Thursday, January 10, 2013

Getting Back on Track

Like most years, surrounding the holiday season, our homeschool gets a little ... let's say, creative.  We begin each year with a plan and a pattern for each day, but by Thanksgiving, I start making things up as I go and depending on what each day holds as far as extracurricular stuff.  Let's face it, Christmastime lends itself to a lot of extracurricular activities.

Anyway, our "holiday season" was extended this year due to my additional trip to California.  So this week, I've still be playing things a bit by ear.

My goal is to sit down over the weekend and get a regular lesson plan in place for next week.  The kids are looking forward to some normalcy, even though it means usually a little more work each day.

Over the month of December (with a little bit of November and January), we have still managed to pull in some fun and educational times.  To name a few of them...
  • We traveled the Turquoise Trail up to Santa Fe, making stops along the way in various locations (unfortunately most of them closed this time of year, but it was a good scouting trip for future field trips).
  • We attended the local Veterans Day ceremony and met the mayor.
  • We went to the aquarium and completed their educational scavenger hunt.
  • H got x-rayed and we all got to examine the structure of his leg.
  • We did a lot of baking (well, not me, but, C and the kids).
  • We visited the Bosque del Apache in Socorro and discussed migration and other bird related things.
  • We did several arts and crafts.
  • We visited the International Museum of Folk Art in Santa Fe.
  • We got a lot of exercise when we visited local parks and rode bikes outside.
  • We visited several local Christmas festivities, one that included watching a brass band and a chorus of bells as they performed (separately).
  • We served others when opportunities arose (making snowflakes for Sandy Elementary, serving in various ministries at church, supporting others while they were sick or upset).
  • Everyone wrote their little personal evaluation about this year to include in our family's annual year book.
  • We all received new technology and learned to use it!
  • Dance classes went on, homeschooling classes at the library and other local field trips were attended by all.
  • There were a lot of organizing, listing, budgeting and shopping lessons as usual this time of year.
  • The kids performed in their annual performance for Christmas -- learned all those songs!
  • We increased map skills and patience as we made a two-day trip to California and another two days traveling home.
  • We had some good discussions about death and eternity surrounding my grandmother's passing.
  • Kids learned to share the household load (better) while Mama was away.
All good stuff and I don't think this is even all of it.   But for those of you who worry that the kids fell behind in their typical studies, they didn't.  We may not have gone over math five days every week, but they did continue progressing through math, reading, writing and other subjects, as I filled in gaps with regular kinds of lessons.

It was a good change of pace and I think we all appreciated that.

Like I said, though, next week, we're going to try to get back into the rhythm of things.

Meanwhile, C decided to do the Paleo 30-day challenge starting this past Tuesday when I got home.  I joined him in following Paleo much more strictly than I was over the holidays, to refresh my focus and perspective about eating well.  It's going great.  C is learning a lot (and doing great!) and because this is my second time, it's not as difficult to let go of the grains and sugars as it was the first few days of this challenge last time.

How has your new year begun?


  1. I was inspired by your Paleo posts and decided to give it a try this month. I'm in the phase of craving bread right now - just give me a cookie! :-) The thinking ahead part and cooking are my main challenges. If I would have found time to meal plan it would have helped. But I feel great and have even lost some weight. My main goal is to clean out a bit from my normal eating habits, which consist a lot of bread and dairy. So thanks for being an inspiration!

  2. Wow! I inspired someone? Thank you so much. You just made my evening.

    Those bread/cookie cravings will pass as your body gets used to not having it. I still see baked goods and think, "yum," but I can pass by without crying now. :)

    Congratulations on some weight loss and hope you continue pressing forward and enjoying the benefits of feeling better, healthier, stronger. Thank you so much for your comment.

  3. Oh! I meant to add that I'm pretty terrible at meal-planning, too. I end up reverting to a lot of eggs and frozen veggies that we usually have on hand. However, my husband loves to shop per meal, so I've been really blessed with fresh, exciting choices when he's available to cook.

    I will admit that I'm getting a little braver in the kitchen, too. I really don't like cooking, but I'm finding out that I prefer having something freshly made then just resorting to eggs or some boring salad every day while he's at work. So I guess Paleo is improving me beyond physical health. It's growing me as a person.

  4. Good to see that things are getting back to normal. (I,actually, think you get a lot more teaching done everyday than most people.) I hope everyone's health is good. I completely lost my voice yesterday and today, but I actually feel pretty good. When I babysit, tomorrow, the kids will have to listen more carefully to my whispers. (That is, if my voice hasn't returned.)

    Congratulations to you and C for your getting back on the diet.

    Love, Mom

  5. "Pass by without crying," haha! :-) Yeah, for the most part I can walk on by without a problem, but every once in a while something gets stuck in my brain. I am not giving in though! Sometimes it's easier for me to be all or nothing which is part of why Paleo appealed to me.

    I've been trying the fresh route and branching into new veggies and various fruits. It's a little easier since I only have myself to worry about cooking for.

    Oh, and I should introduce myself. I'm your sister J's friend K. I love your blog for many reasons. I was home schooled myself, so it's fun to see what you do with your kids. It's also neat to hear about your travels. In fact, reading about you guys at Arches was the start of a road trip plan my friend and I did last summer. I guess that's twice now you've inspired me! Keep up the good work! :-)

  6. Oh! Hi K! I was wondering who you were, but since you didn't have any info in your profile, I figured you were keeping a low one. Welcome.

    It's really encouraging to get your feedback. Thank you so much!

  7. You are am inspiration I am now going to commit to my paleo lifestyle now that I know I have someone to swap recipes with on Sunday :-)

  8. Thank you so much, Vanessa! It's people like you and others who read (and comment) on my blog who keep me feeling inspired. I love it.