Monday, December 24, 2012

Behind for the Holidays

So we are behind in school. It's official. I figured it may happen, but I was kind of hoping it wouldn't be till later in the year. We are 2 school days away from being 1/3 of the way through school. I had great ideas of having some "extra" days of school during Christmas break. However the way things have worked out that has not happened either. Surprised anyone? ;) Oh well. There's a time for School and there's a time to break from school. Right now it is a break time for sure! Once school starts back up in Jan though, I have a plan! My idea is for Qade to do a full day of all his classes and then a second day of the "main" subjects till we get caught up. I know it may deteriorate into being just 2 days of main subjects, but we've got to get it done. Perhaps some would argue that activity time and oral language development ought to be "main" subjects and given as much weight as phonics and numbers, but I disagree. And there will be time for music, art and poems once we have caught up to where we need to be. So wish me luck for January. It'l be a challenge to convince the lad that it's how we need to do things for awhile, but it will be worth it in the long run. Doing school all summer is NOT an option for us.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

I haven't been too musey lately. ;) Well I have been musing, but not so much posting. Our second lad has started 'school' as well, though I admit that I am not as consistent with him. He has 2 years of preschool before him (most likely) so there's no need to be in a dire rush. He is enthused about school, however, so I like to keep him as busy as possible without pushing either of us over the edge. :) As for the Eldest Lad, he tells me every day that he does not like school. I'm not really sure how to counter his complaints. I don't like school either! But I tell him it's too bad he doesn't like it because he HAS to do it. I've started having a little time with him at the beginning of each school day where he and I go over his memory verse cards. Remember I told you that he doesn't like to recite things to me? This is helping a little bit, at least with the cards. We will also be reviewing his letter cards together each day as well since I'm not always confident that he's responding to his video teacher and class as much as he should. I figured out the days we have left for school, and right now if we don't miss any more days we'll be finishing the year out in early May. That of course is not likely to happen. So I'm having him do one extra day of school this week (Wed) before Thanksgiving, and I believe I am going to have him do several days during the Christmas break as well. Not enough to scar the kid for life, but to at least give us a little buffer so that we're not in danger of doing school all summer. THAT I'm quite positive I could not stand! So who has good ideas for helping kids "like" school? Anyone???

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Back at it

We took 2 weeks off of school in September for a fun fun family trip to Disney Land!! It was a blast and the lads are still talking about it on a daily basis and already discussing when we can go again. ;) Getting back into the swing of school has been a bit challenging. More so because neither the Lad or I love school. He has had some days where his motivation has impressed me. In fact one day he opted to forgo recess so that he could get done with school before lunch. I applauded that determination muchly. However it's not typical. In fact this week we had one of those days where if there was a suitable school within driving distance I would have toted him down and registered him right THEN! It's not a possibility though, so we slogged through as best we could and the days after that have been better. I have thought to myself more often than once that God must really want me to homeschool since He put us in the middle of nowhere with no other options. ;) But really it's going fine. The lad doesn't always like to participate with his class. Especially in his Bible lessons I have a hard time getting him to respond and say the memory verses aloud and sing the songs with his class. He seems to do fine with it in phonics and numbers, but he also doesn't like to respond in the oral language section where they learn poems and such. I haven't quite figured out why he has issues with those 2 segments. I have asked him to tell me his verses, and he always ducks his head and says he doesn't know all of the words yet. Then when I prompt him to begin he can say all the words, he's just timid about it for some reason. Anyone had experience with this phenomenon? His younger brother is also picking up on the verses and songs, even though he seems to flop around on the couch more than listen during the Bible time. Still he delights in trying to out-do his big brother when I ask about the verses. I have not yet started him in his preschool curriculum. I keep waiting for that convenient time to start as things have seemed somewhat chaotic lately. I suppose that convenient time will likely never come, so I'd better just do it! He turned 4 this week, and is convinced that is when he should start school. Guess so...

