of time reading to Violet before bedtime (and she reads to me now, too!)
During the day, Violet is mostly glued to Ginger’s side. I honestly think she loves Ginger (7) more than she loves me! Haha. It’s fine, though. She calls Ginger “Little Mommy” and I’m “Big Mommy” – And at night when I tuck her into bed, she has to sleep right between me and Ginger. (We lay down and fall asleep with her, and then Ginger and I get up to have time together once Violet’s asleep…)
Things have been a little rough these past few weeks because Mr. M has been working VERY long hours at DWTS, and often has zero days off per week. So, I am trying to pace myself since I’m with the girls 24/7! The girls are very good to me – they help me so much and we really are a team.
Oh, and I’m not really doing any social media anymore. I have stepped away from that because it makes me feel itchy. I am still going to update the blog, because it’s our record of our family and I love to look back on it. Plus, I think the girls might love it one day, too. I am tired of feeling pressure to live up to something because of Instagram or Facebook or whatever nonsense I see online. I’m tired of feeling anxious when I look at the carefully curated (and filtered) version of others’ lives.
I realize that’s MY issue – and I’m not putting anyone else down. I just find myself comparing my insides with others’ outsides more than I should. I want to be grateful for what I have here at home, and sometimes when I get sucked into these perfect images on social media, I feel like my life is lacking. And it’s not.
I’m not going to delete my Facebook account because then everyone will think I’ve blocked them or unfriended them, and that will cause more drama. LOL. Same for Instagram, etc. I guess I just need a break from all that stuff, and I’d rather spend that time writing my books, hanging out with my girls, and being present for every imperfect moment…
So, that’s a little update on us!