Friday, September 24, 2010

A post to my favorite 6 month old

You are really going on 7 months but we will just say 6 so I don't start crying. You are so petite but you make up for it with the big bright eyes and wide mouth kisses. You are just starting to sit up and finally like to spend more time on the floor as long as the circus is in the same room.

You finally had a fully belly chuckle because of Miss Izzy's antics, of course (one day she will be happy to know that). You are starting to adore your Daddy (you were a bit standoffish at first). You like to take a little cat nap with him when he is trying to wake up. You are turning into a blonde hair blue eyed little beauty we have years of trouble ahead of us x3. You are eating solids and nursing and biting. You still love to be worn all day if I could bare it. You sleep through the night and your early morning feeding is turning mommy back into the early bird she likes to be. As I sit here typing this you are sitting in my lap fighting sleep, you are trying to get your face as close to mine as possible, I think that is your way of saying I love you.

You suck both thumbs (I call it chain sucking because you switch back and forth constantly when you are tired)
While sitting (look mom no hands)

You play with toys and reach for everything. The sound of water running makes you happy not getting in the running water makes you mad. You talk with your mouth full and rarely when its not. You hold your feet all the time even in your sleep.

You are impatient and yell alot but you are easy to please.

This is your serious face

Happy Face

Curious Face

Your sweet little stature and happy personality keeps reminding mommy to enjoy and be grateful for every moment I get to spend home with you and your siblings watching all of you grow before my very eyes. I love you little pied piper.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Confidence, reliance & anxiety

My confidence in schooling my children is growing, slow but steady "I can teach them". I must rely on God completely, His way is the only way I can do this. And I am learning to filter the things that make me anxious through His hands, His voice is clear and calm. I need to listen.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Oh my....

Our first week of homeschooling under our belts and I can finally write about.
In really nice words it kinda sucked. It didn't help that Daddy was working extra hours and attending a work conference. We survived by the skin of our teeth, I yelled more than I would like to mention. I can't say I didn't want to give up a time or two, or that I heard the bell ring up at the school and wanted so badly to drop half my kids off up there. But we made it and we are starting fresh this week.

A few things I learned last week:
-Schedules and routines are two different things and scheduling is a joke.
-I learned that just because God called you to do something does not mean He is going to make it easy.
-I now understand better why God called me to do this.
-I knew my daughter was struggling in school now I know why and I know we have made the right decision to homeschool her.
-At the end of the day the basics are what really matter.
-Juggling a baby and toddler while homeschooling 2 older children is hard, hard, so hard.

Things I want to do better this week:
-Lose the schedule focus on routine
-Make our way to the park a lot more, it is recess for all (including mommy).
-Make teachable moments, teachable moments.
-Don't be afraid to improvise, change or skip the lesson plans completely when we can learn more just from life.
-My children are brilliant and special and they have an opportunity to take the reins in there education don't be afraid to allow them some control.
-When struggling for focus, or attention, find a good book and just read out loud.
-Cordelia's Suggestion: Read the bible everyday till we finish it.

So this week my children have laid out the subject order for the day. We have agreed on expectations and I am allowing Cordelia the freedom to study a subject or two without a period of instruction from me. I have at least two days set aside for the park as well as a field trip for good behavior.

I will start pictures again when we start back on Wednesday.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Trying to create here and there

This was actually a really simple bag it took about an hour with three persistent helpers.


It is a little ballet bag for Cordelia's dance gear, she had a short intro class this summer but starts her regular ballet classes today and she is very excited to start in style!


This is what my husband does to entertain the kids while I work on lesson plans.

He is a silly silly man, but I really love him ALOT!

Monday, August 16, 2010

I would like you better if you didn't stay here.


I believe this depicts Is-a-belle's feelings as of late. While she likes her and finds her fascinating, she would rather her not live here. At least that is all I have to explain the endless cycle of bad behavior.

As for the homeschooling we are still in planning mood I have spent hours deep in lesson planning and reading upcoming lessons only 14 days to go. But on a fun note I am going to start reading The Indian in the Cupboard aloud tomorrow. I also found an AWESOME art book for co-op, and a sweet bomber jacket for Trent on Ebay for $3.00.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Not-Back-To-School Celebration

Today thanks to my mother my house got a serious face lift, well really all it got was cleaned but apparently that was all it really needed go figure. After experiencing the angry crazy mops of back to school shoppers I decided to celebrate tonight. The kids are having a not-back-to-school movie night because we are not going back to school till the end of the month like everyone around town, like all the people in Office Max I waited in line with for 45 minutes (including the lady Is-a-Belle kicked, sorry~!)or all the crazy drivers running around getting their last minute school supplies. Tomorrow when everyone else goes back to school my kids will still be sleeping and I thought we should celebrate this break from the status quo with popcorn and a movie from red box that I didn't have to wait in line for.