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Day 10

Today is day 10 of school. That doesn't seem like much, but at least it's double digits. Still I'm already looking ahead to that glorious finish line called next summer. *sigh* School has never really been my thing... ever. The Lad is exhibiting some of those same feelings himself. He does get excited about learning new letters and things, but some of the novelty of "doing school" has worn off now, and I get peppered by comments like, "I don't want to do school." "I don't like school!" "I don't want to sing those songs." *SIGH!!* I'm mentally prepared for these things. After all I didn't expect him to jump into school with both feet and just swim happily upstream through the river of learning without any resistance. Still, I was kinda hoping the honeymoon would last a little longer. Today he asked me why he should answer his (video) teacher when she asks questions because she's on video and can't hear him. I had to smile a bit at that one. I know I felt the same way when I did a similar video school in 5th grade. Though I took full advantage of the teacher not being able to see/hear me to tell her exactly what I thought of her overbearing grouchiness. ;) Happily that teacher is no longer in the rotation, believe me I checked. Ha ha ha!! Bubba's teacher is a sweet lady and she does a great job with that room full of little minds and camera equipment. Still, he does get bored, and tired of "doing school." So we have split up the day a bit. Even though I wanted to stick to the schedule and be done by lunch, it works out better this way, and has slightly less resistance so that's good. :) I'm trying not to count down the days till Christmas break or even till the end of the year. I'm optimistic that our routine and schedule just needs a bit more time to settle in before we're all super comfy with it, and I confess I'm still working out kinks. That's what each new day is about though. A new chance to try again, ditch what doesn't work and try something else. And the great thing is (and I remind myself often) that God's mercies are new EVERY morning, and His grace is more than sufficient for me.... and the Lad. ;)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Starting out Sick

Does it ever seem to you that when you start to "turn over a new leaf" or institute some kind of "big" change in scheduling or how you deal with your kids or work or whatever, that before you can really get the good habits firmly established you get sidelined with some sickness? It seems that way to me. Maybe it doesn't happen every time, but it happens often enough for it to feel like it's every time. Sure enough starting school is no exception. I shouldn't be too surprised. After all Hurb does work in the public school and comes into contact with any number of icky germs. I'll go ahead and let him take the blame this time around though I don't think there's really much point in trying to figure out where every illness came from. Hurb came down with a cold a couple of days ago. Night before last our littlest Sweetie-Pie got me up 4 times in the night when I finally figured out she probably had it too, and yesterday Lad #2 was having royal meltdowns because "buggers keep coming out of my nose!" Yep, we're dropping like flies. Last night Sweetie-Pie got me up more like 6x's though I stopped keeping track. All I know is I saw a lot more of the 12-4 numbers on the clock than I like to see! Bubba and I have been okay through the onslaught so far, so we've been slogging our way through school. However, my throat is getting scratchy and I heard him sneezing recently, so I have a feeling we'll be keeling over soon. So here's the question, when do homeschoolers get sick days? Any thoughts?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Just Keep Swimming...

Today is Tuesday on our first full week of school, and already we are dragging. I know it's because we still have to get our schedule all figured out and meshed, but it's a discouraging day and it's only 9am!! The lad woke up on the wrong side of the bed today. He grumbled through each of his responsibilities (chores) this morning, whined about his brother looking at him, slammed cabinet doors and stomped on the floor in anger, then cried because his fingers and knee hurt. *sigh* I knew that starting school in this frame of mind would be nothing if not worse than helpful. So I gave him one of our calm down toys and sent him to a chair to "chill" before school starts. Yesterday he was rather frustrated with his writing page. I knew that we were going to have issues this way since he is such a perfectionist. So today since he couldn't do everything just right, he doesn't want to do it at all. We,'ll be taking a little extra time together today during writing. And we'll do it while his brother is in bed for nap, so that should be motivation for him to want to do it, since rest is not his favorite thing to do. I'm also going to be splitting up their responsibilities so that they have fewer to do in the morning and some to do in the afternoon. That may help. :)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Day 1

