I am literally writing this a second time because the airport wifi just knocked me out of the system and my entire blogpost did not save! As I teach my students in "The Gratitude Project" we must focus on what is working, not on what is not working. So, I will focus on the fact that I have a laptop, I have wifi (sorta) and I am sipping my favorite coffee. I am also waiting to fly to Florida where I will be able to help out other family members, something not everyone can just pick up and go do. Today, I am thankful for a work from home career that is mobile!
Activities, Planning and Positive Thinking
The National Archive in Washington DC was the highlight of the week. We attended a military promotion ceremony that was conducted right in front of the Constitution and The Declaration of Independence. This was an easy one to mix into the homeschool academic curriculum, especially when you throw in checking out The Magna Carta and a wonderful display educating people on America's path toward freedom. I would highly suggest a trip to visit these documents if you can. Of course, throwing in a unit study on these documents ahead of time wouldn't hurt the intellectual experience for adults and children alike. It's all about intellectual wellness friends. It just feels good to know stuff!
The week ended with a quick hop to Florida to help out and visit family. As a homeschool family, you may wonder how this works. How do you get your household ready? How do you put others in charge of your homeschool? How do you ensure wellness is kept a priority? Here is the key friends, you just make a choice to let go and breathe. Perfection will hold you down if you let it. I admit, I have let perfection take hold a time or two and it ALWAYS results in higher stress levels.
Plan and then let it go!
I want to ensure they are not eating fast food or stressing too much about prepping or cooking. They will be taking on my responsibilities, plus keeping up with their own.
I made a crustless quiche last week to help them have an easy, healthy breakfast. If they would like something other than this, they can go for it! However, it feels good to know they have healthy breakfast available and ready!
While I was making the quiche, I was cooking Italian sausage, with sauce, in the crockpot. This made 2 containers of pasta & Italian sausage for lunches. We don't eat much pasta in our house (maybe once a year) but the reality is that when I asked my daughter what she wanted for lunches, she said pasta. We NEVER have pasta in our house, we have zucchini noodle or kelp noodles. This is where the perfectionist mentality can creep in. If a home cooked meal will help my family avoid highly processed fast food, it works! So, at my daughter's request, she will get pasta. The sausage adds additional protein that helps balance out the meal (especially for an athlete). My daughter likes to snack on raw veggies, so adding a small portion of raw veggies on the side would be ideal.
The letting go process begins here. In the past, I have been known to make full freezer dinners ahead of time. I decided, I could relieve a little stress and create a lighter workday for myself if I delegated this. This will also allow the family members to spend some time together cooking! Honestly, it doesn't get better than that. Our kids need to know how to cook and feel comfortable in the kitchen before going off on their own. It is SO important. I admit to buying all the groceries, making a list of meals and printing out the recipes, but they can do the rest.
Don't expect perfection! I committed to work at least 1 subject with my daughter on a weekend when I get back. This will allow us to spend some time together in a productive way when I get home and help ease her workload for the week as well.
Sitting together, we looked at what needed to be accomplished that week. We set out a plan for each day of the week, excluding the morning I left. I let her decide what order she would like to place things and then added them to the written weekly plan. We discussed what to ask Dad for help with & how to accomplish things in a timely manner. This is a nice accountability lesson and the responsible "stand in" teacher can use the written plan to ensure everything gets accomplished.
If you are like most homeschool families, much "home" school is actually done elsewhere. Or you may have athletic activities, music or STEM classes. The coordination of all of this may seem daunting, but what I have come to realize is that as long as you are being fair and not asking TOO much, most of your friends are really willing to help. Be prepared however to help them when they need it! Better yet, start now, so that they know you are a helper too! It's just good to do.
With the help of 2 other homeschool parents, we were able to keep the schedule flowing smoothly.
Thank goodness for the GizmoGadget, which also allowed for great communication between everyone helping out and my daughter while I was gone. This also allowed me to see her location and communicate one on one with her myself. The GizmoGadget allows communication without giving into the world of social media and iPhones at an age that I, personally, do not feel is helpful to the wellbeing of most tweens.
So here's to the flexibility of homeschool, making challenging life events work and letting go!