Brian's parents have left. It was a nice visit. Sallie often has visitors. I don't know how she does it. Maybe it is something one gets used to. I am SO VERY VERY VERY TIRED from our week. Or maybe some people are cut out to handle it well and some just aren't and need more practice.
I did learn a few things. The most important is that we need more bath towels. We have just barely enough for the 5 of us. Which is fine for day-to-day living, but not good when there are guests. We were on the short end of towels when Dynasty was here, but I forget to get more for when Brian's parent's were here (that was actually 3 extra people since his Grandpa came, too). The week after Christmas we will have 2 students from Japan, so I guess I better go buy more towels.
Another thing I learned is that my pantry is poorly stocked and I am not good at having a week long menu with all needed items at the ready. Something else that I need to work on having in place. I think I need to plan 10 days of meals and then make sure I have everything I need... then I will have multiple options for meals if we need them. We just don't do well with having a week long menu and sticking to it, because we never know if we will be home for dinner or not. I get all defeated if I have a menu or schedule in place and then it doesn't pan out. This makes it easier to not have any plans OR menu or schedule at all...... but that leads to confusion and messes. I am doing better at having 'optional plans'; a list of 2-3 different schedules to choose from which will work that day.
I have found that I really enjoy hosting kids at our house. We had Manuel for 7 months and then when we moved here we had Dynasty for a week and I am really looking forward to having Kento and Yuji here from Japan. And I am already really bummed they are only going to be here 6 days and I really look forward to the next Student Exchange and hope it's 2-3 weeks at least!
Hosting Kids is one way we make school FUN! It's such a great opportunity and learning experience for us and the kids we have at our house. These are the kinds of things my kids will remember and learn life-long lessons from- not from reading a book on Honduras and writing a report or doing worksheets on Growing up in Japan. Plus, helping others and serving others always feels so good for everyone.
Gavin is doing work with HTML and webpage design. He has dabbled in it before. Brian met a friend at work that does Webpage Design as a side job/hobby and Brian plans on having Gavin be an apprentice. To learn about HTML/Web Design while helping out the business owner. I think It'll be great for Gavin and has the bonus of looking good on a High School Transcript. Gavin loves this type of thing. Yet another way to make learning fun!
Sometimes the best way to make school enjoyable is to make the TEACHER happy. Like the old Saying: "If mamma's not happy - NOBODY is happy!" One way I make sure my homeschool needs are met is to have some scheduled/ planned out events and classes. I am going to try a "J-Term" this January. When I was in High School we had J-Terms. During January we just took TWO classes. One was the 3 hours before lunch and the other was fort 3 hours after lunch. with breaks of course. I loved J-Term! My kids may or may not. I dunno. But it is something I want to try with them. So I will make a list of classes (things they enjoy/things I'd like them to get interested in learning) and have them choose 2 to do during January. I think I will have it set up that Ki spends 2 hours each day on each and Connor and Gavin will do 3 hours each subject each day. I like our 'Unschool' approach to life and learning, but I also need that occasional super scheduled time. It might be fun to have J-Term and I will plan a couple days during the month planned for just FUN outings!
Gavin and Connor both have Facebook Accounts now and have fun challenging each other to different things. All 3 boys play online multiplayer games. They are not as active as I'd like. I bought a Kids Yoga DVD for us to do together. I'll try to have Yoda Class on M/W/F I think. We also have been talking about getting 60 minutes of physical activity daily. I'd like to get Connor into some running. He likes to run and is kinda good at it. I'll look into what I can do there. Maybe have goals for him to reach or find other kids to run with him. I think we can use the track at the local community college.