DSC_4752 Well, the deep breathing helped. :) Today was our first day of school. Bubba was ready and willing to be engaged by it. I didn't make a bit "to do" about the first day of school this year. I know I probably should have, but I didn't have it in me. Perhaps next year, and the years following, I will be able to make a big special breakfast, and have little back to school treats on a happily decorated table and all. This year I was just trying to survive the process. We did survive though, and I'm happy with the school choice that we made for our lad. He did a fantastic job with the video. I sat with him and we both stood and were seated and responded when we needed to. He followed his teacher's instructions very well, and I was pleased by his responses to the whole experience. Today was a short day. Mostly we just established class habits, and some basic listening/responding skills. He did do one work page, and he enjoyed that. This curriculum is indeed very structured, but knowing my lad as I do, I think that he will thrive on that structure. I can't provide that ridged of a structure in every day life. It goes against my grain, and I can only function well in a "lose structure" and be relatively sane. ;) So I'm happy that this video school is going to provide a bit more of that for him. One of the things I was looking forward too with this curriculum/video was the Bible time. I love the stories that he will be learning, and the scripture that he will be memorizing. He’s already learning the Lord’s prayer, and today’s Bible story was about heaven and the things that will be there and things that will not. There is a very strong gospel emphasis to their Bible stories in K-5. I’m happy about that since I know that Qade is approaching that age where his tender heart will be able to understand his need for a Savior. I’m praying that it will be this year! His brother and baby sis will sit in on the Bible time too, so that they will have some involvement in "school" too. This is just the first step, and I know there will be more to come, but for some reason taking that first step seemed to be the most difficult.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Deep Breaths

Tomorrow is THE day we start school! Today I have been browsing the video manual and trying desperately to wrap my head around this whole thing. I don't feel ready, but I'm convince that I wouldn't feel ready no matter how long I put it off. :) We don't have a "school room" but we have some desks and a laptop ready to go. We don't have our pencils sharpened, but we DO have our school supplies. I don't know why my heart feels so anxious over this step. It may be for a lot of reasons. My own anxieties over school in the past, the difficulties that I've had with my children this summer, the physical hurtles that have been bugging me lately (can anyone empathize with the crippling effects of a migraine?) as well as a host of other things that could be contributing to my reluctance to get this ball rolling. Regardless of all of that, we are going to start tomorrow. It's earlier than what I want to start in subsequent years, but I guess I'd rather start early and finish early, right? Besides we have a trip planned and would like a little wiggle room in our Fall schedules. Homeschooling perk!! I keep preaching to myself that this school is going to be a good thing. I am excited to see what our Bubba absorbs since I know his brain is like a little sponge right now. Still, I have that old "butterflies in the stomach" feeling that I've always had since the time I was itty bitty when faced with something new and unknown. My lad gets that way too. It's uncanny how sometimes I can totally understand him, and others I have no clue, ha! Anyway, wish us luck... or better yet, pray for us. I'm hopeful that this school year will see many awesome things happen in our family and each of our kids. I'll keep you posted (providing I survived) on how our Tomorrow goes. :)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Catching Up

I've known that this whole school thing was quickly approaching, but I guess I wanted to get the most out of summer without putting too much brain-power out in preparing for school. Ha ha! Yeah, you veteran homeschool moms will laugh at me or roll your eyes at my inexperience, and you're perfectly welcome too. It's true I should have started getting better prepared earlier, but I didn't. And it's not just a novice mistake, I've been a teacher before, remember, so it was just reluctance and denial on my part. ;) Anyway, we don't have a room in our house that can be a designated school room. I'm not sure yet, how I feel about that. But we do have a desk in the lads' room, and were recently given 2 actual school desks to figure out how to use. I already know that we are all going to start out the school day together with the pledges and Bible story. Likely, since my oldest lad will be commandeering my laptop for his school videos, we can do that part in the main house area, or at the dining table. After that, he will be able to take his video to his room where, hopefully, distractions will be much less since the other 2 will be occupied in the rest of the house. That's the plan anyway. I have this premonition that the younger 2 are not going to be content to "miss out" on all the fun that big bro is having with his video school, but we're all going to have to make adjustments. The 2 school desks I plan to use for arts/crafts time with the older 2 kids. The preschool curriculum and the k5 both have plenty of art projects that they will love to do. But for this week I am playing catch up by trying to get our "responsibility" cards in order and the sticker chart set up the way I want it. Problem is I haven't figured out exactly how I want it yet, so it's a challenge. ;) Fortunately the videos have not arrived yet, so I feel, however misleadingly, that I still "have time" to get all of my thoughts and loose ends in order before we officially start. Hope it all comes together so my mind can feel a bit less frazzled.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

