Monday, September 5, 2011

Homeschooling - First day of the new year...and modeling a positive life outlook...surviving...

I kept saying and writing that Tuesday would be our first official day of homeschooling.  But, on paper, I planned our year to start today, Monday!  Oops...but, that's such a relatively minor mixup that I'm not stressing about it.  And, we start our school year super slow anyhow, so it won't really make any difference whether we start today or tomorrow.

As I've posted before, I plan our homeschool lessons several weeks at a time using Microsoft Word.  For a while I used Excel, but once I learned how to create tables in Word, I was in love and have never looked back (tutorial to come later this week)!  Our first two weeks will be focused on reading and science - two of my son's favorite school-related activities.  In week three, we will add creative writing, with my son working on a story he started over summer.  Week four will see the addition of math, grammar, daily journaling, and geography.  By week five, I hope to have recieved our requested materials from The Book Samaritan, and will revise everything on our lesson plans from that point forward.  Also, depending on what is in the box, I may order Teaching Textbooks and some curriculum from Sonlight which covers World History, and literature.  As the fall progresses, I also have a number of unit studies planned for science, literature, and writing.  I'm so excited to still be homeschooling!  Every year we love it a bit more...homeschooling certainly isn't for everyone, but for us it really works!

Here's a sneak peek at our first week - as I stated, we start slow, so this chart looks pretty empty! 

Monday  9/5

Language Arts

The Castle in the Attic Ch 1 to 3
The Castle in the Attic Ch 4 to 5
The Castle in the Attic Ch 6 to 7

The Castle in the Attic Ch 8 to 9

pH Scale

A Brief History of Time – Acknow. to pg 13

Acids and Bases

A Brief History of Time – Ch 2
Turmeric Base

A Brief History of Time – Ch 3

Amazing Egg Day 1 (Sat/Sun – 3 and 4)

A Brief History of Time – Ch 4
Social Studies


Homeschool Group Picnic

Golf Program Parent Meeting

Everything we need for the first several weeks fits in this neat and tidy little pile:
In the middle of our homeschooling, we are still experiencing problems with our plumbing, and I am hoping the repair guys come back Tuesday.  They seemed unsure if they would be here Tuesday or Wednesday as they also have a job to do on another floor of our building.  Meanwhile, we have lost all water pressure in the kitchen sink, and the toilet has decided to go from a continuous flushing cycle, back to normal, to now only sort of half-flushing...yikes and gross!  I also have a freelance design project to work on, my homeschool research project, my grad school classes starting back up, and tutoring starting again.  It will be a busy, busy week!

This morning, I also came upon a post called "Complaining or Glorifying" on the M.O.B. (Mothers of Boys) Society blog. The post asks us, as parents, to consider how we model behavior for our children.  Do they see us complaining when things don't go our way?  Do we fall apart and cry or get angry?  Do our children model this behavior back to us as they go about their daily lives?  How can we change our own behavior to have a positive impact on the behavior of our children?  By no means am I perfect, but I feel that now I am a much better emotional role model for my son than I have ever been before.  I changed my attitude dramatically when my son was about three years old.

I was not in a good state emotionally, and was in a relationship with JP's dad which was emotionally, mentally, and verbally abusive for both myself, and my son.  It was easy to complain, be angry, be depressed, and so on.  I was exhausted all the time.  I was ashamed that I had let myself fall into such a situation.  I was embarrassed.  My son saw me cry, not just a little, not just in the worst of times, but pretty much every day for his first three years of life.  He saw his dad and I engaged in an emotional battle, with his father winning through means of humiliation and manipulation every time.  Then, when my son was three, two things happened.

First, while seeing my primary care doctor for a routine visit, he suggested that I see the new therapist that had just joined the medical practice...I resisted for a few months, but finally broke down and made an appointment.  It was one of the best decisions I have ever made.  When you are hurting so much, you need help.  For some it is embarrassing, and shameful to seek out or accept outside help, but the situation I was in was so much more embarrassing that I needed to seek outside help.  When you need help, push aside your pride, find some humility and strength, and seek out whatever help you the end, it is an act of strength and courage, and may save your life, or the life of your children, especially if you are in an abusive relationship.  With the help of my therapist, I was able to put into place a plan to finish my undegraduate course work and obtain my Bachelor's Degree.  I was able to develop emotional and verbal defenses to my ex's abuse, and I planned an escape for my son and I.  We managed to finally leave a year later, and began rebuilding our lives.  (More in this post.)

Second, I was browsing in a bookstore and came upon a book that reinforced what I already believed as a parent, and encouraged me to grow in my role as a mother and mentor to my son.  The book is The 10 Greatest Gifts I Give My Children: Parenting from the Heart  by Steven Vannoy, and I can honestly say it transformed my daily interactions with my son.  I encourage every parent to read it, and have faith in it.  You can build a strong, healthy, positive relationship with your child.  You can reinforce the strong, healthy, positive relationship you already have with your child.  But, it does take practice.  Changing your relationships, and your own outlook on life is not an easy task.  It takes time.  Be patient with yourself.  Keep trying.  You are worth it, and so are those you love.

Thank you those that read my blog, comment, and follow.  I hope you found something of support or encouragement in what I've written today, whether it be related to homeschooling, surviving domestic abuse, or relating better to your children.  I thank you for stopping by.  


  1. I just started the homeschool year today, too. I wasn't planning on doing science today, but we found a dead bat in our backyard!

    I can totally relate to a toilet not flushing properly, since our downstairs bathroom has been that way for a long time.

    And I'm glad you were able to have the strength to leave an abusive situation. Some of my dearest Christian friends are divorced, not because they wanted to, but because of severe abuse. God is the God of healing, as is evidenced in your life and in mine.

  2. I spent my son´s first two years as a single mother carrying around a lot of anger. It's painful not to be able to go back in time and erase the moments when I wasn't the greatest mother. On the other hand, I know that part of the reason my son and I are so close is because we have been through hard times together. I believe that the sons of our generation of kick-ass mothers will be a new kind of men - not because they had bad fathers, but because they had brave and independent mothers who stood up for themselves and followed their passions. More power to you Malea, you rock!

  3. I hope you have a great first week!

  4. I'm sorry you had to experience abuse. So glad you were able to get out of that situation!
    How did the first day go? I decided today was our official first day and had the kids do some independent work while I worked on their rooms (full of boxes and bags from the move). I should go check how they did... :)

  5. Great post! I've watched myself grew and change a lot over the years I've been a parent. I'm not sure what kind of person I would be today without the push to be a better parent. I'm a new follower--looking forward to the tutorial.


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