Monday, March 12, 2012

Preparing for Deployment

This morning Deacon was up at 5am which felt like 4am because just a day ago, it was! Today just happened to be the day I really needed to go to the grocery store, too. Thankfully, the older boys cooperated in the procurement of the groceries. I may or may not have bribed them with gum...

It got me thinking though: am I really prepared to homeschool during a deployment? I can do deployments and extended separations and I can do homeschool...but, can I do them at the same time? We take school slow. Turner is eager to do "school work" but with two other children under the I-can-sit-for-10-minutes-stage, it's tough to get as in depth as he wants to. Some days Turner will ask me the craziest questions and I want to sit down with him to explain something but it's just not possible. 

He just started reading and blew through all of his BOB books that I was saving for his Easter basket. He wants to read for hours on end, but I just can't sit with him for that long. I do a lot with him during nap time for the younger two, but, sometimes I rely on John to have a conversation with Turner at night while I clean up from the day. 

I am not feeling anxious about the deployment. We've been there, done that, and have the t-shirt. I'm really starting to fear (not) getting it all done. I've gotten used to living in a state of disarray and I'm finally ok with a dirty floor. I'm just worried, that, at the end of the day or school year, Turner will be fulfilled. I know, in my heart, that his cup will be full because staying home is right for him. 

I've been simplifying life so I can focus on being there for the boys as they need me. I signed off of Facebook and I've been leaving my phone and laptop in my room during the day so I'm not tempted to respond to a text or just check Pinterest. I've started to make the same meals during the week (i.e. Monday: roasted chicken and veggies, Friday: Pizza, Sunday: spaghetti and meatballs). I think these few changes will help me stay on my toes in regards to the house and general "cleanliness" of things. A house of boys and a new sand box out back does not lend it self to cleanliness! My thought for streamlining the day was that we could do more with school activities. There isn't too much more "work" I'd add to the day, but, rather, games and other fun things. 

In the end, I know it will all work out. With just days until Daddy leaves, I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed at the thought of everything, though. I always end up surprising myself at the strength I can summon while single parenting but it doesn't shake the doubt I feel in the beginning! 

Thursday, March 8, 2012


A few weeks ago Turner really expressed interest in learning to read. He was constantly asking what something said, or asking how to read a word on a sign. I had previously started sight words with him but I just didn't feel like it was a good beginning point so we stopped. I wanted Turner to be comfortable and, being a very strict "rule" kid, starting with "reading" sight words just seemed an un-natural beginning.

It seems like I searched forever to find the right "method" to teach reading. We read aloud multiple times daily but things just didn't click for him. He needs to have all the "rules" in place first. After hearing the name of the book several times, I decided on Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. I have to admit, I thought it sounded hokey! After reading blog post after blog post of veteran homeschoolers using this book I had to see for myself. 

The first lessons are quite cut and dry so, while they were easy to get through, I often had to give incentive (i.e. using my phone to play a math game or something similar when the lesson was complete). After a few lessons, some of the sounds became words and his eyes lit up! Around lesson 16, Turner read his first sentence and it was like turning a key to unlock a door. He was so excited we went on to do lessons 17-20 RIGHT THEN. 

I absolutely LOVE the lesson book and will absolutely use it to teach the younger two how to read. 

Turner couldn't get enough of all this sounding out words thing so I decided to give him his first set of BOB books (that I was saving to put in his Easter basket). He just adored having his own books and was over the moon to read them to anyone that would listen!