It been a long time since I’ve posted in this space. And I’m not at all sorry about. I’ve spent the past few months helping our boys through the transition of the move and getting settled into a new normal. Add in homeschooling and my little guys have taken up all my time. I’ve reflected quite a bit lately on what I want for this site and what I want to provide to you, my readers. So here’s some big thoughts that are going to change the way I do things in this digital space.
The hot mess of a school room! This is a photo of my quite workspace that was interrupted as I was writing this post. There are files everywhere because I pulled out every resource I have to find the right ones to use with the two little boys. The mess is slowly getting cleaned up!
Homeschooling is A Full Time Job
I’m not going to pretend otherwise for even a second. Life was much simpler and easier when my kids were little and goals for the day were along the lines of teach them to fold napkins, walk to the park, or convince a two year old to take a nap. Now goals are bigger like teach them to read, teach them about war and suffering, or teach them latin. (I do not know latin!)
I believe fully in hands on teaching and hands on parenting. Part of that philosophy is that I try very hard to not use technology during the day for play. I don’t let my kids have much screen time, so I don’t either to set an example. I’m trying to teach that there is a difference between using technology for learning or work and using technology to play. Often the needs of my kids trump the list of blogging goals for the day.
Case in point, at this exact moment as I’m typing this, Bebop and Doodad came to join me in the office/school room. The boys had all been occupied with individual interests during the afternoon lull that used to be called quiet time, so I thought I’d be able to take a few minutes and write up my thoughts. 10 minutes later, Bebop comes in asking to work on his lapbook that goes with our current Mystery of History quarter. Following two quick steps behind is the baby brother who is now laying on the floor exploring with some of the extra manipulatives we have stashed on the shelves in here. So I’m bending one of my own rule a bit and continuing to write while they both works next to me.
We Took A Huge Break and the Kids Language Skills Exploded
Our school year started back the first week of August so that we could take all of December off. It was a bit ambitious but paid off with the boys and I being able to travel and visit family without taking any school work with us. It was a break that I really needed! Since our move I’ve felt the pressure of doing it all on my own because we are not engaged with a community like we were in New York. (Not a criticism of Maryland, just a by product of moving. Relationships and community take time to build.)
I had Bebop’s work for 3rd grade planned out before our trip, but I didn’t have much planned for the little boys. We came home to quickly discover they were both bored and needed a challenge. I’ve spent most of the past two weeks assessing them and researching how to meet their needs. The very short explanation of the plan is that Magoo is now working through word families and somewhere between 1st and 2nd grade in math. Doodad has just about mastered basic phonics and is ready to start blending letters together into words. I haven’t even assessed him for math yet, but I would guess he’s ready for kindergarten work. I will be posting more detail on each of them soon. The point I want to make is that I’ve been occupied with studying my children and their needs, which leaves little extra time for blogging.
(And yes, my children are all well ahead of the normal for their ages. I have come to understand and accept that they are all gifted. I’ve been really scared to admit that publicly because I know the misunderstanding that kind of label brings. But I do plan to write a bit more about it because asynchronous development and emotional intensity are part of our life and factor into what I teach and how I teach it.)
We Are Trying to Make Major Diet Changes
The two little boys still have their dairy allergies. When Magoo was born, the pediatrician assured me that he would outgrow the allergy by his first birthday. Third birthday at the absolute latest… And here we are 6 years later and Magoo is still very reactive to dairy. Poor kids is covered in eczema right now from all the “cheats” we had while traveling.
Again, long story short here, but we are making changes slowly to hopefully heal the leaky gut that I think is behind both Magoo and Doodad’s food allergies. I plan to utilize the GAPS healing protocol, but probably not until March or April. Right now we’ve pulled everyone off dairy, sugar, and grains. We’re eating a lot of veggies around here! A whole lot more on this topic is coming.
I Do Not Want To Create An Online Community
I think its probably considered taboo for a blogger to say, but I honestly don’t want to create a community online. I want community in real life. In this season when my real life community is lacking, I’m realizing just how important it is to connect in real life and invest in the people around you.
I want this space to be a resource, especially to other homeschoolers who want to follow the classical model. I want this to be a place of encouragement, so that you my sweet readers feel better equipped to serve your family and your community.
So what does that mean for this blog?
I’m giving up on using most social media. I still want you readers to be able to follow my posts so I need you to tell me what the best ways to do that are? Email, RSS (like Bloglovin’ or Feedly), Facebook update? How do you prefer to follow blogs?
I’m going to focus on writing quality posts with all the resources I wish I had 4 year ago when we started our first year of classical education. I’ve read so many books, tried so many different curriculum, and talked with other moms. I’ve also tutored kids in the grammar, logic, and rhetoric stages and have some tips to give on helping you and your students through the rigors of a classical education.
This is what homeschooling really looks like. Every day!
English grammar is one of my weak spots, but we’re learning together.
Having a dedicated workspace has created cheerful attitudes in my two littlest learners.
I think this guys is a stealth reader. I think one day he’s going to surprise us.
My kinesthetic learner is loving all the hands on activities we’ve added!
This right here is a perfect representation of the commitment that parenting takes. It would be so much easier and faster to just make the cookies all by myself. But it is more important to take the time to teach them how to bake the cookies themselves.