It’s day five of our school year. It’s my third year homeschooling, Olivia’s first year of preschool, Ruthie’s second year of elementary school, and Emma’s first year at our church’s private school. Did you get all that? If so, let me know because it comes close to confusing me, too:) Change has come to the Henze house and it has mostly been like a fresh breeze–with the occasional whiff of a dirty diaper or the odious smell of dissension between our two middle children. Though it is hard to have our day so tightly compressed by scheduling demands, it is healthy for many of us. At least two of our children thrive on order and routine–the jury is still out on the other two! I also thrive on order and routine and the start of school for me has been a welcome change. Something about being forced to comply to a set routine is therapeutic for me. Sure, it’s hard to keep track of the details, but I’m a detail person so I welcome the challenge:)
Emma has a half day of school every Friday and came home with two A+ tests–she was a bit confused because she wasn’t sure what grades were. We talked about the fact that her teachers needed a way to measure how everyone is doing with the material so they can better understand if everyone is learning and mastering the information being presented. I think she was relieved to learn that it wasn’t a competition against the other children in her class–she likes everyone so much and didn’t want to hurt anyone else’s feelings. That’s my girl…
Ruthie had a great week, also. We’ve been reviewing her kindergarten material and re-learning a few things. She also aced her spelling test and read 4 books on her own this week. Reading is a major goal this year. Since her birthday falls closer to the age cut-off for school, it’s become obvious that the extra seven months her sister had was an advantage. We’re still praying through our decision to start her out in school when we did. She’s bright and capable, but emotional and social maturity is equally important at this point. She misses her sister deeply and spends a lot of time in Em’s room. Separating them was hard, but I can see the fruit already in their school work as well as their interpersonal interaction.
Olivia is chomping at the bit to start preschool. She’s had her outfit chosen for the first day since June! I think she is secretly nervous, too. She’s quietly asked me a couple times if I’m sure I can’t come with her to her first class. At the open house a few weeks ago, her teacher informed her that they will be painting on the very first day. A dream come true for Miss O! She then told the teacher, “Well, good because my mom never lets me paint.” I think O considers that akin to child abuse.
Samuel is learning…to talk, to walk, to make his own choices when possible. We’ve been taking him to a baby story time at our local library and he has really blossomed into quite the friendly baby. He loves books–uses them as weapons, chew toys, etc. He also has a knack for finding stray finger-sized toys and items buried under the recesses of our recliners and couch. They always get a good bath in his mouth before being fished out. He uses words liek mama, dada, tuck (truck), dida (diaper), ssss (sissy), kaa-kee (kitty), and shakes his head when things aren’t going his way. He waves, but only at himself in the mirror when he thinks no one is looking.
Overall, it’s a great start to the year. We’re all jsut exhausted trying to adjust to the changes. I’m praying for wisdom to know how to best minister to my kids’ physical needs for sleep, activity, play, nutrition, etc. A balance will be discovered, I’m sure. With four, it may take some time! I’m so thankful for the Lord’s provision and attention to detail in our lives. Thanks, God, for helping us with all the changes and for the special people who necessitate the changes. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.