Parenting 10 years apart

When I first became a mom, I was 17 and alone, meaning the father hit the road. I was lucky to have family around me. But it was still crazy, hard and a huge responsibility. I’d like to think I handled it better than most, but you know opinions vary, I guess.

Unlike statistics, that say 1 in so many teen moms will have a second child within so many years, I didn’t have another child for another 10 years.

Yes I had 3 girls. But 2 I didn’t physically give birth too. When I gave birth to my son it was exactly 10 years and 6 days after the birth of my daughter.

Now that my son is 3. I see some changes that I have made as far as appreciating the little things that a baby/child does.

Looking back I see where I was in hurry for my daughter to reach and hit milestones. I wanted her to potty train sooner than most. I was excited when she could spell her name at 2 1/2. I moved her into a twin size bed at 2. I think I wanted her to hurry up and grow to that “fun stage”. And now it makes me sad that I didn’t really enjoy it. Meaning I was too young and naive and self absorbed (I’m not afraid to admit it) to see how incredibly special that time was and how fast they grow. And I am not saying it was just my biological daughter. I think I did it with all 3 girls. I mean I had to adjust to being mom to 3, while planning a wedding, while in the I can’t get enough of you love phase, then becoming a newlywed/wife and then buying my first house. I think I was just too busy, unfortunately.

Now when I had my son. I LOVED the whole baby stage. I loved waking up at night. I loved changing the dirty diapers. The one regret I do have is not breast feeding longer (which was not even an option in my mind when I had my daughter). I wait until the last possible moment to push him to move to the next stage of his life.

I left him in a crib until about 6 months ago. My mom was hounding me about getting him a big boy bed. But I just wanted to wait until I knew he was ready and me for that matter. And when I did switch him I didn’t have the fighting at night and the up and down with him. From day one, he has slept in his bed all night. In fact, in the morning and nap time, he doesn’t get up and come out. He lays in there and calls my name. But I think it’s because he likes me to cuddle with him.

I just switched him to pull-ups about 5 months ago or so.

I just started potty training off and on about 2 weeks ago. Getting more consistent with it every week. Of course I talked to him about it, I just didn’t force the issue. And I have to admit seeing all the friends on Facebook saying how their kids, that are younger than him, are potty trained did give me a moment of am I a terrible parent. But then I brushed it off and went to change his pull-up (HAHA).

I didn’t push him to learn the alphabet or his name. He has chosen to sit down and do school with his sisters. But I also don’t force it everyday. If he sits at the table I am prepared, if he doesn’t no big deal.

I take the time to lay in bed and cuddle with him every morning. And we have begun storytime before bed every night.

I just realized how much easier it is as a 30 yr old than as the young mom. And yes I am sure some of it has to do with the fact that he is number 4. But I feel like a lot of it is me. Waiting and wanting another for so long and now having it and appreciating it.

I realized how much of a gift it is to be someone’s mom.

Back to school~ our core subjects

I am very lucky in the sense that my kids all have similar interest which makes homeschooling 3 different levels easier. Not saying it’s a breeze, but easier to connect everyone together and I am not in 50 million directions, only 49 million.

This year we are doing Science, History and Geography together.

Science~ We are using Apologia Zoology 2 and are studying Marine Animals. My kids LOVE animals so the zoology books were a great fit. My 8th grader uses the corresponding Notebook while my 5th grader uses a varied of free lapbooks.

History~ We are continuing with Story of the World book 1. I did have my girls doing 2 different things. But the youngest was getting lost so I decided to bring her back in on the Story of the World lessons and she has done wonderful.

Geography~ The original plan was to have the 8th grader continue to study the states and the 5th grader to study the countries. But the oldest wanted to learn the countries. So we are all on the same page there too. For this we use Little passports and then I supplement with information from the internet and books/DVD from the library.

Language Arts/ Writing~ This has been a struggle because both kids hate writing. They hate capitalizing, punctuation, all of it. All I want is a paragraph and it’s like pulling teeth. So we have been on a trial and error basis on curriculum. We have been using Daily Language Activity book consistently.

Math~ Our 8th grader is doing Pre-Algebra while our 5th grader is doing basic math. For my 8th grader, I actually ordered an old textbook from Ebay and we found that we LOVE this book. The examples are clear and really make learning easier. Before we used the Spectrum workbooks and though I love them, there wasn’t always a good example. But this book is fantastic. I also ordered an old textbook for the 5th grader, but considering her special needs it is still way to early to tell if this will work or not.

Spelling~ Each has their own workbooks.

Reading~ Each will be reading their own assigned Novel and then supplementing with activities.This month our 8th grade is reading The White Giraffe and our 5th grader is reading The Magic Treehouse Book 1~Dinosaurs after Dark. Each also have a reading comprehension books.

