In my defense, I was out of the country for two weeks, and jet lagged for almost another week. Two of those weeks involved having house guests. I guess I've kind of gotten behind on everything!
My head and my body are finally back in the same time zone (travel totally kicked my butt this time - I don't remember it ever being so hard to get back to "real" life before!). I'm chalking it up to lack of sleep and balanced diet while being abroad (I was at World Youth Day, so I pretty much averaged 3-4 hours of sleep a night, and lived on ham and cheese sandwiches and orange Fanta for that two weeks). Totally blaming the jet lag on pure exhaustion and being hung over on real food when I got back to the States!
There's been so much going through my head since I got back, and I've had a hard time putting it into words. I was able to see SO much while in Madrid, and learn so much from speakers, from other Catholics, from the history in each area. I'm still processing it. I'm sure, at some point, there will be the obligatory WYD 2011 post (hopefully before WYD 2013), but for now, I'm still mulling those experiences over.
We did reach a huge milestone this week: Homeschooling the three rascals has officially begun. We're nearing the end of Week 1, and I can honestly say that I'm enjoying it more than I thought I ever would. Having the boys all together as they learn has been fabulous, and it totally tickles me pink to see them enjoying being with each other. Today, we took our first field trip, which was to a nature preserve near our house (about 5 minutes away). Science, at their young ages, is mostly about asking questions and trying to find the answers (helping them to understand the scientific method), so their assignment while at the nature preserve was to document everything they saw, or found interesting. Tomorrow, we'll form questions from their observations, and will research the answers together. The excitement on their faces as we explored our world was incredible - and watching them work together to record their observations was fantastic.
If nothing else, I hope that our journey into homeschooling strengthens our bonds as a family. I know we'll have our struggles, and will have the necessary ups and downs, but I hope that the one thing we always do will be to work through the ups and downs together, as a family.
Working hard to record their observations:
My non-reader drawing what he saw:
Exploring our surroundings...
I know homeschooling is not for everyone, and I'm not even sure it'll be for us all the way through to college, but I know that for right now, keeping our boys home was the right choice for our family. Together, we'll navigate these early years, and hopefully this extra time at home will give them the direction they need to become strong, confident, Catholic young men.