Friday, January 04, 2008

My 10 Resolutions

My New Years Resolutions.
  1. Spend more time in the word of God
  2. Work on improving my marriage (this is my resolution every year)
  3. Work with my hubby on our budget and sticking to it
  4. Get organized
  5. Loose 15 pounds
  6. Find ways to give to others daily all year long
  7. Create wonderful memories for my children
  8. Have more fun adventures as a family (finding things for all 5 of us to do together)
  9. Find time to learn a new skill
  10. Blog often at least once a week

Resolution #10

Right now I will write about resolution #10 because it has to do with all of you more than the other things on my list. I guess I will try to write backwards on my list to number 1. I would like to blog daily but until I get a laptop and high speed internet I know I will not have the time to do that every day. I think even on a busy week I should be able to blog weekly. I am tempted to get a laptop and high speed my hubby told me I could over a year ago BUT it goes against my #3 resolution so until we have enough extra cash that isn't needed for something else I will not be doing that (I am too cheap to make the jump).

My plans for my blogging this year are.

#1 share pictures and stories with our family who lives far away.
Hi Mum Mum, Poppy, Granny Peacock, Uncle Gravy(Gary), and Lona (I am not sure Lona knows we have a blog) . We miss you all!

#2 Give back I would like to help others. I had some wonderful mentors who taught me how to play with/teach/ and have fun with my children.
Hi Shauna, and AmySue!
I will be forever grateful for all the time they spent helping me along the way.

My give back ideas for right now are.
Share a weekly science project. I have wanted to start this for a long time but I never seem to find the time. Now that I wrote it down I hope I feel obligated to find the time. Lots of people have asked me many times about science experiments/play/projects in the past and I feel bad that I haven't got around to sharing. I am going to try to share one idea a week. I am not a scientist but I do remember the projects my Dad did with me when I was younger and I have found many fun things online over the last 6 years. If I fall behind I think I should be able to post 4 simple easy quick ones all together (to equal 1 a week).

I would like to share 1 craft a week. Just something quick and fun that we come up with. I LOVE crafting but our "school" curriculum doesn't have much of that. We use a classical approach and our art class is more study artist and learn and copy the techniques kind of thing. I do see value in that but I enjoy the fun make up your own and experiment (color outside the lines and get messy) kind of thing. In the past when we fell behind, this is the thing we end up cutting out so we can catch up. I am happy to say we haven't had to cut this out yet this year (some how I am ahead of schedule). I hope that by writing this down now I will not cut this part out of our days if we do fall behind. I want to keep doing this even in the summer months. I have fond memories of my my mom's special craft box. I want to give my children the same memories.
Note to self.... I need to make up a special craft box like the one my mom had.

I would like to share a monthly preschool theme idea with you all. Maybe 10 or so ideas a month like my mitten madness project I did before.

I would like to share at least 1 game (homemade) a month.

I want to keep sharing some of the "ugly" parts of my days. Not that I really think it is "ugly". BUT I feel that it is the biggest struggle I have had with teaching/parenting my children. Figuring out the HOW to deal with it has been SO hard! I completely understand and respect people who have blogs that have only the happy times on them. I am a person who wonders HOW did they get that happy time? What do they do when it get hard? How do others deal with the not so perfect situations that come up? How did they have the time to do that? What are the other children doing when one is working on something? I know it is none of my business how people handle things like that but I always felt if I could read how others handle the hard times I would be able to learn how to deal better with them in my house. I feel that by sharing the troubles "tough times" I will be able to look back and "see" how I worked it out and build on that when Demi is Travis' s age or Zee is Demi's age. I hope that others will be able to read what happened and maybe "see" how I worked around it and hopefully they will come up with even a better way of dealing with it than I did. I have to say that the times when a baby is crying, a toddler is having a fit, or a school age boy is unhappy because he doesn't want to do his lessons, have been the HARDEST part of homeschooling for me. The issue that has made me want to give up on homeschooling, many times in the past, is the WHAT to do when someone is cranky or acting up! It wasn't socialization, sports, my ability to teach, what books to use, keeping records, making schedules or the other questions that people who don't homeschool ask about. It is simple little behavioral problems that make me want to quit. The same behavioral problems public school children have. The ones that public school children's parents can say "he learned that at school". I am in a situation that I can't blame it on the "bad" children in school or the teachers. I am the teacher and the naughty children in the class are all mine! I have to say this gives me a HUGE respect for teachers! They are the ones that get stuck with every child's behavioral problems. I can't be a teacher and blame it on the parents because again I am that "bad" parent who hasn't fixed the behavioral problem! It is the silly (frustrating) things like tipping in chairs, being loud, getting or pretending to be hurt, daydreaming, not feeling well, being selfish, pinching, pushing, teasing, and such, that is the stuff that ruins many of my good homeschooling days. I know they are not "bad" things they are normal child things. They are the same things all parents have to deal with even if they don't homeschool. I have learned enough ways to handle the bad times that sending the children to school doesn't enter my mind much at all anymore. I hope that if I keep sharing this you all will be able to see that you are not alone when this happens in your house. Maybe you will be able to take how I worked around it and come up with something better to work for you. I hope my children will be able to "see" if they ever hear about or read the things I write on this blog, that they will know I didn't write this stuff to hurt them or make them feel bad! I hope that they will laugh at the silly/naughty/ and normal kid things they did and see how much they have grown up. I hope everyone knows I am not trying to make my children look bad! I feel my children are children and do the same type of things other children do. Please understand that when I write my baby cries, my toddler yells, tosses toys, climbs the walls, and how my son says I can't do it, stomps, daydreams, or pokes along slowly, I am not saying that to make them look bad I am saying they are normal and wonderful and this is how we worked around this and got back on track. When I was a child everyone knew that I talked all the time (could not be quiet), I daydreamed a lot, and didn't work to my ability with my school work. I see notes on all my old report cards that say all of that. When I was young I often heard my mom say that to family and friends. I never felt my mom was saying I wasn't good enough. My parents always let me know how much they thought of me and how much they loved me. My children to me are not loved by how well they do school work or if they behave. I often think that is even a backwards statement for my house. Most of the time it seems the child struggling in my house with unpleasant behavior or school work is the one who needs most to hear, feel, and see how much they are loved and how special I think they are. I think the computer doesn't have my tone of voice so it is hard for you all to know what/how I am saying things and you don't get to see the love in our house. I don't take pictures of that stuff I just assume you all know it is happening. I feel that my children know my tone and what I am saying and they know how much I love them. I do tell and show them all the time how much I love them (I know all parents do this). Anyway, that is why I will keep writing about the troubles in our days when I have blogging time. I think it also keeps me grounded. I will never become better than others. I don't think I will ever think I am above anyone because that isn't my personality but I do want to keep myself grounded and humble because it is one of the things I like about myself. I think sharing my mistakes and struggles keeps me human and true to who I really am. I am a person who struggles and makes mistakes. Because of all my mistakes I am a person who learns a lot every day. Often I feel I am learning a lot more than my children.

