Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Busy Busy Busy

So much has been happening around here!  Aren't the days of summer supposed to be laid back and restful? Not so much around These Nine Acres. We have been busier than ever here for the last few weeks.  At times I feel like, despite being in a rural, quiet area, I am caught in the rat race of life!

So, to catch you up...we began homeschooling on Monday.  It is going really well...the first day was a bit rough with the kids testing to see how serious I was going to be about how this whole thing was going to work.  I had to squash a few behaviors right away, but once they understood the parameters and the expectations, they fell in line quite nicely.  The twins seem to be enjoying the structure and they have told everyone that will listen that they are happy. The curriculum is a pleasant mix of direct instruction, self guided instruction, and computer integrated learning.  I've had fun implementing it and now that I have been with the kids for a few days, I can make better decisions about pacing.

I've also learned a lot about myself.  I am not too hard on myself (which I have been in the past) and have learned to take it day by day instead of stressing out how much we achieve. One of my major reasons for homeschooling was to make sure the kids achieve mastery of skills, so if they already know something, we move through it and if they don't get a concept, we can slow down and spend more time on it. My goal is not to follow a strict pacing, but to follow their cue on what they need. Even though I bought a curriculum to use for the core subjects, I have adapted it to fit my family's needs and teaching/learning style.  Everyday we do math and language arts (grammar, spelling, reading, phonics, writing) and then we have units in technology, art, music, science, health, and social studies that we alternate in units. It seems to be exciting and motivating for the kids.

On top of homeschooling, I've been swamped taking care of a little bitty sick baby kitten. She was picked up by my husband and the kids late on Saturday night on the side of the road during a horrible storm. She was only one pound, soaking wet, injured, sick, undernourished, and near death from hypothermia. Being so small and soaking wet in the rain with nowhere to hide, she couldn't keep her own body temperature stable. So, my family brought me home a very needy kitten who is considered a critical care patient. Several trips to the vet, long days of trying to nurse her back to health (think syringe feeding her, wiping her sore diarrhea hiney, and giving her meds), and trying to keep her away from the other animals of my house, I am just about toast! I feel like I have a newborn again!

We now think she will survive (for a few days we didn't know if she would make it) but now the question is if her injuries will be permanent.  She has a badly injured and infected eye (which was literally popping out of her head when she was found) which is looking better but still not certain on long term prognosis as far as her sight is concerned. She still has a rather serious upper respiratory infection and a very upset tummy with severe diarrhea.  So, there is lots of TLC, rubber gloves, washing dirty towels, etc. going on around here in addition to the homeschooling.

My oldest daughter, who is usually the animal nurse, is away being a counselor for younger kids at a 4H camp, so all the nursing duties are on my shoulders (the younger kids want to help but she is just too fragile right now for inexperienced hands).  My husband helps with the meds, but otherwise, I am the 24 hour critical care nurse, lol!  Maybe when she is not so critical we will actually name her and take pictures to show everyone.  (If I can get a good one, I will put a picture up on Facebook).

In addition to all of that, construction continues on my house/office/studio space.  Baby steps! Siding is going up now and hopefully the drywall will be scheduled to go in soon.  It would make a huge difference in our homeschool routine to have a separate space from the kitchen to set up in!

In perfect Murphy's Law fashion, our AC unit for the house is going haywire and I have no AC in the house right now.  Hopefully this can be remedied soon because I will be honest...I like to be 72 degrees...not hotter and not cooler.  Not because I am a drama queen and need things perfect, but because since I contracted Lyme I have been unable to handle temperature swings too far from 72 degrees before becoming very uncomfortable.  So, hopefully the heating and air guy will have some answers for me this evening!

I've barely been able to breathe since Sunday, so tonight I am taking some time to get back to some art!  I need some quiet time with just me and my imagination!

Hope everyone is having a lovely week.  I will check in again soon!  xo

*Pictures are from New York City (bet you guessed that ;)

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