I finally feel like Iris and I are hitting our stride and it only took us three months to get here! Ha! Ah, well. Better than not getting here at all, right? I think I owe a lot of that to our new curriculum. Instead of spending time thinking/worrying/planning we just work on lessons and (mostly) have fun. Iris is speeding through most of the lessons and many days I find myself doubling up on certain things, like our reading comprehension, phonics and composition as we cruise over lessons she knows much of already. She seems to be enjoying it and the review is always nice.
The only thing I haven't done is work out her new math curriculum. Unlike everything else we are using, the math doesn't really have a detailed plan for where to start. I need to figure out how to use the manipulatives as intended and then figure out where to start in the lesson plan and how to get Iris going on it. I am sure once we are doing math daily the speedy progress on everything else will slow down a bit. I am sure after the Christmas break we will be up and running fairly smoothly on everything.
My thoughts and feelings on homeschooling are shifting from being primarily about how stressful it is and how I can't wait to get Iris back in to a traditional school to more about how much I am enjoying homeschooling her and am glad the idea of public school is still a ways off. The only struggle on that front is that Iris is resisting many of the classes I have set up for her to do out of the home. She did two classes at the community center last term, one this term and just doesn't want to go every week. I forced her to last week and through the whole thing she was, well, pissed. I did have her go to a new art class that she seemed to really enjoy so I am hoping we can do more of that one. After the next couple of weeks at the community center she is done with her class and honestly I just don't know if I want to sign her up for any more. This kid just really doesn't want to be anywhere except home most of the time. I keep hearing the voice in my head (and out of the mouths of people in my life!) saying "she needs socialization!" but then I look at her and I see where she is the least anxious and the most comfortable . . . . and I cave a bit on forcing her out of her comfort zone. Clearly we need work in this area.
It has been really amazing to see how Iris has changed over the past couple of months, however. Obviously there are many reasons she may be changing, not just because of homeschooling, but she really has become more patient and more kind. Sure there are moments of impatience and being quite UNkind, but not nearly as many as before. While Iris has always had a pretty amazing ability to articulate things, Matt has noticed that has gotten even more pronounced lately. Her sleep is still crap, she still doesn't want to leave the house, she still has moments of anxiety (especially when I force her to leave the house!) but our goal was never perfection. Our goal was, and is, to just have everything be okay more often than it isn't. Hopefully A LOT more, but we'll take even a slight lean to the good side when we can take it.