Friday, December 17, 2010

I love it!

I love homeschooling. Have I mentioned that before? Well I do.

And before anyone thinks that I must have more patience than them or be smarter or any number of other things I hear, I'm not. I am not patient, in fact, I'm quite the opposite. I am not smarter than you. I'm not super organized. I do bite off more than I can chew. My kids are not super-kids. (Well, as a momma, I like to think so.) They are just normal kids.
Yes, my ears get tired. Yes, I struggle with wanting time to myself. Yes, sometimes the little blessings drive me batty. Yes, sometimes I yell and hurt their feelings. So why do I do it?

I do it because...well...because.

Because. I don't particularly care for our school district, well any school district for that matter. I don't think public education is very effective and in the grand scheme of things does not have a great track record. (I think there are great teachers and people who have a heart for the kids, I think it's the system that's messed up.) I don't want the negative peer influence. I don't want to have to get up and go to bed so early - I don't want to be a slave to a schedule. I don't want the political agendas pushed onto their very impressionable minds. I don't believe in homework.

I want to be able to travel if we want to and take advantage of learning opportunities that present themselves, not have to recreate something or have it planned. Besides, isn't all of life a "learning opportunity"? I want to spend days at the park, zoo and Chuck E. Cheese without the crowds. I want the kids to enjoy their dad when he's off or grandparents that want to spend the day with them. I believe that God called us to teach our children.

I could keep going...I don't want my kids leftovers -when they've been gone all day and with people all day - and they just want time alone when they get home. I want to see them learn. I want them to LOVE learning, not have it crushed out of them. I want them to know how to think for themselves and not worry about what others think. I want my kids to have an extended childhood...not be childish...but to not have to grow-up so quickly. I want to take nice days off and not have them cooped up inside. I want them outside exploring and running and yelling and playing...just being a kid. I want time with them...lots of time.

So there isn't just one reason that I homeschool, in fact, there are even more than I listed. And some days, I need to remind myself of this list. Because sometimes, it gets hard. Some days I imagine not homeschooling. Not a lot, but sometimes. Today was NOT one of those days.

The kids got up and did their chores (feeding and watering livestock) and independent schoolwork (reading, Bible study, handwriting, grammar and science). We cleaned the bathroom and mopped the kitchen floor along with a few other household chores (home-ec). Then Bubby and Leeny played together. I LOVE that he doesn't think he's too old to enjoy the company of his 6 year old sister. The Bug and the Baby were boxing on the Wii (P.E.) Later, we sat around the table following patterns for making really cool snowflakes (art). While they were cutting, I read aloud to them about Snowflake Bentley (history). We learned about snowflakes, how they are formed, etc. (science). We talked about where Snowflake Bentley grew up and found it on the map (geography). Then we all curled up and watched a Christmas movie.

Is this a normal day for us? No. I don't think we have a normal day. No two days mirror each other. We have a routine but with that there is lots of flexibility. Two different days this week, we spent a lot of time working on our math books - doing 2-3 lessons at a time. We've also put what we learned in math to practice in real life, by doing lots of baking and candy making. Measuring ingredients and doubling recipes requires math skills.

Leeny showed me one evening how well she can read and spell, actually surprising me which is hard to do, since I'm the teacher. She was asking me what I wanted for Christmas, so I told her and she wrote it all down and hardly spelled anything wrong. And it's moments like that when I know that homeschooling works.

And why wouldn't it? Nobody loves my kids more or cares whether or not they learn more than me. After all, didn't they learn to walk and talk, learn their numbers, ABC's, shapes, etc. at home with me? I didn't have a teacher's manual for that stuff. It just happened naturally.

And that's how I want them to learn - gently and naturally. And that's why I homeschool.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Around Here...

I can't sleep. It's midnight and the Husband just got called out to work. The roads are icy and he has so far to drive. He's been transferred temporarily to another area and it's double the drive time. He's so tired. It's been well past 11 each night this week before he's made it to bed and he hasn't had any time to just relax. Too much needing done. So I'm praying and waiting for the call that he made it safely to the warehouse. Then I'll try to sleep cause I don't even like to think about what he does when he gets to work....7200 volts of electricity, rubber gloves, hot wires, heavy trucks, below freezing temperatures, no sleep.....

I'm missing my mom. She's out in Arizona for my grandmother's funeral. She'll be home on Saturday. It's funny how we may not see her for a week at a time, but just knowing she is home and not in some far off place, makes me feel better. I'm glad she left when she did though. She was able to be there when her mom passed. Same with her dad last November. I can't even wrap my mind around the thought of having both of my parents gone. But she was blessed to have her parents until she was in her 50's.

