Being Quiet

Me: “David…Elias and Solveig are taking their naps.  Silje was up early to watch the wedding, so she needs a rest time too.  I need to you be very quiet for a little bit.”
 David: “You need me to be really quiet?”
Me: “Yes.”
David: “So everyone can sleep?”
Me: “Yes.”
David: “Can I talk at all?”
Me: “No.”
David: “Not even a little bit?”
Me: “No.”
David: “Am I being quiet now?”
Me: “No.”
David: “I need to be quieter?”
Me: “Yes.”
David: “Because people are trying to sleep?”
Me: “Yes.”
David: “It’s good to be quiet?”
Me: “Yes.  David?”
David: “What?”
Me: “Be. quiet.”
David: “Ok, Mommy.  I’ll be quiet.”
David: “I’ll let everyone sleep.”
David: “I won’t make a sound.”
David: “I’ll be really quiet like this.”
David: “I’ll try not to crash my race cars really loud.”
Me: “David?  Be quiet.  Now.  That means no talking.”
David: “No talking at all?”
David: “Are you happy that I’m such a good boy for being so quiet?”
Me: “David, I don’t want to hear another sound.”
David: “I love you so much, Mommy.”

I’m not making this up.  He’s genuinely trying his best.

Which brings me to my third cup of coffee…

Homeschool Friday

 (cartoon used with permission from The Family Man)

I find it more difficult to blog lately.  I’m going to blame it mostly on the fact that we took away the television almost 2 weeks ago, now.  I must admit, the second week is a bit tougher than the first.  The kids have not asked for it, but there have been times in the last week where I just want them to get away from me and let me finish just one thought, and have caught the words “go watch a movie” only milliseconds before they come out of my mouth.  Then I have to fight the words from coming out because I just want to be left alone for a few minutes!

(Here are the kids the day after our weekly trip to the library that actually happened this week.)

I think I’ve survived because Solveig finally goes to bed when the other kids do, instead of staying awake until midnight.  I finally have my evenings back to sew or do as I please.  I showed up to homeschool group on Tuesday afternoon with my kids, and one of my friends asked me how I was.  I looked up and said “is this where I drop my kids off for school and day care?  Show me where to sign.”  She laughed and put her arm around me, and said, we’ve all been there.  I know that.  Sometimes the touching and talking and questions and noise gets to be so overwhelming.  Going without the television breaks has been tough, but I’m glad I’ve stuck it out.

It was funny, though, that during David’s story time at homeschool group, we were reading a story about all the animals coming out in Spring.  David started talking about an animal he knew about.  The mom reading (the same one who put her arm around me) asked him if he ever saw that animal.  “Only on t.v.” he said.  This happened about 3 other times, and I was in shock that we haven’t watched t.v. for 2 weeks and he still just talks about t.v.  He does do other things, I promise!  I felt like defending myself to the other moms.  They all knew we’d given up t.v. for the summer, so they were just giggling whenever David brought up his list of favorite shows to the class over and over again.

As I said on Wednesday, we’re reading The Wheel on the School and that’s been a lot of fun.  I got lots of copies of the handwriting masters from our new program, and have been working with Silje on that so much more and let me tell you, it has been so nice!  One whole page she had filled with the lowercase “a.”  All but 2 were perfect.  She got a huge high 5 for that, and she was able to tell me what happened to the 2 incorrect ones without me even prompting.  She said, “Well, with this one I started the circle at 12 o’clock instead of 2 o’clock, and with the other one, I pulled straight down from 2 o’clock instead of pulling down from 3 o’clock, which made my line cut inside the circle.”  If you couldn’t tell, you learn to write by the points on a clock.  It’s amazing to me that she sees where she went wrong herself, self corrected, and she’s picking it up so quickly!  Not only that, it’s not “this letter is neater than this one,” but there are objective rules to follow. 

Kids love rules.  I don’t care what anyone says.  They’re always ready to point out what is fair and not fair.  What is right and wrong.  They love knowing these things.  So having objective rules for handwriting is so far a hit in our house.  Plus, we’re getting more familiar with the clock, and she’s learning to pay attention to details.

