Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Skipping Rocks

My boys love skipping rocks. Most days we take walks around our neighborhood and our walks
wouldn't be complete without a pit stop at our neighborhood pier. Seeing the changes through the
seasons that happen at the water with the waterfowl and ecosystem is a learning adventure.
But skipping rocks is where it's at.

Our journey in homeschooling has been a lot like rock skipping.

How you hold the rock determines success or failure. Flat rocks work best and with a quick flick, the
rock, nestled in the crook of your first finger, lightly resting on the stack of the remaining fingers and
gently held in place by the thumb, will fling effortlessly out of your hand and across the water.

Choosing the right schooling fit for your family helps determines success or failure. And it isn't all
about the curriculum as one might think. It's also about how you school. Do you unschool, do you use
Montessori? How about classical and Charlotte Mason? Or an eclectic mix of them all?
We've run the gamut in our house. We chose to unschool in the younger years - learning through play
and experiences. Then gradually, we introduced more formal learning through books. And now two
years away from high school, we are thinking towards the future and how we might have to switch
gears again.

If your technique is correct, or you have tremendous luck, your rock will skim the surface of the water.  At each touch it creates a rippling effect.

Home education is even more than books and styles. It about creating opportunities for your child to
grow and succeed. Homeschooling allows the child freedom to explore areas of interest in-depth.
We've accomplished this by participating in statewide events, and more close to home, co-ops. Each
friend we make, activity we participate in and class we take furthers those opportunities.
My younger son is still exploring. My older son decided early on that acting is what he wants to do in
life. He's joined theater groups, taken drama courses and camps and is in the process of obtaining an

Now sit back and admire the effect. Or jump around. The first time that rock makes contact and you
see it skip, skip, skip, is an amazing feeling.

We've had our ups and downs. It's all part of the process. But after six years, we're pretty comfortable

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Homeschool Doubts

Originally posted on homschlr4ever-loveandlunchmoney
We all have them.

Am I doing the right thing? Are my kids progressing? Will they make it into college? Am I ruining their lives?

My answers are: yes, yes, yes, I would do that whether we homeschooled or not, right.

Actually, my kids love being homeschooled as do most others that we know. Sometimes, my older son Pete will reminisce about those glorious years he spent in school.

Well actually that one glorious year he spent in school - kindergarten. But none of it pertains to the schooling, just the social aspects.

He remembers how the other kids used to fuss over who would sit next to him at lunch, who would hang out with him at recess, and who was his girlfriend. Oh, the six year old drama.

Now, he spends every lunch sitting next to Mom and little brother, RePete. He spends “recess” doing his own thing or playing with Mom or RePete until the school kids come home or we setup a get-together with others homeschooled friends, and while neither RePete or Mom is up for the girlfriend gig, he still has co-op so the prospects are still there.

I was going to interview my boys for this post, but it wasn't all that exciting.

My question was, “What do you like about homeschooling?”
Repete, age 8, said he liked that it didn't take very long so he had lots of time to play, he loves his co-op and friends, and math (??).

Pete, age 12, stated that he gets to stay home with his family, no waiting on other kids to finish so he can be done and do his own thing, and his friends and co-op.

What about all that awesome teaching I do? I jest. I'm just happy they are happy. And learning. And well-adjusted. And so far, neither child has yelled at me for ruining their life.


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Busy, busy, busy

I have so many things I want to do and am spending many minutes a day thinking about how to do it all.

I'm starting to plan for our school next year.  My seedlings are growing fast and I need to get the containers together for planting.  We've got regular doctor visits on the calendar and speech appointments.  Soccer is about to consume our lives again.  And on and on.

Pete and I are going to be extras in a cool tv show - FBI: Crimnal Pursuit: Investigation Discovery.

Should be a lot of fun.  I originally sent the info for him to be an extra and the guy sent me a reply asking if I'd like to be one too since I have to be on set anyway.  I said sure, why not and that's how that happened.

