I’ll confess during the holidays we really slacked off. With the return of the sun I came out of my doldrums, resolving to get back into the swing of things. First and foremost the kids needed more outdoor time. Secondly, I needed to get back into meal planning: too much take-out and holiday treats around the house caused Daughter to gain a rather significant amount of weight over the holidays (more on that in a subsequent post). And I wanted to spend more sit-down, intentional time with each child. So far this week we are off to a great start.
Monday was a glorious day, the first in weeks. So immediately after we hit the grocery store I took the kids to the park. We ended up staying there for over three hours (having seredipitously brought a picnic along by way of our grocery shopping)! Not only did the kids get a great dose of fresh air and sunshine, they climbed around the playground together…
…and climbed trees (or, in this case, a tree trunk).
Son did this ALL BY HIMSELF and it gave me no end of chest pains watching him wandering around up there, let me tell you!!
What’s more the kids did really well at making friends (turns out some school around here had a Pro-D day so they met a few kids their age). Actually, Son has become really good at it which is so deeply satisfying to watch after all we’ve been through with him. Daughter also used to struggle socially but she seems to have really come into her own lately and she made some friends as well that day. After about 2 hours on the playground and in the nearby woods we wandered down to the beach and spent another hour there. I sat on a bench and knit while the kids clambered on rocks and waded ankle-deep in the surf (they had rainboots on). It was a truly glorious afternoon and one of those days when I just cherish our lifestyle and am so thankful for it.
On Tuesday we went to the library, having just resumed our weekly visits since the holidays, and we seem to have started a new tradition: after we’re done we go next door to the coffee shop for a cookie (I have steamed milk and a biscotti). We all usually end up reading one of our library picks and it makes for a peaceful and very pleasant time.
That afternoon Daughter decided that our ensuite bathroom was “too gross to use” and offered to clean it for me (whaaaa???). I had to replace her father’s shaving brush and the bowl she had filled with water (after dumping out my paper clips!) with a scrub-brush, some cleaning cloths, and a spray bottle of diluted vinegar but then off she went. Eventually she recruited her brother and the two of them spent the better part of an hour finishing that up and then moving on to the other bathroom. It wouldn’t pass the Molly Maid test but that ensuite had been so neglected I figured even if they just sat in there and sprayed the vinegar solution everywhere it couldn’t help but be an improvement! And, most importantly they came away with a sense of accomplishment and the feeling that they had made a solid contribution to the household duties. You can’t buy that kind of enthusiasm (though we did later negotiate an allowance contribution for the work they’d done).
On Wednesday my in-laws came over and I found myself in the blissful position of having four hours to myself! They played with the kids and took them to the local playground while I went on a good trail run with the dog and then had lunch with my Mum.
Today we went to Value Village to get Daughter some gym shorts (she’s starting a new class – more on that soon). The kids hit the toy section and were delighted with their finds (oh, how I LOVE this about my kids!). Daughter got a battery-operated dinosaur (a Spinosaurus, for those in the know) that roars and waves it’s head around. Son found a large Transformer, though we have yet to figure out what machine the robot turns into. Both were under $5. After that I headed towards downtown on an errand that I soon abandoned, but while in the area we visited our old urban neighbourhood and had lunch at our favorite pizza joint (this is really good, light, homemade pizza so I don’t quite put it in the category of junk food). We then headed towards home with a stop at a dance shop for Daughter’s gym slippers. Son got to veg out with his Dad, who was home early for a nice surprise, while I took Daughter to the first day of her rhythmic gymnastics class.
This is my idea of a good homeschooling week, though to be honest it does change with the seasons and circumstances. When someone is sick everything changes on the fly, or when the weather is particularly nasty we might decide to stay home all day. But this is really my favorite type of week and I’m glad to be back in the swing of things.