7.14.2014

A summer recap and some stuff we like

School may be out for summer for everyone else, but one of the benefits of homeschooling is that you can make your own schedule.  That means for us, school is back in session.

swim team

 We took most of May and all of June off but decided to do school in July.  We then plan to take August off when the baby arrives.  I'm due at the end of the month, but my shortest pregnancy was 40 weeks and 6 days, so we're thinking the baby will most likely make her grand entrance in August.

swim team

This summer I am officially guilty of having had over-scheduled us.  Or at least I over-scheduled me.  :)

swim team

The three big kids swam on our neighborhood swim team.  Until the public schools got out in June, that meant three separate evening practices most weeknights because they were all in separate age groups.

swim team

We had to make Iris give up her afternoon nap because otherwise she would be up until midnight (literally).  Yet, as a fourth child and one who has been carted around all over the place, she has also learned how to fall sleep anywhere.  During the last part of swim practice Iris looked like this at least half of the time.

sleepy head

sleepy head



sleepy head
 
In June, the kids' swim practices switched over to the morning.  I also signed the kids up for four weeks of (fun) afternoon summer school classes.  Then they had five weekend swim meets.

swim team

So, yeah, that was a little much for my liking.  Even the kids said next year they'd prefer not to do summer school and swimming at the same time.  They enjoyed it, but it got tiring for them, too.

Duly noted.

swim team

One of the best parts of my day was the evening which we spent reading.  We read for about an hour and a half each night.  I'd read 30 minutes with Tia at bedtime, then I'd listen to Indigo read for 30 minutes, followed by a 30 minute read aloud with Jude and Indigo.    Indigo is really into Mr Putter and Tabby books right now.  For our read aloud book, we read D'Aulaires' Book of Norse Myths.  In Waldorf education, Norse mythology is introduced in 4th grade but Indigo was really into it, too.  We were all pretty sad to get to the end of that book and the illustrations were amazing.  Next up - Robin Hood!

swim team
 
Jude and Indigo also really love listening to Sparkle Stories. Their favorites are the Martin and Sylvia stories. 

swim team

 Most nights I fall asleep to one of the guided relaxation audios from this Birth Relaxation Kit.  I've had what I like to call 'pregsomnia' here and there and listening helps me fall asleep quickly.  Also, it usually helps me get back to sleep if I wake up during the middle of the night.  I've slept well most of this pregnancy.  The audios are also meant to prepare you for birth (a form of hypnobirthing).  I can't comment on this specific program yet, but I enjoyed the discussion on it here and here.  I did different birth hypnosis audios to prepare for both Indigo and Iris' births and I think it helped.  When I think of hypnosis I think of that Gilligan's Island episode where the Professor swings the gold watch and repeats something like "You're getting very sleepy".   But it's nothing like that.  It's just guided relaxation exercises.  :)

swim team

 One of the audios from the kit is called "gentle sleep" and Jude loves it.  He has a hard time falling asleep at night (always has) and this really helps.  I also bought him this essential oil diffuser which works amazingly well and also the light changes colors.  It kind of reminds me of the horse of a different color from the Wizard of Oz. :)  Jude and I really like this lavender oil and this blend called Calming the Child.  I've used essential oils with him since he was a toddler, but essential oils in general give Dan a headache so we have to use them sparingly.  Only one or two drops in the diffuser go a long way.  Jude's bedroom is upstairs and when I used three drops Dan could smell it downstairs.  But if you're looking for something to aromatheraph-y your house, this diffuser would be it.  And it makes your essential oils last forever.

swim team

What have you and/or your kids been into this summer?  I'd love to know as we'll have our summer Part 2 after the baby arrives. :)

swim team

14 comments:

  1. these photos are so cool! haha i spent most of the post trying to figure out what the numbers on their legs mean (event / heat / lane?). i did swim team in high school but we were nowhere near that fancy. ;)

    you are an ambitious gal with so many things planned but i get it too - just tire them out now and they'll sleep your whole first month with the baby, haha.

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    1. Yup : event/heat/lane. You nailed it! :)

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  2. Cool pics indeed! And the numbers on their bodies… I'm trying to figure out what they are as well, very professional looking :-)

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  3. I don't known in Texas, but in France homeschooling is not common so thank you for your explainings. And your photos are always wonderful, congrats to your boy for winning the race. We're flying to Majorca in few days, i just can't wait, the weather has been so cloudy these past days...
    www.aufilducanal.com

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  4. nice to know how you get organized and your photos are always so beautiful:) as the previous reader said, in Fance almost noone home schools so I am quite fascinated by the whole process.
    Well we have been on school break for 10 days only here and the whole first week was spent nursing the sick kids (and their dad!!:) but they also got to spend some time at the recreation center : the theme was ; travel the world so it was fun for them to taste new food and make craft. It rained for 6 days solid so we did some crafting to preapre their birthdays. It is finally sunny so we will hit the pool tomorrow with some friends. Next week my girl has got 3 days of horse riding. I try and read, study to plan my lessons for september and sew.. but it is not easy!! I wait until they are in bed at night!!
    I rty to find something fun to do everyday.. but don't always suceed.. right now they play in the garden in a small pool and play with kitcehn stuff: pots and bottles!!they love that!

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  5. Ugh, I had pregsomnia too and it's the worst. I'm happy to hear that you found something to help you get back to sleep at night (I just stared at the ceiling for hours and said things like "ben, are you asleep?". Super annoying).
    And I loved these swimming pictures. There was a couple year period when me, my sister, and brother were all on the swim team and we spent many hours at the pool. Looking back at it , I realize it must have not been all that fun for my mom, but we had a blast. And those pictures of Iris? I can't tell you how much I love them. Sleeping with googles on? Man, that kid is awesome!

