Oh my! The last few months have been a long and miserable trip through exhaustion, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, anti-social behavior, and random mood swings. Yes, I am referring to that wonderful journey called Pregnancy. We are expecting our 3rd child on December 2nd! Its very exciting and happy news, and yet I am one of those women who have awful 1st trimesters that seriously take a toll on everything in life. There were times of clear insanity when I felt like I just wanted to die, because I was tired of crawling to the bathroom to dry heave for the umpteenth time of the day. I am a big complainer but honestly, now that I am past the worst, I can look forward to returning to my regular routine and being the happy motivated person that I am...sometimes. ;)
Obviously through the last few months of misery, homeschooling was out of the question. Luckily, I had the opportunity to send Marley to a small home based part-time preschool program. She was 1 of 6 girls who were taught by a well known mother from our church. It was nice to know she was able to engage in some educational activities away from her crazy, grumpy, sickly mother. She had fun and brought home some cute art projects, but definitely did not progress as much as she would have with me. I would have pushed her a little harder to really absorb information. But I think that's the benefit of learning one on one with the parent. I think as parents we know our child's potential better and how much they can learn at a certain pace.
One thing I loved about the preschool program: they had a few opportunities for the kids to perform songs in front of the parents. I think performing is a significant way to enhance self-esteem, confidence, social interaction and work ethic, so I will be advocating that for all my children.
A little while ago I was approached by a friend referring Marley to a special preschool program in our area. At first, I was going to politely decline because I plan to homeschool, but after I heard more about the program my instinct told me to look into it further. This particular preschool program pairs up typical children with atypical children in an academic and social setting. They work together to help each other along with the tasks and activities. My friend said that Marley seemed like a good fit for the program because she demonstrates patience and understanding of feelings and good social skills. I have also noticed these traits to be her strengths. After discussing it with my husband, we agreed that the program would be a great opportunity for Marley to work and interact with peers that may not be of the same level of development. We would love for her to acquire the wisdom early on that each person deserves love and respect regardless of differences. So we said yes and decided to enroll her in the program. It breaks my heart a bit because I was really looking forward to doing activities with her at home, but I prayed about it and feel this is the right decision for her this year.
I will have more time to spend "homeschooling" Dylan (my toddler) and Baby Desmond next year. Luckily Baby Desmond's curriculum will only consist of breastfeeding, love, and cuddles. ;)
As far as the summer goes, I plan to do a quick (10 min) academic review at least twice a week just to keep those letters, numbers, and sight words fresh in Marley's mind. One of the things I disliked about school was coming back to school after 3 months forgetting everything I had learned the semester before. Anyone else?
I also plan to enlist Marley as a co-teacher and have her help me with a summer curriculum for Dylan, which will consist of reading board books and singing songs to her little sister. I've noticed that giving Marley the responsibility of helping her younger sister learn makes for a happier sister relationship. Should be fun for all of us! We shall see.