Friday, January 4, 2013

Happy 100 days!

If you haven't been following along, let me recap (the rest of you can skip ahead). Last year, before we found out we were expecting, I was struggling a great deal with whether or not I should begin homeschooling in the Fall. It wasn't that I was unhappy with the Catholic school where #s 1 and 2 attended. At most, I was a little wary of some of the influences that were making their way in via the other children. I have realized, in the interim, unless you keep your kids under a rock, the influences are present. If they interact with other kids, they will be interacting with other parents' ideals which may, or may not, be in sync with your own.

When we found out we would be welcoming Mr. G (although we didn't know him as that at the time!) we also entered into the wonderful (not) world of medicinal "could-be, maybe, let-us-worry-you-needlessly" legaleese. I put the brakes on homeschooling, thinking I would be spending the next 10 or so years running from specialist to specialist for my special blessing. Then he came...

I know I don't have the language to properly state what I believe about the situation. I don't think a baby with Down Syndrome would have been a punishment any more than having one without is a reward. If you read the posts leading up to the birth, I think I was as prepared as possible for this child, no matter what. Each of our children has his or her own positive attributes and challenges. I believe Mr. G will be the same (despite his completely angelic personality thus far - 2 is not far away ;0) ) Anywho, this baby, for now, brought homeschooling back to the front burner.

So, somewhere in mid-July, that's what we did. We started to homeschool. Truthfully, I'm not sure how we got to 100 days because it seems like we just started but, here we are. I have been enjoying it immensely. I really feel like #1 was cut out for this. She is able to learn what she wants in the manner that works best for her. We have been delving into all sorts of stuff and I am amazed at what she can take away from the experiences. I am also extremely pleased that it has allowed me to fill my home with stickers, markers, paper, a laminating machine (!!!) and unspeakably cool things like this.

Child #2 is a work-in-progress. He complains more days than he does not, especially if we're not learning/doing/reading exactly what he thinks we should at the moment. I've been more clever about sneaking schooling into other experiences and it has worked so far. That and, goodness, we're talking about kindergarten! Do you remember what you did in kindergarten? I remember these really cool smiley face cookies (not Eat n Park... smaller, chocolate, purchased in a store) and Donnie's (forget his last name) lost thumbnail totally grossing me out. Oh, and the Thanksgiving "dinner", 'cause we looked so cool in our hats/headdresses. Needless to say, I'm not stressing on him.

I am excited that #3 has watched all of this progress with his older sibs and now shows a strong desire to join us for the next 80 days. We shall see how that all works out.

Some of our fun 100th day activities...

First, gym. We did 100 jumping jacks and hopped 100 times on one foot (while keeping track with tally marks after each 5 - it's math and gym at once!)

Then some stories about the 100th day and a nice video that tied it in to the metric system (since that's chock full of 100! Math is EVERYWHERE!)

Followed by a yummy homemade lunchable ('cause you can't buy them for the 100th day but I think I will suggest that to the Oscar Mayer people).

Then, some work on stacking 100 cups. Counting, stacking, knocking's all good fun.

My reflections on the first 100 days?

It's great and it will be a finite proposition. I'm not sure when it will end, but it will. I am thankful that they have a good school to return to when the time comes but, for now, it is an incredible blessing to watch these sibling spend their days together. Look at the stacking pictures. There is a 7-. 5-. 4- and 2-year old side-by-side, working (and sometimes working-it-out) together. These aren't cohorts (although there is benefit to that too) they are siblings. They are learning to work with different ages, different genders and are doing so with the underlying motivation of love because they are family. I pray that this will help them, when the time comes, to look at others through that lens. That they will be able to see the face of Christ in everyone they experience because they learned these lessons early on when they were unrushed and (hopefully) well-directed.

God has His plan. All I can do is attempt to direct them toward Him at every turn. For now, while they are so small, I feel good that I am able to do that at home.


  1. Good job! We're just about to 100 days... maybe we'll take some of your ideas and have a party :^)

  2. I'm excited, and yet anxious about the day when homeschooling will start for real in our household. So glad to have examples around me to learn from!

  3. I am glad it is going well for you and your crew. I so admire you for this. I have thought about homeschooling, mostly for the reason you said. Ultimately I decided against it because my kid is an only. And, unfortunately, I am so much less patient with her than I am with the kids at school (subbing and doing lunch duty). I think I would do us both a great disservice.

    Happy 100 days!