Sunday, February 27, 2011

Lisa's Logbook - February 27

Current Mood: Optimistic

Outside: Overcast and grey and snowy

Wearing: black pants, flowered brocade stretch shirt, dark socks, boots, makeup

Tunes: still listening to Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland; will finish this week and move on to Persuasion by Jane Austen

Kids Are: 1 is sleeping, 2 are watching Planet Earth on DVD, 1 is brushing her teeth

Hubby Is: asleep (last night he volunteered at the homeless shelter)

Made Me Laugh: book club always makes me laugh. But lately, laughing sends me into gales of COUGHING which isn't so fun.

Made Me Sad: Missing so much work last week; knowing it makes my paycheck smaller

Made Me Drool: the spread of food at book club last night! We outdid ourselves!

Blessings: having two free tickets to Cirque Shanghai today - Suzy and I loved it!

Reading: still reading GOVERNESS: The Lives and Times of the Real Jane Eyres by Ruth Brandon.

Watching: the second half of the Emma starring Romola Garai, a couple eps of Psych, My Girlfriend's Boyfriend (a cute rom-com on Netflix Instant), Northanger Abbey

Considering: going to the doctor

Working On: finishing the SOF yearbook - almost done!

Accomplishments: Do I have any?

Lessons: Starting David on Plato Chemistry this week

Agenda: Lessons, working 5 hours M-F, gymnastics, co-op, David drivers ed make up classes, other stuff too and I can't think of it all


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Lisa's Logbook - February 20

Current Mood: Miserable (working on the 4th day of being sick)

Outside: Overcast and grey, with a Winter Storm Warning for tonight into tomorrow.

Wearing: pajamas, robe, wool socks, slippers, heating pad, blanket

Tunes: been listening to Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland

Kids Are: 1 is sleeping, 1 is upstairs doing something, 1 is whining she's bored, 1 is in the kitchen

Hubby Is: working on the furnace (again)

Made Me Laugh: watching Lucille Ball on a comedy highlights DVD. I need to introduce my kids to I Love Lucy.

Made Me Sad: watching my kids suffer with fevers and sickness in the last week

Made Me Drool: the bag of bumpy Nerds jellybeans Bob brought me

Blessings: a great dance class with my Austentatious class

Reading: Reading GOVERNESS: The Lives and Times of the Real Jane Eyres by Ruth Brandon. Just finished Secrets to the Grave by Tami Hoag.

Watching: the Emma starring Kate Beckinsale, the first half of the Emma starring Romola Garai, the 3rd episode of Sherlock Holmes,

Considering: that I stayed healthy until I went off my sugar fast....

Working On: getting better

Accomplishments: taking care of 4 sick kids in one week

Lessons: Last week was sort of a wash since everyone got sick at some point or other. Gonna try again this week with the same lessons.

Agenda: Lessons, working 4 hours M-F, soccer meeting, taking Suzy to Cirque Shanghai, book club

Pic: Can't upload now, will try later.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Lisa's Logbook - February 13

Current Mood: Wistful

Outside: It's a balmy 43 out there. And there are PUDDLES! lol

Wearing: Jeans, black long sleeved thin tee, blue fleece pullover, socks, slippers.

Tunes: All audiobooks except while driving - mostly Austen, but also some Gabaldon.

Kids Are: 1 is upstairs, 1 is driving a car, 2 are on the computer.

Hubby Is: napping

Made Me Laugh: They showed this in church today. (Although I think maybe they edited it. lol)

Made Me Sad: I hate thinking about sad things. Death is sad. The end of things is sad.

Made Me Drool: Choosing which chocolate I was going to eat for Valentine's Day. Ended up with Lindt truffles. Mmmmm....

Blessings: My son attending a worship retreat this weekend and coming home with the desire to please God in practical ways. Also, my husband being able to fix a furnace part BEFORE it broke. (heard it making a bad noise)

Reading: Still skimming through The Unwritten Rules of Friendship: Simple Strategies to Help Your Child Make Friends by Eileen Kennedy-Moore. Also reading GOVERNESS: The Lives and Times of the Real Jane Eyres by Ruth Brandon.

Watching: the Emma starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Jeremy Northam, The A-Team (new one), a couple Psych episodes, Gamer (with Gerard Butler), and The Madness of King George (Rupert Everett, Helen Mirren, and Nigel Hawthorne as the King).

Considering: a portrait session when our costumes are done. Also still deciding what to do with those lovely pasta bowls. Need to decide! Augh!

Working On: still Regency costumes and the SOF yearbook. Also my Emma lesson for co-op this Friday.

Accomplishments: Looked at a huge spread of goodies at the Valentine bowling party and didn't have any sweets - ate sausage, cheese, and fruit, and some yummy bean dip. My sugar fast is now over, so hopefully an upcoming accomplishment will be that I can eat sugar in moderation. lol Also, I modified the neckline on Emily's gown and sewed on the overskirt.

Lessons: It's pretty much the same old thing here.

Agenda: Lessons, working 4 hours M-F, David has drivers' training 1 or 2 nights, gymnastics, movie night, co-op. Trying to add exercise back into the schedule.

