Thursday, May 11, 2017

Homeschool Reset

When you are a homeschooling parent, there are so many things you worry about. It's like we have a huge weight because so many expect their studies to be the same as public school students. We worry so much about whether our children are behind their peers. At least I do and from a few blogs I've read, others feel the same way. Our children's everything falls into OUR hands, we can only blame ourselves when our child is behind, right? Because if they were behind in public school, we could easily point our finger at the teacher not doing his/her job. I know for me, I worry I will fail at being my children't educator. I haven't been to school to learn how to do this! I read on a blog that fearing we will fail shows how important our children's education is to us. It is definitely true for me. I have a list of pros and cons on both homeschool and public school. My list of pros for homeschooling outweighs my pros for sending them to public school.

 The past 8 months have been absolutely hectic. While we did great in the beginning, things happened and life felt like it went upside down. The biggest thing to happen was our move from Hawaii to the East Coast. Shew, that was huge and hectic. We had household goods packed up and picked up right after Christmas and didn't get them until mid-Feb. We accepted a house on post Feb 1. Our house here is SO much smaller than our home in Hawaii. We don't have a garage here and we don't have nearly as much storage. Our rooms are quite a bit smaller than our rooms in Hawaii. Our kitchen here is like 1/4th the size of our kitchen in Hawaii. (Oh, how I miss my kitchen in Hawaii!!). We have a lot of thing, although it didn't seem like it before. Our classroom here is so small compared to the room we used, so it has taken me a good 3 months to get everything organized.

Last week, I had a long moment of doubt that I could continue to homeschool. The big kids were arguing. I felt like they weren't doing enough school work, but I felt overwhelmed with it all! I never have time to myself to re-energize. I need some me time once in awhile to get a "brain break". I love being with my kids all day, but I do need breaks once in awhile. I just never get them. Unless you want to count staying up for hours after everyone has gone to bed or get up wicked early to be up before them. I don't even go grocery shopping alone! I'm not complaining, just stating facts. I don't ever leave my job. When you are a working parent, you leave the house, interact with other adults, don't have to worry about picking up after everyone ALL DAY, you get time alone in the vehicle to go to work and come home. I don't know about any other stay at home moms/ homeschoolers, but I feel very bad if I want to run to a store alone and not have ANYONE with me. Like, I feel terrible for wanting time to myself. With all of that, I felt I needed a break from the overwhelming feeling that I was failing with EVERYTHING. I felt like I was in a constant state of having an anxiety attack. Seriously, it was terrible.

I came to my senses after talking to my Mama. She's very helpful with getting me to think straight while I feel like I am going through a crisis. She gave me a lot of great advice with homeschooling. She's SO supportive of us homeschooling and is truly happy we've chosen to homeschool. That means a lot since she was a little hesitant at first with the idea. She still supported it, but she's seen how they are.

Anyway, I forgot my cousin told me about a website that is free to use that gives assignments in 7ish subjects for 180 days. I checked it out Monday during my "reset" time and we started it yesterday. Discoveryk12 is the website. While next year we will add more to our days, this gives a great outline on what they can do.

I used Monday and Tuesday to "reset" and get in the groove of being JUST their teacher during school time. Some may take a week or month to reset. Some may take a day. Just know, when you are questioning whether you are fit to homeschool because a few feel you aren't qualified or you feel you aren't qualified, take some time to evaluate WHY you started homeschooling. Outline your pros and cons of public and home school. Switch curriculum if you need to. Sit down and reflect everything they have learned that you taught them FROM BIRTH! I'm serious, ya'll. We are our children's very first teacher. I know public school teachers can play a huge role in shaping our kids. I am not saying if you send your kids to public school, you are doing your child wrong. I fully support anyone who send their kids to public school, even if it's just because they want to have a break from their kids. (Seriously, I have contemplated sending my kids to public school JUST to get a break from their arguing and bickering. Just being honest.) This isn't geared towards anyone with kids in public school, unless, of course, you are thinking about homeschooling.

So thank you Discoveryk12 for helping us find our joy in homeschooling by having an outline for us to go by. It helps me to not feel so overwhelmed by planning 3 kids coursework!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Family Photographs

     I'm a lover of photography, whether it has anything to do with me or not. With every photo comes a memory or a thought. Photos bring some kind of emotion. I can thumb through others photos and it brings me joy. Don't ask me why or how because I really don't understand it myself. Photos fascinate me. Doesn't matter if it is of people, buildings, nature, etc.

My favorite photos are of my family. Even the family I never knew, didn't know for long, or have yet to meet in person. I treasure the photo above of my Grandmama and Grandaddy. It's so neat to be able to see what they looked like when they were much younger since I never saw them at that age.