David still likes to just trace the circles for the handwriting.  I haven’t moved him to letters yet.  I’ve explained to him the points on the clocks, and he practices staying on the dotted circle line, and starting and stopping at the right points.  I think that’s all he can do at his age, but I’m so pleased he’s even willing to do that.  Silje obviously has a huge upper hand to David with much better fine motor skills.  She’s been writing for years, and coloring even longer.  Although he’s only 15 months younger, he’s just recently been still enough to hold a crayon or paintbrush.  I also see that if he’s not in the mood to write, there is no point in making him.  He cannot follow a circle to save his life when there are ants in his pants.  The only thing to do is to get him some shoes and send him out to ride his bike in the yard for a long time, and hope he’s settled in the afternoon.

At any rate, so far we’re a fan of The Works People and their program.  Although I still think the program would benefit from a professional technical writer to organize the information in a better way.  Other than that, it’s just genius.

I’ve lost my temper a few times extra this week.  I’ve been frustrated.  I’ve been blessed.  I worry that I push too hard, like always.  I’ve finally found a definition for my homeschooling philosophy: overkill.  Finding the balance between letting kids be kids, and trying to raise a respectful, polite, thoughtful, compassionate child is really tough.  Having no escape from each other is a coin that has two sides.  It’s so good, and sometimes so annoying.

Fortunately, Silje is always quick to forgive, and I try to be quick to apologize.  That’s the best way to have a relationship, I think.  The struggle with most relationships, whether a marriage, or friends, or parent/child, is the struggle of sin.  We all do it:  Silje, me, Knut, everyone.  This process of homeschooling, I think has been so refining for both Silje and I this year.  Hard things are often the best things.  If they weren’t so hard, they wouldn’t be so good.

Side note, I’m up for a top 25 homeschool blog.  If you like reading the homeschool posts, than click on the little button to the left now, or if it strikes your fancy, every day until the 11th of May.  I know I’m not that big of a blogger compared to the others, but it’d still be kinda cool.

It’s Warm Enough

To weed.  I know, I know.  You’re all excited.  Me too.

Trust me when I say, it’s not all that bad if you have the right sort of company with you.

Silje finished her lessons as quickly as humanly possible, and the boys headed outside too.  I haven’t looked at her work yet, but Silje was working for a long time in the strawberry patch, which is her weeding assignment for the year.  I need to go down there and help her out once the flower garden is done.  The strawberry plants are coming up like crazy this year–way more plants than last year.  The area is so full of grass that it needs to be tended to asap.

I spent some serious time edging out the front flower bed, and with any luck, it might actually get done today.  I cannot wait for those tulips to bloom.  I just love a big pitcher of flowers on the kitchen table.  It makes me want to do dishes and keep everything else clean.  Seriously, I don’t think there is any better motivation to keep a kitchen clean than a bouquet of flowers. 

Won’t it be nice to see it all weed free?  Even if it is only for one day.  If I can get finish it up today, then tomorrow I’ll help with the strawberry patch.  After that, the gardens around the house.  And of course, going back over all of those again, and again, and again. 

The vegetable garden needs to go in soon, and I’ve just been to the Country Store to get my seeds, and picked up some chick supplies too.  Our chicks are coming the week of May 10th, and I have a feeling that’s closer than I think.

David decided to ride his bike, and then decided that he just wanted to run.  He ran around the yard, having elaborate races in his head for almost an hour this afternoon.  I was impressed. 

The 2 older kids and Knut are planning on getting out the helmets tonight and going on a long bike ride together.  As the ground is slowly drying up, we all know it’s only a matter of days, perhaps less, when he’ll be in the fields until past bedtime.

Tea Tray is Set

Our tea tray is set for tomorrow morning’s festivities.  I just need to finish the scones tonight and have them ready.  Pre-wedding coverage starts at 4am.  The wedding is at 5am live.  Silje, Solveig and I plan on watching, (with fancy hats over our bed-heads of course!) while drinking our tea, and eating our scones. 

Are you?  Or are you like Knut and are wondering who in the world are “William and Kate” and so what if they’re getting married?