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CourtneyKeb

Favorites

Week’s Worth April 16-22

We are all two shades tanner and ten levels frecklier since spring has begun.
We planted our two vegetable beds at the end of March, and although we tend beds every spring, this was the first year we felt so passionate about the fine details.

I attribute this to children old enough and interested enough to help. This is the first year in nine that I’m not pregnant and/or carrying around a baby, so there has been much more freedom in yard tending for me. Plus it’s been really rad having kids old enough to help!

This spring has been so fun! We’re annoyingly obsessed with our little plant babies and check on them numerous times a day which feels like it makes the growing slower, I think.

It’s amazing how much beauty and diversity are packed in to the infinite amount of variations of things that grow. We’ve spent the week studying soil in our Kinderfarmhomeschool Gardening Curriculum, and what I really want to know is at what point in my life did things turn to where I am so fascinated by dirt and such things?

I do not know, but at least it has been a family affair. We’ve all been learning so much about minerals and temperatures and shades and ph levels and propagating and sunlight and blah blah yadda yadaa. All the good and boring things.

My friend was on vacation this week, and we even got the privilege of tending to her garden while she was away. We never grow cucumbers because none of us eat them, but when we had permission to pick one of hers, we ate them and flavored our water with them, and basically we have a bed going up this weekend for cucumbers since there is just no stopping us now.

We had a tough week this week in math, so while we battled the sorrows of subtraction with both of our math students, we pretty much nixed everything else other than our gardening. Hello summer, we are reaching for you ole pal.

These are the resources we’ve gone back to with the kids. How to be a Wildflower isn’t as educational as it is beautiful, but since I have a love for both, we’ve carried it around outside a few times this week for inspiration. My girls adore it! Dirt is definitely geared toward older children, but it is jam packed with good info. Compost Stew has been much enjoyed by my youngers, and we even let my little four year old do a glue and dirt project with the letter D:

It’s the brown page, which is kind of hard to see with this Hipstamatic shot, but I can’t help that because I’ve re-downloaded that early 2000s app and pretty much am obsessed with it.

We haven’t added a lot of new guys to the flower beds this spring, but we did add a pot of these pretties. Pictured is Sally, Susan, Sable, Juan, Hector, and Poe. We do not know who stuck Poe there to guard, but we leave him because he’s charming.

So far we have vegetable beds with lettuce, kale, peppers, zucchini, tomatoes, peas, and melons. We’ve added olive trees, a mulberry tree, fig tree, and a pomegranate tree to our little Kebby orchid of citrus trees. We’ve got some basil, rosemary, peppermint, and lavender. We’re trying our hand at some coffee and blueberry plants this year too!

What are you planting? What should we add in besides cucumbers (because who knew everyone loves them when we all thought we hated them?) What’s your favorite thing to grow? Talk planty to me.

Favorites

A Mid-April’s Week’s Worth

Hello little space on the internet how are you?
I am well. This is good because I had been pretty sick lately, but thankfully I am feeling much better and more writey lately.
Spellcheck is annoyed with my use of the word writey, so I think I made that up.


Before I share some of my week’s worth of highlights more school geared, I’m just going to take a little minute and show off my newest hair color, because when you’re hair is the perfect shade of cool toned denim, ya girl gotta throw that all over the internet. It blends really nicely into my existing silver sprinkled roots, so I’m pretty in love.

Speaking of in love. This. My girl Chana makes the most luxurious tasting caramel, shortbread, and marshmallows, and if you came over to visit I’d share it with you, only my entire order is completely gone. So get yours here, and thank me later.


We have been loving our April read aloud. I chose Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland largely because this illustrated version makes my heart entranced in the illustrations. I’ll have to do a post when we finished with some activity suggestions, because we have had an absolute blast coming up with things to do to make the chapters come alive for us. Irrelevantly, how sweet is that cross stitch by my 8 year old? She loves sewing and embroidery and she usually keeps her hands busy with that while I read Alice.

I did find this lovely art work to print out and have the kids color while reading too. They usually do a pretty good job paying attention while I’m reading, but sometimes it’s nice to have everyone’s hands occupied so they don’t find them in trouble.

