One of the lovely things about home educating is that we can enjoy a much slower pace of life. I certainly do not miss the manic mornings from the boys' short schooling experience, the mad rush to get everyone out of the door on time with everything needed for the day. Those days were characterised by a constant feeling of being in a hurry, of never having enough time to get everything done that needed to be done. Life with four children can still feel a bit like that, but it is not the same. Busy weeks like this one feel rushed, and I have to admit, I am no longer used to it. I don't like it.
Monday was my third son's birthday, so the night before, I was busy getting organised for that. He had a sleepover at the weekend with his oldest and most treasured friend as well as a family meal out with his grandparents,too. On Monday, my parents visited again, and, later in the day, he had a friend over for dinner and a movie. Thankfully, I was relieved of cake duty this year as he opted for his Dad's speciality tiramisu instead!
Tuesday was a quieter day, but we had to catch up on all we hadn't done on Monday - as well as preparing for Wednesday! Monday is usually our chores afternoon, so we had to get the house tidied and cleaned on Tuesday this week. And there was shopping to be done and organisation for a manic Wednesday. My eldest son had also managed to hurt his ankle scooting which became an excuse for not wanting to go to school. This led to conversations with the school about his learning which added pressure to an already busy week.
Wednesday morning began with a phone call to the doctor as the ankle, bruised and swollen, was a cause for concern. Appointment to see the doctor squeezed in during the afternoon. Meanwhile, my usual Wednesday morning international women's group saw the house fill with women and preschoolers for a lively games morning - and much laughter.
After a rushed lunch, and a flying visit from my Dad to collect youngest grandson for an overnight stay, the other two boys and I were off to our weekly home ed sports meet-up, which I think is still the highlight of their week. They played ultimate frisbee with a whole bunch of home schooled kids of all ages in the mild February air whilst a friend and I took a walk. Dropped our friends home, and rushed back with two extra kids on board to meet another friend for our human anatomy co-op. It was my turn to lead our workshop on the muscular system, including our attempts to construct a model arm illustrating antagonistic muscle action. Meanwhile youngest son is having a lovely time at his grandparents' learning about colossal squids and producing some lovely paintings of underwater creatures. My husband took our oldest son to the doctor and, by evening, I was too tired to make my monthly crafting session with friends.
Thursday, it was quiet in the morning with my smallest son away. The other two boys and I did some readalouds and they then got on with their work whilst I had a cuppa and chat with a friend of mine who is considering educational options for her daughter and wanted to pick my brains. Hurried lunch again, then off we rushed to see Stomp! - the West End production at our local Arts Centre. I had organised a group booking for home ed families at schools' rate. This is a show I have long wanted to see, so I leapt at the opportunity to get reasonable tickets. It was a fantastic performance - so full of energy, and real boy appeal. My third son, in particular, loved it. My 13-year-old is at the age where everything seems to be "Meh" (shrug)!
From the theatre, we rushed to a meeting at eldest son's school about his learning style (!) Thursday evening, the two middle boys were on a night hike with their scout group, and eldest went off to his church home group. My Dad and brother arrived with littlest son returned and popped straight into bed.
This morning, we were off again to a home ed group we attend once every two months about half an hour's drive away. Several things caused us to arrive slightly late - including a petrol stop and a traffic jam! - but it was a great session on animation. Even my 4-year-old was able to create under-sea characters with plasticene and playdough and animate a short film on the iPad with his older brother's help. He also made a zoetrope.
After the session finished and we had had our lunch, we drove straight over to the boys' friends, dropping one and picking up another. Back at home, another friend joined us, so all the boys had 'friend time' this afternoon.
Then it was off to church youth where all the parents congregate and children are returned. Second son is on a sleepover tonight .... Three are home now, one in bed already .... Phew! These home ed families. All they do is sit at home all day. And, goodness, how on earth do they socialise?? I am ready for a quieter weekend ....