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Everything posted by Perogi

  1. Yes - that has been my thought as well - large families do manage somehow! I have friends who use things like ABeka streaming so I know there are options but those aren't my preference. I appreciate your opinion as a fellow foster parent as well :) The break this summer was very intentional and a huge blessing. I'm glad you had the same!
  2. Yes! I agree. But it's hard to put that on a checklist! ;)
  3. I would say my current schedule isn't too far off what you describe. There isn't a LOT that my 7th grader requires me for. She will be using Apologia general science this year, Saxon (I just bought the DIVE cds in light of this situation), history will be semi-independent (her spine is on audio and she'll be learning notetaking as well as outlining Kingfisher), Bible and reading are CLE workbooks, French is workbook based, etc. My 5th grader has about 4 things a day she needs my assistance with - First Language Lessons, math lesson, Spelling, etc. She does need more direction and encouragement than either of my other two. Thankfully I had already purchased Essentials in Writing for her. My 3rd grader will also need me for about 4 things daily - FLL, WWE, AAS, Math. I had already planned for my 3rd and 5th to do science together with a fair amount of independence. I am thinking if I can teach the two littles to play independently or at least quietly near us for about an hour, have my kids each take 30 min to play with them, and include them in our circle time (about 45 min) that basically gets us to nap time. I can manage art or hands on projects in the afternoon with everyone after naps/quiet time.
  4. Stories like that are very inspirational! I definitely don't want to limit God's grace in action through our family and simply say no to something because it sounds hard or scary. Yes, it would be easier without any extra kids around, but I don't want to get to the end of my life feeling like I didn't LIVE it! ETA: Part of the "discernment" here is that there are some very unique circumstances to how this has all come together making it feel like God is leading us in this direction. Yet we are trying to be wise and test the way we are interpreting things.
  5. I understand! I was thinking the same thing tonight at baseball surrounded by teachers and parents sending kids back to school.
  6. I really like CLE reading but don't begin using the full program until grade 4. I buy the readers for my kids before that but looking at the younger levels I didn't see as much value as grade 4+.
  7. I really like CLE reading but don't begin using the full program until grade 4. I buy the readers for my kids before that but looking at the younger levels I didn't see as much value as grade 4+.
  8. No Head Start here! The best I can do is the oldest in school and the 3 year old in daycare 3 days. The almost 2 year old will be home with us every day. Oh, and naps will be happening!! My own kids do quiet time every day. When the 4 year old is here she doesn't nap but she takes some dolls and books up on the couch in the family room all by herself and plays and reads on the couch for an hour and a half. The two littler ones still sleep during the day but even if the 3 year old stops sleeping she will do quiet time.
  9. The older two are definitely able to self entertain and wait to ask for things. That is how it is around here whenever they're here and they do just fine. They are quiet, easy kids. The home they are currently in functions a lot like ours. They don't homeschool but they run a business from home and at times the girls have to play independently while they work. It's not a brand new idea to them. The younger is fairly independent because she is in a home with no other kids and a single lady. We had her here in the spring for a 3 week stretch and managed. She is young and still needs some training in that department but I'm hoping she's young enough for me to be able to accomplish that, especially as it will be just her 3 days of the week (she's 20 months). I appreciate your answer. I want to know that I can still teach my kids. That it's not unrealistic to teach. That I can expect the kids to fit into our day to some extent. I can shift things around I just don't want to start dropping things.
