Why so long since the last homeschool wrap-up, or any update for that matter? Oh, have we been busy! The schedule over the past few weeks has been full of all-day yardwork, with breaks taken only for schoolwork, working out, and my continuous doctor appointments (which relate both to the serious health emergency from last month, as well as something new that came up. Lucky me!).
We live on 1 acre, and the yard upkeep is immense, especially since I’m responsible for nearly all of it. I’m proud to say that I raked the entire property, all on my own, except for two little patches that I begged Philip to help me with toward the end. After eight days—yes, eight days—of raking, my arms and hands were sore beyond belief. But then I got up the next morning and mowed the grass. Philip kindly took over that evening and finished the mowing for me, while I was at our neighbor’s house with the boys.
We’ve also planted lots of shrubs & bushes, most of them being gifts from my mom who seems to have a little bit of everything growing in her yard. We’re finally getting to work on some landscaping for the sake of beautification thanks to her gifts—because we certainly can’t afford the prices the stores charge for plants, bushes, or trees.
During these weeks, I’ve gotten up and done yard work in the mornings while it’s still relatively cool. The boys come outside with me and mostly play, but I’ve put them to work a lot, also. Their main duty during my raking was to pick up sticks all over the yard. There were a LOT of sticks and branches, especially after we had three dead trees cut down. They filled probably 15 wheelbarrow loads of sticks & branches during that time. We had a huge brush pile (see the first picture, next to the swingset) that we set on fire last Sunday; it made a massive bonfire. Once it died down enough to get near it, we roasted wieners and made s’mores, and then watched the full moon rise over the woods.
Each day, we’d do yardwork all morning, then come inside for lunch (usually a late lunch). And taking advantage of the inside work during the hottest part of the day, I’d spend two hours giving G his lessons while D took his nap. Then I’d go back out and start raking again, and G would come out after he finished his schoolwork. I raked until it got dark each evening. Talk about tired—I skipped the gym each of these eight days. Philip would come out and do his yard work starting at 5pm when he stopped work for the day (he was busy digging & laying stepping stones, transplanting sod, and hauling wood & branches from the trees we had cut down).
We’d have the boys outside with us each evening until dark, which is nearly 8pm, and then we’d take them inside and feed them dinner, then give them baths and get them to bed around 9:30…then we’d finally have our dinner. We’re routine people and we normally eat around 5:30 and the boys are always in bed by 8:30, so this was crazy for us! Living wild! haha. Despite all the upset in routine and all the extremely hard work, I loved it all. I love physical work because it’s fitness without having to go to the gym (which I hate). I love being outside in the weather and getting all the sun. It’s great family time when we’re out there together. And during the times when I was raking alone, I worked on my novel inside my head. I’ve got something great going, and I’m actually going to start (gasp!) writing it soon. Yes, yes, I actually did say that. 😉
I was tempted to skip all the schoolwork during the weeks of yardwork, but I knew if I did, we’d end up doing schoolwork until well into June, and that’s no fun. So I moved schoolwork to the hottest hours of the day and we got it done while skipping the miserable hot weather and while D napped. I’m excited to report that as of today, we have only 8 more days of math left to finish, 10 more days of language/English, and 3 more weeks of writing lessons. Yay! So only three weeks left, and we’ll end up with a very light load for that last week. We won’t finish history; we have about 6 more weeks of lessons remaining in our book, but we’ll just continue that into next year.
I’m ready for our summer break because I have a couple of big projects I want to get done, and I’d love to do it with no distractions. If you’re dying to know, I’m going to build and stain an entryway bench and shelf, and I’m going to sand and refinish my “new”…piano! My parents just brought it over this past weekend; it was their piano and is the same one I practiced on during my years of piano lessons. It’s a cherry finish and I’m considering just sanding it a bit and then darkening the stain to a mahogany color to match our main living room furniture. I’m also considering painting it black. Not sure yet what I’ll do, but I want to do it very soon. I need to finish it before we get it tuned, and we need to have it tuned before I can start giving G lessons, because it’s quite out of tune. So I’ve got to hurry.
I’ll do the actual wrap-up soon. We’ve done a few interesting things during these weeks of lessons, and I’ll share in the next post.