My sweet Selah girl has been asking me to teach her to read since last summer, but she has had some struggles with letter recognition, so we have spent this school year with her really engaging in sensory letter related projects so that the letters really stick with her. There are far less messy options out there, but shaving cream on a cookie sheet has been her favorite. She’s gained so much confidence with it!

These pretty little things were our baking project on Friday, and they made me happy. All of the kids helped from beginning to end, and I love a project that produces cupcake and encourages following directions merged with creativity.

This little guy even surprised me by appropriately sorting jelly beans by color.

-We are starting to look forward to summer break. Actually I am looking forward to summer break. I told the kids we would take all of June and July off, but they asked if we could do a summer study on animals, so I think that we may just do some child led unit studies on specific animals of interest along with maybe continuing our gardening curriculum.
-Both Adeline and Gideon are almost finished with their math for the school year, and finished math books always equal one on one ice cream dates, so they’re extra motivated.
-We battle really acidic soil on our property, but our spring garden has been coming along. This year I laid some news paper before I resoiled the beds, and it has been such an amazing hack since I’m not pulling weeds in it all the time like  I usually am.
-I am on a spending freeze to try and save for some dental work for both myself and Gideon, and spending freezes are absolutely torturous for me when Amazon is just over there existing like normal.
-We’re thinking about getting a few baby chicks through the mail so that they can start laying when our current chicken friends slow down which will probably be this fall. I’m hoping for some like this and this and this. Why do I love chickens so much?
-I know Pete’s Dragon wasn’t the most loved movie made recently, but I just love it so much. We just watched it this evening, and I wish I could have a dragon.

We’re so excited to celebrate our risen Savior tomorrow. We’ve been observing Lent for the last few weeks, and the anticipation for tomorrow is in waves all over the place here.
Happy Easter my friends.

 

 

Homeschool

A New Song

I have a rescue chicken named Nikki.
My brother in law, a police officer, rescued her from Walmart.
I could leave you with a mental picture of Nikki being snatched off of the butchering table in the meat department, but let’s get real here; he was at Walmart.
I’ll tell you what the truth is: Nikki the chicken was running around the store with no other agenda besides escaping the intimidating hands of the police officer chasing her down the cereal isle.
I’m glad I clarified for the amusement of your imagination.

So he brings me this hen and lays her on my swing in the middle of the night. She’s scared, shaken up, and tired, but she gets her rest that night on my back porch only to be rudely awakened with the ice cold realization that she now lives with four children who consider it their actual birth right to chase and catch chickens for no other purpose than rocking them like infants, dancing with them like dolls, or force feeding them fresh worms if the day is a lucky one. Nikki is not about this life.

She quietly takes her daily refuge in the back of my husband’s truck. The sun rises, she waits for her feed, and then she jumps in the bed of his truck and hangs out there until she’s hungry again. We didn’t find this out until we found multiple eggs rolling around back there, and realized this is probably how she actually ended up at Walmart to begin with. (Dear sweet farmer missing your truck-loving chicken, please know we are loving on your girl.)

I am telling you this because I have recently learned that I am Nikki the chicken.
I came to this sobering realization yesterday on the front porch when I had my children lock me out there on purpose.

Yep. It was a Tuesday that felt like a well earned Friday. Countless tantrums from the two year old, an intense melt down from the eight year old, spilled coffee, bickering between the two middles, cheated math, he threw away her artwork, eye rolls a plenty, someone scribbled on someone’s paper, the dog ate her sandwich, so on and so forth–until THE time.
Nap time.
That’s the time I call nap time even though only one of the four actually nap. Usually the older two do independent school work at the table and then play outside, the third reads in bed with an occasional nap, and the fourth cashes in on his well needed naps.
Yesterday though the toughest morning was soon soothed by this said nap time where both youngers actually slept soundly, both olders worked on a science experiment, and I caught up on two days worth of dishes. That was too graceful, it was most definitely three days worth of dishes.

AND THEN THE UPS MAN RANG THE DOORBELL.

Cue the bark squad, everyone awake, and instant fighting over who would open the box.