The kids are getting excited for Christmas. A couple still have a little shopping to do and are getting nervous that daddy won't take them in time. (I think it's me that they want to shop for).
They are so sweet. Leeny's list changes by the day. So I'm hoping that by the time Christmas gets here, she's cycled back around to wanting the things she's getting. Really, I think she will be thrilled with anything. It's just fun to look at all the possibilities.

We did the sugar cookie baking and decorating late last week. Oh the mess! They had fun, but I was reminded once again why I don't make cut-out sugar cookies very often. The kids also helped me make 8 different kinds of cookies. The rolled them into balls and we flash froze them and then dumped the cookie balls into freezer bags. Now we can just pull out and bake what we need. Fresh cookies for all the places we have to be.

Tonight Bubby and I made rock candy. Well, we attempted it. Stupid thermometer! I checked it in boiling water to make sure it was accurate...actually checked 2. We burned it. Nothing like the taste of burnt sugar with a hint of grape. YUCK! The kids wanted to like it, they tried, but it was awful.
Tomorrow we're planning on making caramels. Sure hope we have a better go of it!

The Baby is fascinated by the tree and leaves it alone for the most part. Her latest obsession is throwing things in the bathtub. Tonight before I could soak in the tub, I had to remove EVERY. SINGLE. BATHTUB. TOY! I also found a Webkinz, my hairspray and a hand towel. Not sure what she was thinking there.

What else has been going on?

We've also been to the orthodontist for Bubby. He'll be starting treatment in the next month or so.

Schoolwork is going well. Of course I often feel like I'm not doing enough but then they surprise me with what they are learning on their own or from just doing things together. I'll post about what I've been learning soon.

Bubby and I went to a visitation for our co-4-H leader. He was 29 and passed away from cancer. I hurt for his family.

We're getting ready to build another bedroom in our house. We'll be tackling that between Christmas and New Year's. Bubby will get the new room, the Bug will get his old room and the Baby will move into Leeny's room. All should be happy including daddy and mommy because we've been sharing our room with the Baby for the past 14 months.

Strep throat has made a unwelcome visit to our house. All of us girls got it with the Bug and Leeny having 2 rounds of it. We've had double ear infections (Baby), viral stuff (Husband) and colds (Bubby & Husband). We're hoping we've paid our dues in sickness for this winter and can coast along until spring.

So that's it in a nutshell. Good Night!

Friday, December 10, 2010


Outside my window...the sun is shining giving the appearance of warmth but the huddled chickens under the pine tree let me know otherwise. Our blue-jays are back, terrorizing all other birds in the yard. I love watching them.

I am unproductive I am. This has been a busy week with lots of running and a non-sleeping sick baby. I'm also thinking that my husband was sooo right on putting on that expensive insulation. I shouldn't have drug my feet on purchasing it.

I am thankful for...three kids with no cavities (first time ever). That saved us a ton of money! I'm also incredibly thankful that I get to stay home with my kiddos. I can't imagine 3 sleepless nights in a row and having to function at a job.

From the learning rooms...squeezing in some lessons between running errands. Next week we are planning on being home more so maybe some more focused work.

From the kitchen...can't decide between chicken strips or mandarin beef. Oh the choices!

I am sweat pants and a t-shirt. I'm hoping no one comes to the door. I'm not getting ready until later this afternoon when I have to go to a visitation.

I am creating...hopefully some clean piles of laundry and a dust-free family room.

I am stay home this weekend.

I am reading...finishing up When you Rise Up by R.C. Sproul Jr. While I had expected this book to give me bloody toes, I have found it to be very encouraging.

I am hoping...that my Nanny passes away today. This cancer has been grueling on her caretakers and cruel to her. She should be heading home any time now. They've stopped all meds, her breathing is slow, she has the "death rattle," and is not responsive. Nanny will soon be with Bopi and they will both be worshipping at the feet of Jesus.

I am hearing...the hum of the Corn Stove. It's pretty loud but keeps the house warm. The baby crying because I put her down. The Letter Factory movie, over and over again. Leeny loves it.

Around the house...clutter and dust. Presents needing wrapped have taken over a corner of the hallway. The Baby has dumped out a load of clean clothes and scattered them across the family room floor.

One of my favorite new Blueberry Delight coffee with White Chocolate hot cocoa mix stirred in. Yummy!

A few plans for the rest of the week and weekend: visitation for our co-4-H leader. He passed away rather suddenly from brain cancer. He was 29.
Baking cookies this weekend, catching up on laundry, watching a couple movies, church...

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

This is my precious Momma with my Nanny. This was back in October at a "Girls Night Out."
Have a great weekend!
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