It’s Summer Vacation… I Guess

KIMG0621It is easy to get into a mode and forget what is really going on or should be going on. This year has been a year of treading water and I kept saying to myself that summer is almost here and we will start fresh next year. I need the summer to organize the house better after moving in. Aside from making the house look a little bit nicer, it will help me with our learning. All our boxes from the move were emptied and contents put somewhere in a frantic few weeks before Pesach, just to check for chometz and get the boxes out of the house, but we did not put things in a proper home. I am not used to “summer” starting a month early.  I think about every place I have lived, school has finished mid-late June, not the end of May. Summer for kids has been here for a month now, with one more month to go. I realized that I might as well be finished for the school year, take the next month to “chill” in the 95 degree heat (with lots of ice,) do at least some of the organizing and just let the boys chill out as well. So, that was it. We don’t give out certificates, though we did the first year or two, then it never seemed to work out, so I don’t think about it now. It was just, “Ok boys, school’s finished.” Just like that.  I don’t think it even phased them for they were busy camping with Grandpa and what not that they were not doing much of anything anyways.

It feels weird to let the boys hang. Especially this year when I felt that I had to try to cram things in when I could for there were lots of times that we did not do much because of all the moves, it feels strange. I feel rather relieved, which is a nice thing. I don’t feel guiltyKIMG0659 about them not doing their work. My husband was complaining that he does not think they did much this year. I am the first one to admit that is the case, and even though I have tried to tell him and explain to him multiple times throughout the year, it is hard when he is not here and seeing things for himself. And yes, even when we had a week here or there to just do school, there were multiple occasions when I had a hard time motivating myself and just did not feel like doing anything because of all that was going on in our lives.

I do feel optimistic though. I think this allowed time off is good for now I don’t worry about trying to teach and I have time to try to organize (which we already started last week!) I 2015-06-21am not sure how much time I have for organizing for we always seem to be doing something. But I have big plans, both for school and for the house, though not quite sure about what I am doing exactly I’m doing, but I have plans. 🙂 Yesterday the scouts had their first campout. It was really good with all but 2 boys there and several fathers coming. Mr. Little made cupcakes for the fathers (and boys) in honor of Father’s Day. Father’s got first pick at cupcakes for once. They were even able to hang a flag on their portable Ham Radio antenna!

Speaking of radios, last Friday was a Ham Fest (which did not start on Shabbos!) and so we all spent the afternoon roaming around the candy store for Hams. We even had an extra boy tag along with us. Mr. Big surprised us by actually taking his license manual on the camping trip with Grandpa and spend some time going over his manual. When he came home he announce that he wanted to upgrade his license at the Ham Fest. We looked at him and asked if he thought he was going to pass (it costs money to write the tests.) “I don’t know.” He definitely did not sound convincing. We made an agreement with him that we would pay if he thought he had a good chance of passing. He told us that we only needed to pay for one more test and if needed, he would pay for additional testings. Sounded fair enough. When we arrived at the convention center, he took off to write his test while the rest of us went through the candy store. It was a pretty cool place, even if one is not too interested – I do have my license but I am not interested like all the boys are. We even talked to the severe weather watch people and brought home some really nice posters on clouds. (Ham operators often times get certified as spotters so they can help watch for and call in weather warnings, for a big plus of being a Ham is for emergency preparedness.)

After what seemed like forever, we finally got a call on our radios from Mr. Big. He was wanted to know where to find us. Nothing about the test, but that is like him. Mr. Big #2 KIMG0650was the first to comment – even though Mr. Big was still too far away to say hi to. Did he or didn’t he, that was the question. Mr. Big #2 saw a sticker on his brother’s shirt and knew (though we could not read what it said.) As he came closer, sure enough, he had the tell tail signs of someone who passed – the small rectangle piece of paper proving all that hard work paid off! We were surprised! He did a LOT more studying without us knowing than we realized. Great job! Incidentally, that is now the reason why we have a hole in our ceiling; they wanted to put up an antenna in the attic that Mr. Big could now use…

Next week we’re off for a week trip with Grandpa. Not sure when I am organizing, but at least I don’t have to worry about school! 🙂

2012 Conference Videos Are Here!

Chodesh Tov!

For those that were waiting, the 2012 Torah Home Education Conference videos are now available to purchase. 😀

They can be purchased off of Mind Bites.  There was a wide range of topics, from Financial Literacy in Your Homeschooling, to teaching Bar/Bas Mitzvah and Beyond, to Technology in the Home (**I like this one, hint hint 😉 **)  They can all be purchased individually for $2.97 with each talk being about 40 minutes long.  You can also purchase the entire series for $19.80 by clicking on the link for “Series” with over 7 hours of enjoyable listening time!  The audio and video quality of the talks I have watched or sampled have been very good.

I was hoping to post this last night, however, there was just so much to do, and I did not feel that I even got half of it done! Not that I didn’t do anything, it was just that life happens sometimes, and with children life happens often ;), as well as regular stuff to deal with. I think the only thing on the list that I got done (and one could argue it was the most important thing to do last night,) was calling to say hi to my 91 year old grandfather, who not only answered the phone before the answering machine (he screens his calls from telemarketers), told me he was happy to hear about the conference and the fact that we learned a lot from it, asked me a lot of questions about our homeschooling and was very impressed with that and other things – all within the course of the 10min 52sec phone call – which might actually be a record for him!

One big bonus of homeschooling is that I have learned to be more organized.  Don’t get me wrong, I still have a LOOONG way to go, but I am sure a lot further along than I was when we started!  I have learned that I need to prepare my Yom Tov meals several days in advance so I know what I need in the house, and not the night before.   Now I am happy that I was only able to do a partial shopping on Sunday, for that means I can actually make things that I would like to have because there is still money left for the week to buy stuff!  There is positive in everything.

I’m going to finish up today, short and sweet.  Tuesdays are a short day, which will allow me to finish up my Shavuos plans.  Right now I know that we’re eating pizza and ice cream at shul on Sunday, and IY”H we will be making homemade ice cream, yum!  I guess that is the important part, right? 😉  Wishing everyone a wonderful Yom Tov (and Shabbos) this weekend!