I Nikki the chickened right on out of there.
Opened the door. Stepped out. Used my fingers to ominously instruct them to lock the door, and I sat on that front porch for a solid half hour. I would have joined Nikki in the truck, but I was hoping by my visual presence on the front porch, I wouldn’t come back into too much destruction.
It was the day I ran away but didn’t.
The day I wish I had a mini freezer outside stocked with chocolate ice cream.
The day I identified with Nikki the chicken.

Sometimes this is hard.
Most times this is hard.
I’ve got to force myself to constantly remember that this path was not chosen for difficulty, but it has been chosen for it’s purpose.
I love teaching them and learning with them, but it often takes every ounce left of my very being.
I told Him how tired I was yesterday on the porch while they pressed their noses on the glass and smeared their nostrils all over it as the train tracks for their finger trains poking the door.

Then after a 4am sharp wake up call, I woke up this morning opening up my study with the She Reads Truth Lenten Study of Isaiah only to first see the aesthetically pleasing image correlating with today’s devotion read this:

I took that one and called it mine because my praises sound sweeter than my grumbling every single time.
My heart check was needed as it grew fruits of patience and gentleness with the chaos of this Wednesday that feels like a well earned Friday. We did most of our work today outside under a tree with a cool breeze, and I was timely reminded how much I love the liberty of feeding my children an education wherever it is the wind blows us in a day.

The truth is that although this is hard, it is worth it. It is beautiful. It is an adventure-an excitement-a gift. For every rough moment there is a hundred more I want to forever remember.
We chose this path for purpose.

I felt led to share here, but I might even pass by truck in a bit and let Nikki know what’s up too.

Uncategorized

Week’s Worth: March 19-25th

This week has been long. Fevers, colds, and grumpies have abounded here the last few days, but it’s looking like the weekend should be more promising.
Here’s a little look at our week’s worth of highlights.

I’ve had this book laying on my shelves for years, and I’ve only ever shown it a little bit of love, which is deceiving upon holding it with the wrinkled pages from bringing it home during a rainstorm. Anyway, I was determined to go into this week with some good habit training (which didn’t happen too much since everyone was sick and miserable anyway). I did however, get a whole lot of training myself from the goodness in here. I shared a my favorite quote from it on my Instagram on Thursday, but there were so many noteworthy quotes and ideas, I really couldn’t get enough.

When you are on the side of the road with a sign reading “Fresh Louisiana Strawberries” for $18 a flat and gobs of juicy red strawberries please just flag me down should I miss you. But I can almost promise, I won’t miss you.

Ya know the most well loved books that you read so often you can nearly recite them? These are ours. They were on replay all week while we snuggled off some sickness.

Good friends feed your chickens when they drive by your house. Great friends bring you melon plants.

Don’t laugh. These are my new velcro rollers. You want them. Especially if you have flat, fine, lifeless hair like me. Put them in damp hair, let them mostly air dry, hit um with the blow dryer on hot and then cool to set. THEN YOUR HAIR IS VOLUPTUOUS AND YOU WANNA WAVE IT IN THE WIND.

How else would I have figured out a group of ravens are called a conspiracy? This gem is only $6.50 right now on Amazon. Ya gotta.

-My kid saw me checking these things out, and is now begging to make them.
-My sweet husband got brought me home a Dunkin Donuts iced coffee one of these evenings, and it was the best dinner I had all week besides the night he went to the store after work and cooked us all tacos because that was the feverish child’s request that night.
-Gideon looked over at Adeline reading this week and whispered to me, “Momma, Adeline is beautiful.” BE STILL MOMMA HEART
-I went out for coffee with my lifegroup friends on Tuesday night and cherished both the get away and each and every one of them. Also the macchiato.
-We all got adjusted at our chiropractor on Wednesday, and I have never felt better. I haven’t been sick, so I didn’t even think I needed an adjustment, but Dr. Flynn cracked my neck, and all of the tension melted right away. Sure did walk out of there feeling like a million bucks.
-My three youngest and I picked wildflowers from our outgrown lawn, and every time I see a jar of them strategically placed around this house I feel all of the happiness in the whole world.
-We started a new Science curriculum on Friday.

