Sunday, January 06, 2013

New Year 2013

We're already almost a week into the new year, but today I'm really feeling like the new year is about to begin.  Tomorrow we'll start back up with a full school schedule along with their activities, and I'm not ready.  In fact, I just want to hide under the covers and pretend we can just play all day and forget about academics!  Having the stress of their education on my shoulders can sometimes seem daunting.  And today is one of those sometimes. 

I want to give them the best of everything.  The best of our Faith, the best education, the most nurturing and lovely home environment.  But I can't do it all.  We've spent the past month setting up our new home, making their rooms pretty and functional, and putting together a welcoming place for our family and friends.  The past week has been focused on hanging photos and artwork.  I'm serious that some days it has taken hours to put up one wall of pictures!

We've celebrated Christ's birth, we've celebrated the birthdays of both Steven Joseph and Mary Clare.  We've rung in the new year and had guests over to visit by the firepit last weekend and to celebrate Mary Clare's birthday yesterday.  We've found new furniture pieces and bought some functional things like bathmats, bed linens, and towel hangers.  But now.  Now is the time to stop focusing on my house, and start focusing on homeschooling!

Each new semester I look at our resources and textbooks and figure out what will and won't work again for the new semester.  I'm overall very happy with our book choices this year.  The only major thing I plan to change is Mary Clare's spelling program.  I was very hopeful that Phonetic Zoo would be a good fit, but I haven't seen the progress I'd hoped for, and the independent nature of the program has made it hard for me to keep tabs on what she's doing.  Not to mention, she doesn't like it!  I've been very pleased wtih All About Spelling, which I've been using with Ellie, and so I think I'm going to start Mary Clare on that tomorrow.

I need to order some new books.  Ellie finished her Phonics and Handwriting books, and Mary Clare is nearly finished with her Religion, Phonics and English.  I had planned to get a Math program to start with Steven this spring (considering Abeka K), and I also want to purchase All About Reading for him.  I'd like to do some more writing and copywork with the girls, and spend some more time on our Apologia Science, Nature studies, and Texas History.  Most important of all, this spring will be Ellie's First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion Preparations!  We'll continue reading Faith & Life (and workbook), the Baltimore Catechism, along with some of my favorite books I read with Mary Clare...The Weight of a Mass, King of the Golden City, and Blessed Imelda.  We need to continue to discern the timing and location of these sacraments, in hopes that she'll be receiving her First Communion around Easter.

The girls will continue with ballet lessons, even though Mommy is worn out with the drive across town since we've moved.  They'll actually be perfoming in Alice and Wonderland in March, each playing 4 parts in the ballet, so weekends will be busy with rehearsals.  Hopefully we'll be back to piano this week, although Mary Clare has lost interest again, so we'll be deciding if she'll continue.  Steven Joseph is back to his Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Montessori program one morning a week at church, and will probably play t-ball or soccer this spring.

I hope to continue with my Monday Motivation goals each week.  If anything, it keeps me thinking about dinner plans for the week.  I'm running the Color Me Rad 5K here in just a few weeks, so hopefully I can get into a little jogging routine soon.  I still plan to continue Zumba classes where I can; I'm considering joining a gym right down the street so I can do both running and classes.  I may go over there tonight and get my free week pass to see if I like it.  This week is one of the monthly Nature Club meetings at the Botanical Gardens.  I'd like to have a bit more of a plan for that (the past 2 visits have just been a stroll and social time for the families), and also to go there more often with my kids.

There are still a few things we want to finish in the house in the next few months.  We're looking for some outdoor furniture and a swing for the patio (the swing left here was rotting, so we had to take it down).  Our dining room needs a plan; we're hoping to make it a combination dining room and schoolroom.  Right now it's a junk room!  And all that's left to unpack are the non-children's books, which need a bookshelf in the living room.  The garage and a few places in the house need to be organized, but overall we've done a lot and I'm loving our new home!

We're having issues with our wireless internet, so I'm typing this on Steven's work laptop, but hopefully we'll get our main computer working downstairs again tonight, so I can type up our weekly checklists, load some birthday photos, and check up on bills and budgeting!

Here are my weekly goals:


Goals for this week:
1. Type up and print weekly homeschooling checklists (first get computer and printer working!)
2. Order new homeschooling books.
3. Pay bills and update addresses where needed.
4. Go to gym and get free week pass.
5. Daily readings on Laudate
6. Sacrament Prep time with Ellie
7. One daily Mass
8. Meals: Mon-Leftovers (grilled chicken/steak wraps or salad), Tues-Breakfast for dinner, Weds-Crockpot roast, Thurs-Baked chicken and rice, Fri-pizza, Sat-Grill/out, Sun-leftovers

Have a good week, friends!

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