Monday, October 17, 2011

My Head is Swimming

I am kind of in the middle of one of those times where my head is full of so much stuff, so much heavy, important stuff, that I just almost can't think about any of it. I don't know where to start.

So you know what I did today to re-direct some of my energy? I signed up for a half marathon. Ha! Yeah, yeah, I know I wrote in my birthday post that I wouldn't even go there, but I did anyways. The 1/2 is in June and so far everyone I have asked (including my trainer) says I can TOTALLY do it, which means one of two things: I actually can do it, or else my friends are sadistic and are looking forward to me writhing in pain and misery come June 23rd. But, it is called the Rock-n-Roll Half Marathon, so come on, if I'm going to run one, that is right up my alley.

I have run 3 miles fairly easily a couple of times over the last week so I have a bit of confidence that I am starting from a place just a step up from total beginner.

My favorite thing about running is that I only think of two things while doing it: putting one foot in front of the other and the music playing on my ipod.

So what am I avoiding?

I have to make some decisions about actual, real live curriculum for Iris's homeschooling. I started off kind of winging it with some basic guidance, but now that we are signed up for an online public school they will fund and oversee our curriculum, so the sky is sort of the limit now. Which is great, except for the world of homeschooling curriculum is insanely vast and OHMYGOD if I don't pick the right one my kid will be dumb boring and stupid the rest of her life! Okay, just kidding, but it does feel pretty overwhelming.

The only thing overshadowing ALL of that is trying to figure out what to do for therapy and whatnot for Iris. This is one of those cases where the more opinions I seek, the more contradictory information I gather. It is so draining, because I want everyone I talk to to have the right answer, but no one does, of course. And them I am supposed to figure out the best thing to do, but this is my daughter we are talking about, and it is sort of scary to have no clue what the best thing to do is.

Of course, now that we've been drop-kicked from the homeschooling group, Iris is home with me all day every day and I have zero time not only for myself, but also for making any phone calls or working on figuring stuff out. If I am not directly supervising her schooling she won't work on it, so it becomes a juggling act of what I need to get done versus what I need her to get done.

And yes, finding a babysitter is on my to-do list. A babysitter would be immensely helpful, but it takes an awful lot of time to find the right one.


  1. Can you really REALLY not find time to make a handful of phone calls in a day with one seven year old at home? Really?

    Just pick curriculum. She can read, yes? You have stated that you really want to keep her on track with her public school peers. Start by calling the school district and finding out what curricula they use for the major subject areas.

    I am not a classical homeschooler, but I do use The Well Trained Mind for curriculum suggestions.

    -Spelling Workout A and B for Spelling
    -First Language Lessons for Grammar
    -encourage her to read aloud and silently from the booklists for her grade level on Ambleside Online. McGuffey readers are nice too
    -start working on cursive handwriting if her peers are doing it in school. It shouldn't take long to introduce the basics, then ask her to use the new skills in her written work during the rest of the schoolwork.

    Encourage reading time for fun, minimal restrictions on content. Read out loud over meals to both your girls.

    Set Iris up with a journal. You can get notebooks with space for a drawing and writing at Target in their school supplies. She can write about things you did that day or about what she read, etc. The purpose is to get her writing and thinking about what she has done.

    Do Math-U-See if Iris is a visual learner and you are wary of teaching concepts.

    Story of the World is a pretty well-liked history curriculum and easily supplemented via the library. Its also fairly inexpensive since you only plan to homeschool for this one year. Mastery isn't the goal, just awareness.

    The easiest and most cost effective way to do science is to go on walks with Iris a few times a week. collect leaves and identify the trees they came from. Look at bugs in the garden. Encourage a curiosity about weather patterns and seasons and so forth. Basic books about the solar system and such can be had at the library. She doesn't need to master science concepts at this age.

  2. Anonymous. I didn't say I couldn't find time, just that I had none scheduled in to my day. No need to be rude.

    While I appreciate (at least I think I do, you did start out kind of snotty) your list of curriculum suggestions, unfortunately my kid isn't your kid. I assure you the research I have done extends far beyond the assumptions you have made. Having a kid with some special needs complicates matters somewhat.

  3. My point is this: pick something. If it really truly does not work, then buy something else and sell the curriculum online or in your local homeschool group. Set rules for your child regarding schoolwork and keep it brief and fun, with integration into your day, rather than "school at home".

  4. sybil

    just wanted to encourage you that you are doing a great job with your girls. They are a blessing to your family and you are doing the right things taking time to pick a schooling program for each of them.


  5. Thanks Mandi. Nice to hear from you!

    Thanks for the advice, anon.


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