Dec 082014
 
Our homeschool this month: preschool, Usborne books, Elegant Essay, and more

Alhamdulilah, we are still doing well in our homeschool, and while not every day is perfect, overall we are making good progress. Here are some highlights in our homeschool for November.

Our homeschool this month: preschool, Usborne books, Elegant Essay, and more

 

Homeschool Group Preschool Science

One of the moms in our group has really taken the reigns with setting up science experiments for our preschoolers using Mudpies to Magnets to get the ideas. The kids have really loved these experiments, and it keeps them from jumping off the walls playing inside together for a couple hours.

Our homeschool this month: preschool, Usborne books, Elegant Essay, and more

Elegant Essay

Completing Elegant Essay for Kira’s high school writing class has seemed to drag on for a long time, but moving and pregnancy has really slowed me down from active teaching. I’m really grateful that we are wrapping things up, and we just have one more assignment in December, in sha Allah. I highly recommend Elegant Essay as a primer for high school students to work on their logical flow of an essay, and understanding how all the small pieces fit into the big picture.

Home preschool

Our homeschool this month: preschool, Usborne books, Elegant Essay, and more

I keep trying different scheduling and techniques to make preschool work at home, and we do have some successful days, but we’re still trying to find something that’s a bit more predictable. Amina likes to do the busy bags when I break those out for Amatullah, and Aamina is not in the mood for concentrating when Amatullah takes a nap. I’ve collected a few more items to make more busy bags for Amatullah to keep giving that a try, but as I’ve said before, preschool is not at the top of my priority list. I am very happy with them having lots of imaginative play each day, but I also know that breaking up their day with a couple planned activities makes their day more enjoyable, too.

Another thing I’m trying to find time to look into is the Montessori method, and how that could fit with such young ages, and with both of them being fairly close in age. So far, it seems like it takes more planning than I normally am able to get to in a week, but I’m sure you just get into a routine after a while and it becomes easier. I’ve taken the idea of the prepared environment and have started implementing that, plus using that idea to plan how we are organizing our new home.

Usborne

Our homeschool this month: preschool, Usborne books, Elegant Essay, and more

I’ve mentioned before that I’ve become an Usborne books consultant, and my main goal is to collect books for my kids that they can use in their first years of school at home. I’m pretty proud of our budding home library, and hope to keep making progress to take the financial burden off my husband to get the awesome resources I want for the coming years. With three kids coming through the ranks, in sha Allah, I want things that are flexible for learning types, interesting, and educational. Usborne meets all of these needs.

In sha Allah, I’d love to share with you some of these books, and why I’m absolutely in love with them. I hope you’re excited for it, too!

What have you been up to this November?

Dec 042014
 
Pregnancy Update & Why This is Our Last - www.MiddleWayMom.com

I remember some friends of mine talking about their pregnancies and saying so confidently that they are done having kids. They never plan to get pregnant again. I didn’t really understand how they could be so sure. How could they deny the possibility of another human life in their family?

Now I get it.

Pregnancy Update & Why This is Our Last - www.MiddleWayMom.com

I’ve said since the beginning of this pregnancy that this is my last. It started out mostly for my husband’s sake (he likes a generally quiet home), and then it was because I just wanted to move forward in our homeschool, and our life, and stop cycling through the baby stage. Now, I’m physically certain I don’t want to get pregnant again. Now, I get it.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited for this new addition to our family, in sha Allah, and I’ve been excited since the day we found out I was pregnant. Alhamdulilah, I’m still quite healthy, and I still maintain a low-risk pregnancy. It’s the debilitating exhaustion that I experience when I’ve been pregnant with all my children that I can’t keep doing. Unless we suddenly get a surge of income that would cover the cost of a maid, we need me up and running. Eating at a restaurant because I don’t have it in me to cook dinner gets way too expensive for a family of five! Yes, the crock pot is my #1 tool, and it works awesome. Still, that requires meal planning, and even that takes it out of me. And our laundry? Goodness! Let’s just not go there.

Let’s say we had the money for a maid, nanny, and/or cook. Still, the aches and pains that have come with pregnancy is just more than I care to bare. I can feel that my ligaments have been loose since I was about five months along, so any type of turning, twisting, or stretching feels uncomfortable. Even getting groceries out of the cart so I can pay for them is a test of how much I can take before it becomes a day-long pain. It’s all too familiar to when I was laid up in a wheelchair for a week before I had Amatullah. Or the debilitating sciatica I had with Aamina. I don’t want to get there again.