  10. Haha - I don't think I'm high energy but I really enjoy having kids around. If there aren't kids with immediate needs I'll sit on the couch feeling bored but not disciplined enough to get up and mop the floor :p I just find kids very rewarding and entertaining and energizing. To some extent. These particular kids fit with my energy level. A few rowdy toddler boys maybe not so much. My mom is definitely a helpful factor. She doesn't have as big a role in our family right now but she is willing to take on some extra responsibility that jives with her strengths - getting snack ready vs. babysitting. I do have a lot of experience with these kids and 6 years of fostering experience to know when something is definitely not a fit. This one mostly makes me nervous because we've never taken THREE at a time. We started out doing one placement (when mine were 2, 4 and 6 years old) and were taking 2 by the time they were 5, 7, and 9. I wouldn't even hesitate if it was just two of these kids. Three is causing the hesitation of holy crap, that's a lot of kids! ;) Birth order is super important to me and we've always respected that in any placements we've taken. We've also learned to leave a larger margin than we originally thought necessary between our youngest and the next child - at this point we're finding a 4 year minimum age gap is "right" for us. I definitely have seen so many kids returned to family that I recognize the kin as a very legitimate possibility, but completely unpredictable. Thank you for your input. I appreciate your assessment with the background you have in the field. Rushing in headlong is definitely not me haha - If anything I overanalyze everything and find problems that may never ever come to be. Everyone around me is saying "YES! This is perfect!"
  11. That is a very wise approach! I've been really trying to get myself to that place of peaceful faith.
  12. I guess I'm okay with different but not with less....does that make sense? I don't want having them to mean that my kids have a crappy school year and fall behind. For example, with your 8 kids you've obviously found ways to make sure your school age kids are getting their educational needs met while still tending to other younger siblings. How did you do that? By intentionally choosing to keep school to the basics? By choosing very independent curriculum? By being flexible and accepting interruptions while you teach? I am willing to find ways to balance time and juggle the hats, I just don't want to have to change the hats themselves.... I'm sorry, I'm not trying to be stubborn. I really am trying to work through it. Does having them mean I have to change curriculum, remove myself from active teaching, etc.
  13. I have had the 20 month old as well, just not as often. We also visit with her on our own time and when we have her sisters here on respite. Theoretically I could let them go if it doesn't work out but considering the disruption and trauma to them I wouldn't do that. Short of something extremely drastic. I would let our homeschool suffer before I would have them moved. That is why I'm trying to consider every.little.thing. I agree that the first year will be hardest. I also know that kids who do well in respite can act out when it's more permanent but the families the girls currently reside with don't report any behaviours and their experience of the kids matches our own. They have been in foster care a bit longer than a year.
  14. I am kind of using this thread to check my expectations. I'm not sure if they are realistic. I expect to be a much busier mom. I expect to have to work harder every day. I expect to not be able to go watch my kids at all of their activities. I expect to have "bad days". But I also expect to get our school work done, to be productive, to accomplish our educational goals, to find joy in the day to day. I can give up parts of doing "it all" - like volunteering with the sports teams or leisurely afternoons with lots of free time. Honestly this past year I have been bored. My kids are big enough that I suddenly find myself with "nothing to do". They are off playing together or out at a friend's or their extracurriculars. If we don't take this placement we will take a placement. The difference being that a placement would be one infant or one preschooler/kindergartner. If it was just the 3 and 4 year old I wouldn't even hesitate. I wouldn't have even started this thread. It's the 6th kid, the not quite 2 year old, that is making me question the reality of it all. For what it's worth, the people in my life (family and friends) are saying go for it. They know these kids and have seen them with our family and how much our own children love them and think this is a perfect opportunity. I have moments where I feel very excited and moments where I just feel overwhelmed and scared that I won't be able to manage. ETA - Dh is completely on board. Excited and willing to step up in order to support this change in our family. We haven't talked to the kids but I already know they'll be thrilled. We've been involved with these kids for the past year and they really love them and talk about them all the time. They always say they don't want them to leave and that they want to adopt them. This is not always the case with every child we have through foster care ;) At this point I would say I'm the only one on the fence. I relate to the feelings of grieving your family of five. I always feel a bit of that whenever we have a placement. Thankfully we have had the last year without a placement and this summer was the first in many years that we have been just us 5 and knowing that we were open to taking a placement in the fall we were mindful of taking lots of opportunities to live it up this summer. Dh is also on holidays this week and we intend to treat it as a final hurrah ;)
  15. Yes, it would be possible to set our own routines and have the authority to parent them. I don't think they will put up a huge fight. BUT I know that I'm many years removed from toddler hood and just want a reality check. It is reasonable to expect the two year old to hang around, go play, join in every morning in a way that's not terribly disruptive? To establish boundaries, set up a toy rotation, include her in circle time and snack? And then add the 3 year old into that mix two mornings a week? To continue to be available to my kids even if it's with a toddler on my lap and preschooler in the chair beside me? Or will every day feel like a gong show and be unproductive. It's a terribly difficult thing to not know what to expect. There's nothing gradual about it - it's just - BOOM - three more kids. I'm starting to think I'm being naive because I don't expect "radical" upheaval and change. But....in all the times I've had them here it hasn't felt like radical upheaval and change. That's the comment we make every time they are here - that they just fit and life goes on and it seems natural. I also recognize though that is just for a weekend or a week, not months on end.
