Missing Homeschool

I got to cuddle next to the kids last night and watch Miracle on 34th Street. It was so great. I feel like I haven’t spent enough time with them since they started school. I miss these moments.

The kids have been in public school for 3 weeks now.

At first, we all really liked the change. The kids made friends, they have been doing well on their work, and they said they enjoyed school. But not so much anymore.

Now our mornings are full of grumpiness and sometimes tears. They don’t have that same excitement when they wake up, and frankly, neither do I. I am on their side. I think homeschool is where they need to be, it’s just a matter of timing now. It’s going to happen. I miss them so much and teaching them and watching them grow and learning something new. I miss all that. And I’m sad when I think of all those kids in school whose parents miss out on that too. I feel more distant with both kids since they started. I don’t know what’s going on in their lives and even though it’s only been three weeks in PS, their personalities have already begun to alter, and not neccesarily for the better.

We are going to keep them in school for a little while longer. I’m thinking until Christmas break, so I have time to get our business up and going and then I can quit my job too.

Homeschool is one of the best things our family has ever done. Yes, it’s completely stressful and sometimes we have lazy days, not accomplishing much, but wow, I miss every second. I miss making breakfast with them, eating lunch at our table or maybe a picnic. I miss reading to them. I miss teaching them. I miss their smiles and laughter. I miss it all.

The saying where the grass is always greener on the other side is so true. We thought it would be better for so many reasons to put them in school, but we were wrong. We are a homeschooling family and always will be.

I am glad we tried public school out. I think it was just what we needed to give us a boost when we come back to homeschooling. The kids had started to take homeschool for granted and I believe they will appreciate the way we do things much better now.

A HUGE CHANGE AROUND HERE!

Two words. Public school.

Two more words. Debt free.

We love homeschooling our kids. We have been doing it officially the last three years, and plan to continue that journey in the future. However, we also want to make a better life for us and our future. We have read Dave Ramsey‘s The Total Money Makeover many times and I listen to his podcast almost daily to help keep us on track, but something was missing. We could be out of debt (except the house) in 2-3 years with no change in our income. That’s not fast enough for me. When I get excited about something I tend to go a little crazy and want change instant. So we thought about it and the only way to pay down our debt in less than one year is for me to work more.

So that’s exactly what we plan to do.

We will send the kids to public school for this year while I help bring in extra income to get us where we want to be financially.

We are all sacrificing on some level and have discussed it to make sure everyone was on board. The kids were excited to try out a new experience for this year and understand what we are trying to do to get us to a better place. Live like no one else, so later you can live like no one else. That is Dave Ramsey’s motto. I repeat that to myself many times a day.

Not only are we putting the kids in school and I’ll be working more for the next 7 months like a crazy person, but we are putting everything else on hold too. There is a long list of things that I want done around the house or mini-trips we would like to take, all are hard to say no to, but we are in this 100%, so for 7 months we will buckle down and be dedicated to our new lifestyle.

We still plan on ‘homeschooling’ the kids outside of school. They will continue with their Teaching Textbooks math each day, their journals, and coding. I may even pull them out for the day if we plan an awesome field trip.

This is one small chapter of their lives and we look at it as a real-world experience, which is our main goal as parents: to give them experiences to help them grow into a well-rounded adult.

Until next time.

 

Video

Cola Geyser Science Experiment

We are wrapping up our last week of Science before our week break with a ton of experiments using this fun book I found on Amazon.

Lilly is always wanting to explode something or making something messy, so this was right up her alley.

Here is the video of them explaining in their own words what is happening. They also imported, edited, and uploaded this video, which I am stoked about. Technology is super important in our house and they had so much fun today they said it felt like they had only been doing school for 2-3 hours, but we actually pulled in a 7 hour day!!!  Which is SUPER RARE around here. Enjoy!

Having fun on our Week Off

Last week we were off and we kept busy.  We started off the week with Geocaching. Something we got into about 2 years ago. It’s a great free go-to activity to get out of the house. I also like how it introduces the kids to reading coordinates and tracking distance. They love to watch the map and see how many feet are left until we reach the cache.

