Tuesday, October 20, 2015

A Brief Breath

When I think about the school year, the mental image I get is of being underwater.  Every August I take a deep breath and dive in.  Now that it's October, I think we're finally getting in somewhat of a routine.  It's not easy, but I'm enjoying everything more than I thought I would back in August, when I was pretty much having panic attacks about starting Rivendell again. The 3 new moms we have this year have been *such* blessings.  It's actually 4 new teachers, because the mom of one mom just moved out here, and she is teaching for us too.  Having this much more coverage has meant Christine and I haven't been so stretched by our teaching responsibilities this year.

I am SO enjoying not having to teach both junior high and high school science. That has been such a burden lifted.  AP biology has still consumed a ton of my time--but I don't feel quite as much like I am fumbling around in the dark as I was the first time I taught it.  I am having to rework all the labs, and I didn't start giving the boys reading questions to help them get through the chapters until later in the year last time, so I've had to come up with those.  I usually work on these things late at night, since it's hard to get anything accomplished when all the littles are still up.  But there is a trade-off, because I'm really tired late at night.  For the last set of reading questions, here is how I numbered them:  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 7, 7, 8, 9, 10 . . .  When he started working on them, Luke came downstairs to ask me if Micah or Drew had numbered them!  Ha!  I spaced them really weirdly too.  Maybe I was sleep-typing.  I am really enjoying the group of 3 boys I have.  They're a lot of fun, and they all have similar personalities.  It's an intense class, and we cover a ton of material each week though.  I think we are all looking forward to January, once we get through all the genetics/virus/new technology chapters and start on more population biology and ecology, which is just easier.

Latin is going well too.  It has taken me a ton of time to make up all the extra practice sheets for the kids, because I have to come up with sentences to translate that only use the vocab they have learned so far, and that emphasizes the new concepts they are learning with each new lesson, but I think the sheets are helping.  The kids seem much more confidant than they were last year.  I'm only a week or 2 ahead for making up the practice sheets, so anytime I have to go anywhere to wait (like the orthodontist's office), I bring Latin along and try to come up with more sentences.  Staving off Alzheimer's, I always say. My mental capacities have really been stretched this year though, with Latin and biology.  My poor brain is always so tired--no wonder I can't even count any more!

I'm always thankful when we get through another Tuesday.  It used to be that I could really relax Tuesday nights, but this year not only do Luke and Caleb have CAP Tuesday nights, Jonathan has cross-country practice, and Anna and Grace have gymnastics, so instead I'm driving a bunch of places.  Wednesday night is my relaxing "weekend" night, and I try not to do any school work that night.  Thursday night I'm prepping for lab on Friday, and then the weekend I try to get caught up (ha! never!) on laundry and everything else around the house that has gone to pot during the week, as well as prepare for Latin on Monday and Rivendell on Tuesday.   I guess that's why it feels like being underwater, with no time to come up for air.

Bob and I keep telling ourselves that it's going to get easier.  In 6 more years, Verity will be 7!  Surely there will be less messes then!  Her new trick is unrolling all the toilet paper in the bathroom, so that's super helpful.  She also likes climbing the stool and knocking everything within reach off the counter.  Bonus points if there's liquid in the cup!  I will say Drew has stopped making so many pee messes, so that is a relief.  I guess he's handed off liquid mess-making to Verity.  In fact, I had to actually make a point of cleaning the toilet today, because I didn't have to clean it the past few days while cleaning up a mess.  Yay!  In 6 more years, we will have graduated 3 more boys, so that will be weird.  I'll only be cooking for 8, and the oldest 3 will be girls!  Hopefully I won't be teaching any more new classes at that point either.  I think that is what really is wearing me out.  Six more years--surely I can make it that long!

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