Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Starting slowly

We have such grand plans for this winter...learning about the scientific process and putting together an experiment of our own using the bird feeders we're watching religiously...discovering the world of wolves...exploring the world (or just the city parks) on cross-country skis...stay-cationing in a few new-to-us countries to name a few.  Plus there are the usual suspects for this time of year...sending out thank-you notes, dreaming up next year's garden, planning for birthday parties and winter vacations.  All good stuff that we're very eager to dive into.

I learned from the fall, however, to start slow.  So this week is planned to be a week of transitions.  I'm easing us into earlier bedtimes and earlier wake-up times.  I'm reasserting a weekly and daily routine to guide our days.  Our mornings are set aside for school work and our afternoons are meant for learning away from books.  Monday and Thursday afternoons are dedicated to project time, Tuesdays are our chore and Club afternoons, Wednesdays will be our homeschool co-op, and we round out the week with Field Trip Fridays.  Our morning and afternoon is broken up by a trip outdoors, even in cold weather.

Two days in and some of our transition has been hit or miss, which I knew to expect.  I think the kids were happy to get back to their schoolwork.  Jaelyn was so eager to get back to it she pulled out her math book on Sunday and started working through problems.  And then chore day came and foot-dragging began.  Or a writing lesson surfaced and using the dictionary to find out whether words were spelled correctly was considered a most unreasonable strategy. 

I now realize that part of our transition has to do with my own relapse back to old habits.  Over the holidays, I fell away from using song to move us through our days.  No, song definitely does not feel natural and it takes an incredible amount of effort to remember words, melodies, and go through the physical act of singing through the day.  So my goal for the rest of the week will be to get reacquainted with those simple songs I still remember and learn a few more.  And while the kids are getting to bed earlier, I'm still up as late and struggling to be up in the morning before the kids, bleary-eyed and dull-headed when I do roll out of bed. 

Hmmm, I think that some of this list of things for me to improve is much like the one I wrote about in September.  Those old behaviours that are so ingrained in us are difficult to change.  Yet the reward for changing is worth it.  It's worth the effort to be the mama I want to be and model the way I would like my children to treat my grandchildren. 

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