Interesting Homeschooling

Homeschooling has been fun lately. Other than some counting review, we have left math and English alone. That evaluation is 2 months away, and we are going to get down to business with reading, writing, and math after that. I have been talking to a tutor I think I am going to hire.

Meanwhile, it’s all about geography, science, social studies, art, and art history. I have bought tons of books for her to explore, and there are at least fifteen more coming in the mail. I want to introduce her to the world and help her find the things she is passionate about. I believe in a liberal arts education. I am going to give her the best education that I can.

Craig gave me that really cool book about Hieronymus Bosch for my birthday, and Angelica and I have dissected a painting, St John on the Island of Patmos, and talked about what it means. She loved it. She asked so many questions. We’ve gone through more Bosch paintings as well. He’s my favorite Medieval painter. 

Naturally, I am not looking for a thesis from her. She’s five. I just want to introduce her to some artists so that she can identify their work if she sees it. At the very least I want to expose her to a lot of art to give her an appreciation of it and to stoke her imagination. I’m pleased that she has been enjoying it so much.

Science has been all over the place. We have talked a lot about the solar system. Pluto has been a focus of discussion, as have Mercury and Venus. We have also been learning about caves. There’s so much to discover in the books I have bought her. She’s in Kindergarten, so if she absorbs just some of it I’ll be happy. Angelica has so much curiosity and so many questions. It is a joy to teach her.

One of her new books for history and social studies profiles kids from different cultures and time periods. I think filtering things from the perspective of a child will help keep her interest and help her retain the information. It is a good introduction. I have other books too, but that’s the new focus. We’ve gone over some basic structural elements of castles as well, but I think we need to review that.

Art itself has been a regular focal point. Angelica uses a variety of materials, from paint to fabric. She really enjoys being creative with everything she can find. I want to encourage this as much as I can. In a few years, when she is more mature and responsible, I look forward to buying her a camera. For now it’s stickers galore. 

Coming Down on Me

Mechanical clouds,

the pendulum to the pit

sink lower and lower.

Since I was born,

the threat of water has

been as a canopy above me.

My diving gear is holey.

Nothing breaks down

With a promise of pain.

My lungs will fill as sponges,

And then there will be

the catharsis of pressure,

the implosion as the

weight of water lays on me

like caramel on whipped cream.

Trying to Raise My Mood

Now is the time to put my new planner to the test. I was doing pretty well this morning. We did homeschool lessons, I painted with Angelica, I did housework Etc. I was productive and really enjoying myself. Then I started my afternoon low. Now I’m trying to come back. I feel like my soul slipped out between my fingers. I’m staring at the TV. It’s one of my favorite shows. I still feel like a piece of myself has been rended in a shredder. Somehow I need to get off the sofa.

Customized Planner!

I’ve been dying to get a custom planner. So many of the planners advertised as being custom online really just mean you can add your name to the cover page or choose your background image. That’s nice but it really wasn’t what I was looking for. I wanted a custom layout with very specific areas of accountability and goal setting. There was nothing on the market that really covered what I wanted. I wasn’t shocked since what I wanted is pretty specific and kind of a random combination of things, so I decided to try to see if someone makes custom layouts.

I found an awesome girl named Leah on Etsy who sells printable planner pages. I emailed her and she said that she would custom design something for me. I wanted to incorporate everything from daily creative goals to scripture study goals. I wanted some color on it. She took that information and design something perfect with every single category I was looking for lit up in rainbow colors like I asked.

Side A and side B. I am absolutely in love with this layout and I have printed a ton of pages already. I started on this planner this weekend and it’s making me really productive. I have every category of creative goal listed, and all my basic housework for the day with space to write in additional tasks that should be done. I can keep track of my mood and monitor my mental health. I list what I’m grateful for and that’s a great way to start the day. I have a space for specific things that I need to do during the day and overall goals such as dieting goals or certain attitudes I want to have or something like that. I’ve got space to keep track of scripture study and prayer. I’ve got a section for self-care to remind myself to slow down at least enough to do a couple of basic things to maintain my mood. I have a homeschool section where I can both set daily goals for what I want to cover with Angelica and keep records to record what actually happened in homeschool that day. Sometimes we end up covering subjects that I didn’t plan for or not covering things that I did plan for. So it’s dual parts planner and record keeper.