Lilly found this one first!

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We did 2 more caches, one being at the local Fish Hatchery. After finding it, we headed inside to take a look around. They had some really neat things inside, and the nice lady at the counter showed the kids what fish eggs look like.

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We also did a small science experiment. We are wrapping up our unit on solids, liquids, and gases, but before moving on we decided to show that states of matter can change and then change again.

We added a few drops of food coloring to water using our Lego trays, popped them in the freezer and recorded the changes, then we let it sit on the counter to see it change back into liquid. They all really enjoyed this and could tell back what was happening using big Science words 🙂

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Our normal weeks look pretty similar, with some Math and Language Art books thrown in too!

Cheers!

College by 12, hmm…..

I finished reading “The Brainy Bunch”, by Mona Lisa and Kip Harding about a month ago.  They have managed to send their kids to college by the age of 12. I was interested to read not only how they managed that, but how they encouraged their kids to want to pursue that level of education at a young age.

I don’t necessarily want my kids to be in college by the age of 12, but I wouldn’t be against it if they wanted it and were ready for it.  I’ve been to college and honestly, it’s not that challenging as long as you show up for every class and do the work. 100 level courses always seemed pretty high school to me. In Geography, we were talking about things I learned my sophomore year.  I’m not trying to downplay college, but I don’t think the 1st or 2nd year is that bad. And I agree with the Harding family that kids as young as 12 can succeed in college with the right mindset and plan. I loved how they talked about not just dropping off your kids and leaving them, that they stayed on the college campus so they felt safe.  Sometimes she even sat right outside the classroom.

In our family, the only plan we have right now is to provide a safe, loving place where they can learn. I do encourage them to work at higher levels than they would be in PS, but only if they are ready. I can see them graduating a few years early, around 15 or 16, if they ever had the drive to do it.  That’s the big thing for us and I’m sure the Harding family, their kids have that drive to succeed quickly, mine, as of now, do not.  I am already a firm believer that senior year in public HS is a waste, so I do hope my kids want to try and graduate early, but only time will tell.

The book was a great read, although I hoped for a little more information.  It helped me remember that following your child’s interests is important and can lead to that next level of success.  They really talked about that a lot in the book.

Here is an interview of the family.  If you haven’t read the book, it’s worth your time.

Anyone else’s thoughts on kids going to college at younger ‘than normal’ ages?  Are you planning for your child to graduate early?

 

How we [school]

This past year has been full of changes.  I was also attending college full-time, but recently decided homeschooling is where my focus should be and now we are adjusting to find a way to do things daily, that everyone can benefit while keeping it fun.

We homeschool year round.  This seems to be the easiest, less stressful, and most rewarding way.  Because of this schedule we are able to take breaks every month.  We want the kids to know school and learning is a way of life, and not something you do for only 9 months.

We do 3 weeks on, 1 week off.  This gives us time to take field trips or vacations every few weeks.  The kids are able to build off what they have learned without needing to go over it again.

With this schedule we have 39 weeks on and 12 weeks off, with 195 days in class at home.  Technically, with only 180 days needed, we have some wiggle room for sick days or an unexpected trip.

Our last day (this year) will be June 27th.

Any other year-rounders out there?

Meet Megan

I’m the one always on the go.  I encourage everyone to enter runs, races, compete (I love competition), and basically anything to get you moving and enjoying life.  We lived in Texas two years ago, and I got into cycling, bought myself a super sweet Scott carbon-fiber bike – on sale:) and have been waiting for the right moment to enter a race.  This year I think will be the year (if I actually get out there and start training)!  Other than loving the outdoors, traveling, and my family, I am your typical 28 year old wife of 10 years to a wonderful man, and mother to 2 AWESOME kids!

A few goals of mine are to ride my bike in RagBrai (across the state of Iowa), climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, and travel to all 50 states with my kids before they graduate.

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