I hope you find yourself blessed by the little things this weekend.
Thanks for hanging out!

Homeschool

Why We Ditched our School Schedule

We don’t have a school day schedule.
Sometimes people find that weird.

It doesn’t make sense in my head either, but in real life it unfolds well.

Why doesn’t it make sense in my head?
Because I am a time manager. I’m mediocre skilled at it.
I even factor in cushion time for the inevitable meltdown, drink spillage, or broken dish.
Just ask my husband. He’s undoubtedly always late, while I just sit there and silently solve all of this late-induced problems with a sharper schedule. Shower takes 12 minutes, getting dressed and grooming, 4 minutes, walking the dogs takes 5 minutes, put your shoes on for a minute and allow yourself 3 extra grace minutes and he just needs 25 minutes of getting ready time before he needs to leave the house. Easy-that is if you follow my schedule. (Also if you can find your shoes, because sometimes that’s the spoil to perfectly good time management. Good places to check for a missing shoe is known to be: the boy’s toy box, under the couch, the linen closet, and occasionally in the dog’s kennel.)

Us on a school schedule should work.
But it just didn’t.

And this is where we take the freedom of homeschooling into our own hands and mold it into what will work for us. I laid down my mental picture of what I thought our teaching and learning should mimic and really fine tuned it to the dynamic of our family. We have four children ages 2, 4, 6, & 8. The wildcard in there at present is going to be my 2 year old, although we are growing into a season where he is slightly more tamed and predictable than he has been. He is a high maintenance baby (and now toddler) and requires much of my constant attention. All. day. long. (Really though last week he baby powdered himself, my Labradoodle, and entire bathroom, wrote on the walls with an ink pen, broke into the pantry to feed the dogs an entire loaf of bread, and spilled a container of coffee grounds onto the floor all in one day.) Mommas schooling with babies, I know you feel me. It is difficult to teach on schedule and simultaneously prevent these things from happening.

Scheduling produces thriving for some families, but I’ve found at this stage in our learning it just produces pressure.

I think a strict time format is an incredibly fruitful, well-disciplined practice, and I would love to better revisit it when my children are of older ages.

For now though, if lunch time comes and we haven’t squeezed in all of our normal routine subjects, I don’t feel like a failure. I feel normal. I feel like someone somewhere along those lines needed my attention somewhere else besides teaching, and that’s a beautiful part of home learning. If someone scrapes a knee and needs a cuddle for 20 minutes, I’m here. If a couple of them are struggling with conflict, we make time to figure it out. If we get an invite to bring four wild children and two wild dogs to a dog park, I get to say yes. When my sister needs help with her newborn, we get to run on over. The books will wait. There is so much freedom for me in not being a slave to a schedule right now, and it makes the moments even sweeter for us.

We get to explore so much child led learning this way too. So many times a Geography lesson turns into an Art lesson which turns into a Science lesson which tip toes over History and ends up in Dictation. These snowball learning days are free to come whenever they might because we’re so liberal with the whens, wheres, and hows.

I like that- being free. I want my kids to feel that way while they still very much are.

We are busy people. I have a little calendar in my bag with things jotted on every single day of the month, but I like not having to turn over my school hours that way right now. They get to learn and play and snack and nap and read this way at a much more organic pace.

Years ago when we first began homeschooling I had an hourly schedule something like: breakfast at something o’clock, free play for thirty minutes, clean up for ten minutes, math at something o’clock, art at something thirty, lunch no early or later than noon, etc. It put so much pressure on me-on us, that I was a nutcase by the afternoon. If the youngest wouldn’t go down for a nap on time, or someone threw a tantrum somewhere it threw our whole game off and just stressed us all out.

When people come to me for homeschool tips and advice this is usually among the first thing I talk about especially to those teaching with babies and toddlers in the mix. I understand this just doesn’t work well with some families, and that’s okay. The rad thing about learning at home is that you get to format it to what fits your family best. If your school flourishes by scheduling, then you get to implement that how you like. If the clock brings you stress, you get to throw it out. No one way is the right way, and sometimes the right way shifts.