I really think this planner will make me more productive. With every kind of goal laid out and everything listed that I should be doing I really have a lot of inspiration to get working. Realistically since there are only 24 hours in the day, and since I don’t feel very well for some of those hours a lot of the time, there will probably be many days where I don’t meet every category in my creative goals list and do homeschool and clean the whole house Etc. But having these things written down reminds me to do things and gives me clear-cut goals to achieve. It provides me with inspiration, and if I am having a fantastic day I might actually get a lot of it done. It keeps me accountable. 

Sometimes I feel so dulled or tired or depressed that I stretch my mind to even think of things that I could do. I can’t think of things that I might enjoy doing and it’s hard to get up and do the things that I know I should. Having something in front of me that lists everything and with little spaces to be specific or to check off if I’ve done something might give me a push. Hopefully my faith section gives me the reminder I need to turn to God and get to know Him better even in times when I want to crawl into myself and slam the door shut.

This planner is absolutely perfect and now I need to start using it to make the most of my daily life. I’ve just begun my 30s and it’s time to be serious and productive. I want to do things that matter. I want to make a beautiful home for my husband, give my daughter a wonderful education, and spend my time doing things I love to do. No one knows how long they have.

Weight Loss and Maintenance

In July I wrote about painting my way skinny. I really fell off with that. I’m determined to start again. I want to fill my days with creativity and see if I can keep myself distracted. What I’m finding is that a lot of it is medication dependent. Some of these medications make me hungry. Really hungry. Worse, for the past few months I haven’t had a working med combination. I’m not sure what the connection is exactly, but when I was briefly on a medication regimen that worked perfectly the weight just fell off. Since my Bipolar medication burnt out it has been a steady downhill. My weight has stayed in the same five pound range. But I have no luck actually losing any weight. I have been stuck between 159 and 164 for months.

My goal is not actually to be skinny. I don’t really care about being skinny, my husband likes me as I am, I want to eat foods I actually like, and I don’t really want my weight to be a major focal point in my life like it was when I was younger. I would like to lose another 10 or 15 pounds though. I really need to make that happen. I need some sort of inspiration to get started again. Painting might be the answer or at least part of it. It’s something that keeps my hands busy and the paint is always in my laundry room studio. I’m not a great painter. I’m not even trying to be. But I could play with all those colors for hours and still not be tired. The colors, the textures, everything is great. I have no desire to learn how to paint a tree or a flower and especially not a person. All I want is color and line and texture.

What else can I use? I’m trying to keep peppermints around the house so if I want to taste something good and I want to have something in my mouth I can have something low calorie. I think that might help. I also need to drink more. I’m not sure how true this is but I have read that some of the time we think we are hungry we are actually thirsty, so when you feel hungry the first thing you should do is drink something. If you’re still hungry after that you probably actually need some food. But if you drink a big glass of water and you feel better then you just saved yourself a whole bunch of calories. I need to drink more, use peppermints, paint more often, and maybe find an additional outlet. I might go back to making random collages that combine different photos and paintings on my phone. They don’t look professional, and in fact look pretty crazy, but they’re enjoyable to make and I like the process of going through all sorts of photos to find my layers. More importantly, it’s something I can do while sitting on the sofa watching a show. A lot of the times when I’m eating or snacking it’s just something to do while I watch a TV show. Watching TV is not my favorite thing and I certainly don’t watch it all day, but there are a few shows I like and it’s not uncommon in the evening when I’m tired for me to sit down and watch a show. I need something else to do while I’m watching TV.

I’m setting goals and hopefully by writing them out like this I’m going to give myself a sense of accountability to actually achieve them.