Friday, September 2, 2016

First day of CCE 2016-2017!

Friday was the children's first day back at Catholic Classical Enrichment (CCE), our morning academic program at church. Joseph and Thomas are in the Nursery with me, Margaret is in the K-1st classroom, Mary is in the 2nd-3rd classroom, and John is in the 4th-6th grade classroom.

Backpacks and supplies, ready to go

Each week, one family leads prayer and Pledge of Allegiance, then gives a family presentation on some devotion: our family happened to be leading this first week and Chris even joined us, which was supportive. I presented on Pope St. Gregory the Great, since his feast day (in the Novus Ordo calendar) would be the subsequent day.

Also, all three of our children will be giving their every-other-week presentation on the same week, and this first week was it. This is actually convenient to my schooling at home: On "Presentation Weeks," we will cut out two subjects and replace them with all the work required to write our presentations. On the off weeks, we will do those other subjects (Beautiful Feet Geography and IEW Composition).

Planning out my timeline

As this was a First Friday, Chris asked if it would be any trouble if he attended the First Friday Mass (a Catholic devotion) at 7:00 a.m., meaning he wouldn't be here while I was getting us ready on our first day. I always want help from a second adult, but I decided to be a Grown Woman and say lightheartedly that sure, he could go, I could handle this just fine. (The seven-year-old ended up tagging along with him too.)

Well, I can't handle this just fine. Getting five kids ready for an early departure when we aren't "in the groove" is tough. We're homeschoolers, you know? I would never think my husband could get five children ready without my help, so why do I think I have to be able to do it easily in order to be a good mom?

I wrote out my timeline the night before so I wouldn't be late. Unfortunately, I did not schedule in several line items, such as:

  • Being unable to find the television remote controls when I needed them in order to occupy the two littlest boys while I exercised, thus causing me to declare that I have searched for remotes one zillionth time too many, so no children may use them ever again, even though that means I will have to walk into the den every time the TV is used. (The remotes are still missing in action.)
  • Listening to the baby scream for 90 minutes while I was trying to get us ready.
  • Battling with a certain, unnamed child for 60 minutes when I had--let me count--oh yeah, zero minutes allotted for locking horns with someone.
  • Feeling my parental ego slashed to zero.

Someone, by the sheer grace of God and not by me, we arrived at CCE. Chris had finished Mass, taken Mary to breakfast, then noodled around a wonderful, old-fashioned hardware store where Mary melted my heart by purchasing for me a little kitty cat jewelry holder, which I'm going to keep in the kitchen for when I take off my rings. Mary didn't even know what a bad morning I was having.

Melt my heart: all is not lost

It was pouring rain outside due to Hurricane Hermine hitting Florida, so I took our First Day photo in the hallway.

I hear that the bigger kids did great in all their classrooms and with their oral presentations. Meanwhile, we had a fun time in Nursery. We read books, sang songs, the kids played with toys, we fed them snacks like they were wild pigeons in the city square, and then we took the children on quiet tours of the church.

I took some photos of my tour with Joseph, showing him various details of the decorations and whispering catechesis to him that I normally don't get to do because we're in Mass and I'm juggling other children. It was a sweet time.

Afterward it was still pouring rain, so we ate lunch indoors, and the boys played an abbreviated game of football in the mud.

Unfortunately, while CCE itself was really lovely, as soon as we departed, the children as a group were just really struggling--let's put it that way. So, Mama has had a No Good, Rotten Day and is really desirous to go be alone till tomorrow and watch movies. Instead, I came home, put away all the groceries from picking up our weekly order, supervised our Friday afternoon school and music practice, disciplined innumerable times, listened to a baby scream A LOT, completed the school planning for next week, and now I will cook dinner, which I anticipate nobody liking.

The days are long, but the years are short.


  1. Love from the trenches, Katherine! ;)

  2. I struggle so much getting just three kids out the door in a timely manner. Often, I resort to the oh so ugly drill sergeant method to get them moving.