Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Learning to Love Learning...Again!

I had taken the fun out of school again. It had become rigorous, controlled, forced. The tears were almost daily and my relationship with my children was suffering. I missed the fun and play. I longed to see their eyes light up with wonder over a new discovery again. I missed seeing the excitement that came with learning what they were curious about. Somehow, I had allowed everyone else's opinions take over my homeschool. I lost track of the fact that the Father had given these 3 beautiful children to me for a purpose. I was supposed to raise them the way He was leading, not the way the homeschool family on Facebook or Pinterest was doing things. 

This awakening was hard. I felt exhausted. Here I had spent the last 3 weeks planning the 'perfect' year. And yet, in that moment, I knew that the perfect would not be and the stress would resume. The tears would be a daily occurrence again. No! This had to stop now! After talking with Thomas that evening, I knew things had to change, and he was totally on board! 

The next morning I began to pray that the Father would lead me in leading and raising these children of His that He entrusted to me for such a short time. I longed to make every moment linger. I dreamed of painting, exploring, reading and watching documentaries together again. I knew this was my wake-up call (again)! 

What does this mean for our 2018-2019 school year? What curriculum will I choose? How will I incorporate all this? Well, friends, I am not entirely sure. This is all unfolding as I am typing. Here is what I am currently looking at:

1. We are returning to our first love: Five In A Row

Seriously, how did I allow this to leave in the first place?!? We love the books, the art, the exploring! This is our favorite way to discover a rabbit trail that we can chase. I'm bringing it back. I have already ordered several new books from the lists. We will once again travel through rich stories in picture books that my kiddos love. I even found this great blog that paired chapter books with each of the FIAR books so that Popper can still be challenged in his reading while getting to enjoy the activities as part of our together time! He is thrilled! Many of them have been on his wish list of books to read!

2. Throwing out the math book!

How liberating is that! Math causes tears. However, board games, card games, dominoes do not! In fact, my boys learned math facts in an hour playing a card game with Daddy than they had in a year of flash cards or worksheets. Also, I have discovered that my boys love logic puzzles. I am searching and reading reviews on several options that will allow them to use these for math instead!

3. The Good and The Beautiful Language Arts

There is nothing else to add! I was skeptical at first, so I chose to print off the free lessons first. (YES! It is really free!)

AMAZING! Best of all, the kiddos love it:  the gorgeous art, the short lessons, the recommended books, all of it! And they are all becoming better readers while learning how to spell and write! It takes about 30 minutes to complete and they get one-on-one mommy time during their lesson! It is seriously an win-win-win! 

Other than that, I am still searching. I am piecing together and trying to rediscover balance. I want them to be exposed to great books, music, art, and Bible. But I also want them to explore and follow the rabbit trails of learning. There is a balance there somewhere. I am praying that the Father will reveal to me that perfect balance for our days and weeks. Until then, I can be found exploring, painting, building forts, and reading great books with my kiddos! We are learning to love learning again!

Friday, January 26, 2018

A Whole New World.

It's that season, at least that was the excuse that I was telling myself as Sister became sick and wasn't seeming to get better. I was at a loss. I didn't want to run her to the doctor, especially with the flu being at an all time high, for it to be a virus that needed to just run it's course. She was drinking plenty of water and still eating. I just oiled her up and made sure that she was sleeping. 

She slept well. Except that my independent girl was now ending up in my bed every night. I didn't understand what was going on. And so, 2 nights ago, when I was awaken at 3am with Sister crawling into my bed again, I began to really pray. I pleaded with the Lord to give her healing and me wisdom (James 1:5) as to what to do for my girl. I just didn't have a peace about going to the doctor yet. 

The next morning, or later that morning since sleep never came, I knew what I needed to do! Daddy T and I loaded all the kiddos up and went to the chiropractor. I believe that a good adjustment will help bodies be able to better fight sickness. Then, I made a decision that I never dreamed that I would make, I took my whole family to a naturalist doctor. 

Now, I know the whole crunchy term should imply that, but if I am honest, this process of becoming crunchy still had its limits for me. This was one of them. See, I believe in doctors and antibiotics, when needed, I also believe in all- natural when able. A naturalistic seemed extreme to me. I am so thankful for my time in prayer that morning as the Lord was able to prepare me for the series of events that were about to unfold.

