Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Our past few days

Whew...our past few days have absolutely flown by with much going ons. I have started a new system, a sketchy rendition of the famous " workbox" system that many homeschooling parents are doing. However, due to our very limited space and my intense desire to always abhor clutter I have found a different solution. If you are not familiar with workbox system, for visual goal orientated people like myself, it is amazing. Google it and the site will do much better at explaining it than I will. I am using a crate, $2.50 at Walmart, with colorful hanging folders. I have 12 hanging folders for Jayden. I put a different activity in each and when we get through them all, we are done for the day. He loves it, Austen loves it ( as I pair up Austen's fun with Jayden's) and I love it. I feel so accomplished and organized by the end of the day and the school part of our day flows very smoothly and without constant getting up and searching for things, etc. I am truly loving homeschooling and want to make a success out of it. I knew, however that organization was my key to that success. Here is what the past couple days of our workboxes/folders looked like

Art- painting bugs
Bug Stamping
Science Experiment
Read Insect books
Draw/Diagram anatomy of insect body ( Jayden took it upon himself to now only draw a diagram but do a comparison of two insects as well :) )
Cut out places insects live/glue in nature journal

Write letters to families
Play Dough
Independent reading
Geography ( didn't get to that)
Audio book-draw picture
Library Story time

I am so excited about this new system...I love the fact that learning is an ongoing, every moment type thing. Yesterday, the boys really wanted pancakes. Now, I make amazing waffles and they truly are amazing along with homemade syrup. Pancakes, on the other hand are completely different. In my opinion, the take a lot more work , are a lot messier and not as tasty. However, the boys wanted them so I said, "No problem, buddy" One and a half hours later, my kitchen splattered with batter from an out of control mixer, egg shells lining the counter, the smell of thick, dry burnt dough stuck to the frying pan and a lovely scent of smoke filling the kitchen. Yummm, want to join us???

The 2nd round of attempting at these pancakes gave the appearance that they were going to be tasty and as Jayden put it so kindly, " Wow, those look wonderful" Alas, they were as dry and disgusting as the previous ones. The boys ,however, wanted to eat the pancakes and blue syrup that I had made. I , on the other hand, wanted nothing to do with those pitiful, parched pancakes and began to search high and low for cereal, there was none. So, I started cracking eggs and pouring flour for a third time that morning with a growling stomach inorder to create my amazing apple cinnamon waffles.

Fifteen minutes later, I sat down at the breakfast table, ignoring the dripping noises of batter behind me and enjoyed my waffles. I explained to the boys that I still needed to learn new things and still needed to make a million and ten mistakes before I would get certain things right, ie: the pancakes. I further used this opportunity to encourage them to never give up. Maybe the kitchen , or the project or the process will look absolutely disastrous to someone on the outside but you can turn around and see that what you just created was a beautiful attempt at learning something new. That is a lot to say for many people who chose to never step out.

I will attempt the pancakes again, with a new recipe and a renewed outlook. They will come out, if it takes me the next 4 years. We are only failures if we stop trying and we will stop trying when we live with the fear of failing. Our children will learn from how we live. My children will see me attempt and fail over and over again, but what they will not see is me surrendering. What they will see is my success and the hardwork that came Before it, not after. I refuse to give up!

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