I would like to add in some baby play ideas. I love all of the "first" I get to give and share with baby Z. Babies have so many wonderful firsts. First bath, first smile, first painting, first word, first tooth, first step and so on. Babies grow up so fast and I feel every second of her life counts so much. Yes she does cry a lot but I like to think that by me holding, rocking, walking, singing ,and letting her know I am with her when she is fussing or crying makes it a little better for her. Walking, talking and many others are first she will let me share with her. I like giving her the first I can. Firsts like footprint painting, touching/feeling cold, warm, wet, dry, soft, hard, hearing songs, telling stories and such are just a few of the firsts I get to give her. I hope that maybe sharing some of the special playtime I have with baby Zee maybe some other mom with a baby will paint footprints and get to have the same fun first I get to enjoy. I am the kind of person who LOVES hearing about people's best childhood memories and then I feel driven to give them all to my children. I know Zee will never remember her first time painting but I will always treasure that first and I love knowing I got to do it with her. I think I would cry if the first time she got to paint it was with a sitter, in a daycare, in school or such. I guess a big reason I homeschool is because I am selfish and I don't want someone else to get the special "firsts" with my children. I feel that a first grade teacher is lucky to be able to share the first time reading with children but I don't think she could treasure it in the way a parent would. I cried so many times when my son was learning to read. Anyway, I am once again rambling and getting way off track.

I hope that this year I find the time to blog many of my reading and math ideas. I once was a mom who thought I wouldn't be able to teach my children to read and do all preschool math skills! I bought many very expensive things to teach reading and math. I feel that toy makers/teaching supply creators know that parents feel they might miss something important if we teach without bright, bold, fancy instructions/ materials made by someone with the proper training to invent them. They know we often feel that we NEED to buy something expensive to teach reading and basic math or we will "miss" something important and our precious children will never be able to recover from our mistakes! Ever watch a HOP commercial? I myself fell for this. When Travis was 2 he taught himself to read (I am not sure how he did this). I didn't know what to do and I thought I was going to hurt him by not teaching correctly! I talked to Rob and we together decided to call HOP and purchase the entire set so we could teach our child (who was already reading) how to read! LOL! I think HOP is a good program but I don't think we needed it and it isn't a perfect fit for all children! We had to move things around adjust things and even bribe at the end just to finish it up. I feel it was made to help children who have lots of trouble learning to read. It didn't seem to work as well with a child who was already reading. We did it all from the beginning to the very end. I guess I felt I wanted to get my monies worth so even though Travis was reading at a 4th grade level I felt like I needed to bribe him to finish the HOP books that were way below his reading level at that time just to be sure I didn't "miss" something important. We liked many of the reading and math things we bought but I didn't feel any of them should have had the large price tags they had on them! I had to change things around to get all of them to work with "fit" my children (yes, HOP was not our only large purchase). Looking back I can say that the simple things I made myself worked better than the things we bought. I think that if I write out what works for me maybe it will help someone else. I hope to find the time to do this sometime this year.

I want to try to keep my blogging evenly split between 1. what fun Travis is doing by sharing fun learning things I make up for him to play/learn with 2. Preschool learning fun with Demi. 3. baby play. Baby play will not even out for a couple more months because it is impossible for me to snap pictures of her when I am holding her doing things.

I want to share more of our routine, schedule, storage and such as I have the time. I KNOW I have a long way to go to get a perfect routine and an organized storage system going but I feel sharing what I am doing might help someone with no system. I dream of having better systems like so many of you already have but I doubt I will get that done this year because life with a baby and toddler is a bit crazy.

I have other ideas but I can already see that I have a LOT down in writing and I am a person who always feels I need to reach my goals so I will not write anymore. I will try to write about my #9 resolution sometime next week.


Grumpy said...

Wow those are some awesome resolutions... good luck! :)

I just wanted to say I can't wait to see what things come up in the craft box. I need to create one of those for us too! :)

Kate in NJ said...

Yeah! I can't wait for more of your ideas!!

Heather said...

bring on the ideas I am ready to steal them...ahem I mean borrow them. LOL