School Shopping

This week I took advantage of my parents being here to whisk off my 5 yr old to do a little school supplies shopping. :) Since this is his first school experience I wanted to be able to have a little one on one time with him. I've realized that getting good quality one-on-one time with each of my kids is SO difficult! Anyone else have this problem? I know it's good to spend time with them together, of course, but I strongly believe that kids thrive on having good individual time with their parents. I only have 3 to juggle and I know a lot of people with more on their plate (kids and responsibilities), but this is an area where I need to work much harder for sure! Anyway, the lad and I really enjoyed our time together. "Town" is a 45 minute drive away, and since his seat is in the "back back" of the vehicle we didn't do much chatting on the way. Once we got to the store though I made sure he was very involved. His first question was "Do I get to go inside with you?" Yeah, most of the time my Hurb and I tag-team when we're in town shopping to avoid having to unbuckle/buckle 3 car seats multiple times. The lad was happy as a clam when I assured him he would NOT be staying in the vehicle by himself. ;) I let him help me choose the supplies. He could pick the color sharpener he wanted, a pencil box and some folders. He did a great job, though I think the special "Hot Wheels" motorcycle that he got to pick for losing his tooth eclipsed all of the school "stuff." I'm not a crafty mom, so it was with some fear and trepidation that we browsed the craft aisles. I was happy to see that the majority of the projects for his art are pretty well contained in the book. Some cutting and gluing is the majority of the involvement there. The list did included glitter as an *optional* item, but the thought of glitter gives me hives, so I compromised and found some glitter glue stuff that I think will give an appropriate amount of bling to any projects that need it. ;) After our successful shopping excursion, and oil change, we went to lunch together at our favorite 'chicken and fries' joint, Wendy's. Ha ha! Surprisingly though the lad asked for a "little hamburger" this time around. Guess he's tired of nuggets. We chatted over our lunches and enjoyed our frosty desserts while chatting about things we could see out the window. The lad was mostly calm and well behaved with very minimal whining while we were out. Not the norm for him in our whole family unit, which makes me realize all the more how vital it is for him especially to have more individual time. Good times with the big boy! Now we have all the "supplies" we need to begin school. Still waiting on the videos, but I'm not in any hurry, it's still too early in August. :)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Book Excitement!

The other day the UPS man pulled into our drive and I asked my Hurb, "Did you order something?" because I certainly wasn't expecting anything. Much to my surprise the order was for ME! It was our school books! My mom (who homeschooled us remember) happened to be here visiting, and was so happy that the books came while she was here. She remembered the excitement of book shipments when we kids were homeschooling. I didn't really remember all of that, but as we cracked open the box and delved into it amidst 3 pairs of excited little hands, some of it started to come back to me. We ooo'd and aaaa'd over flashcard sets, and arts/crafts books and phonics. It was a different perspective for me being a first time homeschool mom. But watching my lad as he parked himself by the box on the couch to slowly flip through the workbooks and ask questions about the contents made me inwardly resolve to make this a positive experience. I know there are going to be hard days along the homeschool road, but I don't want my kids to dread school. I want them to look forward to learning and the process of gaining new information. Even as I have been browsing my 'teacher's manual' for our curriculum it boggles my mind just how much they will learn. The lad is excited to start after seeing his books, and he asked several times if his videos had come and when they would arrive. :) I'm happy that he's looking forward to it and I hope to keep that enthusiasm going. Our other little lad felt a bit left out since none of these books were for him. Since he is 17 months younger than his big bro, but has an Oct birthday, he will actually be 2 years behind him in school. However, I know that he has always, since he was itty-bitty, strived to "catch up" to his brother, and has actually passed him in several ways. So he will be doing preschool for 2 years. I pulled out a preschool workbook and let him flip through that while his big bro was browsing his new books. It worked, and he sat there quietly, even passing on a popsicle! to look through his school book! Kids want to learn, that much is plain!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The cusp of school

