Well. That was a longer break than I intended. Best to skip the re-entry and just pick up where I left off, eh?
The kids have now been in school for almost a full four months. It is so weird to me how normal it feels. I'm sure that were we ever to go back to homeschooling that I would feel the same way. If there is anything that this major change has taught me, it's that our little family rolls with the punches pretty well. I am surprised, though, at how out of sorts I feel with what my "job" is now. For the past few years my job has been homeschooling. Just like Dave works full time, it was our position that my full time job was homeschooling. The rest of the house stuff we split. Now, though, I'm not homeschooling. And I am finding that my days have the tendency to be all or nothing and a little directionless. It's difficult to find a good, steady pace - particularly when I don't think my defining characteristic is "steady" :).
I am LOVING the time with Allie and the time with Nolan. It is so much fun to get to isolate my attention on to them for a few hours each day. I am getting to see the tiny changes they make each day so clearly and I am getting to REST with them. The difference in Allie along is nothing short of miraculous. What a funny thing. She has gone from a tempermental and almost sullen child to a bubbly, happy - albeit still tempermental - girl.
We are spending a lot of our days watching cartoons and being a little bit lazy. I think that after the last few years of roping the family into a schedule, that I'm giving the littles and myself some time off. We are working on getting a baseline established. You know, best time to get the laundry folded, how to time naps in relation to school pick up, the right time to start homework after the right amount of mind rest for the big kids. That kind of thing. Not every day goes perfectly. I realized VERY quickly, that I couldn't expect the big kids to come home from school and not have any decompressing time. I'm still trying to figure out how to let David get his crazies out from a full day of behaving but then reign him in enough to practice reading and spelling. It's a process.
Slowly, I am doing all of those things that I wanted to do while homeschooling but I didn't have the time to do. It is hard to do a total room redo while all the kids are still at home wanting to play in that room :). I'm going through room, cleaning and organizing bit by bit. There is still a hefty amount of chaos, but it gets better controlled day by day.
All in all, we are doing well. I am SO excited to have the kids home for the summer. I miss them a LOT during the day. I miss our slower mornings and I miss the fun stuff. But I know without a shadow of a doubt that this was a good choice. We are all doing great, and when I let my mind rest and just relax, I am able to really appreciate that and be thankful for it.