Right now, for us, we are thriving in the freedom of having ditched the o’clock boss.

Favorites

Week’s Worth: March 12-18

I love favorites’ posts. I love to read them, and I love to write them!
I blogged here for 9 years, and a for few of them I’d do a “Thursday Favorites” series where I posted highlights of my week.
I think I’ve decided to post a version of this on Saturdays with our week in review-a little grab bag of memorable moments filed away here, if you will.

So here’s my very first one:


-I was on my way to the pencil isle at Target, when this beauty stopped me to jump in my cart. It was too special to be stocked among others in the store when I could rescue it and give it a place to thrive. Plus it was on sale.

-My guy turned 30 on Monday, and we had so much fun celebrating him. Ryder got him those rad glasses, Selah got him chocolates that she accidentally ate before she was able to give to him, Gideon got him a promised fishing trip, Adeline gave him a Polaroid collage of our family, and I got him a pillow. He got silly-stringed, red velvet cake, and Twizzlers too which made a mysterious disappearance shortly after being opened.

-I got to put these pretties on the wall in the school room this week. I have 6 more on the other wall in the room, but these are my favorites. $3.50 for a set of 15 here.

-How sweet are these St. Patty’s leggings my sister made for Adeline?

-We are all into these kid’s matching cards from SRT! They’re Isaiah’s prophecies fulfilled in Jesus, and we have been loving learning through them.

-As I was studying Isaiah, God revealed much of my own heart, and Philip and I were greatly encouraged adoption could be in His plans for our family.
-Wrapped up and enjoyed a bible study on Ruth this week with 5 Habits of a Woman Who Doesn’t Quit.
-Loved this article on peaceful parenting.
This pin gave me real floor envy.
-Adeline met her Girls on the Run goal of 20 laps.
-We’ve been deeply enjoying Rich+Rooted Passover.

I think that’s it? This week was nonstop and jam-packed, and we’re all hoping to regain a smoother pace next week.
If you blog and keep a similar favorites series, let me know so I can creep on it! I love them!!

Reading

10 Ways to Encourage a Love for Reading

Okay, so I’m not a master of much other than crying during This is Us and spending too much money at Target. I can admit this.
That being said, you should understand I am not a professional in teaching reading.
I would, however, say I’m decently skilled at encouraging a love for it though, which has subsequently made the subject delightfully easy if not near effortless around here.
We have 2 readers in this house, 1 eager learner, and a toddler who has memorized much of “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” which could be mistaken for a reading 2 year old by someone who didn’t know better.

I thought I’d take a little minute to share some easy to implement tips that have worked for us in developing a passion for books and reading.

1. Respect the books. Around here things get messy. But not your books. I’ll walk around the 30 blocks and 12 tsum tsums you’re playing with or by, but if there is a disregarded book kindly return it to it’s home please. Nice and neat. Are you old enough to color-coordinate? Because that too.
2. Library love. There is a love order of buildings we frequent. We’ll go ahead and put church first, because that’s generally true. I’m going to be honest and tell you I’d have to let Target and Starbucks duke it out for second place, but I assure you the library is third. Squeals abound when we are headed there, and four small body’s on the verge of bursting with excitement is exactly what the library is not about, but we’re ever working that out.
3. Only book bring-alongs allowed! Doctors appointments, dance class, play-dates, grocery stores, and general errands generate a need for all children involved to bring toys, gadgets, kitchen tools, and/or rocks. Nope. Only books in this girl’s minivan. You may bring as little or as much as you like to keep you entertained, as long as it’s a book.