Cusp is such a cool word. ;) Glad I'm a homeschool product and have such a vocabulary at my fingertips. ;) The public school here starts school tomorrow. (!!) I know this because my Hurb teaches in the high school. Last week they had to go "back to work" Wed-Fri for the mandatory meetings and some preliminary stuff, and tomorrow the SIXTH of August, (also our 7th anniversary just as a random fact) the kids are coming back for another year at the grind. Having been a teacher myself, and now married to one, and on the verge of starting our own small fry to school for the first time, I can honestly say it IS a grind! When school starts the first week of August and lasts till the last week of May, that is a L-O-N-G grind. The kids feel it, and the teachers feel it. What happened to summer? What happened to being a kid and getting such a good long break that you were actually excited to go back to school because you had become bored with all the freedom of summer?? That's how I remember it. I remember as a kid feeling shocked when some of my friends had their school schedules changed to start the end of August! *gasp* Not only that, but in my Hurb's school, at least, they are implementing a new daily schedule that has the kids IN CLASS till 4:30 every day. What?! They are kids! This is school! It's not a JOB! Well in some ways it is a job. It's a big job for kids to learn and absorb so much information. If you overload the system they will stop absorbing. In my mind it's absolutely ridiculous for children to be cooped up in a school for 8 hours (or more) a day for 10 months of the year being force fed "education." They grow up fast enough. When do they get to be kids? So as I sit here on the cusp (love that word!) of school starting, I'm very thankful that we have made the choice to homeschool our lad. I know that I would NOT be ready for him to start school tomorrow, even if he was ready, and I'm glad that I have the option of putting it off for a couple/few more weeks! :)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Requiring the Best

I saw this post today when I was browsing my RSS feed. It's from Devotions for Moms. I often skim over those blog posts without reading them, but I'm glad that I read it today. She briefly discusses some of her own feelings in dealing with her strong willed child, and they resounded with me because I feel that way too! The part about her heart feeling tired lately was one I could really relate to! I often feel just completely mentally and emotionally spent as I struggle through the days with one of my children in particular. I too 'tip-toe' around trying not to "set off" another meltdown or tantrum simply because I don't feel "up" to dealing with it at that moment. But reading this has encouraged me to stop doing that. To start expecting and requiring the best from my children. Even if they are strong willed and even if it means we will be "going rounds" for some time. Which it inevitably will. I know it. I also know that if I don't start now and make these difficult changes that when it comes to the hard days in homeschool it will be that much harder to stick with it and push through.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Dream Big

