Saturday, February 4, 2017

Never planned to homeschool...

  We are so busy! 
  But...sometimes busy also spells "blessing". I cannot imagine my life without this craziness. Nor would I want anything different. I would never, ever trade the sloppy kisses from a messy, milk-mustached one-and-a-half year old, the small, but strong hugs from a five-year-old, or the joyful, rough tumbling around the trampoline with a six-year-old for a normal 9-5 job. At least, I cannot think of anything I'd rather do.  
  So, we are busy. And I have no complaints.
 I homeschool Kaleb and Brookelynn on the weekdays, while other kids would be in school, and I love it. There is nothing like seeing a lightbulb go off in their little heads. And - the best part is that Mommy gets to see these lightbulbs! All of them! 
 There are so many reasons why I would love to share that homeschooling is the way to go, now that I've tried a few months of it. It's fun, it's challenging, it's creative, and it gets you thinking. 
  I'm always having to think of new and different ways to teach the kiddos things, and I love that. I love that I get to learn right along with them. One of my favorite parts is the Science we've been learning (which, anyone who knows me knows that I am not a Science geek by any means!) - a few weeks ago we made crystals, and a few weeks before that, we made a volcano. This week we learned about the lifecycle of a butterfly, and soon we will get to grow our own. Who gets to do that at work?!
  It helps that my mom, and my aunt, my sister-in-law, and not to mention, some of my friends, are all teachers too. My mother-in-law is even supportive of our choice. I'm really glad to have the kind of support God has placed in my life. If it had not been so, I'm not sure if I'd been so confident about starting the process of homeschool. That said, though, I do believe that it can be for anyone. I've recently had a friend ask me about the process - how to begin, and what to do, and is it for everyone? 
  I'm not sure how to answer exactly, but I do know that I see so many positives to it now, after trying it for about a year (we started last year), that I cannot imagine that it wouldn't outweigh the negatives. I love that I get to be with my babies EVERY day, all day long. 
  I never saw this, though, in my head before I became a mom! That is what's so crazy about it. It's kind of something that God has just orchestrated over time, and it has progressed. 
  I do have a couple of reservations, however, about the future. I don't know what it looks like to homeschool a high schooler, or even a junior higher for that matter. I have been told that there are definitely enough online materials and computer programs to make it work. I just don't have a good idea in my head what it will look like for our particular family. I said, I'm following God's leading, and taking this step by step. We will get there eventually! 
  I'm not against public school. In fact, I do believe that for some families, it may be the best option. Every family is different. But, that said, I would say that if you're even considering homeschool as an option for your family, go for it. Don't be discouraged. Because, it has definitely worked so far for this journalism major. ;) 

  Here is a run down of our day: 

  * Around 8, we get up, eat breakfast, brush teeth and put on clothes for the day. 
  * The older kiddos help me empty the dishwasher.
  * Jared plays in his play pen (It's actually the size of the living room - it's big! It's just been sectioned off by a gate).
  * We start school, which lasts about an hour in the morning. Right now we are using the "My Father's World" curriculum, which I love, for the most part. 
Here is a link to them -
  * Lunch
 * Around 2, Jared goes down for his nap. 
 * We do quiet time, then, and that's when I get my cleaning done for the day. I usually clean at least one part of my house each day, and this makes it to where by the end of the week, I've gotten the house clean again! It works for us! I've recently been letting the kids help in this department. 
 * About 4, Jared wakes. This is probably the hardest part of the day, however. The kids are usually ready for a snack, and Jared is a bit cranky when he wakes. Sometimes I don't start dinner till 5...or later. 
 * I usually try and aim for a 6 p.m. dinner, because that's when Justin gets home. However, lately, this has changed a bit since we've added soccer to our weekly schedule! 

And, that's our school week. Our weekly activities besides just this are: 

Monday: Morning Library Time at 10 a.m. (This is when we get our books about what we'll be learning in school that week!) School in the afternoon during Jared's nap. Soccer in the evening. It's also laundry day, so whatever laundry didn't get done during the week, I finish up on that night. Yes, sometimes I am up late. ;)  

Tuesday: School in the morning. It's also floors cleaning day. 

Wednesday: School in the morning. Vacuuming day! Then, Mission Friends in the evening, which is just a little program at the church for the kids. We usually eat as a family there, so I don't have to cook that night! Score. 

Thursday: School in the morning. Bathroom cleaning day. Then, gymnastics at 3:30 for Brookelynn, and soccer at 6 for Kaleb. 

Friday: School in the morning, or MOPS every other week (which, in that case, we'd do school in the afternoon). Dusting and sheets cleaning day. 

Saturday: This is when I go through closets, organize, and put stuff in storage. (We need to do a storage cleanout soon...UGH! Organizing is something I don't really enjoy...;) I'm still figuring out the best things for the kids to do on these days...I have board games, but they prefer their Kindles to anything, and of course, a game on the t.v. We are figuring this out! Trying to figure out limitations, etc...

Sunday: Free day! I don't really do much, except church. On Sunday afternoons, we try to relax, and Jared takes a nap. I may do some laundry, and spot mop. 

  On top of our weekly routine, church also keeps us pretty busy on the weekends, too, sometimes. Justin and I lead worship at our church (he on guitar, me on piano), and we also routinely help out at our church retreats out of town, alternating between he and I. 
  Recently, since I've started homeschooling the kids in kindergarten, I've taken a deep look into what I really want as far as this goes. I've always been pretty involved, but now I really have to prioritize, or I get overwhelmed with all the duties in the home alongside this.  

SO, homeschool and church are keeping our lives pretty busy, and we are learning how to do this as we go. Isn't that what it's all about? It is all about the learning process, isn't it? 

  All of this said, I LOVE our lives. This life, if you fully give it to God and work with him, can turn out to be quite a blessing. 

Blessings to you and yours, 

Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires and petitions of your heart. Psalm 37:4