4. Movie comparisons. This is fun. We love to read the book before a movie comes out so we can compare the two. Jungle Book, BFG, Peter Pan, Star Wars are some fun ones we did as read-alouds so the whole family could chime in. We don’t haul the six of us to the theaters often, so when we do it’s a big ordeal and spending prior weeks reading the book amps up the fun even more!
5. Coffee talk. I don’t know if this is right, but I don’t want to know if it’s wrong. My people are about coffee milk. It excites their very souls, actually. I take mine black, because I have no room for folly. The rest of them take it about 75% milk, 12% coffee, 7% chocolate syrup, and 6% sugar. It’s a general science so I felt the need for the percentages. They get to drink it out of my breakable mugs. This is earned privilege people, and the only participants allowed are those willing to discuss characters and settings in books they are currently reading or have recently read. Coffee talk is near to my heart, and out of this list it is surely my favorite.
6. Daily read times. You know that time when it’s not quite bedtime but is quite youregonnaneedtogivemeandeachotherspace time? Yea that time. Everyone gets a book. Everyone gets a bed. Read. If you can’t read, enjoy a wonderful world of illustrations. Take as many as you need and take your dear, sweet time.
7. Book to toy ratio.  It might sound silly, but it works. Have more books on hand than toys. It minimizes your space clutter and keeps them reaching for books. Plus that’s just one less miniature Darth Vadar you step on. Because respect the books, remember?


8. Monkey see, monkey do. I am not calling you a monkey. I am not calling your children monkeys. Maybe I’m calling my children monkeys. The truth is though, I cannot come close to ever counting the times I was reading in bed, on the couch, at the table, on the swing, and a little human scooted next to me with a book of his/her own. It’s a sobering reminder that whatever it is I’m doing on my personal time is closely watched and mimicked, so I like to model well. (Someone help me learn how to insert emoji girl with hand out into blogs.)
9. Don’t push it. If they aren’t ready to read, I don’t ask them to read. There are plenty of books to choose from around here heavy in illustrations, and they are never under any pressure to perform for me. I find that in order to cultivate a love for reading, it’s best to just set it up and let them move at their own pace.
10. Read alouds for everyone. I have two independent readers here and two more I read aloud to daily. I like to make sure I don’t limit that to the littler ones. If I have a child interested in a book above his or her reading level, then we go in as a family read aloud. The kids love it, I love it, the dogs love it, the chickens love it. Just kidding we don’t read to the chickens very often. If family read alouds are too stressful (ex. when you have a toddler that takes interest in bopping heads for spontaneous duck duck goose 3 chapters in), I suggest reading aloud during meal times. If their mouths are full of food and their fingers are busy building a carrot tent then they’re less likely to bop each other and more likely to enjoy the story.

To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark. —Victor Hugo

Books Homeschool

School Book Favs

We have so many resources we pull from for our learning, but today I wanted to share some that are our tried and true go-tos on at least a weekly basis. I’m talking if nothing else, these are thumbed through, devoured, loved on, or rediscovered every few days around here.

Lehgo:

Okay so these little books were included in an All About Reading curriculum I purchased 4-5 years ago. The curriculum itself wasn’t a good fit for our family then, but these books ARE.
My new readers love these books. They are cute little stories with black and white illustrations as well. I love the simplicity and my kid’s love the confidence boost that comes with reading one of these in 10-20 minutes and feeling like they read a big “chapter book”. My 6 year old son absolutely loves the little reading guide card at the bottom, which actually would be simple to DIY, laminate, and help guide along any early reader feeling overwhelmed by paragraphs or many words together. Looking these up now I see they’ve been redone in a color format and are available here.

These are our absolute favorites. If we have down time and I ask the kids to work independently I’ll bet my ten chickens they’ll grab these and get to reading, drawing, and/or creating their own “lessons” to teach the younger ones from. Seriously they’re on the table daily. The illustrations in these are fantastic, and the short blunt subject pages are honestly captivating for all ages in my opinion. These are wonderfully priced and available here. We give these as gifts, we love them so much!


This year we’ve found ASL to be easily incorporated to every lesson. We pick 1-4 words a week/day depending on how well the retention is between my four, and we generally keep this dictionary at hand to do so. For example last week when did a bee unit study, we learned the signs for bee, honey, hive, and spring. I love to outsource YouTube for this or @signedwithheart on Instagram, but my kids also get a lot out of referencing the signs in this dictionary.