The second day of the convention opened with a keynote by Todd Wilson called Dream Big. It's apparently one of his "signature" speeches. I really appreciated his humor. He is one of those speakers who has the ability to stomp really hard on your toes, but then make you laugh right after. :) Much of what he said really sunk in for me. I'm glad I made it to that session. I had contemplated not going. Todd's point is that in this homeschool journey DREAM BIG!! :) Homeschooling is a dream, and it's okay to dream big. His subtitle was "But watch out for dream killers." I realized as he was talking that I have a serious "dream killer" bent, and I need to be that mom who fans the flames of my kids' dreams. I NEED to be that wife who fans my Hurb's dreams rather than try to throw the "cold water" of reality or "realistic thinking" on his dreams. Not only that, but it encouraged me to keep dreaming even when faced with dream killers in my own life. Trying to shed that dream killer cold water like a duck is difficult, but it's easier for me now that I realize I'm talking to a dream killer. Ya know how yesterday I mentioned that this homeschool journey is one that my Hurb and I believe God wants us to take? I'm going to keep coming back to that because I know that I would NEVER be able to do this or stick with it if I did not have that thought constantly in my head. Heidi St. John did a great job of reminding all of us that God is the one that is going to make this homeschooling thing happen, and I find a LOT of comfort in that. But back to the dream killers. I realize now that they come in all shapes and sizes, and that their dream killing speeches are often disguised as "helpful" comments, or something. ;) I know (because I've been one remember?) that the dream killers aren't trying to be hurtful or to tear down your great ambitions, or burst your bubble, but the fact is, that's exactly what they are doing. In fact I had someone who I don't know tell someone who is close to me for me to "call them for support." I was touched by this other homeschool mom's desire to be a help to me since she's been there and done that for quite awhile now. The fact that she would reach out to someone that she doesn't even know just because she heard that I'd be a newbie homeschooling mom was very sweet. BUT she followed up that statement with a "Oh she's using THAT curriculum?" "I wonder how THAT will work out for her?" then "You'll have to have her call me after she's used it for a few weeks." !!!DREAM KILLER ALLERT!!! Do you think I'll be calling that lady? When I heard the first statement, I had half a mind to actually call her. I know I'm going to need moral support! But when I heard the dream-killing statement. (You saw it right?) I totally mentally distanced myself from that lady. And that's what Todd's point was. We distance ourselves from dream killers, so if anything that is a good reason NOT to be one. If we really want our kids or spouse or even friends to open up to us and be real, then we should fan the flames of their dreams even if they seem crazy to us. Todd reminded us that God is big enough to squelch the dumb dreams, it's our job to fan the flames.

Thursday, July 26, 2012


So the convention. Wow! It was HUGE! There were SO many people there I was totally blown away. In a way it was so cool to see that there were so many people in Arizona dedicated to homeschooling their kids! The convention gave me a lot of information, and some time to myself to really figure out what in the world is wrong with me and this whole homeschool mental block I have. ;) Okay, so maybe just the homeschool mental block. I may never know what's 'wrong' with me, ha ha! Boiled down to bare facts, I've just been rebellious. Pretty simple. I know that this is the path that I need to walk. Hurb and I have made this decision together because we BELIEVE it is the best thing for our family. And even though I know all of that I've still been rebellious in my spirit because I don't "want" to homeschool. For various reasons. I'm lazy, parenting is overwhelming enough with out that, I don't want to be "weird" (oops... well weirder, I guess). The first day's keynote speaker was a lady named Heidi St. John aka The Busy Homeschool Mom. And she should be because she has 7 kids! Her speech was exactly what I needed to hear. Because she did not 'start out' a homeschool mom, and when she felt God's tug on her heart to go that route, she too had some of the same reactions as I did. "I don't know how to sew, we can't all wear matching jumpers!" "We don't own any chickens!" Ha ha! Her humorous way of looking at things through the eyes of someone who also had some of those "homeschoolers are strange" notions was refreshing. She was realistic about how difficult some days will be, but also reminding us that God is the one who is doing this through us, and He will be the one to make it happen. I needed to hear all of that. Then of course, I melted into a puddle of blubbering tears when my friend and I were talking about things afterward. :) She was such an encouragement to me even just by standing there and letting me cry about "how in the world am I going to add ONE MORE HAT to what I'm doing already?!" Thank you Jenny! I'm not always so unhinged! Promise!! ;) Later that day I went to a session by a lady who has 14 children and has been homeschooling for, get this... let it sink in, 32 years!!! As I sat there listening to her wisdom and fantastic ideas, and they really were, I felt my heart sinking again. I can't do this. Really! The very thought of homeschooling for 32 years makes me feel like crawling into a cave right now and never coming out! But then I kinda shook myself a bit and chatted with Jenny again. :) That was the path God has for that amazing lady and her family. Mine may not look like that... in fact I'm pretty sure the 14 kids part is out, but I guess I should never say never. ;) My friend is in a unique situation as well because in her God ordained path she had 2 children then a span of years where God did not bring other children into the home and now she had a beautiful 3rd child just ready to start K5 after her other 2 have graduated. So she reminded me that by the time she's done she'll have homeschooled for 27 years! That's a huge accomplishment, and had she known that was before her when she started, she may never have started. So all of that to say, that just because my rebellious heart doesn't want to tread THAT path, doesn't mean it's not the one I should be on. Honestly I probably won't homeschool for that long. At this point even if I take all 3 kids through to graduation, I'd only be looking at 15 years. And I've been reminding myself as well that this may just be for a season. Just because God has set homeschooling in my path for now, doesn't mean that it will be that way in 5 or 10 years. I can't see ahead in the way, but God knows what's going to come along. It's my responsibility to trust him and do the best job I can. STOP rebelling against this and embrace it as a fantastic opportunity to really train my kids. There was SO MUCH MORE that I got out of the convention. I'll share a bit in future posts, but over all I'm glad I went, even if I was reluctant, and I'm glad that I was able to do a little growing while I was there, even if my toes are a bit bruised. :)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Convention coming up

