April 21, 2014

Easter Sunday

Since we aren't Christians, Easter isn't a huge deal to to us but even us Humanists like a reason to get together with loved ones, celebrate spring and new beginnings. Our weekend started off rocky. We had plans to spend the entire weekend at my sister's house but when we were almost there we got a call saying that my niece had the stomach flu :( poor girl. We turned the van around and drove the 1.5 hours back home. The kids were bummed but were troopers. It ended up being a nice weekend to be home and enjoy each other. With Paul's crazy work schedule that isn't as easy as it sounds. The weather was perfect and we had a great day. I hope your Easter Sundays were spent exactly as you liked too!

April 9, 2014

Picking our Path

Lately our family has been weighing a very important decision, a decision on whether to send our kids to public school or home school them.  There are many schools of thought on which is “better” or “worse.” I use those words in quotes because they are totally subjective.  I have put in a lot of thought and countless hours of research.  We have come to a preliminary decision that as of the 2014-2015 school year, our children will learn here, in our own home, with me as their instructor.  Since both Tanner and Emmy Lu are of preschool age, it will give us a trial year to see if it really is a right fit for us before Tanner’s kindergarten year.  And honestly, after talking to a couple trusted home-schooling moms I know, i have learned that pre-school at home really isn’t much different than what I am already doing.  We already do daily work on social-emotional development, letter and number recognition, fine and gross motor development, and creative/musical activities.  I am excited to create a space in our house specifically designated to school (can anyone else smell the DIY possibilities here???).  I thought I would just like to share our decision with friends and family in a buzzfeed style list give our “Top 5 Reasons for Deciding to Home School.”


1. Child-led learning:  I want to follow my children’s lead on how they learn best and offer them the most individualized education possible.  It’s simply unrealistic, in even the best public schools, that each child would be encouraged to discover and develop his/her individual strengths to their full potential.  On the flip side of this, if one of my children faces a struggle, I will be there to give one on one help/support.  I really can’t think of a better option than that.


2. Flexibility:  We are a family of free-spirits.  Although I plan on having our school days structured and routine (much like our days are currently), I look forward to the freedom of deciding our school year schedule.  We won’t be tied down bus waiting for the bus, or early releases, or snow days.  How liberating!!  For a free bird like myself, this is a BIG draw. If its a nice day, we will have the complete freedom to taking our learning outdoors and not be tied down to a brick and mortar building. 


3. Efficiency: Because of the individual attention and individualized learning plans I will be able to teach my children we will really be able to streamline learning.  When a child masters a skill or lesson, we will be able to move on immediately instead of waiting for an entire classroom before moving on.  The flip side of this, again, is more attention to subjects or concepts they may struggle with.  As their teacher, I will be able to interpret their individual needs to help them have the most comprehensive and efficient education we can.


4. Creativity- I want my kids to be able to play and explore like kids as long as possible.  I want them to build forts, have hours and hours to explore the yard and woods.  I want them to dress up, and imagine, and create worlds in the heads.  I think that by creating a space in which they are encouraged to do this, their limits are endless. 


5. Because I can, I want to, and it feels right:  I totally know that homeschooling is not for everyone.  Some people may even decide to label us as “weird” for our decision to try it.  To that I can only respond that we are following our hearts.  I have thought about home-schooling since before Tanner was born but had since pushed it aside, not to be thought of again…until recently.  It resurfaced and started picking at me.  I started looking into what goes into homechool and I have no other way to describe it other than it just feels right for us.  At the very least, it deserves a trial school year. It’s something I really want to do and feel I could do very well.  Of all the things in my life, I am probably most passionate about my parenting.  So really, after taking some time to let the possibility swirl around in my head for a while, the decision came easily. 


We are excited about the possibilities and what path this adventure will lead us!!  I can’t wait to have little school with my little people.  Now, onto planning that school room……

April 2, 2014

First Day-April 2014

Pretty standard day around here. We had another snow storm, Tanner had preschool, the girls "helped" me clean the couch cushions and we stayed in our jammies most of the day. Oh yeah, and we got our spring chicks. Here's a glimpse at our day. Enjoy!