This one. Just get it. It is another great gift book for even those not homeschooling. The map illustrations are so incredibly fun and the book is so very versatile. This fall we studied Europe and each week would take an imaginary train through each country. We used this book as an I Spy inspiration for each kid to pick landmarks, culture references, native animals, etc. that inspired them and we’d concentrate on each one by referencing other books and videos to dig deeper. They key pictures around the countries/continents are great memory markers and this one was well engaged with by all of my crew and even myself.


I’m an art girl, and I’ve got an art girl. So we do art things. Usborne has various titles for us art lovers, but these are two that my littles gravitate toward most. They’ve got some beautiful classics and provide lots of sweet tid-bits about pieces, and the best part is that they almost always end up providing some artistic inspiration.  They go well with the Art sticker books and coloring activity books Usborne offers as well. I get mine here.

Oh I do love this one. Again, you just get me real good when you’ve got some bomb illustrations and this one delivers there as well. My 8 year old daughter loves this book, and she often uses it along side her personal journaling. This one’s more geared towards girls ages 6-10. Angie Smith is so gifted, and this book is nothing short of a treasure around here.

I love discovering new favorites, so be sure to let me know if you think I’m missing out on something!

Homeschool

How Our School Looks

Let’s compare homeschool to a wardrobe.

You have a variety of pieces to choose from.
Some are worn and well-loved.
Some are new and need to be tried on.
Some have holes in them and need to be repaired.
Some are no longer functional and need to be thrown out.

This is absolutely comparable to the way we school. We aren’t a uniform kinda family. We like our options.

We are the stripes with polka dot people.
Plaid on plaid.
Print on print.
Print on plaid on polka dots.
and just when you think we’re going to show up in worn out holey denim and a stained Mickey Mouse tee shirt, we come at ya smooth and classy in all black with red lipstick and heels.

Where are we going right now?
Oh yea. Not to dinner. To school.
kaaaay

Yes. School.
There are several different methods/styles (Classical, Charlotte Mason, Montessori, Unschooling, just to name a few).
We like to try them all on, which has us generally landing in the Eclectic style of home educating.
We dabble and pull from all kinds of styles until we’re working with the best fit for us.

I say all of this to preface this point:
No one way is the only way.
This works for us.
It may not work for you.
and that’s okay.

It took two years of homeschooling before I figured this out.
I can buy a curriculum now and not feel mandated to use every single component.
I can research a learning style and not feel required to implement every single aspect.
I can receive a suggestion and not feel pressured to apply it.

Once I figured this out, our schooling that took on a freedom that sparked both in myself as a teacher and my kids as learners.
If I announce right now that we have some school to do, I will undoubtedly hear cheers and yays and tiny feet running over whereas there was a time where that announcement brought groans and eyerolls and attitudes all over.

“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” -William Butler Yeats

I love these words. I love them dearly and not only because we literally light things on fire sometimes for “projects”, but because the objective in my teaching right now is to give these little ones a craving for knowledge and a passion for seeking it.

So right now we stride in our ripped denim and worn out stripes, while will we even get out of pajamas tomorrow?

Homeschool

Hello world!

Ten years ago I was probably in front of a computer screen writing a history paper for college with a degree in Elementary Education in my line of sight.
Now I’m in front of a computer screen writing a blog about how I homeschool my four children and I’m not seeing much other than that because my it’s 9:26pm and if we’re being honest, my brain likes to check out shortly after 6pm. It’s on airplane mode until bedtime, basically.

Didn’t see that one coming, 2007 Courtney, did ya?

As the story goes, I gave birth to my first little treasure in 2009 when God shortly after began to reveal homeschool as our future. I won’t say there wasn’t resistance met there, but I will say it is a calling I’ve been blessed by answering. 2014 came and all of a sudden there were four of them I had to keep alive and love and teach and not mess up too badly.

We are in a place now where learning is more like thriving on life for all of us. I’m on my second education here while I’m totally winging this thing, and these kids think I hold the key that unlocks knowledge itself. I’m no expert, but I’d like to ehhem a bit and bring in my small voice on this topic that I love.

This space here to do so excites me, and I thank you for reading.

Allan Bloom is quoted to have said, “Education is the movement from darkness to light.”

Oh and am I ever a lover of the light.