I've been thinking about blogging much more than I actually have been blogging... obviously. ;) I'm cutting ties with facebook though so I should be able to actually get my thoughts out in blog form a little more often... maybe. Anyway, the huge state homeschool convention is coming up in a week. I'm not sure what I'm in for in that regard, but have been told by those who know, that it's a great encouraging experience. I hope so! I could use some encouragement when it comes to homeschooling. And I confess that the thought that pops into my head when I think of a "homeschool convention" is women in large denim jumpers with books and pencils appliquéd on them, culottes and big homemade book bags. I and my purple hair and capri pants will stand out like a sore thumb. ;) Fortunately I know that it will NOT be that way. I happen to personally know quite a few homeschool families who will be attending or represented there, and none of them are that way. I really have no idea why I have such a warped view of homeschoolers in my head. I was one... and don't think our family was "that way." But I did rub elbows with quite a few who kinda were that way in college. I guess I have an irrational fear that ,like a plague, once we officially start homeschooling we'll be come infected with some "strangeness" disease. Our kids will be sequestered away from everything and everyone and we'll live life in our own little compound becoming weirder by the day. Not knowing how to dress normal, or have normal conversations and interact with society. Ha ha ha!! How silly! Really, I'm just being ridiculous with all these silly ramblings. I hope you can see through it all and realize that I don't have anything against homeschooling or homeschoolers. I was one remember? My kids will be some too! And really, I am overwhelmed with thankfulness that I have this opportunity to educate my kiddos at home. Yes, I'm nervous about how it will all end up working within our family dynamics, yes I have fears of the unknown in it all, yes I'm not outwardly "gung ho" about the process, but yes, I am SO thankful for the opportunity. And the other night as my hubby and I were rubbing each other's feet and talking, I was again reminded of how hard he works for our family! He works hard so that I can stay home and raise our kids. So that I can be our children's first teacher. So I can make our home a haven. And remember that helped me make an even more determined decision to make this homeschooling journey a good one! So I'm looking forward to the convention and the tips/tricks/ideas that it will bring, and hoping to find the encouragement that others have spoken of to really start to "feel" what I know, that homeschooling is a good thing!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Nail on the Head

So I've been musing... as I do... about homeschooling, and while I've been meaning to write those musings down here, I've been ignoring you because I'm hoping it'll all go away. Ha ha! Not really. ;) I still find myself as reluctant as before about homeschooling and all that it will/does involve. Perhaps part of the fear is of the unknown. Yes I've been through homeschooling before as the student, but never as the teacher/mom. And even though we have been loosely doing preschool this year it's not the same. And in fact maybe because we were "loosely" doing preschool it stresses me out even more. Routines and schedules have become a not-so-strog-point in my life. I know that homeschool has flexibility involved, but I'm afraid of myself that I just won't get it all done. Somehow I'll be cheating my son out of the education that he was meant to have. That I'll end up the mom who lets her kids count produce in the bags at the grocery store and call that a good math lesson. Probably irrational, but yet the way my mind runs on sometimes. Anyway, I came upon this blog post written by another homeschool mom who summed up my thoughts and even weaknesses (maybe we were long lost twins or something) so well that I simply had to share. If you have a moment read this. Even if you are not a homeschool mom, it might give you a little perspective on the people you know who are... or will be. :) I'm looking for that grace to carry out this calling, and I know that God will give it, even though it will require much effort on my part to avail myself to it.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Lookin' Teachery

