Friday, April 24, 2015

Wrapping Up Our Kindergarten Year

Although this year has not gone quite accordingly to my original plan, I feel that despite the challenges we've faced this year, it has been an okay year on the home school front. I'd like to be finished by the end of June, but realistically I'm hoping to be completely finished everything in the next 10-12 weeks.

Finish A Reason for Handwriting (Kindergarten edition) - done

Finish our Singapore Math Kindergarten Curriculum (Book A is done...We are on Unit 22 of  32 for Book B. I paged through the units and am going to aim for at least 1 unit per week. I have found this math curriculum to be quite advanced, so we have taken our time through it as I want to be sure she really gets the concepts before moving on. It will be interesting to see what Grade 1 will be like. I am planning on sticking with Singapore again for next year. I have heard that Singapore is quite tough to switch to for the later years if a child did not start with it right away, so I figure I will start with it in the early years, and if it's not working for us, I'll switch to something else later on. So far, I'm quite happy with it.

Finish Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons (We are on Lesson 77). I have found that one lesson per day is too overwhelming for Elianna, so we are working through a bit of a lesson each day. I'm hoping to do 2-3 lessons per week to finish off the year. I'm quite happy with this choice of curriculum for teaching reading. It is completely open-and-go and has the child reading at a Grade 2 level by the end. My only complaint is that the book is a bit boring, which is probably why her attention is hard to hold for the lessons. She is a very energetic kid.

My original plan was to complete the entire Heart of Dakota curriculum (the book for ages 5-7) this year, but that did not happen. I plan to go through that more next year and just use the Grade 1 options for reading, writing, and math. That's kind of the plan for now, anyway. I have a lot of things to look into yet for next year.

So yes, we mostly focused on printing, reading, and math this year. Of course, I added in the usual days of the week, months of the year, talking about our world, weather, seasons, etc. This was done in a more informal way as we just went on about our days.

The things I really wish I would have accomplished are the chore system and character charts/routines. I just haven't gotten around to that yet.

Here's me "keeping it real." This is Debbie Downer, chiming in now. I still choose to blog once in awhile... not because I have the time for it (because I don't really) but because I still find it semi-therapeutic....and ahem, I could probably use some therapy. And thus, I blog. This has been the most challenging year of my life. I doubt it will be the worst year I'll ever go through, but so far, it has been the worst. Brielle still cries (often screams) a lot every single night. 400 plus days and probably only 5 times where she slept for 6-7 hours in a row and didn't scream for what feels like forever. Usually, her sleeping 2 1/2 hours in a row is a "good" night for her. Last night pretty typical for us...

7:00 ish - put Brielle to bed (crying, but she does fall asleep on her own within 20 minutes or so)
9-10 ish -  Brielle wakes up...starts screaming...we wait awhile in hopes she will go back to bed, but she never does. We give her gripe water, tylenol, something to drink, whatever we think she might need. Put her back to bed (usually crying again...but I try to rub her back and sit beside her shushing her and calming her down, which usually works at this point). Eventually she calmly falls asleep and then sleeps for about 2 hours. Then, "IT" begins. Yes, "IT."
12:20 a.m. - This is known as the dreaded "mighnight hour" around here. It never fails. Between 12:18 and 12:28 a.m. Brielle will wake up. It's very predictable, which is interesting. This is when the fun really begins. She wakes up screaming, and I mean screaming. Craig tries to deal with her for the next hour but she keeps crying. Ear plugs are useless because she is loud.
1:40  - Still screaming. I get out of bed. I try to calm her down. It sort of works. I put her back to bed. She cries. The rest of the night is a blur.

Between 2 a.m. and 5:50 a.m. I am up with Brielle at least 2 more times, trying to calm her down and help her get herself back to sleep. Nathanael gets out of his bed once. I put him back to bed. Elianna wakes up from a nightmare. I get her back to bed. Next thing I remember is standing in the kitchen just before 6 a.m., thinking "oh great, the sun is up and I haven't slept yet" and then going back to bed. I don't have a clue why I was even in the kitchen (probably was getting Brielle a drink of water or something). I finally get to sleep around 6 a.m. I wake up at 7:15 a.m. Everyone is up for the day. Time for breakfast. And what I mean by "breakfast" is survival...and strong coffee.

Soon I plan to eliminate dairy from her diet to see if that will help. I am also going to take her to the doctor. She will see her pediatrician in June, but I am definitely taking her to a family doctor before then (in the next few days) because things have just gone from bad to worse it seems.  I'm also considering the chiropractor or something, too.

Most nights, if I'm lucky, I get 3-4 hours of sleep total (and pretty much never in a row). Even beyond sleep deprivation, I'll just say it has been very, very difficult, and I hardly recognize the person I am. Since Brielle's birth, it has been survival mode every single day. I hate it...I hate survival mode, but it is what it is. Survival. And I have survived. We've eaten a whole lot of pancakes this year. We survived. Worst of all, I feel like I missed an entire year of my life and couldn't even enjoy Brielle's first year, which makes me incredibly sad. I am in the process of taking steps to get my health back on track. I just want to feel like myself again. One day at a time. More like, 5 minutes at a time. What keeps me going is knowing that this will not go on forever. Better days are up ahead somewhere even if it feels a million miles away right now. One day she will sleep through the night, and it will be wonderful. It will be wonderful. It will be wonderful.

Debbie Downer...out.


Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry! How old is she? Are you still breastfeeding. My 2 1/2 year old didn't sleep until 23 months when I weaned him. Then when we moved him from his crib to a bed at 26 months he slept a whole lot better. It also helped bc then if he did wake I could go lay with him. I don't know if she's old enough for a bed yet though. I'll be praying for you!

Kara Braun said...

I will pray that things improve. I did take Berkley to the chiropractor once. If you have any questions about the experience/who I went to, just let me know.

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