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  6. As always, such a lovely slice-of-life post:) Beautifully documented as well (adore the photos of little Iris napping . . . and napping . . . :) Although we've never done it, I think joining a swim team is such a great summer activity - great exercise, gets them outdoors and away from media. My only issue, as you discovered, would have been the schedule. Our school year is so crazy busy that I try so hard to keep our summer calendar as open as possible. Each kid gets a camp or two to attend, but I love the lazier, slower pace of deciding what to do when we wake up and taking our time doing it:) Then, by the end of the summer (which happens mid-August here), we're all ready for a little more routine.
    So I'm intrigued by your explanation of the hypnobirthing soundtrack. Not for the birthing portion (!), but for the relaxation part. I usually fall asleep pretty easily, but often encounter the dreaded 3 am wake up that can last an hour or two while I struggle to fall back asleep. Would it help with that? And one other question: when you are reading with each child for a half hour, are the other kids reading on their own at the same time so everyone reads for 90 minutes, or just you? I love the thought of ending each day with reading:)

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    1. Lucinda, I am so with you! Sometimes people ask how we homeschool, but I personally found the traditional school year schedule to be so much more of a grind. Where we live, parents have their kids in so many activities so young (like starting in Kindergarten). And the games are always on the weekends. Dan works a lot during the week so our weekend is really our family time. We both were so exhausted when we had activities every single weekend. This summer, after two months of swim team and then two hours of driving for summer camp (30 min each way because of traffic/stoplights) I was ready to crawl into a sensory deprivation tank at the end of each day. :)
      So, for the reading time, no, it's not scheduled. But my kids read a lot so Jude and Indigo do tend to read during that time. I've found when I try to implement a forced reading time, it often backfires, except with Jude and homeschooling, then that's part of our school day 4 days a week. Indigo really resisted it, and I think at her age (7) the 30 min of reading and her free reading is probably enough. Indigo often listens in on my story time with Tia, though I really try to protect that time as time alone with Tia, so Indigo has to be quiet if she listens. And Jude often reads while Indigo does her readers. Tia goes to bed about an hour before the other two because she simply needs quite a lot more sleep.
      The hypnobirthing 'gentle sleep' is not about pregnancy or birth at all. I really like that about it. The thing I find about waking at night and starting the hypnobirthing is I only do it if I'm really awake. I listen on my phone and I find getting my phone (I don't keep it by my bed), the light on my phone, checking email (yes, guilty!) makes me more awake. The session is about 40 minutes long, and often times I will take 20 to fall back asleep. So last night, I woke up and couldn't fall back asleep. I ate a bowl of cereal, laid in bed and then I knew I was so awake that I needed to start a hypnobirthing audio. I felt like I could get up for the day. I did fall back asleep. But other times, if I only wake up for 5 or 10 minutes, I try to go without it in the middle of the night. Also, itunes has sleep hypnosis/guided relaxation exercises that are shorter. I really liked them pre-pregnancy when I would have trouble settling in at night. I am a night owl and I have to force myself to go to bed most nights, especially when I'm not pregnant. That's one of the reasons I don't keep my phone by my bed. I also read a study that the small amount of radiation from the phone can disrupt the sleep cycle. (?) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/15/phones-sleep-mobile-_n_2680805.html Oh and I have to walk about two miles on the treadmill each day or I will definitely be awake at night. :)

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    2. Thanks for your helpful reply, Rachel. Isn't it great to have kids who read so much? My oldest is self-motivated to read a lot, but I really have to work on the girls. You've inspired me to make our evenings more literary!:)
      As for the bedtime/sleep thing, I try to stay off the computer about 1/2 hour before bed because I too have read about the disruptive nature of the monitor light upon falling asleep. Plus, surfing fun blogs/Pinterest always gets my wheels turning and I have a hard time "turing if off", so to speak. So your hints are helpful. It's hard to start the day on less than a full nights sleep, as most mommas can attest to!
      Best of luck to you in these last few weeks of pregnancy sleeping:)

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  7. A "slice of life" post! Exactly! (Love that, Lucinda, don't mind if I borrow it! hehe!) Great photos of your kids, who all look so comfortable in their skins and strong! (Well, there is also Iris, who is still soft and cuddly and pinchable.) And I like hearing about your day-to-day.

    Both pregnancies I got a ton of reading done, mostly in the middle of the night. It's weird. I would hardly sleep at all some nights, but mostly I didn't feel too tired. Of course, it helps that my job was flexible and I could roll in late most of the time without problem, allowing me to sleep in a bit. But yes, I look back and remember actually kind of enjoying pregsomnia?! Is that insane? Except when I was in pain, of course. That was no fun. But I read so many books! And I love reading!

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  8. It's winter here - it's been raining and hailing for more than 24 hours! Nice to escape and read about summer for a change! Cute pics of the kids - especially sleepy Iris! Adorable!

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  9. Beautiful pictures and writing about your life! And Mr Putter and Tabby- those are some of my all-time favorite kids books. I used them so much while teaching and read them with E all the time. Cynthia Rylant is such a lovely writer.

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  10. 1. Also a fan of Sparkle Stories. Martin & Sylvia are the best!
    2. We read Greek Myths this summer and the LOVED it, especially Liam. Sounds like I should pick up Norse Myths too.
    3. I love that you capture so many sweet pictures of Iris crashed poolside. I need to take more pictures!

    =)

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