In other news, we are back to being out of the house four out of five days a week. It seems to really creep up on us, and I forget how much work it is just to pick Kira up from her dad’s house on Thursday and Friday mornings (he picks her up in the afternoons. Mornings work better, so it’s the best option we have right now.). Alhamdulilah, things are looking good for keeping up with high school work and Kira keeping on track with her goals. Life as busy as it is just reminds me, this is the last baby, in sha Allah.

Did you know you were having your last child while you were pregnant? Did it seem obvious?

Dec 012014
 
Becoming a Stay at Home Mom doesn't feel natural or come easy to everyone, but sometimes you know it's best for your family. Join me as I learn to embrace the domestic life and love a life at home. - www.MiddleWayMom.com

I was at a women’s conference the other day and a woman asked me how many kids I have. When I answered that I was due with my 4th, she gave me a shocked look, and said, “Well, at least a couple of them are in school now!” Then with my response that I homeschool, she responded with, “Oh my! You are a saint!”

Nope. Not a saint. Not even close. These are just choices I’ve made for the betterment of the big picture, but my goodness, it is not easy.

Becoming a Stay at Home Mom doesn't feel natural or come easy to everyone, but sometimes you know it's best for your family. Join me as I learn to embrace the domestic life and love a life at home.  - www.MiddleWayMom.com

I read blogs of women who love being a stay-at-home-mom. I envy them. I wish I loved cleaning up after my kids, and working on character development, and I wish I could say I don’t meet many days with frustration.

I find being a stay at home mom very hard, mentally.

It’s not that I don’t find value in it, because I do. I wouldn’t be a stay at home mom if I didn’t feel it was the best thing for my family, at this time. Maybe SAHM-hood comes easier for those that witnessed it as a child more often, or had a SAHM themselves. What is challenging for me is that my worth in this world is dependent on other people. It’s often I feel like my boss on a day to day basis is 3 ft tall.

My work and its worth

It’s rare that I’m commended on my work in the home, but when I worked outside the home I was complimented on my intellect and determination for success. It’s a hard mental shift to go from someone perceived as intellectual, independent, and strong, to a doting housewife.

It wasn’t until after I started to homeschool and network with other stay at home moms that I realized how many of us are highly educated, and had successful careers before choosing to stay home. My perception of stay at home moms has changed significantly, but I can’t say I have any reason to believe that others’ perceptions are making any movement.

Outside stimuli

Often I’m left with a guilty feeling for wanting to find intellectual stimulus outside of the home. I love to take classes. I love to learn. I have to remind myself that there’s nothing to feel guilty about when I seek stimuli elsewhere, and I want to remind you of that fact also. Tweet this I was reminded in the book, Gift from the Sea that motherhood used to involve creative endeavors, but as we have made things more simple and streamlined, the tasks that used to give us pleasure (cooking, sewing, and even laundry) are now monotonous in their application. There is little creativity in many of these tasks when we take the simplest approach to them and use modern appliances.

I’m reminded that having hobbies like knitting, sewing, or cooking aren’t just for old ladies! Many of these hobbies give us reason, purpose, and pleasure to have some quiet time. We need that time to think, and often learning these new hobbies exercises the mind and gives us that stimulus. For me, these hobbies are a pleasure, but honestly, this humble blog brings about the most rewarding stimulus. Alhamdulilah (praise God), I’m thankful for such creative and fulfilling endeavors.

Embracing this life

So, it’s clear that the domestic life doesn’t come easy for me. I have to remind myself of the greater purpose and the bigger picture. How do I work to embrace it? How do I try to shift my mind from feeling like a servant to a worthwhile matriarch of our family? Remembering my purpose. I have to think of the alternative, and what life would look like. I love to know that I am, in sha Allah (God willing), hand crafting my children’s futures. Day by day, step by step, I am there. They see the good, the bad, and the ugly, but each day, they see me. I’m not perfect – incredibly far from it, in fact. But, I can say that I am not missing out on the family that I desired so deeply, and that I will in sha Allah know my kids well, and be able to support them because of how intertwined our lives have been from the very beginning.

Have you embraced the domestic life of a homeschool/stay at home mom?

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