Saturday, August 14, 2010

For the love of google

Today has spent searching for preschool curriculum's. As evidenced by this picture Is-a-Belle took of me.

I wasn't going to use a curriculum with Is-a-Belle but she is causing more and more trouble and I think she needs a more little structure and to be included a little more with the older kids. She has recently reverted to acting like a baby, wants diapers (pull-ups we use for bedtime), eating baby food and sucking on a toy bottle and if it doesn't get her attention she causes trouble, pees on the floor, climbs on the counter to find cookies, colors on the wall, herself, my lesson plans. And suddenly a spanking is funny. Well if you will excuse me I am going to go listen to my "The New Strong-Willed Child" tape and cry.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Lofty Dreams

I realize that once we get into the thick of schooling it will become just as time consuming as the daily shuffle of to and from school and work. But really I hope this can stay a fixture, hot breakfast. Now don't get me wrong hot breakfast can encompass a mere box of muffin mix or oatmeal but its hot and you have to take the time to make it and eat it and it slows your day down just a little. And that is what I want around this house. Yummy smells to help the kids as the day wakes them up. Instead of placing a bowl of cold cereal in front of a half asleep monster who was dragged out of bed.

There has to be some valuable lessons in this

School Room in Progress

My school room/dining room in upheaval as try to get things in order.
I would like the desk to be the "teacher" desk and also a place I can have them sit if I need them to focus on something while I work with the other, right now it is a bit of a crash pad.
I have a dresser which you can't see that I am trying to organize for school and art supplies as well as my Girl Scout stuff. I am also brainstorming a system for the kids to file there class work so I don't end up with piles of papers. I really feel like I am moving in slow motion and it makes me sad because organizing is really my thing, or at least it used to be.
I somewhat have school books sorted into magazine boxes but I am worried this is going to be to cumbersome for us after a while.
But knowing me I will reorganize at least one more time before school starts.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Our pupils

Our pupils: Ages: 8, 5, 3 & 5 months

Because we can

I really love this part about homeschooling continuing to revel in summer even during the week after everyone else goes back to school. Our plan keep digging in the sand & riding waves until it isn't hot here anymore (so what about December 25).


Not Back-to-School Blog Hop: School Room Week

Not Back to School Blog Hop

I thought I would join in this blog hop and show off our school room/hopefully most days it will become a dining room again so we can eat in there instead on the couch. I wanted to escape the classroom feel with desks and what not and thought it would feel great to gather around the table and just do our thing however it may unfold. We do have a little desk for Izzy to sit at when she wants to "do school" to try to get her excited and less likely to be destructive (I realize how fruitless this effort likely is but I needed to put the desk somewhere). So this is what we have so far I imagine by next year we will have grown out of it and will take over the playroom but for now I wanted that division.

Our school room

Sunday, August 1, 2010

To be changed

I am longing for this experience to change me. It already has and is everyday and I haven't really even started yet. I am not the type of mom that was really made for this homeschooling thing. I am self conscious and feel I struggle to articulate the spoken word let alone in a way to teach another person. I have bought lots of teacher guides and curriculum's but I am still struggling to organize my thoughts and my lesson plans for the weeks ahead. I feel myself being pushed past my insecurities and it is frighting and uneasy at times like I am blindfolded and someone pulling me through a series of obstacles. Frightened and wanting to hold back I continue forward with my only comfort being that the One holding my hand can see.

I know there is an amazing and beautiful story to be told in all this. I know that God has plans that reach far beyond my tiny dream of educating my children. I feel my heart moving towards something so huge and I long to shepard my children towards whatever it is that He has in store for us. I feel His continuous guidance and have found myself seeking solace in His presence like I never have before. The spirit is moving and changing me and sometimes I feel almost giddy at what is happening.

