2021 plans

I say “plans” because “goals more imply to me things that I want to add to or achieve in my life. I don’t actually have (m)any of those goals for next year. Mostly, I have plans.

Plans for 2021:

  1. Finish editing and then publish Clay Clarkson’s Heartfelt Discipline.
  2. Host our conference for homeschool moms, hopefully in March.
  3. Support Vitaliy as he writes a thesis paper in order to graduate with a baccalaureate in May, then support him as he starts graduate studies in the Fall.
  4. Homeschool, homeschool, homeschool.
  5. Spend time with my parents if they are able to come May-October
  6. Support our church going through the church-building process

Also, I would like to read. I’m not exactly sure of what, but two examples are

  1. In Russian, Ushinsky’s book for moms/teachers (a famous Russian pedagogue)
  2. Hold on to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More than Peers

Other than that, I don’t have much planned…. Not like former years when I had lots of personal goals.

Oh, one other thing that I think God is poking me to do is to study certain topics in the Bible. Like I think He wants me to study the theme of Lord’s Supper/Communion. And a few other things.

our home school plan, Spring 2021

I wish I blogged more. Maybe I will give myself permission to blog more during 2021 🙂 I just feel like things I analyze right now are either too repetitious, or that they are too private and not to be shared publicly.

So I want to write about homeschooling 😉 I want to have record, as it’s all going by in a blur now.

This is half-way through 9th grade with Skyla and Vika. I suddenly decided to do 9th grade as block classes. So last semester, we did Geometry and Chemistry as our two huge, main classes.

Bible is going all year. We also did Health, Pottery & Drawing.

This coming semester, we continue Bible and Drawing. Our two major classes are Ancient History & Geography and English. Philosophy is also a minor class.

These classes (except Bible and Drawing) are all connected in one program– Tapestry of Grace Year 1. This covers Creation to the Fall of Rome. It’s an intense program, but I enjoy these subjects a lot, and I have the energy to sustain my enthusiasm for them.

For history, we complete the week with a Socratic discussion. So I bought a video lesson where the program writer teaches how to lead a Socratic discussion, and it’s a fascinating technique! Last Friday we sat in the cafe at the mall and had our discussion. We also have a Literature discussion, and they have small, weekly writing assignments.

It’s quite a change from the Math/Science side to the History/English side, but here we go!

I also wanted to say, that choosing to enjoy home school and invest in it has helped me gain emotional and mental enthusiasm for the subject matter. A book I read, Morning by Morning, talked about having enthusiasm for subject matter, to sustain the natural resistance to learning that some kids have.

So I’ve been messing around with how to have that enthusiasm, and 1. studying educational techniques, 2) reading about educational philosophies, 3) no longer pregnant/breastfeeding/co-sleeping, and 4) generally applying myself to become proficient in this role of home educating mom — have all helped me gain enthusiasm for my subject matter, varied as it is.

Only the Lord knows what 2021 holds in store, but this is what’s planned, and I’m learning to pray consistently about our learning and relationships.

Homeschooling 2020, 9th grade

I want to write down what we’re doing this year because experience tells me I will just forget it all 😉

I”m going to write about doing 9th grade with the girls.

I suddenly decided to do block classes. Which means, we’re doing less classes for double the time. Instead of doing chemistry for an hour a day all year, we’re doing it for 2 hours a day for a semester.

And geometry. 2 lessons/day, and they’ll be done in October/November.

And I scheduled Health class (online) to be daily from Sept to December.

So, three block classes.

Bible, I’m keeping that going all year– it’s a program that needs to be spaced out for assimilation. We do this three days/week.

Art– we do 2-3 hours a week. This week was 2.5 hours of pottery! Yippee 🙂

So here’s hoping we survive and thrive through 9th grade 😉 <3

I also want to mention the Guest Hollow Chemistry in the Kitchen class we’re taking. It has great books to read, lots of youtube videos to watch, and easy/neat experiments to do in the kitchen. I’m very pleased with it.

This is a neat book that I would not have the discipline/desire to read if it weren’t for this class. It’s just fascinating, how things like Vitamin C deficiency impacted the exploration of the world. Immensely. And how gold influenced history! And salt! and sugar! Really, it is simply fascinating.

Fitness 2020: baby steps

One reason I’m glad I go to Curves to work out is that just being there motivates me to take care of myself. It IS caring for myself, in that I exercise there, but also, just being in that atmosphere motivates me to care for myself.

So, a few days back, one of the trainers bugged me into doing their 21-day marathon (it’s an eating program for 21 days). I’ve done them before. I’ve done their Food School, which is even more educational and intense (weekly meetings, information, etc).

So I agreed and paid for the marathon. Then I wasn’t really happy I did that, and didn’t have energy to open up the info and look it over. Homeschooling just saps so much energy somehow.

But the night before I was to start, something bumped me to do open up the files, and so I did. I bought the stuff I’d need for the Day 1 menu.

So now I’m finishing Day 2, and I’m actually really glad I’m doing this. I’m not hormonally, emotionally glad. Just factually glad. I’m doing it. It’s good.

Here are my measurement results for today, Sept 3, 2020:

Body fat, for example, was 36.4 in March, 2020, and today it’s 36.5. My muscle percent was 28 in March, and now 28.3.

I’m happy that I’ve generally been holding OK these months of quarantine, summer, travel.

Also, I weigh like 165, and what I’m glad about that is that my “normal” weight used to be 175. I’ve spent most of my life around 175 lbs; my body always pulled that number. But now I’ve moved what I feel “normal” in down to 165. I feel normal at 165. I’m hoping to lower that ingrained perception of what is my normal weight, but I want to acknowledge the progress I’ve made.

