I am very excited about homeschooling our kids but I am also very realistic, or I try to be anyway. I know that there will be times in the future, once we really start school, when I will be tired and frustrated and it won't all be a bed of roses at our house. Sometimes it is hard to remember things like this when I am in the throes of research and planning. I really enjoy the research and planning.
Nick loves to ride this little rocking horse.
Nick trying on my readers.
My grandmother's funeral was yesterday and we were very blessed that it did not rain. My husband was able to get off work and my grandmother's church provided a very nice lady to watch the children during the service. She was great and the boys loved her and had a great time. When I asked them if they had fun, they shook their heads yes and said "again?, mommy, again?", indicating they would like to go back and play at that church again sometime. They cried when we left them but they soon stopped and obviously had fun and they were happy to see us when we returned.
The church family also provided a meal for the family before the service. My grandmother has a pretty big family these days, so that was quite an undertaking. They had two large hams and a large turkey, with all of the veggies, potatoes and gravy, bread, drinks and desserts too. It was quite a nice spread and it was very nice for the family to be able to sit down together and spend some time visiting and catching up. Several of my extended family members had heard a lot about our sons but had not met them yet so it was nice that they were finally able to meet. Several of my family members had also not met my husband yet, so it was especially nice that he was able to meet them.
In the service, one of my nieces did a wonderful job of playing the piano and singing a song, accompanied by her good friend on the guitar. Another niece did an amazing job of writing her own speech and then standing in front of the congregation and speaking about grandmother Rilla. She had everyone shaking their heads and leaning to the person next to them to say "yep, Rilla always did that", or laughing about funny things that grandma did. It was so good that everyone clapped when she finished, which is a bit unusual at a funeral. My dad's wife sang with her two friends in a trio and they did a beautiful job. They sang a song that my grandmother had specifically asked her to sing at her funeral, so that was special. My grandmother's pastor spoke and then my uncle, who is a Baptist preacher, spoke for a while. He did an awesome job and I know it could not have been easy for him to do that at his own mother's funeral. He also had us laughing, knowingly nudging each other and crying at times. The church was packed out, which was not surprising. She knew a lot of people and everyone who knew her loved her. There were lots of tears, from those of us who will miss her smiling face so much....she would have been 97 years old tomorrow. She and grandpa lived on their farm together for over 70 years and he had been gone now for about 10.5 years. After 45 years of going to grandma's for visits and always having her meet me at the door with a big smile, it is hard to imagine never doing that again. I will miss her dearly but I am so happy for her because she is no longer suffering. She is in heaven with Jesus Christ and she really is singing with the angels now.
Yesterday was the first day that our sons have not taken a nap. They actually did quite well, considering. I was really surprised because I thought they would both fall asleep as soon as we started home but they did not. They both fell asleep when we were about 15 minutes away from home. We were all exhausted yesterday evening. We put the boys to bed an hour earlier than normal, which seemed perfect since they woke up at their normal time today (they normally sleep late if they go to bed late and wake up early if they go to bed early). They were pretty tired by nap time though so I'm sure they are still catching up and will likely take a longer than normal nap today.
Today the boys and I took their cardboard 'slide', turned it over and spread it out on the floor. Then, using some permanent markers, we drew out roads, houses, stores, parking lots, a church and school and a park (I am no artist so believe me when I say it is very crude). At one end is our house and our neighbor's house and at the other end is grandma's and aunts' and uncles' homes, because it is a long drive (1.5 hours one way) to visit them. In between, there are all of the other stores and park and stuff. It is pretty simple but I think they will enjoy playing with it and we had fun drawing it out. I will let them color it later and am thinking of adding some tunnels and hills.
The boys are spending more time these days coloring, cutting and pasting. We are now doing this at the kitchen table, which has a lot more space....much better than using their little play table. I am getting to where I frequently leave stuff out on the table so they can get up there and doodle as they want. I don't leave the scissors and paste out though:).
I have an alphabet book that I bought at the homeschool convention that has a different Bible verse that starts with each letter of the alphabet. The boys wanted me to read it to them before nap time today and I was asking Ben what sound some of the letters make. I was quite surprised at how many he already knows, although I still think he is a ways from being ready to move much further than that.
According to our local school district, our sons should officially start kindergarten in August of 2011. So we have three more years of playing and having fun before we really have to start school. In the meantime we will continue to have fun, while learning what we can along the way. It is amazing how much they pick up from just playing. If they show an interest in doing more before then, we will.
I have an interesting situation with Nick that I need to pray about more. He often seems very reluctant to let me show him or teach him things. The other day, we were outside and I had pulled out the little plastic T-ball set we have. I wanted to show him how to hold the bat and he threw a little fit and wanted no part of it. Later, the dad came home and I quietly told him what happened and suggested that he try and see how Nick would respond. It was interesting that, when the dad asked Nick if he wanted him to show him how to do it, Nick immediately said yes and wanted his help multiple times. I am thankful I have some time to pray about this and learn how best to approach Nick before we really have to start school. It is very likely that I need to learn a different way to approach him or something and, hopefully with God's help, I can figure this out in time and maybe Nick will mellow out about this as he gets past the two-to-three year old age.