Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Afflicted, Weary, Hopeful and Rapt

You know it's a bad day with a bottle of Malbec on the counter looks like the most appetizing lunch in the world, and finding a glass for that drink seems like (a) too much work, (b) too many dishes, (c) too much evidence.

Does manic depression come with homeschooling?  Or maybe it comes with having kids?  Or maybe it's just the life of a Libra to sway between extremes and feel those inequities so much because we're always seeking a state of balance?

And on the day we're talking about magnetism  it seemed fitting we'd have a repulsive episode.  When Kaio didn't want to sit and play with the magnet toys I had brought out for today, I said "ok, this [homeschooling] isn't going to work."  Rejection always hurts more when you've put forth genuine effort.  I get rejected by Kaio all the time.

I seem to operate on four speeds: afflicted, weary, hopeful and rapt.

And some days I feel deep in my gut that everything is wrong and I've screwed up.  I live with my mom and have no job.  My kids are weird and I slave after them tidying and prepping like Cinderella   I have nothing but rags to wear, and no time to shop for fun clothes.

And then other days I'm like: life rocks! I live get to live with my mom and I don't have to have a job.

But I do have a job.  I have a bunch of jobs actually.  Mom, teacher, student, cook, meal planner, dish washer, accounts payable department, hospitality, curriculum developer, tax accountant, janitor, official nagger and worry wort, and yoga teacher.  Most of them are fun.

I decided to finally take the advice of every single veteran homeschooler I've talked to, and "de-school."  I didn't think that Kaio would need to deschool after only being in school for a little over half a year.  But, I heard from multiple people that easing pressure and giving the kids a break from school fosters an internal drive for learning.  And since Kaio and I started butting heads on the magnetism lesson, I decided that I needed to give myself a break too.  Plus I've had finals for the last two weeks; I've been busy with my own schooling.

And then another, discovery: Kaio may have a concussion.  He's been exhibiting many of the symptoms.  I just didn't think of it before because he hasn't hit his head recently.  But after reading up more and talking to a doctor who specializes in concussions, it seems very possible that all the video games he played over winter break triggered it.  He has hit his head many many many many, at least five times.  Twice he went face first into pavement, it hurts my heart just thinking about it.  He had no self preservation instinct until about 6 months ago.  I wish I had kept him on a tighter leash, but hindsight is always 20/20 right?  Anyway. he never threw up after the falls or seemed out of it.  But after winter break something changed and he became very difficult - not wanting to go to school anymore, saying he had a headache after playing video games, answering everything with, "I don't know."  I'm having to find a neurologist, which is scary.  But at least in the three days since I initially realized that he might be suffering a concussion, he's seemed better.

I want to keep the structure we have around the day because that's working very well for all of us.  Homeschooling has been super positive for me in that respect.  I think I needed the structure just as much as the kids.  Just the simple task of washing the dishes in the morning, because that's the plan and that's what I do, clears up my space mentally.  When the kitchen is messy I feel like my whole life is messy.  So now that our day is planned out and I have a system for when I need to do the dishes - it's just awesome.

So this is one of the projects we worked on during 'homeschool' time.  Christmas paper tubes wrapped in construction paper.

Nala wanted a little light saber, pink and purple.

Naboo Starfighter
Kaio been making lots of lego ships.  He can pretty much play with legos all day long.

Our newest thing has been finding building instructions for Star Wars sets online, and then building them with legos we have around the house.  It's way cheaper than buying all those Star Wars lego sets!  And Kaio doesn't mind that the creations are off colors.

Nala made a pony castle.

Last Friday the weather looked pretty nice so I had us go out for a walk first thing in the morning.  I never do that.  I'm not a morning person.  But, I'd been reading through a curriculum that says a morning walk is key to invigorating the blood and establishing focus for the day.
The walk didn't seem to improve anything with our energy or focus for the day.  But it was a fun change.

Every Friday we have "Friday Share" basically 'show and tell.'  It was something Kaio liked from public K, so we've kept it up at home. Last Friday Nala picked pine cones to share, Kaio shared his AT-ST lego creation, and I shared my recycled coffee travel mug.  I talked about how my mug used to be trash and then it was turned into a mug.  "You mean they painted it and turned it into something else?" Nala asked.
Later in the day she decided she wanted to turn her pine cones into something else and paint them.  I'm just amazed by what a little sponge she is and how much she admires me.  I know it's not going to last forever, so I'm just relishing it everyday.

And, I'm starting to feel weary, so off to bed.  Hopeful that tomorrow will be fun ;)

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