A photo I didn't have a chance to share a few weeks ago -- how did these kids get so grown up?!
My timing has been off this week -- on Tuesday I was convinced it was the end of the week and I needed to start writing my weekly wrap-up, but then I couldn't remember what had happened during the week. By the time Friday did roll around, I got my post mostly written and then forgot about it until Sunday afternoon. Oh, well. : )
I have a newish routine for my Mondays. Ryne's Classical Conversations class is 30 minutes away from our house, so in the past I've either stuck around at CC -- sometimes attending Ryne's classes, sometimes running errands, and sometimes just hanging out in the car reading or even taking a nap! The one thing that didn't make sense was wasting all that time and gas money to drive back home.
Last week, I joked about how my kids were excited to get to ride the yellow school bus, and I must admit I've had my share of yellow school bus fantasies. How wonderful it would be to have the house to myself. Peace and quiet, productivity, a chance to do the things I can never get done when everyone else is home. Writing it out sounds so selfish and trivial, but I know I can't be the only one who feels this way from time to time. Okay, daily. ; )
Last month, I dropped Ryne off at CC and then headed home because I desperately needed to get something done at home. I don't even remember what the emergency was, but I remember having my yellow school bus moment and thinking, this is the life! Now, don't get me wrong. This past summer God gave me the confirmation and conviction that homeschooling Ryne through high school is what I'm called to do and I'm honored to be able to do it. But that one Monday at home convinced me that it is worth the cost of time and money to have 4-5 hours at home alone. I get a LOT done and it starts out my week on a relaxing tone. Now that I've decided that this is generally what my Monday routine is going to be, I'm starting to tweak how I want to structure the day.
This past Monday was spent mostly in the kitchen, making food for that night's cross country team awards banquet. As I made a quadruple batch of bacon breadsticks and baked a pumpkin dump cake, I watched The Lost Tools of Writing DVDs that I've been meaning to get to for the past year and half. See why I'm liking this new routine? : )
If an emotional breakdown was prevented during Anna's last cross country meet, there was no getting off the hook at the banquet that night. The banquet lasts almost 4 hours, but that's because our amazing coach talks about each athlete and how they contributed to the team -- not just athletically, but through their spiritual character traits. I was so blessed by the things said about both our kids. It was a special night!
Tuesday and Wednesday were just normal routine days, and I just want to say I LOVE normal routine days! It's been such a whirlwind this fall, that we really take notice when we have the opportunity to just buckle down and get things done. Ryne only has a couple weeks left in the CC semester, so the easier schedule is timely.
One thing I'm so glad I decided to do this year is take algebra along with Ryne. Until this week, that just meant watching the Math U See lesson with him and then I'd take the test myself to make sure I was following the material. If I made any mistakes, I reviewed the lesson and usually figured it out pretty quickly. This week's lesson was about graphing inequalities, and I finally decided I was going to have to do some of the daily assignment work before doing the test. I worked through several problems, then took the test on Wednesday and scored 100%. Woo hoo! How funny for me to be that excited about doing well on a math test. Going through the course with Ryne is actually quite helpful -- not because of the ego boost -- but because I am able to help him so much better when he gets stuck on something. A few weeks ago, I got a week behind and when he needed help, I made things much worse before I took the time to go through the lesson myself. I'm so glad I listened to this advice from homeschool veterans -- take math with your child (ideally, you'd even work ahead of their pace).
Thursday was a fun day. I got to keep a secret from Ryne all day, and it drove him crazy. : ) I count that as a blessing too, because many kids on the autism spectrum would not be able to handle such uncertainty. While it was annoying to him, he was able to deal with the teasing. So, what was the surprise? Tickets to a Star Trek symphony performance -- they played one of the movies on a giant screen while the symphony accompanied. Ryne loves both Star Wars and Star Trek, and he's obsessed with the soundtracks to both series. He got a couple different soundtracks for his birthday in August and has listened to them nonstop, so he was in his element at this event.
While Marc and Ryne were at the symphony, I got to go out to a restaurant with some ladies from our church, which was also a lot of fun. Grace was at ballet class and Anna was preparing for a big debate for her rhetoric class.
Friday afternoon, Anna's senior class conducted their debate in front of the entire the secondary school body and I was able to go watch. This wasn't one of those emotional senior year "last" moments, but it was still a pretty significant event -- for her because it was a big project her team had worked hard on, for me because it was an opportunity to see her classical education come full circle. Nine years ago I casually browsed the library shelves for anything on homeschooling and brought home The Well-Trained Mind. The book sold me on the idea of homeschooling, but the classical method intimidated me. Yet, by the grace of God, we survived and I can see how it really does equip the student in so many ways. I'll have to expand on that in a future post, maybe next semester as we get closer to graduation.
As soon as the debate ended, I started getting notifications on my phone about the tragedy in Paris. And then 30 minutes later, Marc called to say he had been in an accident on the interstate. There were no serious injuries -- he's sore, but thankful his car held up well to the impact. It needs significant repairs, yet it could have been much worse. We're praising God for His protection.
And we are praying for the people in Paris. This morning a verse of a hymn we sang in church served as a beautiful reminder that God is in control and offers a glorious future, free from sin and evil.
When as the grass the wicked grow,
When sinners flourish here below,
Then is there endless ruin nigh,
But You, O Lord, are throned on high:
Your foes shall fall before your might,
The wicked shall be put to flight.
How Good it is to Thank the Lord, (Verse 3)
Finally, since I'm still finishing this post up Sunday night, my heart is also heavy about news I just received that a dear friend is having to say good-bye to her father, just like I did a few months ago. I'm praying God will fill her with the same peace and comfort He did for me.
I'll probably have the above hymn in my head all week, which is a good thing. It is good to thank the Lord, not just for happy moments of which we had many at the Blue House this week, but also for the hard moments because they teach us to cling to God.
How good it is to thank the Lord,
And praise to You, Most High, accord.
To show Your love with morning light,
And tell your faithfulness each night:
Yea, good it is your praise to sing,
And all our sweetest music bring.
May you have a blessed week! Happy homeschooling!
Linking up with Kris of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.