I have had one of those days that is complete frantic from the beginning. I had the alarm set for 7:00 to get Magnum to the vet to be neutered. I woke up at 6:50 and was attempting to get in the shower before anyone knew I was up. On my way, Julia came in to tell me that Tori's nose was bleeding. This was one of her worst - there was a trail of blood from her bed to the kitchen with an entire puddle in the hall. It took about 15 minutes to get it to stop, while I cautioned Julia and Elijah to "get away from the blood trail" 100 times. Once I got it stopped, I had to clean the floor (thank goodness for the new hardwood floor), clean the bedroom carpet and strip her sheets; I then had exactly 15 minutes to get four kids dressed, fed and out the door for the 30 mile trip to the vet.
I skipped the shower (and the makeup...and the hairbrush) and piled the kids and dog in the car, complete with bananas to hold them off for breakfast. On the way, I remembered that I had to have cash, so I pulled into the Sheetz ATM. While I was in there, Magnum threw up all over the seat and James. We attempted to clean the seat with napkins and set off again. Once we got Magnum dropped off (late), we rushed home in order to have a full 20 minutes to get to the elementary school open house; we had not dressed appropriately, eaten or gotten the school supplies together that I was supposed to take. I woke up Alyssa to compile and label the school supplies while I took a two minute shower and threw on whatever clothes were abandoned on the edge of the bath-tub (yet clean).
The news is that I am sending Tori to school with Julia for this year. In my attempt to do what I think is actually in each child's best interest, balanced with the reality that I am going to spend the majority of my fall at doctors with the new girls, it did not seem wise to try to cram in Tori's schooling. I feel like Tori has really been academically slided in the shadow of James and Ben for the last few years. I keep the boys on track 95% of the time, because they really require it for peaceful living, but Tori is not very academically motivated, yet plays nice and quietly, so there is just too much of the time that I realize she is not reaching her potential. I made a huge attempt last year to prioritize her education and she still did not receive as much of my time as she needed to excel, so I'm being realistic that if she didn't get it last year, it's not going to happen this year. Depending on how well Selah and Bella adjust, this may be the only year Tori goes to school. If she does really well, and I can get her with the 3rd grade teacher that I know and love, she may go two years. I am really not open to leaving either of them beyond 3rd grade and hope to be exclusively homeschooling again in a few years. A tough reality for me is that no one can successfully home school children that are home when the mom/teacher is not and adopting special needs preschoolers from Africa isn't going to allow me the luxury of being home a lot this fall.
My plan for the boys is to weigh how long I am going to be at each appointment and how far I have to drive appointment by appointment to determine if they stay or go. It may be worth taking them on the highway trips so that we can listen to CDs and do drill work; other than that, there is a lot of school work they can actually do without me being present and I can go over with them when I get home. Beyond them, I have Moriah and Alyssa as home school students, although Alyssa receives a lot at Classical Conversations and Moriah is attending Algebra and Honors English at the public high-school, still listed as a homeschooler.
I feel good about my decisions for this year, especially in light of my feelings that I wrote about HERE when I first sent Julia to school last year.