Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Busy, Busy Weeks Ahead

We are moving headlong into our real school schedule this week, and have been on the run with all kinds of activities.  Tomorrow is Angela and Kenny's first volleyball game, and today I went to their first scrimmage.  I am the "official" scoreboard person.  Never mind the fact that I never played volleyball and don't know all the rules :-)  I'll figure it out somehow!

What fun it was to watch the kids!  Kenny...WOW...that kid has come so far so fast, and grinned the biggest smile today when twice in a row he served and managed to get the ball nicely over the net.  He even went for the ball a few times while playing.  His coach was telling me how surprised she was at how far he has come in such a short time.  Showing no fear at all of the ball coming at him, so already before even playing a real game he has been a success for the season!  I am so proud of him, this was a big step for him.  Angela rocked it, she is a total natural at the game and is enjoying herself a lot out there.  I'll try and get photos tomorrow but am not sure I'll be able to and keep the scoreboard at the same time. 

I also had a nice compliment paid the kids when a mom came up to me after the game and asked me "Are those two children yours?" as she pointed to Kenny and Angela.  I replied that yes, they were.  She said "I had more fun watching them than watching my own!  They were so encouraging with each other out there, and were just as excited for each other as they were for themselves.  What very nice children you is nice to see brothers and sisters get along so well."  Just as she said that Kenny came up to me and said "Hey Mommy!  Did you see Angela's serves?  She was awesome, wasn't she?" without a word about his own success out on the court. 

The past few days have been a little hard on Matthew.  I was wondering why he was more quiet than usual and a bit preoccupied.  Then I realized that tonight was when TaeKwonDo began, and he would not be able to participate.  This is a big disappointment to him, although he has not said a whole lot about it.  I spoke with him earlier in the day about it as we were driving somewhere and he admitted he is pretty down about it.  He realizes he may never be able to return to the sport that he has spent over 4 years diligently working his way  up, and was finally seeing a black belt within grasp being one step away.  Very disheartening for him, and I could have kicked myself for not understanding that this was on his mind.   I think on one of the TaeKwonDo nights each week I might try and take him out once in awhile just the two of us to talk and have time alone without the other kids, maybe make it a semi-regular Mom and Matt date night.  We still do not have his back brace yet, but should hear from the orthotic guy.

Matthew has had one thing to celebrate this week, and that is that he has already completed some of the steps to achieve his first rank in Civil Air Patrol and has just a little more to finish.  There are several steps to be completed for each promotion, and he is taking this very seriously saying he wants to advance as quickly as he can and "stay on schedule". 

One thing we are very blessed with is that none of the kids ever has to be pushed to get work done.  This seems to be the biggest battle many homeschoolin families have, and I am so glad it is one battle we don't have to fight.  They have a check list that they use each week which lists every subject and how many lessons we expect them to complete, how many times to practice their instrument, etc.  At the end of the week, everything should be checked off the list.  There are some subjects I teach directly, some I correct after they do, and some that are just practice or reading.  I have found that this has taken the onus off me to drive their days, and they have a lot of freedom as long as they keep working on their list.  During the course of the last year since I instituted this, we have seen a huge increase in their self-motivation.  They know what needs to get done, and they do it.  Very simple, very effective, and I have never once...not even once...found myself nagging. their bedroom is not on the school list, and I DO nag constantly about that! Hahaha!

The kids have also come up with a school mascot and motto, and we are hoping to have TShirts made as soon as we can afford it.  Although we are part of a public school alternative program as homeschoolers, and although we are participating in a few things with the local Christian homeschool group, each of which have their own name and mascot, we all felt like our home and family were our "real" school and we wanted to make it somewhat official.  Eventually, as they grow older, we will order letterman jackets for them, class rings, etc. and we want it to be tied to our experience as homeschoolers, not attached to groups with whom we only associate a little here and there.  So after much deliberation, the kids decided that we will be the LaJoy Academy, with a lightning bolt as our logo, and "Knowledge is Power" as our motto under the lightning bolt.  Our official colors will be royal blue and yellow.  Nothing all that groundbreaking there, but it will make us feel more like a real school.  I have to see where I can find inexpensive shirts to be made, and we will wear them when we go out on field trips or adventures together.  Identity can be very important, and as we thought about further down the road we realized it might become even more important.

So, as you can tell, nothing all that interesting going on, just the usual.  I'll try and get some photos up very soon!


4texans said...

I love this update. I'm sorry about Matthew not being able to do TKD. Nicholas just started this. I am anxious to see how the Civil Air Patrol goes, Nicholas loves anything that flies!

Hmmm, checklist, that's a great idea to help them get their work done, maybe I will start one with our kids! It's so wonderful to see how much your kids have grown in the homeschooling and I see how much they benefit. I know Melissa T. started this recently as well. It's inspiring but I don't know if I have what it takes to ever do that but I'm open to it if we need to do it later one...I guess...

I just love the ideas about the letter jackets, mascot, etc....wonderful!! I can't wait to see what they look like...

Anonymous said...

Cheers for the volleyball stars. You need to make available their schedule to us locals so that we can go and cheer occasionally.

Great idea so logo and motto but what is your mascot. Is Sunny going to take laps around the volleyball court and represent the LaJoy Academy in a coat of yellow and blue? I am surprised that your colors don't include red. I so often see Team LaJoy in T-shirts with red.

Now you can form your own cheerleading squad. Those who don't enter a sport can cheer for...oh, they already do that even for their fellow players. Nevermind, just expand the squad with those of us who support all of you.


Lori said...

I love the logo and motto!!!!!! What a great idea, and very fitting! Not surprising that it's awesome, could it not be?

Also, ROCK on for test results! Not that I'm a huge fan of test results, but I know that they are validating, and I'm so glad that sweet Kenny (and you!) have such fabulous validation! Again, no doubt that it would have been anything but.

Loving Angela being cuddly and allowing herself to be the sweet little girl that fits perfectly into your family. My heart remembers some really gut-wrenchng emails when you were picking the girls up...and how I prayed for God to just let the girls have a teeny glimpse of what their lives could be like if they'd just open up and allow His grace for them to shine and come in the form of you and the rest of Team LaJoy. So, so grateful for their bravery in allowing that to happen.

Lots of love!!!