Everyday things are more and more beautiful and precious and life changing. Days on the beach watching the kids play have been wrapped up in praises and prayer so thankful to bask in the beauty of His creation the big ocean and the tiny feet that ran across its waves. I spent the weekend just me and the baby shirking house work for irresistible slobbery baby kisses. Waking up with sun just to engage the big beautiful baby eyes staring at me. And tonight all though they made me crazy and made me yell and threw temper tantrums I sit here tonight soaking up the quiet listening to the sounds of my sweet babies sleeping under one roof after a long weekend away from me. I am so grateful for these moments and praying I won't soon forget them. I have spent the last few months deep in the trenches of baby/ stress induced depression, but I finally feel like I have come out of the darkness and though I am physically struggling out of the fatigue and pain, mentally, emotionally and spiritually I am recovering with great strides. Sweet babies, family fun no matter the struggle it requires and answered prayers of peace and comfort can do that.



Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Epic Curriculum

Do you know all the different ways there are out there to educate your children when you decide to homeschool them it will give you a brain cramp. There are the teaching styles like classical, Charlotte Mason, unit studies, unschooling (totally thought about that last one), etc. Then there are all the people that sell curriculum's that have there own style. You can find complete programs with every subject laid out or you can pick and choose the bits and pieces you want, with as little or as much lesson planning as you please.

I was looking at full programs until I started looking at the cost, it was steep and even the "complete" programs required you to pick your own math and science and what not. Then by a happy chance (God's grace!) I happened upon a blog that had just made my heart ache to homeschool and I decided to see what she did (I am such a cheater!) but what I ended up doing was reading a book she recommended The Well Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer. I could not put the book down I think I plowed through about 5 chapters the first night I read it. I was completely and utterly sold on the idea of classically educating my children. All that I was missing academically when I went to college, all the academic areas I still struggle with are made whole in classical education. It is not for the faint of heart, it requires more from me than I thought I could bear, but I feel God reaffirming me in this decision. So that was just the guide next came choosing all the books for all the subjects so here goes:

Spelling: Spelling Workout

Grammar: Rod & Staff - love these folks at the homeschool convention I looked at the Mennonite girl in her long dress and bonnet and said with a matter of fact tone "Cash Only" her response "No we take credit or debit" pointing to the motherly looking women in a bonnet sitting at a laptop (I don't have a laptop). I hope she didn't think I was rude. But really there program is serious and very proper grammar, did I mention how much I felt I would benefit from this program.

Reading: The Bible & the classics to coincide with history.

Writing: The Complete Writer

Handwriting: Handwriting without Tears

Memorization: The Harp & Laurel Wreath this is going to be really cool. Cordelia already has a poem memorized.

Math: Abeka Arithmetic - traditional Christian program.

History & Geography: We are following the Well Trained Mind recommended book by the same author this year we start with Ancient History: creation - 400 A.D. Classical education teaches history like a story from beginning to end as opposed to jumping all over the place to squeeze it all in like public schools.

Science: A lovely book created by a homeschooling mom Considering God's Creation. This year we are studying life science (Creation, animals, human beings and plants).

Bible: God's Great Covenant - loved this book talked for a long time with the author, she really put so much thought into every bit of it, this year we will study the old testament from Genesis to Ruth.

Enrichment: Latin, Art & classes offered through co-op & of course life in the real world.

So just a disclaimer I have not tried any of these programs yet, I decided to follow some of the books recommendations and some based on reviews. While we plan to follow the classical model in educating our circus we are not seeking perfection only to give them the richest opportunity possible.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A homeschooling blog

It seems an appropriate way to document our journey so I am starting a homeschool blog. We have been praying for 3 years to homeschool. Piper brought with her the blessing of not only her sweet self but the opportunity for me to stay home and homeschool. I have known these three years that it would not happen until God was ready and it would be clear and undeniable when it was time, it was all I expected from Him. It won't be easy financially, physically, mentally or spiritually but it is going to change our family in great and mighty ways.

I want to write this down because I don't want to forget. If I don't get to do this with my kids for the next 18 years then I want to remember that I had the opportunity and not take it for granted and be grateful for every moment. When my kids whine and complain about not wanting to do this anymore or ask why. I can show them why I do it and remind them of the times they loved and the times I loved and hopefully show them how much they are loved because of the sacrifices we made to give them this experience. I want to be the one to teach my children to read (the right way the first time), I want to see them curled up with classic literature that I never read as a child because it wasn't part of the public school curriculum (and still isn't). I want to see their excitement as they explore the wonders of this world instead of reading about it in a text book and I don't want to forget what that felt like to be there instead of hearing about it at the end of the day. I want to write this down because I know God is moving in me and in my family like I have never felt before and I don't want to forget that His hand is in this.

So this our new journey one I fully intend to enjoy every blessed moment of, our voyage de l'amour.