Illness and homeschool travails

Josie is sick. It’s nothing serious, just a cold. But it means that she’s whinier and fussier than normal. And since she’s 2, and is very much a whiner/tantrum-thrower whenever she doesn’t get her way (and I mean *whenever*–including things like not getting the color plate she wanted for lunch). It’s much the worse at the moment. She basically cried from about 6pm until 7:30pm (bedtime) this evening. Oy.

I’m having a hard time feeling interested in the kids lately. I know that’s a horrible thing to say. I just don’t want to listen to another 10 minute narrative about princesses or some other 4-year-old interest that requires very little response. I guess I just need a break from the kids, and I never really get one. The evenings aren’t long enough, and I tend to make them longer than I should by staying up too late, and then I’m tired the next morning, which exacerbates the problem. I’d love to have an hour in which I didn’t have to be a mom, and wasn’t grocery shopping or at the dentist.

I’ve been slacking off with the schooling lately. Keeping the house up had gotten overwhelming, and I was so busy with other things. But I’ve been trying to get back on track. Today we did a little of two different workbooks, so we did a few different activities. Beth doesn’t really like learning to write her letters. She loves to write, but she wants to do it her own way, so she forms some of the letters wrong. She really hates being told what to do and thinks she knows everything, though, which is frustrating. If she were going to be in school, I wouldn’t be so concerned about it, because in many cases they won’t listen to their parent but they’ll listen to the teacher. But since I’m going to be her teacher as well as parent, I have to get her to listen to me, somehow. Anyway, she liked the other activities for the most part.

Cecy is starting to do better with tummy time. She really hated it up until recently (as in, a few days ago), but she seems to be enjoying it a bit more the past few days. She’ll play happily with toys in that position for a while, then eventually roll over. She hasn’t rolled from back to front yet, although she’s been really on the verge a few times. Beth was crawling at a week after 6 months, which Cecy will turn tomorrow. Somehow I doubt she’ll be crawling in a week. Josie was 8 months, and that seems more likely. Doesn’t bother me, as I’ll have to watch her a lot more carefully and do a lot more childproofing once she starts to crawl.

I’m going to try something new next week. I’ve noticed that Josie is way behind where Beth was at her age in things like letters and numbers and colors. Beth went to a birthday party a few months before her 2nd birthday and got a toy that had lots of little parts. At the party, she was having fun putting the parts in the container, and counting, “One, two, tree,” clearly, all the way up to ten. Josie counts, “two, tree, two, tree,” repeated. At her 2nd birthday party, Beth got a toy that sang the alphabet, and she could sing it clearly along. Josie can mumble along, but she’s not really singing the letters at all, more just singing nonsense to the tune. Now, I know you aren’t supposed to compare them… but I worry that Josie isn’t getting the one-on-one attention that Beth got at her age, and that’s why she’s behind. Also, she’s gotten less of things like Sesame Street, because Beth has branched out into VeggieTales, Dora, princess movies, Christian movies, etc.

So, starting next week, we’re going to have Tuesday/Thursday morning “dayschool” with both Beth and Josie. Beth is excited about how we’re going to teach Josie.

So I’m going to organize a little bit more formal of a preschool sort of lesson for both girls. On those days, the morning TV is going to be Leapfrog (I have some alphabet/numbers DVDs), although they can choose the one they want. Then we’ll have a letter each day that we work on, and we’ll talk about the letter, do a craft with it, read a book about it, etc. We’ll include Josie, in the hopes of getting her some letter/number recognition. I think she’ll love it, and I think Beth will enjoy having a school companion finally. And they can definitely do things on a different level… Beth might get that the craft is making something that starts with the letter, Josie might just enjoy getting to glue things together. Beth will get to learn how to sound out simple words that start with the letter each week, Josie will start to see that letters make sounds. Etc. So, we’ll see how that goes.

Oh, and our heat is out again. Bah. We think that it’s been poorly maintained, but we’re not really sure what the problem is now. It’s awfully cold not to have heat, although we do have space heaters, which help. I put the little (less powerful) one with a thermostat in with Cecy, and the other stays in the main part of the house. I have to be careful where I plug them in so that I don’t overload a circuit, which is a pain.

I ordered a couple of new homeschool books, one on the sight words and one that is just a phonics one with “Zac the Rat,” supposed to be good. Beth recognizes the word “the,” so she’s got one sight word. More to come!

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