Feb 1, 2010

The dust is starting to settle...

...and things are starting to feel like they are getting a bit back to normal around here...or as close to normal as it ever is around here!

We are starting out on a new leg of our adventure and some things have changed a bit ~ mostly for the better.

The biggest change is that I am no longer watching the Littles on a regular basis. They are doing wonderfully on their new adventure and I can feel more like an aunt again! KM misses them, but is really enjoying some of the perks of this change.

One of those perks being a much needed change in sleep schedules - KM had been getting a bit spacey and with all the changes going on with her physically at this age, I thought I would check in with her doctor to see what he thought. His first suggestion was to make sure that she was eating, drinking and sleeping enough! Most kids don't get the benefit of being homeschooled and not HAVING to get up at the crack of dawn, so his first suggestion was to go a few weeks letting her wake up on her own schedule. This at first FRIGHTENED me IMMENSELY - I thought for sure she would sleep til 2 in the afternoon and want to stay up til 3 in the morning, but of course her Dr quickly added, that this should not change her bedtime! She should still try to get to sleep at a reasonable hour and then her body should naturally begin to set its own rhythms. Of course I also began researching on my own as well and found a number of articles that went into great detail to explain the differences in the circadian rhythms of teenagers. - Here is one - and another - and one more!

This really made me think - "Okay yet another INCREDIBLE benefit of homeschooling!" When KM first began homeschooling we had to teach her how to acknowledge the needs of her body that she had suppressed for so long at PS. Simple things like drinking when she is thirsty, eating when she is hungry, etc. rather than waiting for the teacher to say it is time to do those things and you better do them or you may not get a chance to do them again for HOURS!

For the first week there were a LOT of late mornings, but she did seem much more awake and refreshed in the afternoons and evenings, with far fewer "duh" moments - by this I mean, "what did I walk into the kitchen for? oh yeah I need to eat!" sort of thing - I also started to see the natural switch and she is now sleeping wonderfully and awaking refreshed and ready to start at a reasonable time. With this extra time in the morning, I can get more of MY things done like chores and exercise and such, before she even gets up! It also gives her more time in the evening to hang out with CJ and I without feeling so exhausted.

Another benefit is that since we don't have the Littles ~ and all that must be brought along with tiny children ~ to haul around with us, it is so much easier to just up and go whenever the mood hits us! We can go for a snow hike today because it is sooooo pretty out and the weather is just right! We can just pop out to a matinee movie because we put the lessons off until tomorrow. We can scrap the history book for the afternoon and get the grocery shopping done so that we can have friends over in the evening. It is just so freeing! It has felt like we were missing this true freedom aspect of home learning because we were always trying to get the hard core "WORK" done on the days that we didn't have the girls so that when we had them we could play, do art and have fun little kid time. However now we get to have fun "tween" time!

Please don't get me wrong I LOVE my nieces with all my heart and would do anything for them, but it was just time for our paths to split for a while! I will however let everyone know how they are enjoying their new journey.

AS ALWAYS we are also tweaking our curriculum a bit, but we haven't worked the kinks out quite yet so I will have to let you know about that in another post! Anyway, thanks so much for hanging in there while it was quiet and all the great emails of encouragement and concern! My readers are so WONDERFUL!
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