Friday, April 28, 2017

A Solid Week ~ Finding Our Way Through

It is hard to believe that April is nearly gone! My youngest son turns 15 this weekend! This past year has been tough for him. I pray that 15 proves a more positive year for him. I do see little glimmers of his depression lifting ~ just a bit. It is hard work every day, but worth the effort to see an occasional smile.

This week only had one really rough day emotionally for our son and our family. That is an improvement over most weeks. One thing that is helping is encouraging exercise. This is kind of a funny statement, considering how much dance my kids do. However, it seems my son needs to do even more -- and preferably outdoors. We spent one sunny day at the arboretum, and I got a few fantastic shots of the kids leaping.

Another day found us walking the newest section of the greenway our city is building along the river.

As always, encouraging sibling love and compassion is at the front of my thoughts. Even if the world outside is hard to take, your family is always, always there for you. One way our family has always connected is with board games. They bring lots of laughter into our home. We added Quelf, Harry Potter Scene It, and Exploding Kittens to our collection of board games this week. I love lucky finds at consignment shops!

We continue to strive to pull farther back from social media and online gaming. Both, have caused a fair amount of sadness to our home. We decided to let the kids keep Instagram, but it is very heavily monitored by us. We have returned to some old school computer games that require a CD 😉 and one online game that is heavily monitored and designed for parents to enforce safety for their kids. Some of these restrictions have been tough on our son, but they have resulted with him feeling somewhat more comfortable and secure.

It is no secret that this has been a rough year in our little homeschool. I am not saying that it hasn't been filled with quality, but it has also been filled with trials, changes, regrouping, changes again and just plain burnout at times. As I look back over the year, I am pleased with our accomplishments and all that we learned. The kids continue to grow and stretch. If anything, one of the main frustrations has been the kids complaining that they already know much of what we studied this year. I didn't intend for it to be a review year, but in some subjects it turned out to be just that. I do feel like they are solid in what they do know and are ready to move forward next year. Even Anne is finally grasping all things about fractions. We have come back to fractions time and time again over the last two years in every educational way imaginable, and fractions are finally starting to consistently click. We are relying heavily on videos as we enter our last five weeks of school. One common thread that has been a great success this year are educational videos. We have watched some excellent movies and documentaries. We discovered Ted-Ed. We love the short lectures with discussion and questions. 

Blessings, Dawn


  1. I think nature can be a huge component in feeling better mentally when we're struggling. (Obviously many other things may be needed including therapy, medication, diet changes,etc)I know I even feel better just walking outside vs. doing heavier exercise indoors. The pictures were really cute!
    I love your game haul from the thrift store. We don't have those ones. I try to keep an eye out when I'm at the thrift stores for good games too.
    Have a lovely week!

  2. Your teaching and mothering style is so similar to my own. I love to hear about your weeks because they make me feel as if I am not alone. I love your photos, too. Have a great week coming up, and I hope it is filled with smiles.

  3. LOVE the photos!! Dancers are easy to spot for that very reason!

    Have a great weekend!

  4. the photos of the kids leaping and dancing are wonderful. I know its been a rough year for your son. I will continue to pray for peace and joy within your whole family.

  5. The leaping photos are wonderful!!! And I have a daughter who cannot grasp fractions, either . . . though it sounds like yours finally has success. That gives me hope for someday.

    We have strict, strict rules screen rules, too. The kids hate it, but I think they are keeping my family spiritually and emotionally safer than they would be otherwise.

    May you all find increasing joy.

  6. I'm so pleased things seem to be looking up for your son - he certainly looks full of beans in that photo! We too have pulled back on screen usage, the result of which has been much fewer peaks and troughs in the general teen mood :)

  7. Hey, it's Belinda from A Blessed Heritage Chronicles. Feel me hugging you and shouting loudly as a cheerleader. You were anointed to be mom to these kids, and I am just so pleased that our paths crossed a decade ago such that I get to witness you in action.LOVE the shots of them leaping!! I am taking pics of our oldest graduating this weekend--wish I could pack you in a bag!!

  8. I'm glad you're finding things to help the kids. When I would have let our daughter join social media a couple of years ago as a young teen, my husband was unwavering in his belief she did not need it. At 15.5 now she still does not have any social media at all and doesn't need it. She texts her good friends, and has email. That's it. We do allow some online games, but again those are the ones that are heavily monitored. I worry that she will feel left out still, but my husband has taken the stance that she doesn't need it until she is old enough to override his decision.