Along those lines, I want to say how thankful I am that I have worked hard on keeping my weight down. I have done this very imperfectly and with such stops, starts, spurts. I’m thankful for what I’ve been able to maintain. It has not come easily.

It helped when when I accepted that I will not have a smooth linear downward weight loss, then a flat horizontal maintenance. I will quit, be de-motivated, be re-motivated, start again and again and again. It’s OK.

About my percent of body fat, gives these guidelines:

For women, an “acceptable” level of body fat is 25-31%. A “fitness” level is 21-24% body fat. They quote another sources based on age says that women aged 40-59 (I’m currently 44) should be in the 23-33% range. So I’m thankful that I’m close to “acceptable.” It would be nice to get into the “fitness” range, but I’m not sure I want or will be able to do that.

For muscle mass, the same site says that a woman 36 to 55 years old, should have a muscle mass of 29-31%. Wow, at 28%, I’m not too far from this– and for this I am also thankful.

Healthy visceral fat is under 13.

So, there we go.

midlife crisis: resolution

So, I’ve had a series about my “midlife crisis,” which for me has been a process of saying good-bye to some of the dreams I imagined being and doing and embracing the life I really have.

Congratulations, Me, I really like my life as it is! I can think about my unfulfilled dreams without pain and with appreciation that I haven’t lived that life by choice, and that I have a fulfilling joy about the life that I do have.

It’s been a long, wonderful journey of about 6 years, coming through all of this. I am thankful for the Lord’s leading, I’m thankful for His will for my life.

Also, I’m ready to embrace one of the major tasks of Older Life, as expressed so well by Marcia Sommerville in her book, Love the Journey:

One of my essential tasks for this time period is to maintain a loving, close, intimate relationship with God.

Her expression of that task has helped me not lose my bearings while I’m in this Long Middle of the journey– where neither the beginning nor the end is in view.

Thank You, God. You lead me in paths of righteousness for Your name’s sake.

God’s motion, home school conference

So I wanted to record these two things. After many years of *holding* the idea of doing a conference for homsechooling moms, God made definite motions to initiate and fulfill the plan.

In the early days of taking steps of faith, He encouraged me with two places from Scripture.

One, I was reading the story of Samson, and while I dearly hope that God saves me from Samson’s moral failure and apparent lack of heart to glorify God, I was touched by the Spirit’s coming upon him to accomplish supernatural acts.

So, this conference is not a supernatural act, but 1. I want supernatural things to happen in our hearts, things that only God’s Spirit can do, and 2. I want to not work in my own power to plan this, but to work in the Spirit’s power. So Samson’s story impressed this aspect upon me.

Also, I was touched by Jesus’ words, when He dried the fig tree and the disciples wondered about it, and then He said, “Have faith in God…. Truly I tell you, if anyone says …., and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”

This encouraged me because I know that God Himself it urging this conference to be done, and I am asking with my *hands off* and wanting with a clear heart to do His plan.

Fitness 2020: shifting identities

I heard or read someone not long ago saying that one needs to be flexible with one’s own identity– because they can come and go.

So I’ve been inspired to lose more weight and get back to the shape I was in back in 2016. I’m not very fat right now, for which I’ve learned to be thankful. That is, instead of just being dissatisfied with my appearance, I’ve learned to be thankful for what I have been able to maintain to date. It’s been a lot of work and effort.

But along with “getting in shape again,” I’m trying to actually change my identity this time. Let me explain:

When I got way in shape (back in 2016), it felt a little strange, like it wasn’t me, like it wasn’t my real body. Like, I’ve always been overweight, not a muscular, thin person. So, having a muscular, thin body was strange to me. It wasn’t normal. It was something that constantly surprised me.

So I’m trying, this time, to also shift my identity, from someone that is always slightly overweight to someone that is thin, fit, active, etc.

Our recent trip to the Carpathians Mtns helped me with this– it was fun being able to climb steep mountains and feel myself in good physical shape.

So I’m trying mentally to shift my image of myself–that Anne is a middle-age, super-in-shape homeschooling mom. 🙂

Being married to Vitaliy helps, as he is very active and has been from youth. He’s always taking us on active outings.

So anyway, this is one of my current threads in life.

week 2, progress

This week we finished reading Mr. Popper’s Penguins. We were doing a chapter a day, but about Tuesday, we got curious about how it would end, so we read the last three chapters to find out.

Una really amazes me. She loves “school,” well, what SHE means by school, which is basically doing pages in her math book and copying letters.

I’m surprised by her progress in writing because of her interest. She’s been writing her numbers a lot, learning from 0 – 20 in math, so she has fewer and fewer backwards numbers.

Her English letters are getting better, too, from all her copying.

Andre was supposed to start dictation this week, but I realized that he is not ready at all for hearing words out loud and trying to write them down, so we’re doing copy work instead.

We had the option of making a paper mache mummy, but I didn’t get that together– we did the flora and fauna of Egypt booklets. But we watched youtube videos about mummification and the monuments in Egypt. And Vika did a fast wrap-job on them both with TP, so they were “mummified.” However, we left the brains and internal organs in place, ha ha.

Egyptian paddle doll and game

I’d never heard of this game– 9 Men’s Morris. It’s an old game from Egyptian time– still played today. We made this from an art museum book and learned the rules and he played several times. There are YouTube videos explaining how to play it.

With Una, we made an Egyptian paddle doll.

Yegipteckaya igra i kukla

Египетская игра и кукла

Сегодня мы занимались рукоделием.

Андрей очень понравился сделать эту игру и учить, как ее играть. (На ютуб есть инструкции об этом.)

Старая игра– “мельница” (9 Men’s Morris)

Юне понравилась сделать куклу из египетской культуры.