Friday, July 22, 2011

Happy Things and Stuff to Look Forward To

Nearly a month since I surfaced here. Many good things and new things going on and coming up:

1. Last year my husband and I were very nose-to-the-grindstone about homeschooling. We partnered up and split the teaching duties and kept at it all year, which was great. In the end, we didn't have as great a sense of accomplishment as we would have liked. In addition, with every available day dedicated to schooling, the kids had no activities, other than Upward basketball season. I had grown increasingly concerned about their lack of friends and social opportunities, and was plotting and planning about how we could take the time and do the driving to whatever activities, co-ops, or whatever that we could scare up for the coming school year.

As it turned out, I came across Classical Conversations. A friend told me about it a couple years ago when I was in no position to have any interest in it. This time, though, I was ready, and it seemed like it could be a good fit. One day a week for all of us to go to a neighboring town to meet with our fellow CC'ers, the boys will get to make friends, teacher training for my husband and me is built right in because we will stay for the entire day and be involved in classes, and the boys get the nudge of being somewhat accountable to their tutors in their classes. Basically, it addresses all of the weak spots I felt we were having, plus it looks like a very challenging program with a measurable goal for each subject, which I think will be good for us and give us that sense of accomplishment that we've been missing. Looks like CC will replace most of what we've been doing for school, and will change a lot around here. We are ready for a change, so I hope this is a good fit.

I've not been interested in the classical approach to education before. All of the books I knew on the subject(The Well-Trained Mind, Teaching the Trivium) sounded so formal and hoity-toity and stuck up, a free spirited gal like me just didn't have even the slightest interest in joining up. This year as I watched the videos and saw a lot of fun, a lot of action, and nothing that looked stodgy to me, I decided it just might work for us.

It is expensive compared to what we've done so far. Thankfully we were able to get the financial end of things all worked out, so it's all systems go for starting in late August. Two of my boys are excited and two don't want to do it. Hopefully it will work out good for all and be a positive year. (otherwise, boy howdy!, we will have spent a lot of money and effort to be miserable for a school year....)

2. My mom is moving to live near me! After 20 years of living approximately 12 hours away from each other, I am more than ready to get to hang out with my mom on a regular basis. We are very excited, and now my kids will have access to even more grandparents, which is really awesome. It was great for me to grow up with grandparents nearby, so I am glad to finally have this chance for my own kids.

3. My husband and I got to travel to IL for the wedding of one of my cousins. I had never gotten to meet any of these family members before, because they are from my mom's birth family that she never got to meet. We've been in touch with some of this new branch of our family tree for about a year now, and I've gotten to be friendly with this one cousin thanks to facebook. It was a very lovely and positive experience to be welcomed into the family and get to spend time with 3 cousins, my aunt and her husband, and the various children and extended family members. Very glad that we went!

4. My husband and I will be celebrating our 20th anniversary soon! Funny how it doesn't seem that long, and also seems like forever that we've been together. Our trip was our opportunity for an anniversary getaway.

5. My daughter is starting high school in a few weeks, and is already busy in marching band. My oldest is done with high school and is now working while he figures out what else he'd like to do. We are looking forward to marching season and all of the contests! Hopefully my mom will be moved here in time to enjoy them along with us.

6. Treadmill: I have wanted a treadmill for a long time, and my husband always pointed out how much space they take up, and how often people get them but don't use them. He would also point out our rebounder and say "You could just bounce!" Yeah, well, I do like to bounce, but not for miles. And as my weight has creeped back on (yeah, creepy!) and my ability to go walking has come to a screeching halt, and as the fitness center in town closed, something had to change. I decided to try out my idea of wanting a treadmill and see if it would work well for me. I put a shout-out on facebook, and don'tcha know, someone offered me a free one! We got it the other day and so far it is providing fun and exercise for all of the kids, one dog, and myself. I used to walk 2 miles most days with my friend Kim. Right now doing a mile feels challenging. So, I've got some work to do. I'm trying to add a tenth of a mile onto my distance each day. With a bazillion pounds to lose, I gotta get crackin'.

Out of time. This concludes today's edition of Happy Things.