I just wanted to make a quick note about some of the levels my kids are on. Both of my daughters show signs of learning disabilities. And my 5th grader is more on a late 3rd early 4th grade level. So I know this will not fit for everyone. And my oldest is right on maybe even above in some areas but then lacks in the writing department.

Letter B~preschool








Our second week of school was a lot more productive. We learned the letter B and color green. We mostly did coloring pages which Lil man is happy doing but he especially loves hands on stuff. His 3 favorite activities were the letter B has a Boo-Boo, Stamp the B’s and Big Brown Bear.

Letter B has a Boo-Boo~ We took the letter B and then Dakota covered it in band-aids. He loved digging threw the container and finding the different kinds of band-aids.

Stamp the B’s~ I got the printable from the blog 1plus1plusequals1 and we used a bingo marker from the Dollar store to stamp the B’s.

Big Brown Bear~ I found an adorable bear picture for him to color while reading Brown, Brown Bear What Do You See. And then we glued googly eyes.

I have learned that anything involving paint, glue, a glue stick or stamper is right up my son’s alley.

Letter A week~preschool

When we started back to school this year, I was excited to find I have a very eager 3 year old wanting to participate too. This is both a blessing and a pain in my butt. But I have 4 kids so adding to my craziness is not hard. Last year he would sporadically do school. But now he wants more structure and more learning. He wants paint, glue, pencils and books. He even had to have his own backpack. And he specifically asked for his ABC’s.

Letter A~

For the most part we are sticking to the letters and just recognizing them. But I also throw in some shapes and colors once in a while because he knows those. And we have a monthly number we learn.

This was letter A. We colored alligators and practice tracing lines.

We painted a red apple.

And we traced his hand and arm to make a tree. Then glued red pom-poms for apples.

This was a slow week for us.

Wait until you see letter B.

International Homeschool Spirit Week

Last week was International Homeschool Spirit Week. Basically all around the world homeschoolers thought why should those public schools get all the fun. We have spirit, yes we do, we have spirit just like you!!!!! But in the comfort of our home and pajamas. Ok now that  I got that out of my system, here’s how our week went.

Monday was Homeschool away from Home. Problem was I didn’t read my email about this fun week until Monday afternoon. But my kids had a laid back Monday due to our schedule changes. So we had mostly fall fun stuff planned.

Tuesday was Comfy Cozy Day. We spent the day in Pajamas and just laid around while doing school.

Wednesday was Crazy Sock Day. This was fun. My grandma had gone out the day before and bought us some tall crazy socks. And the kids loved this. I especially loved the looks I got when I had to go to Walmart. Some just laughed and one shook her head and glared at me.

Thursday was Mismatch day. I meant to take a picture because my kids and me looked CRAZY! I mixed hubby’s hawaiian shirt over some crazy patterned clothes and then did 80’s hair and make up. My kids came out with a different sock on each foot. Mismatching clothes were easy for them because I am always telling them they are mismatching.

Friday was Twin Day! Cailin and I were twins, as were Dakota and Brianna. Again another day I meant to take a picture! But we were having so much fun! And I forgot!

I am hoping this happens again next year. My kids had a blast!

Back to School~ schedule

Homeschool is in session. We have been back to the grind for the last 4-5 weeks. It has been a slow start up process. But we are definitely making head way. Though a little slower with a 3 year old wanting to get in on everything, but we are on the right track.

With having 3 kids at home on 3 different levels, we decided to try a block schedule. For the first 3 weeks, we had subjects 1-5 on Monday and Wednesday, subjects 6-10 on Tuesday and Thursday, and all subjects on Friday for a review day. But I started thinking about Bri’s learning disabilities and realized reviewing on Friday does no good if you have 2 days off right afterwards. So this is our new schedule for now.

Monday is our review day. We cover all of our subjects and just review and go over what we learned the previous week.

Tuesdays and Thursdays are subjects 1-5. We usually take about an hour on each.

Wednesday and Fridays are subjects 6-10.

Spelling is done everyday because if not my kids will get confused and lost.

So here is the basic set up.

Monday~ Writing, Spelling, History, Reading, Geography, Science, Art, PE, Math

Tuesday & Thursday~ Reading, History, Science, PE, Spelling

Wednesday & Friday~ Writing, Geography, Spelling, Art, Math

Our school starts at 8:30am. We get an hour and half for lunch from 11-12:30. And usually finish up between 1:30-2:30. I always leave Math for last because that is my kids longest subject. Meaning sometimes it takes them a while. And my kids are the type that don’t stop unless its done or I tell them too. So this more relaxed for me and them as we aren’t worrying about the subjects we still need to do because it’s last. I may switch Art and PE. That way they get their juices flowing with PE right before Math. I think and hope that is the last change I need to make. So far it has worked out for us.

Next up~ what we are covering in each subject.