Sunday, March 7

Knowing what's coming

Tonight, a friend of ours asked if it was just him, or has the twins' vocabulary grown exponentially in the last few weeks? I don't think he realized he hit on the very thing I've been thinking of most lately, and was glad to hear someone else had noticed.

I've been worried for the last few months about the twins' impending entrance into preschool. I figured I should start them when they turned three, but every time I tried including them with the whole group they didn't pay attention longer than a few minutes. It was hard to imagine they'd be ready by April. I've been doing a simple "practice" version of preschool with just the twins at home.

I've also been wondering about what to do with Mia once she finished preschool in May. How would she take it when I dropped the twins off to be with her friends and took her home with me for Kindergarten? Keeping her in the group would make the age disparity of the kids harder to teach, and I didn't think it would be fair to ask that of the other moms.

This week was my week to teach. Instead of doing the twins' usual "practice run" with a few stories and songs, I thought I'd see how much of my prepared lesson we could get through with Mia. About halfway through a rather long story, I realized they were all listening intently. They made it to the end, and we started to learn the song. Usually they kind of sway and hum when we sing anything but Twinkle and Child of God. But this day- they actually learned the whole song! We did the craft, and they were so proud of what they had accomplished. We got through the whole lesson, and for the first time, they actually got something out of it!

At first I didn't think anything of it. Chalked it up as a fun fluke. If Mia hadn't insisted that we "do preschool" again the next day, I might have not tried again for a month. Luckily, we did. It was just as fun as the day before. The twins learned another new song, listened and participated, and I realized- this is going to work! We've got a kind of Joy School/Montessouri/homeschooling thing going on. Unique, and perfect for us.

What has really surprised me are my feelings about teaching. The first thing everyone says when they hear I'm going to homeschool Mia, is that they'd go crazy if they tried that. There have been so many days lately, that I've felt the desire to just get a break from my kids. I've wondered if I'd ever have more of a desire to spend so much time on them in a teaching capacity, and what would happen if I continued to have these feelings of reluctance? Every five weeks for the last half year, I would think "Oh, man- it's my turn to teach," and I'd hop onto the curriculum site to do my part. I'd skim over the non-essential intro to get the gist of the theme, and slowly but surely get my lessons together over the course of a couple of weeks.

After our experience this week, I got onto the curriculum site to see what I'm in for preparation-wise. Am I really going to be able to prepare the other four weeks' lessons myself?

I started reading the introduction that I usually just skim through, and found myself engrossed to the point I was scrolling down hoping for more to read when I came to the end.

The next morning I woke up at 6:30 with a mini-epiphany. There's a reason we had so much fun this week. I've been so worried about getting "me-time," it was creeping into my feelings about "mom-time." And this week, I was so invested in "mom-time," I forgot to worry about myself. It was a lot more fun for everyone. I'm not worried anymore. I'm ready to give what I need to be happy.

Last night Mia and I went on a trip to pick up preschool supplies for the next two months. We got sidetracked in the baby section....
This year is really going to be different than the last. I love to finally be able to picture it, and plan for it. And look forward to it. :)


Breezi said...

Summer- You have to know how much I look up to your mad parenting skills. You are so invested in your children. Your kids will actually learn from you/want to learn from you! It's amazing.
I'm such a "me time" mom- and half the time the kids would rather leave me out of their adventures in made-up land then have to deal with my lack of imagination.
basically- you rock.

Marsie Pants said...

Amen, Breezi.

Rachelle said...

That is so great!!! And so exciting at how well they did!

RhondaLue said...

You DO have mad parenting skillz! I have a cousin that homeschooled all 8, 9, whatev-I lost count..but the point is that she was amazing and her kids were smarter and more well-rounded than any other kids I've ever known. I don't even aspire to be that great.
Rhonda<---does NOT have mad parenting skills!

Summer said...

Plphh- whatever Rhonda- you're kids are awesome and that isn't just some fluke. :)

Amandean said...

You go, mommy!

Williams Tale Overture said...

It sounds like things are great with you guys!! Congrats on your little boy that is so exciting.

Leah Southwick said...

Congratulations, Summer. I am so excited for you and Zach!

Erin said...

Good for you on planning to home school your kids. I know it's not for everyone, but for some people it's the perfect option for their families. If you want to talk to some people who do it, my sister Kim, in Arkansas, has been homeschooling her 11 year old since she was in 1st grade and her 9 year old son the whole time. She absolutely loves it, has found some awesome resources and loves to share her experiences with other would-be-homeschoolers. Also, my brother's wife Alex just started homeschooling her 4 kids this year and loves it as well. If you want me to get you in contact with either of them, just send me a message on facebook and I'll hook you up.