Sunday, April 14, 2013

This Week's H/School Journal

Places we went and people we saw this week...
...well, for one thing, I cancelled the plans I had for my Thursday night out and spent it by myself instead.  The edges of my resilience have been cracking of late and I simply needed time by myself.  I went to an early movie (Identity Thief, which I'd hoped would be good because I think Jason Bateman is hilarious but which wasn't very good after all...about a 3 out of 10 for me), and then took a book to my usual Starbucks and sat there reading with a hot apple cider for two hours.

...the kids and I had a fairly low key week and had few outings.  The highlight was Friday, when we went for lunch at the home of dear friends and then went with them to our annual maple syrup farm field trip.  I think this was the fifth consecutive year that Matthew and I have been there, and it was awesome knowing that this was already a second time for Seth and Lizzie and that things were familiar to them.  The weather was cold and yucky, which put a damper on the overall enjoyment factor, and we had to eat our snack in the car instead of at the picnic tables because of the crappy weather, but still...

...Geoff and I actually got out together on Friday night, thanks to my parents' babysitting willingness.  It's been many months since we've been out together for an evening, so this was a lovely treat.  We went to a fundraising banquet for our local adoption agency and it was a lovely evening, though we left at around 10 when the party was just heating up.

...yesterday (Sat) morning, while Geoff took the kids to their music/piano lessons, I went to a local nursery to plant a few pots of flowers.  I'd signed up a few weeks ago for this one-morning workshop and it ended up being a wonderful little break from routine for me...almost surprisingly so because I'm not a gardener (hence the need to sign up for a pot-planting workshop!) and I didn't even really feel like going yesterday morning.  But Geoff loaded up my three pots into the car for me, and I went anyway.  It was a lot of fun!  There were only five women in the workshop and they were lovely.  For a small fee ($20), the nursery manager took the group of us all around the nursery and showed/explained all kinds of things about flowers in pots.  She was wonderful and so knowledgeable.  Then the five participants were free to wander the nursery and pick the plants/flowers we wanted for our pots and our guide stayed available to us for the full 2.5 hours to help us.  Did I mention that she was terrific??!  Because I'm not at all a gardener and know next to nothing about this stuff, I asked her a gazillion questions and she helped me quite a lot.  Whenever we were ready with our pots, we went to the back of the nursery with our loot and our leader set us up at the nursery's planting tables and we planted our pots; we could help ourselves to as much soil as we wanted, and we five women had a lovely chat while we planted our plants.  When we were done, the staff fertilized and watered our pots, and we left our plants there.  For the next five weeks, our pots will be cared for by the staff in the greenhouse.  So by the time the regular growing season starts here and we go to collect our pots, our flowers will have had all of that time to grow and fill out the pot and look beautiful.  All for the price of $20 + the cost of the flowers I bought.  I spent less money than I have in previous years filling up my three big flower pots (because I didn't know what I was doing in previous years!) and I had a personalized expert helping me as needed!  It was a surprisingly fun morning and I'm already wanting to sign up for next year.  I can hardly wait to see my pots in five weeks!

In our homeschool this week...
...we had a pretty good week.  Matthew got every single thing on his week's school plan completed, which is always the sign of a productive week.  In Math, he finished his work on the 2 Times Table and knows it cold; we reviewed the fractions he's learned and spent a wee bit more time on equivalent fractions (eg. 1/2 = 6/12); he learned about right angles (as well as greater than/less than); had fun learning about symmetry, using a mirror to understand how it works, and drawing mirror images of lots of shapes and pictures; and he moved from learning about polygons last week to quadrilaterals this week.  We finished our work on nouns and I believe he has a pretty solid understanding of both common and proper nouns; and he did a bunch of out-loud reading along with answering comprehension questions.  Oh, and he knows Deuteronomy 6:5 cold now, having printed it out five times during the week and practiced spelling the various words!  He practiced piano every day and has progressed from knowing nothing in September to playing his first simple pieces with two hands together.

...Seth was again a bit 'off' of school this week.  We still worked, but not as much as I'd thought to do with him, because I'm very reluctant to push him.  This is a kid who is intense about everything and were he to begin to hate school, life would become very challenging with him!  So we took it easy.  I think he's frustrated because some of his memory glitches have been rearing up again, particularly with numbers.  Last week he was struggling with the number 20; this week it was the numbers 10-30 that seem to have gone entirely missing.  The good news is that, because I've seen these patterns with him for almost two years, I've also had a chance to see him come through these things with time and patience and I can be quite sure that things will just fall back into place at some point; for me this is huge because I'm not panicking this time 'round - I know that at some point a week or two or four from now, those numbers will be re-learned and much more easily than the first time...and that hopefully they'll stick next time 'round.  Those memory blanks of his are the most bizarre things.

...this week I mostly involved Lizzie in games and in puzzles.  She seems to read off of Seth quite a lot and so she, too, seemed quite uninterested in formal schooling this week.  But still, her interest in being read to, and in trying to sound out simple words, is simply delightful!

My favourite thing this week was...
...having an evening to myself....not having to talk for more than four hours.

...most surprisingly, my Saturday morning flower pot gardening class.


  1. I find it so interesting that Seth's school slump coincides with his emotional growth. He's working hard right now, just not on academics.
    In our house, we have emotional slumps that, when worked through, lead to someone taking a big maturity jump.
    Here's to personal growth!

  2. I'm so glad you got to have some time to yourself and that you enjoyed the gardening class. I am pathetic when it comes to gardening. My neighbour who is quite a gardener swears she will never bring me something living again after I killed both the Lily and the Poinsetta she gave me! As long as I manage to keep my kids alive I figure I'm doing ok!

    I try to read my kids too and not push (except the one that does better with pushing) when they are having an off day or week. Great to hear that Lizzie is starting to want to try to sound things out!

  3. Thanks for the comments, ladies!

    Sharla, it sounds like we have EVEN more in common - lack of a green thumb! Glad to have you in the club.

    Ellen, I completely agree with you, though you've put it more plainly than I've been thinking about it. We've noticed this kind of thing over and over in Seth...that when one part of him is working extremely hard, another part simply falls by the wayside...and then at some point, it evens out for a bit and then reverses. And yes, he's gone through massive emotional growth of late, which is much to be thankful for - I'd much have that than have him worry about forgetting a bunch of numbers...that'll come, too.
    Interesting, too, that you see similar things in your houshold...there are just endless things to learn about our precious kids.

    Anyway, thanks! Have a great start to the week.


  4. Hi Ruth,
    I'd like to email you. I can't find an email address anywhere. I have commented here before. I am your "cheerleader". I'd like to say more but I'm not comfortable saying some things publicly.
    Should I use comments and then ask that you not publish it?

  5. Got your email address...will email you shortly!

    Thanks for being a cheerleader...I need one some days!!