  16. It's not that I don't want anything to change. I just don't want to have to reinvent our homeschool. I don't want to feel like my kids' education is on the altar because I'm not able to teach them. I don't want to switch them to independent curriculum or video streaming or send them to school! I want to still be able to accomplish the goals I have for their education and I truly delight in teaching and don't want to lose that either. It brings me joy and I am so glad that we are a homeschooling family. The benefits are numerous. I can make small allowances like getting the DIVE cd for dd's math, teaching with a toddler on my lap or a little one at the table doing play doh, I think I can work in a 30 min break for each of the olders to go play with the littles. Is that enough? Could you share what made you think this is a perfect set up? I do want to be clear that there is kin interested but not approved so this could be quite temporary should they get approved. Should they not get approved the girls will be free for adoption and it is definitely something I think we'd consider, although if we're finding that it is NOT a fit, we're free to say so and have the agency find a more appropriate adoptive family at that point. This is not technically a foster to adopt situation, it's a foster care situation. Anything is possible at this point. I do think the workers are looking at it like this could be a viable permanency option but they and we have been clear that this is not strictly about permanency at this time.
  17. I guess I'm hoping that it's possible to maintain what we're doing and meet the needs of these little ones too. Knowing them and that they are "good" kids who feel like fit in here made me think it might be possible. There are other foster kids we've done relief for whom I wouldn't consider because they have more drastic needs. These kids are easy going and obedient/respectful. But I haven't had to do school with toddlers full time and wonder if even with "easy" kids my expectations are unrealistic.
  18. Good question. I don't know what I would do. I know that once I commit to them being here there's no turning back! I just want to be able to do it all.....I really thought that all the big family moms would be chiming in and saying that it is possible. :p
  19. I do have support and can call in more support in terms of house work and eating out once a week. I do really, really enjoy these kids when we've had them and they bring a lot of joy. I just haven't had to do it for more than a week at a time.
  20. These kids are not busy. They have spent a significant amount of time in our home over the last year and we always comment on how easily they fit in and feel like part of the family. But they are toddlers - you know? The evenings and weekend will be busier but I'm not worried about that. It's just school. I know it's helpful to have preschool and school but I know that the drop off and pick up really do eat into the day. Hopefully I can set my kids up with independent work during that time. Maybe I can teach them as well during naps and then have my kids in quiet time when the littles get up and have some time with them. I just can't see NOT doing the required school work to accommodate extra kids.
  21. I will hire a house cleaner every other week and have pizza once a week. My mom lives with us and will prepare snacks and maybe lunch from the schedule I have made and she does laundry, she can help drive to extra curriculars and friends on the team would pitch in to drop kids off too. School is pretty well my highest priority. My son in grade 3 is doing WWE and FLL but I could switch him to GWG and EIW this year. That's about all I'm willing to change.
  22. I don't like "drastically change". I can make small accomodations but I can't drastically change what I'm doing. It's a priority to me. I want to incorporate the kids into this but not make them the highest priority and fit everything else in around them.
  23. I can't combine history. They are each on their own history rotation. The gr 7 is largely independent with history. Dh helps with individual read alouds at bedtime and then I do one read aloud all together. I can get DIVE cds to teach oldest math. The littles can join us on circle time and for snack. I can probably rotate each of my three playing with the littles for 30 min each.
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