I wear contacts because glasses just irritate me. I have to have them 100% clean all of the time or I can't stand it. I'm sure you can imagine that it's nearly impossible to keep them clean while playing with and caring for 3 munchkins. And it's especially so because it's such a novelty when I do wear them that my daughter thinks it must be a game to try to pull them off of my face with her grimy little hands. Once I've convinced her that it's not okay, then she proceeds to nuzzle her face on mine... which is sweet, but doesn't make for clean and clear glasses. So all of that to say, I don't like to wear my glasses. But my eyes have been attacked by allergies recently. They seem to get worse year by year, ugh! So I try to give them a break by letting them go contact free for a little while. So what does this have to do with homeschooling? Well, as if all of the above isn't reason enough for not wanting to wear my glasses, my oldest lad told me yesterday, "Mom you look like a teacher when you wear glasses." WHAT? I have no idea where he is getting this concept, though he did mention some of his Sunday School teachers who wear glasses. Ha ha! Funny, funny lad! I suppose if I need to pull out all the stops once we get going into our K5 year, I'll just have to put on the teacher glasses. ;) Later then.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

It Begins

I just completed registration as a first time attendee at the Arizona Families for Home Education conference this summer. Yep, I did it. Is it time for me to shop for my denim jumper with apple and pencil appliqué? :) Okay, first of all you have to know that I'm sarcastic... Secondly, I grew up as a "homeschool kid" so I know the stereotypes and probably was them all at one point or another. No worries, I believe I have adjusted to life in the "real" world just fine. However, I'm not too excited to be jumping back in to the homeschool scene. Conventions, co-ops, homeschool 'groups' and all of that are just not something that thrills me. Ya know, Maybe that will change. In some ways I hope it does because I have to tell you, I look upon this adventure with a sense of dread. Not having been one to love school as a kid, I still got decent grades, and graduated from college with a BS in Music Education. I spent 2.5 years actually "using" that degree, as some would say, by teaching music. And I recall one event in particular where I was waiting on a student in my spiffy little soundproof studio door and I glanced around me at the strained, stressed-out faces of my fellow teachers. The thought popped into my head, "This is NOT what I want out of life." So I left! :) Since that time I used my teaching skills in a 3 yr old preschool class, was that ever a hoot! As a nanny to 3 little preschool boys who amazed their daddy by being able to count backwards from 10 BEFORE starting Kindergarten! And now as a mommy I'm learning to teach my own 3 little munchkins. The oldest of which is about to turn that magical age of 5. Dum-de-dum-dum!!!! I always knew that homeschooling would be a likely possibility for me. I've always known that if it came down to it, I would rise to that challenge and take the bull by the horns. The fact that I've always lived in either small towns or rural communities made that possibility even more... possible, and after my hubby and I and our then one baby moved back to his home "town" it became more than a possibility, it became a probability. The schools here are... bad, for lack of a more descriptive word.... actually, there's all kinds of descriptive words I could use for it, but we'll leave it at "bad." So I've always know that if we happened to be here when our kids came of school age, that they would be homeschooling. I did know it... it's not a surprise. But I think perhaps in the back of my mind was always this tiny "hope" that maybe we wouldn't be here and something else would open up, ha ha! Minds are tricky little things aren't they? ;) The fact is though, we are here. And all joking aside, I wouldn't put my sensitive spirited little lad in that school even if I had no choice. BUT I do have a choice, another option, a way out, an escape... or something. And it's called homeschool! Yes, It's not my desire. No, it's not what I really want to do. But YES, it's something that I am willing, albeit reluctantly, to do. It is what is necessary. I'm not going to shirk this responsibility. I think about it nearly every day already and K5 doesn't even start for another 6 months! I want this process to be a success, not only for my little shavers to learn to read and write and to LOVE learning, but also for me. I might be a reluctant homeschool mom, but I want to be the best one that I possibly can be! So here's to the journey!