The Home-School Adventure Begins

School has begun. The school lists were sent out. Supplies were bought. But this year is different. Everyone started school today; everyone else but our family. We are at our favorite place on the planet, Orcas Island.

We are enjoying the first few days of un-schooling, or the back-to-school rush, by just being a family and figuring out what this all means. Going down to the beach to explore crabs and jellyfish? Yep. Watching Orcas off the beach teach their young to hunt? Yep. Having our kids work on cooking skills? Yep. The best place for our kids to learn, is with us.

I have been asked my reasons for homeschooling. I have been asked with a inquisitive side glance, after stating we are homeschooling, “You are homeschooling? Wow. You are brave. Why are you doing it?” Is it really brave? Should homeschooling be this daunting task? Or should it be something that just comes naturally? We want our kids to be happy and healthy, but also be successful. So my plan is to teach my kids to be successful, so that if they wish to learn something new they can do so on their own. I want to instill in them a passion for learning, so that they can always be curious and seek to understand the world and people around them.

Generally, the questions posed are, “Why?” Why home school? Why take on the huge burden of my kids education? Why, when there are teachers that can do it? That “Why” is a huge loaded question that cannot be easily answered. When people try looking up homeschooling and how to start homeschooling, that “Why” is actually what weighs most on a parent’s heart. Each family has their own reasons. Each family knows that there just is something missing from their kids education, and know that whatever it is that is missing, its important enough to pursue the option of homeschooling that more and more people are coming to find as the right solution for them.

The first thing for a family who chooses to homeschool should do, is to create a mission statement. Mission statement? Why one of those? I’m not a cooperation or nonprofit. Our homeschool isn’t serving anyone else but our own family. The Mission statement will serve as a reminder as to “WHY” you are choosing to homeschool. It is something that you can look at and return to over and over again, especially in those moments where you question “Why the hell am I doing this?” Let’s be honest here…. those moments will come. I am not kidding myself. I know that my patience will run low, I will question why we are doing this. I will wonder if I am doing the right thing. But this mission statement will remind me over and over again the very personal “Why” reasons our family has chosen this path to education.

So, I will be sharing our homeschool journey on this page. We are just starting this new adventure and I will share our mission statement, our mock schedules, curriculum we chose, what works for us, and what does not. Most importantly, I will share what sites I have gone to for support and backup.

Have you considered homeschooling? What is holding you back? If you are homeschooling already, what were your reasons?

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Terrific Tuesdays! Why I love them!

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I love to read. I also love to watch movies. Tuesdays are the days that new releases in both literature and film are available to the general public. I love this day!

Especially today! I am a huge fan of Michelle Sagara West. She writes my favorite fantasy series, Chronicles of Elantra. If you ever want to read a story that contains different fictional species with a myriad of different histories, suspense, mysteries, and an interesting and very human heroine, then Kaylin Neya in the Chronicles is the book series for you. The most recent book has come out today and I am chomping at the bit to get my hands on Cast in Flame!

I am supposed to wait until my vacation to read this book, but I already see that I will be reading it for the 2nd time when that vacation occurs. So, once I have finished this book, I will be writing a review here. Check back and see!!!

There and back again….

Yeah, yeah. I am not a hobbit, nor I am elfin or dwarf…. but there are days I wish I were.

It has been some time since I wrote last, or had much to say for that matter. I am now, not only a mother to a precocious 3 year old but also to an almost 1 year old little boy who is equally just as active. There are days I wish I didn’t have to get out of bed. There are days where I would just like to do nothing. I am a mother…. so this never happens. Even on mother’s day.

My son really has a hard time letting me do much…. he wants to be held a lot. And if he is not held he screams. I can not stand the scream crying. It is too much for me. So, I am holding Smiley. A lot. Thus cooking is difficult and so is getting around to typing on my blog much. But, here I am. Trying to write while he is asleep on my lap.

I still struggle with depression and anxiety, but I have managed to do okay in most areas of my life. Patience, at times, is not one of those areas. There are days where I wish I could be a better, and more patient mother to my daughter. She is so much like me in so many ways that it is scary. I want so much more for my kids then to have to struggle with anxiety. My anxiety and lack of patience is higher with lack of sleep. I want to continue to use attachment parenting, but there are many areas in which I have just had to stop, or change tactics when trying to parent my highly passionate daughter. Have I mentioned that my daughter is a MASTER negotiator? She is even using the phrases “lets make a deal” or “lets compomize mama.” She wants something and she wants it 10 seconds ago, but she will use her impressive vocabulary to say why she wants something and try to negotiate how to get it.

You know that t-shirt that says ” I am a co-sleeping, breast feeding, cloth diapering, baby wearing, blah blah blah, attached mama”? I am still officially a breast feeding mama. My daughter quit 2 days before my son was born. I was all prepared to tandem nurse, but even after Smiley was born, Sunshine tried some pumped milk and just didn’t want it. I am still nursing my son and he just chows down a lot at night. Yes, we are still a co-sleeping family. My daughter finally moved into her own room, but she struggles with nightmares and anxiety. We would have her stay in our room but she actually sleeps worse when she is in there. Smiley still resides with us though. He is the better sleeper between the two. Otherwise, Sunshine sleeps from 7 p.m. to 7- 8 a.m.  I am still a “sometimes” baby wearing mother. Smiley prefers to be held, but he is outgrowing the ergo just a bit. Now, cloth diapering I save for swimming diapers. Regular cloth diapers just became too much. I am finding I need to really clean house. Get rid of a lot of clothes and items…. perhaps with kid #3 or #4 I will have time to launder such items… but babies make a lot of poop. And my kids especially. So, cloth diapers are out for now. I feel terrible about the earth and the ecosystem… but I can only do so much with the limited brain power and high stress levels I already struggle with.

I guess I am starting over. It is quite a journey; motherhood. I may not always be patient, but I am being more patient with myself. I am not perfect, but I love my family perfectly. So, I guess I will share what I know, what I don’t know, and what I am still learning; As a mother, as a woman, as a human being.