The doctor was AMAZING! She was patient, kind and really listened to me! She saw us all quickly and commented on the overall health of our family. However, there were a few concerns: food allergies. 

I already cut out artificial dyes and MSG. Lately, I have been avoiding dairy like the plague because it makes me fell awful. However, nothing but lots of prayer and processing could prepare me for the news: 
Sister is allergic to: wheat, corn, dairy and sugar! 

This explained so much. Here I was feeding my daughter the very stuff that was making her sick to begin with: yogurt, sandwiches, granola bars, etc. Stuff that I believed was healthy, and for most is, but it was making her ill. I was in complete shock! What now?

A whole new world has been handed to me. I am researching and digging trying to learn. I have decided to take you along with me on this journey. I feel like this is where the blog originated, learning to be more crunchy, and that is exactly where we are now. 

So, I invite you to join me, learn new recipes with me, share your favorites, and pray together as we navigate this world of shopping and cooking for our families! 

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

It's Been Awhile

It has been awhile since I have written. Writer's block is a very real thing. I have sat down several times over the past few months with many different ideas flowing through my brain. I would type out about 3/4 of a post, get interrupted by someone or something, and completely lose my train of thought. I miss writing. I miss getting my thoughts out and sharing our homeschool journey. The problem is the block is very real right now. 
So, I thought that I would try a list, hoping that maybe that would get my juices flowing. Below is a list of things that have happened over the last several months that I have tried (and failed) to share with you:

1. We started Classical Conversations. 
We love our community! I originally looked into CC because we needed some way to stream line our learning. With three different kiddos in three different grades, I was overwhelmed. CC did just that. We now only have reading and math separately. The kiddos are really thriving and adore their tutors and friends!
            -A side note: Popper started Essentials. There is a love/hate relationship with it right now. He loves diagramming sentences and he is a pro at memorizing charts, however he struggles with writing, so that makes the IEW portion a little more frustrating for him.

2. We are still very much a Charlotte Mason family. 
CC has become a guide for our weeks. We take the subjects and find great living books to read along side them. It has helped keep me accountable and give me some kind of guideline to follow. 
           -We are learning so much about key people in American history. I am even reclaiming my education. I have learned so much along side my kids.

3. Our Thanksgiving and Christmas season was busy! 
We had plenty to eat and lots of friends and family time. The kiddos were in a play at our church for Christmas and did a fantastic job! We scaled waaaay back on Christmas this year and really tried to turn our focus to Jesus. It was by far the best year yet for our family.

4. I picked my word for 2018. 
2017 was a year of extreme growth for me. It was hard, but good. Simplicity really was challenging as it affected every aspect of my life. However, there was a point in the year where the simplicity of Who Jesus is and what He did for me really sank in to me in a new, real way!
This year my word is PEACE! 
Psalm 34:14 (AMP) says "Depart from evil and do good; seek, inquire for, and crave peace and pursue (go after) it!"
My peace has always been in regards to my circumstances. I think this year is going to teach me that my peace should come from Jesus! 

I am excited for 2018! I can't wait to see what the Lord is going to do in and through me. Hopefully, after this post, I will be able to write again and start sharing with you our school days again. 😊

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Say What!?.....

How many moms hate markers as much as I do? I get so tired of throwing them away only days after I buy them because my sweet kiddos forget to recap them or they don't get the cap on all the way, and they dry out! I have told Daddy T for years that someone needs to create markers that don't dry out. To which, he would laugh and wish me 'good luck with that.' 

However, someone over at The Pencil Grip, Inc. must have heard me! You guys!!! They have just created their new Magik Stix!

These amazing, washable markers do not dry out for 7 days even with the cap left completely off!!! I might have squealed a little when I read that! The best part, they guarantee that they won't dry out for 7 whole days! Add to it that they are odorless and non-toxic, these quickly made their way to my wishlist for Christmas! 

Magik Stix are available on Amazon in both 12 and 24 counts! Sister will be thrilled Christmas morning when she opens her brand new markers, because, thanks to The Pencil Grip, Inc., I can now say 'YES!'

You can get yours too! Just head on over to Amazon and check them out! Enjoy you guys! I hope that these bring as much joy to your home as they will to mine!