Special occasions and Ikea
On the first day of January, we started the year off by going to Ikea!
I wanted to buy a couple of things that would help us organise our life a little bit better. We love going to Ikea as a family, I love perusing through the endless aisles and looking at all the possibilities and ideas. The grand finale is of course a wonderful lunch of salmon and potato croquettes, fish and chips or meatballs and mash! The only inconvenience was that we had to hire a taxi for the journey to and fro. That turned out to be a frustrating and not to mention expensive affair. You see, now that we are a family of six, we can’t all fit inside our lovely little car and so we are in the process of considering when to buy a people carrier (MUV). Until then, we make do with taxis for special occasions and trips…yes, Ikea was a special occasion! Unfortunately, we found out that even largeish Uber taxis are only legally allowed to carry a maximum of 5 people (even though they have space for more) so, my poor husband had to hire an expensive cab service to take us back home from Ikea.
Separating the living room from the homeschool
Oh well. At least we got the things we needed, and we had a lovely time there. We bought grown-up towels for the kids, a mirror for their room to assist with grooming (new life skills for 2022) and a trolley cart that would help me to sort out my homeschool. The trolley cart was an instant success! It has been a challenging task keeping our dining table relatively clean and mess-free ever since we started homeschooling. Since our living room doubles up as a homeschool room, I am always looking at ways to manage a separation (if that’s even possible) between those two spaces. I like the idea of having a nice, welcoming, comfy living room and don’t like the idea of the homeschool taking over this space. So over these past couple of months, I have invested in an additional bookshelf to store all the homeschooling resources and now the Ikea trolley helps me to free up my dining table quickly. The trolley can also be easily moved to a more convenient place if I need more space during hospitality.
What I’m reading
I’m currently reading “Laying down the Rails” by Sonya Shafer. It is an inspiring book about the importance of setting down habit “rails” in your children’s lives. The author references material referring to the development of habits from Charlotte Mason’s books and volumes. The book itself is divided into interesting chapters: the importance of habits, physical habits, moral habits, religious habits, etc., and finally what to do if your child has already developed bad habits. I’m planning to implement some of her strategies as soon as I finish reading it. I’m convinced that it is such an important topic, and I am keen to start working on some of them with my own children.
Starting the year and our normal routines
As soon as the first weekday started in January, I was mentally ready to get back to homeschooling and our usual routine. I plan to write some time later about our current homeschool routine, including what resources we use. Thankfully, because the week was not intense and fraught with too many activities, we were able to ease back into our normal school routine without much fuss. Our baby is turning 5 months old very soon (in a couple of days) and so he is sleeping less and having more awake time. That is proving to be quite a challenge for me as I realise, I have less time to teach the children before the baby wakes up again and needs my attention. In fact, because the baby is changing so rapidly, I also see the need to adapt quickly and come up with ways of coping. My husband helps massively by taking him for an hour or two in the morning while I teach the kids. Sometimes, I assign each of the kids time to keep the baby occupied while I teach their sibling and so on. And more recently, the baby sits on a booster chair with a tray next to me.
It is tough.
It is a season I remind myself and by God’s grace, we will make it work.
And His mercies are new every morning.