Friday, October 31, 2008

Quiet and a new month..

My kids and husband came down with a stomach bug today, on Halloween. The children were so bummed that they didn't get to go trick or treating. But, at least we did attend the trunk or treat at our church last week, so they did get some candy.

It's a little after 8 and everyone is in bed but me. It's a nice peaceful quiet in my house right now. I guess that's one blessing from everyone being sick, they went to sleep really easily. There hasn't been any vomiting for about 5 hours now and I'm hoping that it's passed by.
Don't you just adore a quiet house? Now, if only it was CLEAN and quiet, I'd be in heaven.

With all this quiet time I've been doing some thinking and pondering our budget/finances and my own contentment. I'm going to be tracking my spending in November, just to see where all my "extra" money is going. The only things I actually track are groceries and bills, so it will be a real eye opener, I imagine, to see where everything else goes. I'm going to keep my groceries to only $300, that includes an extra $50 for Thanksgiving. As a family of 6 that's only $75 a week or $12.50 a week per person. My budget is usually $250, but I decided to up it for Thanksgiving and hopefully I'll have some left. I need to stay home more this month also, to challenge myself to use less gas. I make way too many small trips to town and it needs to stop this month. Because as I too well know, when I go to town, I usually spend money that I don't need to. So, I'm going to plan, plan, plan my trips to save money and gas.

I need to look hard at my stuff around the house and see what I can get rid of. What I can consign or just give up to Goodwill. We have so much stuff, TOO much stuff. It's hard to keep things organized with so much stuff. It makes me feel cluttered all the time, even when the house is clean. So, in November, I'll be looking at that also.

Also, in November, I'd like to give a trial run at homeschooling my little ones. It's something I'm seriously considering. I can't practice on Clay just yet, because he's still in public schools, but I plan on tackling him with a bit of "summer enrichment" in 2009. I'd like to get somewhat of a structure to our days, which we have none, per se, now. We just kinda wing it. I've been thinking of how I'd like my day to flow and here's what I've been hashing out..

7:00 Wake
Breakfast
Devotional/bible time
Chores
Schooling (Alphabet book work, writing (for Andy), coloring, numbers, colors, etc)
Reading a book to them
11:30 Lunch
Outside play time
2:00 Naptime
3:30 Wake from nap
Free-time (playing with mom, baking, video, etc)
Afternoon chores (for Clay when he comes home)
4:45 Start dinner (help mom)
5:30 Dinner
Kitchen clean up
Quiet time (reading, coloring, puzzles)
Baths and teeth before bed (baths every other day)
7:00 Bedtime Jake and Luke
8:00 Bedtime Andy
9:00 Bedtime Clay

I think it has a nice flow without being structured too tightly. More of just a general outline of the day. I really wonder how other moms structure their days, espically homeschooling moms. Do they schedule out every minute, semi-structure or just go with the flow? I really, really need to get organized, espically if I'm going to homeschool, it's gotta happen.

I'm not really worried about homeschooling the little ones. They do most of their learning from everyday life right now. Andy is 4 and he's starting to read, knows his colors, know most of how they're made, all his numbers (counting to 100 and backward and by 5's), his alphabet, the sounds of the alphabet, can write all the letters. He's just a smart cookie and I taught him. I ddin't send him to preschool, I've taught him here at home, it's made me confident.

Where I get worried, is having to teach Clay. He'll be in the 5th grade when I start homeschooling and I just don't know where to begin. I really like the idea of unit studies for Science, Social Studies and English. I like the idea of being able to spend like a week (or month!) on the civil war and letting him get fully engrossed in the topic. Finding something that interests him and running with it. I want him to read and write freely. To keep journals of his thoughts and struggles and maybe even a nature one. I guess I kinda like the idea of unschooling too. I don't want to be structered like a public school, I want my kids to learn about what they want to learn about and have a say in what we learn. I want them to interested in learning, not just learning because they school says they have to learn. I don't want their enthusiasm for learning squashed out of them by endless reports, boring lessons and repetition.

I think also in November I'm going to begin trying to tackle the cola addiciton. It's been too long and I've gained too much weight from it. I'm going to take it slow, I know withdrawal is horrid, but I also know I'll feel so much better after I kicked it.

Well, that's enough rambling for now.

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