Friday, March 26, 2010

Day 111

We've reached Day 111 of 160 lessons of homeschooling.  It's a cause for celebration (and in Mexico, they always look for anything to celebrate)!  We can call this one "Dia de 111 de Escuala" or something like that ...  Because we started school late into the year since we were so busy getting the boat ready, we've been schooling at least five but sometimes 6 days per week.  I've also found that fewer breaks make it easier to get back into the school week - after a break of even a couple of days, the first day back is never very successful.  This push has paid off - we have only two and a half months left of school.  The summer months are looking awesome!

I've spent a bit of time over the last few days reflecting on how it's been going.  Well, I can't say it's been stellar, but it hasn't been all bad.  I think the kids are learning, so that's a good thing.  It hasn't been terribly creative, which I think would make it more fun but also take more time.  When we have a good day, we start at 8 a.m. and are done by noon or 1 p.m.  We actually tried something different yesterday:  began the day with a beach walk and a snorkel and then did school in the afternoon.  But that only works when there are no other kids around, as all other kid boats do their schooling in the morning. We've also discovered recently that getting off the boat to do school at a palapa restaurant on the beach keeps them focussed well.

Michael feels like portions of this trip seem to revolve around getting school done.  My view is that school does need to get done, and this trip gives us some flexibility to do side trips and have cool activities in the afternoon.  I'm not willing to abandon school altogether, which some boats have done (okay, so they have younger kids, but most of the other kid boats we know do not take school as seriously as we do).  We are still trying to figure it all out.

The worst of it for me is when I lose my patience when it's taking too long.  I really dislike who I become when I lose my patience, and Harrison insists I lose my patience every day of schooling. What's interesting is that I don't feel angry, but apparently I sound pretty bad.  So to counteract this, Michael and I tried to brainstorm possibilities of how to deal with it.  There's forgetting about schooling altogether, but as I noted above, I'm not willing to have my kids repeat a year or part of it, and I am vehemently trying to avoid even having tutors.  There's letting them do it on their own, but when this happens, I have a lot of correcting to catch up with.  There's having Michael take over some of the homeschooling. I have found that when I get a break, I am oh-so much more patient.  And then there's using the technique that my life coach suggested to me about getting my kids ready in the morning without angst:  Just don't get angry.  Whatever I do, my only true goal must be not to lose my patience and get angry.  Seems simple but it's a great technique. For two days, that has worked!  So far so good.

We will be taking a 'spring break' for the next couple of days as we prepare for Passover and my sister and her family's visit.  When we return to homeschooling, I will likely use a little of 'all of the above' to get us through the home stretch.

Signing off from Barra de Navidad once again (as we head north to meet my sister's family in Tenacatita),


  1. Mazel Tov on Day 111! It's like when the kids count to the 100th day of school. HOpe you guys have a great visit. I sent a special "treat" for Michael...tell him I said if he doesn't want to share this time, he doesn't have to.
    Chag Sameach...I have a seat saved for each of you at our table of 28 for next year!!

  2. What a milestone. And what a great mom you are. I am sure your kids are learning (tons) and when they look back on this year, they will remember fondly even the moments mom wasn't patient. It's all part of the experience. Would it have been perfect bliss if you were here in CA? Maybe it would have been different stresses...but, well, let's just say I knew you when. It's always a challenge for us moms to keep it together, no matter what the time or place. And while it is a good idea to use other techniques to help you cope with the stress of the situation, my guess is you will still feel impatient and stressed no matter what. It's what you do with it that can change things. Easier said than done, but it's all part of the journey.
    Chag Sameach. Have a great time visiting with your sister...I am sure you will have a blast. As always, missing you like crazy.

  3. I think you are doing great with the schooling. It may not seem so now, but I'll bet when they return to "normal" schooling they'll realize how much they learned and how much more fun it was with you as their teacher.
    Have a great time with Moe, Jason and their terrific boys - you're sure to have a ball together. Chag Sameach and enjoy (or shall I say splurge on) the 15 boxes of matzahs that you ordered! Love you all and wish we were all together...ENJOY!

  4. Barbara

    I just found your blog and read about the schooling. To put your mind at ease, just know that you are doing a million times better than I ever would. I barely got through helping with the homework when the girls were younger. I would give it a good five minutes and then call it quits and we would go and make cookies. Your kids are learning so much more than they will ever get in a classroom simply by the adventure. I am so impressed!

    I will be reading now that I know where to find you!