Well, I began Wednesday with a slowly-growing headache. And it pretty much got worse from there.
Cecilia began her new math book. She got through three pages before she wanted to stop. She got very frustrated at the same repetition over and over again. While, yes, practice makes perfect, when you bore a 4 year old, their attention is lost. She then went on to handwriting (by her choice). She did the page for M and the page for N. When I told her on the page for O to try to make her letters as much like theirs as she could with the big O going all the way to the top and the little o going to the middle line, she got visibly distressed and said she couldn't do Os. Now, she can write the letter O it just isn't a perfect circle and that's okay. I don't know a 4 year old whose is, but I had not seen her before so frustrated at any school work.
I'm hoping, on Thursday, to jump ahead, oh about 10 lessons, to some things she may not find so repetitious and see if that is more enticing for her. I'm a little concerned it is the book I bought. I have had another one recommended to me that I could get but this one already cost me a pretty penny and the other would as well. So I'm going to try this first.
I think the girls are getting a little tired of going out in the cold weather. Today, despite my suggestion we all go out on the deck for a bit, no one wanted to go out (except maybe Elizabeth, but she was out-voted). I wish I could say I got some cleaning done, but by then my headache had escalated to a pulsating pain and medication and rest were my choice.
We did say our Chaplet and play some in the afternoon and I got to clear some stuff off my desk, but in the end the headache ruled the day. Tylenol would help for a little while, but then it would come back. I hate to say it, but it really became one of those days I really just wanted to curl up in a warm blanket and put on a movie until I fell asleep. I didn't, but you get the idea.
Fortunately Thursday was much better. I woke at 5:30ish to Elizabeth crying but got her back asleep and felt more rested than I had in more than a week. I had actually finished Morning Prayer before 7 (as I should but hadn't been lately) and had fed all the girls, cleaned up breakfast, made myself a double cup of hot tea and emptied the dishwasher all before 7:45.
I also emailed, and heard back from, several fellow homeschooling moms asking about the math book I had bought and what their experience had been. Not one thought I should stick with the book I bought. While some thought Saxon Math was very good for older grades, like 4th or 5th and up, not one thought they were very helpful in the younger grades and every single reply I got recommended A Beka for the younger grades. Cecilia's science books are A Beka right now, so I am familiar with them. They are not Catholic; they are Protestant but in the younger grades they are very good about giving young children colorful fun workbooks in which to learn and usually within the context that all they are learning came from God. I have been warned that, in the older grades, particularly in subjects like History, you can run into some anti-Catholicism and one-sided views on things, but in the younger levels I've only heard good things about them. So, I ordered their 5-year-old Kindergarden book which does have some things Cecilia hasn't done yet (unlike their 4-year-old Kindergarden book). Fortunately, this book is not really expensive so even though I've already spent too much on the Saxon Math book which I can't return because Cecilia already did some of the workbook, at least switching didn't cost another chunk. Hopefully her new new math book will be here next week.
She did do 2 pages in the math book I have, and then 2 more letters in her handwriting book (including O) and then she read an early reader book almost entirely by herself. Then she saw me preparing to carve the last pumpkin and school was over. She helped me scoop out the pumpkin while Felicity recoiled at the repulsive sliminess of the job. I managed to scoop out enough for two more cups of pumpkin for later baked goods. I then free-handed carved some vague semblance of Kermit the Frog. No, no pictures. It is pretty terrible, but Cecilia gave me a "good try" nonetheless.
We then began my big project for the day: a thorough cleaning of the kitchen. You see, it hasn't really had one since we moved in at the end of June. Yes. Four months. Of course I've swept and wiped since we moved in, but not like this. I got the girls busy with the Mr. Clean Magic Erasers on the walls, polished the tables and chairs, wiped and mopped the floor, wiped down the blinds where Elizabeth had managed to grab them with filthy fingers, wiped down the inside of the microwave and the counter around it, wiped down the inside and outside of the fridge/freezer and went through it cleaning it out, wiped down the stove and the toaster oven including scrubbing down the tray, shelf and pan for it. No, I'm not done the kitchen yet, but I'm about 3/4 done, which I'm pretty pleased with for one day. I might add that during the course of this cleaning I killed 3 ants, so if there was any doubt it needed it, the ants are my evidence how necessary it is. Two major things are slowing up my finishing. First, I want to take apart the high chair and REALLY clean every crevice. I haven't done that in over 3 years and 2 children ago. Of course, that is tricky since Elizabeth eats in it, so I haven't gotten to that yet. The other thing is that, as the girls are outgrowing their shoes, I have 6 pairs of shoes sitting on the counter. This evening I scrubbed and cleaned them. Once they are dry I will polish (if necessary) and then store them but until then, I have 6 pairs of shoes piled on my counter.
The girls played well while I cleaned. Of course they helped with some, but as it was such a rainy day, it was a good day for some cleaning. Tomorrow will be a much needed and very busy errand day (and a good day for it too as it should be sunny, but would not yet be dry enough for playing outside), but hopefully by Saturday I will have the kitchen finished. While it will need wiping and sweeping again, it should be in good shape for Thanksgiving too!