I have come across many old photos of siblings of grandparents or even photos of great grandparents and their siblings. Sometimes these photographs show what places looked like back when they were young... or alive. My Daddy let me have quite a few old photos he got when my Grandma died. I'd like to get more of them so I can scan those and possibly give others the ability to save them and have them for their families.

I am currently gathering items to organize the photos I have so that they can be scanned and shared with my family. I'm really hoping that once I start sharing photos, others will start sharing some of the photos they have so I can add them to my "photo collection".

The interesting part will happen when I start printing off all of my photos that are on my computer so that my children are able to look back on their childhood memories; just like I am able to do.

Do you have old photographs that you treasure?

Friday, April 7, 2017

Family History

When I was not quite a teen, I remember wanting to know a little more about my family and my family history. When I was almost 8 and under, both sides of my family did many activities together. Typically, Halloween we would go to my Dad's Mom's house (I call her Grandma) and we'd eat and then all of my cousins, aunts, uncles, sister, and parents would go trick-or-treating. I also had cousins that I didn't grow up with; some I haven't even met in person yet! I have always wondered what it would have been like to have grown up around them.

My Grandmama (my Mama's Mama) and I were always close and talked often. I always enjoyed listening to her stories. Especially the stories about her family. I never thought to actually write those stories down before she passed away. We started going through her photos a couple years before she died, but never finished going through them and hearing the stories behind them. It was a bit hard since I lived in different states or areas after I was 19.

One day, I discovered I don't even remember if I saw it on T.V. or if I was simply looking up how to do a family tree on the internet. I had to have been 12, maybe 13 when I first found it. It was during the dial-up days, that is a memory I don't think I'll forget. I know I didn't do much. I honestly forgot that login information. At 14 years old or so, I began to ask my Grandmama more questions about our family members. I never wrote them down, though. I was about 20 years old when I decided to have Grandmama help me fill in a tree on Ancestry. I actually lost the account information and never could sign back in. (Still to this day I can't remember what email address I would have used!).

Alas, in 2010, I began my REAL family history research! I have had free subscriptions and paid for some off and on since then. I learned that taking a year or so off helps when you hit brick walls. My "main" tree is huge, however, being the newbie I was, I went "click happy" and relied off of others' tree information. I learned that is a big no-no because in order to get accurate family history, we need to have facts! So, recently, I made a new tree and have been working on making sure everyone lines up correctly.

I do a lot of my searches on It's free!

My desire to learn my family's history, I have been able to connect with a few extended family members. We aren't all in the same area, but one day, I hope to meet them in person!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Long Time No Post

Things are kind of settled down around here. We flew out of Hawaii January 10th and landed in our hometown the next day. The two days felt like they were mushed together. We've somewhat settled into our new temporary home and schooling is coming along.

We flew United and had to use their "Pet Safe" shipping to fly our Bella to the mainland. Many people have shared horror stories about their pets being neglected and not fed or given water, however, even though she was crated for about 20 hours, she was taken care of. We had an almost 3 hour layover, too. She was fed and given water. I don't know if they took her out at all because her crate was zip tied. It seemed like she may have "tinkled" a little, but she didn't poop in her kennel. 

Flying in a civilian aircraft in regular seats is not a great thing when you have such a long flight. I felt so squished in those seats and I am not that big. (I am a little heavier, but under 200lbs). I had a man behind me playing on his tablet that was in the headrest and it drove me crazy. Seriously, I'm surprised I was able to hold myself together when I asked him multiple times to tap a little lighter. All I felt and heard was "tap..... tap.... tap...." for about 6 hours. After the 3rd or fourth time of me asking him to please calm down on the tapping, he finally put it away. I really just wanted to close my eyes. 

Our 3 children did absolutely amazing on our flights and layover. They were ready to just be done with it, but I feel like we all were.

We have somewhat settled in. I would like to organize more, but this house is much smaller with WAAY less storage space. While I don't really have THAT many things anymore, it seems like a lot with lack of space. We are making it work. I'm looking forward to the day we buy our own house!! 

Homeschooling is going pretty good. We took quite awhile off during the moving and settling in. I filed my Letter of Intent to homeschool in North Carolina about a week after we moved into our new house. It was nice being able to submit it online and have them email me an "official" copy of it for my records. Anyone in NC wanting to Homeschool can check out the NC Division of Non-Public Education website. I'll be making another post about filing your letter of intent later.

I'll be blogging regularly from now on. I have many things I can't wait to share with you. I'll be reviewing products I've purchased that I love (or don't love). I'll be sharing some of our homeschooling journey, as well as any thing else going on that I would like to share with you all.