I'm 35 weeks today! I woke up to use the bathroom at 4:04 a.m. and when I laid back down, I was too uncomfortable to sleep. So, here I am, blogging at 4:33 in the morning after a bowl of chocolatey Special K.
So, after feeling panicky about schooling the kids this year, and knowing that just having one or more of them attend public school wasn't really an option for us at present (mostly because I knew this would just alter the stress into a new form, rather than eliminate it...and the last thing I'm up for is a NEW stress right now), I got an email from a homeschool/charter school affiliate (called Harmony Ed) that Spud attended last year for one day a week. We called it Friday School, because his happened to be on Friday, and it was basically a day of "elective" classes for homeschool students. This took place at a charter school in Springville. He enjoyed it well enough, probably about as much as he can enjoy most things, truthfully (he's a bit of an over-thinker), but there were a few reasons I had decided to not have him do it this year. One, I didn't want to drive down to Springville every Friday morning and afternoon. Two, the program coordinators were not terribly good at communicating and it got frustrating at times. Three, we could get more financial support for our homeschooling curriculum through MyTechHigh, which he is now old enough for.
But shortly after my blog post about feeling stressed about school this year, David and I were talking about how it really might be better for everyone if we enrolled Spud in school. Public school was seeming like the only option, which I did not really feel good about. A couple of days later, I get an email from Harmony Ed announcing a new program at a new location here in town! Instead of just the elective days, they were offering and had openings for students in a 2-day/week Multi Age Program (MAP) that covers language arts, math, history and Science. Spud (2nd grade this year) will be the middle grade of his MAP, which I think will be a good fit for him, as he's a sharp kid but not necessarily where he could be in some of the basics, and I think it will be motivating to him to have other kids that are older and younger to gauge his own skills against. At first he wasn't at all excited about this "new" opportunity, but David took him out on some special time and they were able to have some good conversation on what we hope for him to be able to do, both this year and in the future of his education.
Unfortunately, when we went to the Open House on Wednesday, Noodle was feeling a bit left out as she is NOT going to be participating in the program this year (and she didn't last year, either). We reminded her that she is going to be doing her Musical Theater class, as well as continuing with her girls club activities, AND playing Junior Jazz starting in January with her best friend. She is at a stage in her education where a fair bit can be accomplished independently, and I don't think she would be as benefited by attending a program like the one Spud is doing. It can be difficult to have kids doing different things, though, as they always tend to look at what the other is doing as so much nicer.
And Sprout is the first of my kids to be going to preschool. It makes me laugh, because it seems really silly for a homeschooling family to outsource preschool of all things, but it is 1) just across the street, 2) very reasonably priced, and 3) a good chance for him to get some "friend time" during the craziness of what will be my life this next year. As the youngest child by 4 years (for now), he sees Spud and Noodle going off to play with friends and has had a hard time not having the same freedoms. Happily, he has a good little buddy from church nursery that he gets to play with on occasion, though judging from his talk, he'd like to be playing with him all the time!
(This post seemed a little too text heavy, so I thought I'd liven it up a bit with some pictures we snapped of the kids at Anita's wedding three weeks ago. Did I mention we have another wedding tomorrow? Good, crazy times.)
P.S. It wasn't until linking this to facebook and looking again at the title that I realized I had forgotten to mention the bad. Well, about 5 weeks ago we were delighted to have found a "mother's helper" who we paid to come every day and help out with things that I'm not really up to getting done lately. The plan was for her to come at least through the fall and help with cleaning, running kids around, and some cooking. Last week she broke a toe and is on limited mobility for the next 6-8 weeks. Kind of leaving me in a lurch. I need to figure out what we are going to do. In the meantime, I've reached out to some of the local family for help and received some very generous offers of help, which I am so grateful for. I still think I'll want to find someone to come in during the week for a while, but haven't had the energy to look around. So, that's the bad.