Monday, January 2, 2012

2012 - Looking Ahead

Another year is in the books.  The final days of 2011 were spent with my sister and her family.  They came down for one last visit before moving from the East coast to the Midwest.  A four-hour drive just turned into a two-day journey, so we're already planning on a future vacation around the midway point.

Henry's math lessons for this week:
  • Lesson 49 - Creating and reading an AABB color pattern
  • Lesson 50 - Assessment #4 - Sorting and identifying the sorting rule
  • Lesson 51 - Making a pictograph
While I've never been really big on making resolutions, a new year does motivate me to set some goals.  Roughly six months from now, we'll be welcoming Baby 5 into our family.  Prudence dictates that any goal-setting should only run until June.  I am not about to embark on any grand schemes with four children under four years old at home!  So, things I would like to accomplish prior to the big arrival...

Henry needs to finish up his preschool year.  That means completing Saxon Math Level K, finishing up Go for the Code, and reading more Good Books.  I'd also like for him to complete the first kindergarten level of Hooked on Phonics.  It's a jump ahead, but he's ready for it.

There is a lot that I'd like to see Oliver do, but we're going to have to proceed at his pace.  Until he starts talking, it's very difficult to assess his progress and comprehension when it comes to learning things like shapes, colors, letters, and numbers.  Our pediatrician assigned Oliver a case manager; I'll be working with him to try to get in-home therapy sessions scheduled.

Toilet training is a biggie.  Oliver is finally starting to show some readiness signs: taking off his own clothes, telling us when he needs a clean diaper (mainly by tugging on us and jumping up and down), showing more interest in the bathroom, and even sitting on the potty chair on his own before baths.  It would be really nice to have him out of diapers before Baby 5 arrives, even if it's just during the day.

Oh my goodness.  I'm not going to set goals for Jane because she's just zooming all over the place on her own!  Over the past couple of weeks, the fussiness and tantrums have subsided as she's gotten over the frustration of learning to walk.  She's also figured out the old axiom of catching more flies with honey than vinegar.  Tears and screams have given way to kisses and smiles and she's slowly wrapping us all around her little fingers.  Even Oliver is tolerating her now.

Jane wants to do anything and everything that Henry and Oliver do.  She tries to take over Henry's school lessons, insists on sitting front and center for or Hooked on Phonics, and tries hard to "help" me around the house.  Is this what all little girls are like?  Every day, I'm more and more amazed by how easily she's able to pick up new things and by how much she wants to pick up new things.

As always, my goals are centered around running the household smoothly.  The morning sickness of the last few months really threw us all off kilter.  I need to get back into the regular routine of cleaning, cooking, and crafting.

On the cooking front, I want to make a master list of all the meals our family enjoys with a basic ingredient list for each one.  I abhor meal planning.  I don't like sitting down and figuring out what to make for the following week.  We never stick to it.  Either we don't feel like eating what we're supposed to that night or the leftovers don't last as long as we thought they would or they last too long and we're sick of it.  However, when I'm drawing a blank over what to pull out of the freezer to cook the following day, it would be nice to have a big list to scan and pick from.

My cleaning routine is a pretty good one, but I need to start spreading our laundry out over the week instead of cramming it in on one day.  So, Mondays will be for stripping down the beds and washing all of the sheets.  The other laundry will be done one load per day as the baskets fill.  Tuesdays will be for cleaning the bathrooms, Wednesdays for dusting and polishing the furniture, Thursdays for vacuuming, and Fridays for steam mopping.

I need to finish up the last half of my reading list for this year.  I've been dreading starting The Prince because I tried reading it once before and hated it.  I'm going to have to start fresh and see if I can get anything out of it this time around.

Glory of glories, the eldest daughter of a good friend has her driver's license now and I've hired her to babysit!!!  Once a week, dear, sweet Autumn will come over to watch the kids for a few hours after school while I run all the errands that used to have to wait until Matt was home from work.  This is going to help out immensely.  We're also going to make sure to have her over at least one night per month so Matt and I can actually go out on our own and enjoy dinner without worrying about sippy cups and bibs and diapers.  I don't care if we just get slices of pizza and sit next to a retention pond... we need some time!

There are the usual multitude of little projects around the house that always need to be done.  We need to paint the deck and the garden trellises, plan our plantings for the spring, prune and fertilize the trees, paint the shutters... all of the stuff that seems to pile up over the winter.  The storeroom needs to be cleared and organized, we need to get Jane's big girl bed put together and fitted with linens, the kids' closets need to be sorted and clothes need to be put in and brought out of storage.

Bring on the nesting because we're going to need all of that hyperactive instinct this Spring!  When Baby 5 arrives, I just want to be able to relax and enjoy the arrival.  We'll have all of July and August before Henry starts kindergarten in September (!) and I want us to revel in the summer.  Based on Florida law, we actually don't have to do anything in particular for Henry next year.  He'll be old enough to start kindergarten (if we were going to send him), but we're not required to officially establish our homeschool status with the school board until he turns six, either before or during the school year.  Since he's an August baby, he won't turn six until the 2013-14 school year.

We will need to register Henry with our parish religious education program, though.  While our parish only requires formal preparation during the years of preparation and formation for the sacraments, they do want homeschooling families to register at kindergarten age so we can use the same materials as the other kids.  I'll get in touch with our parish religious education director later this summer so we can get all of our ducks in a row.

No comments:

Post a Comment