Pic: Emily took this photo tonight. The sunset was AMAZING!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Working and Homeschooling

I was asked to share some thoughts at a homeschool support meeting on the topic of working and homeschooling and I thought I'd publish them here.

What are the ages of your kids?
Currently they are 8, 11, 13, and 16. When I started working in 2000, they were almost 1, 3 and almost 6. My youngest wasn't born yet. So really the entire time I have had school-age kids, I have worked at least part-time, save for a few months after my last one was born.

What kind of work do you do, schedule do you keep? Outside the home or in?
I work out of my home 4-5 hours a day on the computer. I have to work at least 4 hours a day Monday through Friday. I try to work 1-2 hours before we begin our lessons for the day and fit in the rest in the afternoon and evening.

Other work I have done while homeschooling includes: direct sales home parties (selling Usborne books), teaching part time (during school day, afternoons, evenings), and full time factory work on 2nd shift.

Who stays with your children while you work?
The older two watch over the younger two now, but when my kids were younger, I did a number of different child care arrangements. When #3 was a baby, I arranged my schedule so my husband could watch the kids. After he was injured when #4 was born, I needed to rely on other people somewhat, but I never paid for child care. Since I work at home now, I am always here when I am working.

What sorts of things do you have for your children to do while you are working? (How do you keep them occupied?)
Nowadays they occupy themselves, though I do have gaming systems for them which I always thought we'd never have. They read and play Legos and play outside and play in their rooms. They also do a lot on the computer; we have 2 desktops and 2 laptops for them to use. They do their schoolwork and chores. When they were younger, I worked my schedule around them and they had a caregiver when I was not able to be there.

How do you get schoolwork done? Is your schoolwork independent or require your time?
I try to keep my mornings available for them and require math and reading/literature/phonics to be done during this time. They do a lot more on their own than I imagine a lot of families require. For instance, the oldest reads history aloud to the other 3 and I am not involved at all. We switched to SOS Math so that I would not have the burden of grading math homework. They also do quite a bit online – Livemocha foreign language, typing.... #3 is reading a science book aloud to #4.

How do you get household tasks completed? How do you organize these tasks (if you organize at all!)
I am very organized with household tasks. We have a job chart that tells everyone what to do that day – everything from meal prep to cleaning the bathroom to cleaning the microwave. The kids do all the meal clean up, some of the meal prep, almost all of the household cleaning, and folding their own laundry. I change this chart once a year. The jobs rotate – weekly now, but we have done daily rotation up until now.

What do you do well as a working mom? What do you struggle with the most?
I am great at organization and delegation as well as at protecting my personal time. I am not great at planning meals, though I go in spurts. I also tend to lean more toward the relaxed side of homeschooling, which as they get older may not be in their best interests. So, I struggle with the balance between teacher-led and child-led learning. I also spend a minimal amount of time on my house and almost never entertain.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I want to add that I am very blessed to have the job I have now - I have the flexibility to work whatever hours I want, as long as they add up to 4-5 in a day; I make good money for a work-at-home online position and I am good at it. My kids want to remain at home or else they probably would have gone to traditional school long ago. And I am blessed to have a husband who has supported our efforts and pitched in as much as he can.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Lisa's Logbook - February 6

Current Mood: Ambitious

Outside: Overcast and snowy. Piles and piles of snow!

Wearing: Black dress pants, a dressy ruffly blouse in blacks and browns, white socks (because they're comfy!), and makeup. And I curled my hair!

Tunes: Haven't been listening this week to anything except Emma by Jane Austen. I'm almost done!

Kids Are: 1 is at a friend's house, 2 are talking in the living room while 1 of those reads the comics, and 1 is upstairs

Hubby Is: napping

Made Me Laugh: Making James laugh by ALMOST tickling him, but not quite. It was hilarious!

Made Me Sad: that there are no more Firefly episodes for me to watch. I guess I will have to watch the rest of Castle after all, but it's just not the same. :-)

Made Me Drool: a recipe I saw for chimi-cheesecake, a la Applebees. I will be making this next week!

Blessings: Sitting in church today with my good friend Donna!

Reading: Emma (audiobook) by Jane Austen and I just finished Me and Mr. Darcy by Alexandra Potter. I am also skimming through The Unwritten Rules of Friendship: Simple Strategies to Help Your Child Make Friends by Eileen Kennedy-Moore and also reading through Reading Reflex: The Foolproof Phono-Graphix Method for Teaching Your Child to Read by Carmen McGuinness.

Watching: Watched the rest of the episodes of Firefly and then followed it up with the movie Serenity. David introduced me to Psych, and we watched the 1st two episodes of the BBC Sherlock (which is GREAT!). And I saw Dilemma at the movie theater last weekend.

Considering: used furniture purchases on craigslist; looking for 2 recliners and a couch

Working On: the Seeds of Faith yearbook - wanna help???

Accomplishments: Did the taxes - and I think this might be the earliest I've EVER gotten them done.

Lessons: Planning to start David on Plato Chemistry as soon as the group buy goes through, probably 2 weeks from now.

Agenda: Lessons, working 4 hours M-F, David has drivers' training 3 nights, rollerskating day, Valentine bowling party, and a support group meeting. Trying to add exercise back into the schedule.