Friday, August 21, 2009

Mid-Week Church Dilemma

Like most churches, our church has a mid-week program for children and teens. Our daughter (Miss G) is in 3rd grade and that would place her in Kid's Impact (1st - 6th graders), which is a group that does both drama ministry and a missions club. Great combination, right? So what is the dilemma?

The dilemma is two fold - (A) It ends at 8:30pm, and that is if they end on time. We don't get home from church until about 8:45 to 9pm, so Miss G does not get in bed until 9:30 and that is on a good night. She has a pretty exciting or at least over stimulating time, and so she has to wine down. On school nights, our children go to bed at 8pm sharp, maybe an occasional 8:30pm. Homeschooling on Thursday is a nightmare because she has trouble thinking and controlling her emotions, which I believe is due to the lack of sleep from the night before. Her tests show how poor her performance is on Thursdays compared to other days. This leads me to believe she is not learning what is being taught to her on Thursday. I may be able to check school off to do list on Thursday, keep my records, but what has she really learned?

Some people have given me the advise to let her sleep in Thursday morning, pushing the start and end of school back on our timed schedule. However, I have been blessed we early risers, so even if I let her, she has not made up the sleep. Another suggestion was to do a light school day, do read-alouds instead of tests. This would not work either because we would have to add a double lesson on another day or do school on a Saturday to keep up. Also I work some evenings and so we could not make the lessons up then. I know that public schools do not always finish their textbooks, but they have standards they do have to meet, and so does our homeschool.

(B) This brings me to B reason, I already work 2 to 4 evenings a week depending on how busy the store is during that season. My husband has worship band practice every Tuesday night, so that basically leaves Sunday and Monday night for family time, maybe Wednesday too if we are lucky. I have to work, so quitting is not an option right now. We really would rather do a church activity as a family. My husband works 10 hours a day at the moment, since he has been away from the kids all day, he wants to spend some time with them. We could volunteer to work in Kid's Impact as a family, but we do have a 5 and 3 year old who will be tired, bored and probably thirsty and hungry too.

We do want to be involved in our church to grow on our own Christian walk and build relationships with other members of the church community. We do thoroughly cover Bible, scripture memorization and missions at home through homeschooling and family Bible time. What should we do? Do you have an "out of the box" ideas on how to solve this problem?

As you can see from my earlier post, we started school and have gone to some family nights at church they have in August, so it is fresh in my mind what a problem this will be come September when family nights stop and Kid's Impact begins. Also, I read the Building Cathedrals BLOG and a mom with a Kindergartner had a similar dilemma. Click on link to read that post. It is a great BLOG, the builders do a fabulous job. My daughter is older and we attend a Evangelical Protestant church (program attendance is not required for sacraments), so our dilemma is a little different.

I need your input!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

First Day of School

We had our first day of school yesterday, I would love to say it was a picture of Teaching Home magazine, but it was not. It was not all bad. My children, after all, were really excited about starting the new school year. As a group effort, we did make red, white and blue patriotic parfaits, that was close to a homeschooling magazine photo.

What I mean is, I forgot about certain things. I forgot what the preschooler does while you are schooling the older ones, which is that they make a big mess. Now I remember why, as a summer project, I wanted to limit the toys and manipulative in reach and sight. I forgot bouncy boys, no matter how smart they are, hate worksheets that insult their intelligence. For the love of humanity, stop the cutting and pasting - is there not more interesting ways to learn?? For goodness sakes, why in the world did I leave Kindergarten for right before lunch. Forget about doing that load a day of laundry, much less cleaning.

Homeschooling is a great choice for our family. Our children are truly a blessings, and I love teaching them. I do want them to love learning, not have a mother who screams at them to do their worksheet. So instead of registering them for school, I regrouped and came up with a new battle plan for day two. Kindergarten was first, and with no extra worksheets. We started with the most frustrating(handwriting) and move to the least frustrating. The youngest was playing peacefully down in the playroom, and the 3rd Grader was reading from her book bin* and doing her copy work. After Kindergarten was finished, I awarded Mr. Z with computer time. Then I set out on tackling 3rd grade, which my daughter is really enjoying thanks to our switch to new curriculum this year. To boot, by rising up at a reasonable hour, I was able to able to start the laundry, and get 2 loads done.

FYI I have one child hates worksheets and one who loves worksheets.

*Book Bin goes with our curriculum called My Father's World. It is a group of books that go with what we are learning about at the time.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Congratulations Ed!

To think 3 years ago my husband Ed was just recovering from having 2 strokes, I cannot believe how far he has come in his recovery. He is doing excellent and his doctor was really please with his check-up this week. She said, "This is what we have been waiting for!" His doctor told us all along to have patience, but I did not think it would take so long. Now I see, now I understand.

God has blessed us, and Ed has made such a great effort to recover. Thanks Ed for not giving up! You are inspiration to us all! Thanks to all of those who pray for us - we feel your prayers!

Congratulations Ed on your promotion at work too!