I'm carrying my iPhone with me to get pics of the set for Pete's scrapbook that I plan to make one day...along with all the other scrapbooks I plan to make one day.

But I'll have to wait to post any pictures until after the show airs. 

Now back to being busy.


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

To Play or Not To Play

I always wanted to play the piano. When I was seven, my after school babysitter let me play around on her piano and even taught me how to play the theme from The Young and the Restless, one of her favorite stories. I still remember most of it.

Then we moved, my parents divorced and everything went to hell. My mom couldn't afford piano lessons and I don't even think the thought crossed her mind. And in school, I chose art, so I didn't have time for band class.

Now I'm 42 and still want to learn and I've decided to sign my boys up instead. Living vicariously through others and all that. Neither of them seems particularly enthused, although neither threw themselves down on the floor in a tantrum either, and I'm not normally one to force the issue, but I think it'll be a good thing for them in the end. They'll thank me later, right? *chirp chirp*

Anyway, there's plenty to document the good effects music has on us. I think the lessons will teach discipline through practice, empathy for Mom's inner ear canal,cooperation through working one on one with an instructor and accomplishment when they pound out that first song.

Someone tell me I'm right. These decisions are always so difficult and my husband is no help and by that I mean, he isn't agreeing with me 100 percent.

I said to him, Aren't you excited that I finally signed them up for piano lessons?
Him: Um, not really.
Me: What do you mean, not really? Don't you think they SHOULD take the lessons. You said yourself that piano was the best instrument to learn. From there all the others would be easy.
Him: I think piano lessons are good but you can't force them to take the lessons. I mean, they have to practice an hour a day. They won't even practice drums for me and they want to play drums. Are you going to make sure they do it?
Me: You bet your booty, I will.
Him: Then it sounds good to me.

I knew he'd come around to my way of thinking.

How about you? How do you handle these types of decisions in your homeschooling adventures? Do you wait for your child to ask? Do you take a firm stand as I have and sign them up? Do they hate you forever now? I don't think my heart could  stand that!


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Daily Walks

BN and I talk a lot about exercise and eating right and our boys are adopting this way of life.  They don't moan and groan when we want to do active things.  They don't cry and gag when I put broccoli and brussels sprouts on their plates.  They are understanding that these things are necessary to be healthy and free of disease.

I wish I had understood this when I was 8 or 12 or 25.  My mom always fed us wonderful meals and we hardly ever ate out, but there was plenty of the bad stuff around.  Meaning man made "food" products.  It wasn't her fault.  The gooberment said it was just fine and for a busy single mom, it was quick and easy.

Recently, Pete asked if he could go on my daily walks with me.  At first I was hesitant because I walk briskly and use this as a main form of exercise.  In the past, when I've headed out on my walks and the family wanted to tag along, it ended up being a leisurely walk around our neighborhood.

I never complained because I enjoyed that family time and cherish that my boys want to spend time with us, but it wasn't my normal workout.

So when Pete asked me this, I told him that is was going to be fast.  He would have to stay with me because I wasn't slowing down and RePete had to use wheels since I knew he couldn't keep up.

So far, so good.  I do make a pit stop about halfway through at the neighborhood pier so they can skip rocks, and watch the water life.

taken with iPhone


Wednesday, February 29, 2012


I finally got my seeds in dirt.  I couldn't be happier.

 taken with iPhone

The boys and I did an experiment to see what birds are eating in our feeders.  They recognized the sunflower seeds, of course, but not the rest.  The results so far are in the cups behind the seeding tray.  Only one sunflower seed sprouted and the boys are diligent about watering and watching.  It'll be fun when they all flower.


Friday, February 24, 2012

Pre-teen Fun

Having a pre-teen can be a joy and a curse. For my sanity, I'm going to focus on the joy.

Pete has a knack for entertaining.

During math on Thursday, this happened

Pete: Do college students get to use calculators any time they want?

Me: Sure. By then it's assumed that they know all the basics, like 2+2.

Pete: Well of course. That's six. Can I use the calculator today?

Smarty pants.